The Branson Missouri Blog

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Dogwood Canyon – A One Of A Kind Nature Park

The Ozarks are full of beautiful places to visit. Towering oak forests, sparkling blue lakes, ridge tops with panoramic views, meadows dotted with wildflowers – you name it, the Ozarks probably have it. But if you really want to see some of the Ozarks most beautiful, breathtaking, rugged, natural, one of a kind scenery, plan a visit to Dogwood Canyon! Here you will find a ten thousand acre natural paradise that is just as lovely as its name. So grab your camera – you won’t want to miss this one of a kind nature park in the Ozarks!

"Preserve, promote, and protect the natural environment of the canyon’s wildlife and plant life." This is the mission statement of Dogwood Canyon, located in Lampe, Missouri, about forty-five minutes south of Branson. The beginnings of the park property were put in place in 1990 by Johnny Morris, eco-philanthropist and the founder of the Bass Pro Shops empire. Today, the park is owned, operated and maintained by the Dogwood Canyon Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the canyon’s natural plant and wildlife environment. They share this goal and their visions with the public through many different outdoor activities and workshops.

The activities offered at Dogwood Canyon are as one of a kind of the park. Set against a backdrop of land that has been virtually untouched by human hands, you won’t want to miss a chance to participate! Dogwood Canyon offers guided tram tours, hiking and biking trails, fishing opportunities, and LOTS of horseback riding – you can take a trail ride through the wilderness, or even participate in a real cattle drive! Dogwood Canyon also offers a two day fly fishing school for those wanting to hone their fly fishing skills.

If you fall in love with Dogwood Canyon Nature Park and want to hold a special day there, you can rent the Wilderness Chapel! Built from local lumber and replicated to resemble an 1800s chapel, this is the perfect place to hold a wedding, special services, vow renewals, and meetings. The back wall of the Wilderness Chapel is made entirely of windows, so that you and your guests will have a view of one of Dogwood Canyon’s most beautiful waterfalls. It’s definitely a one of a kind place to say ‘I do!’

While Dogwood Canyon is wild and rugged, it also has a spot or two to attend to your basic needs! Check out the Outdoor Café after a day of hiking, fishing or horseback riding for some great outdoor grub like Elk Burgers, Trout BLTs and more!

Dogwood Canyon is a nature park beyond compare – and their mission is one worth supporting. So make Dogwood Canyon Nature Park a spot you and your family visit often! Then you too, can help preserve, promote, and protect one of the Ozarks most unique hotspots.

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Hiking and Fishing at Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch

Lots of folks come to the Branson/Tri-Lakes area for the outdoor activities. Fishing, hiking, nature watching and boating are just some of the things that people come to this area looking for. If you want a truly unique fishing and/or hiking experience near Branson, pack your tackle box and hiking boots, and head up to Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch – because where else in the area can you hike and fish in the presence of the American Bison? Make sure to pack your camera – this is one outdoor trip you will definitely want to photograph!

elkhead-ranch-fishingFishing: Elkhead Lake, or ‘The Pond,’ as it is commonly referred to, is a beautiful place to cast a line or to nature watch. Located at one of the higher points on the ranch, you will have a gorgeous panoramic view of the landscape – and maybe even a glimpse of a herd of buffalo off in the distance! The fishing pond is roughly forty feet deep, and spans a few acres. A permanent fishing dock is located on the eastern shore of the lake. The dock sits in a prime location for watching wildlife, catching a fish, or even catching a nap, if you are the kind of fisherman who dozes with a finger on the line! The pond at Elkhead Ranch is fully stocked with fish like catfish, bass and bluegill, all looking for a tasty worm or lure to nibble on. While you are waiting for the big one to bite, there is plenty of wildlife to keep you interested – geese, ducks, green and blue herons, hawks and bald eagles all like to hang out on the pond. If this sounds like the fishing spot for you, call the Elkhead Ranch office today at 417-683-7058 for available fishing dates and to set up a fishing package!

Hiking: If you want to see more than just the pond on this beautiful Southwest Missouri bison ranch, consider spending an afternoon hiking through the hills at Elkhead Ranch. With several miles of hiking trails, you will find something new and interesting at everything twist and turn! During your hike at Elkhead Ranch, you will see much of the flora and fauna that the Ozarks are so well known for. Oak trees, dogwoods and cedars line the hillsides, and a beautiful rushing stream hugs the edge of the forest. Some of the trails top out with a lovely view of the ranch vista, and some lead down into open meadows that have been planted as food plots for wildlife. Whitetail deer, wild turkey, squirrels and birds of all kinds might reveal themselves to you during your hike! You can also see old homestead sites, a hand hewn log cabin, and even an old family cemetery. For your safety, guests at the ranch are asked to stay out of pastures containing bison and other livestock – but if you would like a better look at them, Elkhead Ranch offers guided tours to introduce guests to the mighty bison! Call today for available hiking dates.

Elkhead Ranch offers some very unique hiking and fishing options for the outdoor adventurer – not to mention a glimpse of bison! So the next time you are looking for a place to fish or a new trail to explore, be sure to put Elkhead Ranch on your list of hotspots.

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A One Bedroom Branson Cabin For A Branson Family Vacation


The fun and excitement that anyone can get in a place like Branson may just be the reasons why people keep on coming back to what is known as the premier vacation destination in the Midwest. Branson Missouri has also gained much popularity by being the Live Entertainment Capital of the World. People love the live music shows in Branson so much because of its variety and high energy performances. Whether you might be a music lover or not, you are sure to find the perfect show to keep you entertained.

The live music shows are not the only attractions in Branson to rave about. There are also the theme parks like Silver Dollar City, the world-famous 1880’s inspired theme park in Branson. The TriLakes Area in Branson is also the best spot for some water activities with the whole family. Some of the activities that you can do in the lakes area are boating, fishing, swimming, diving, and a lot more. Of course, a family vacation is not complete when you can’t have the best meals and great souvenir deals. Branson also boasts of its restaurants which offers you and your family a wide array of choices. You can choose from steaks, barbecues, Italian cooking, and even home cooked meals. Shopping in Branson has also become an attraction since you can find unique items at the lowest price in Branson’s outlet malls and souvenir shops.

Have the most memorable Branson vacation ever with the family by getting a one bedroom Branson cabin in Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort. Thousand Hills is located near Branson’s entertainment district, outlet malls, theme parks, and restaurants so you can have a new adventure anytime that you like. The one bedroom Branson cabin in Thousand Hills is made of Colorado cut spruce logs and has that rustic feel on its façade. The modern interior of the cabin also blends well with the rustic ambiance. Having a breathtaking view of the Ozark woods and a tranquil atmosphere around you, you would not think that you are living very close to the city at all. Waiting for you as you rent your cabin are fully furnished bedrooms and bathrooms, and a fully equipped kitchen. Family time is made even better with a spacious living room with a cable television and a DVD player. The bedroom also has a cable TV for you to enjoy. Free high-speed internet, use of a swimming pool, and a private deck in the cabin will make your family vacation even more memorable.

Get ready to have a vacation adventure with the family as you take on Branson and Thousand Hills. For reservations and inquiries on Thousand Hills lodging, call 1-877-262-0430.

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Stay in a Queen Suite in Branson for your Vacation

In every vacation, people are always looking to having new adventures and experiences. Your vacation in Branson Missouri could give you just that. It is called as the live music capital of the world, and because of its many activities and attractions, it has also become the most popular vacation destination in the Midwest.

One thing that you could not miss in Branson is its collection of live music shows in the Highway 76 Strip. These shows are a favorite among the guests of Branson because these are not only about reviving your favorite songs. These shows also provides you with more – comedy, energetic performances, and a lot more. Branson also has the best theme parks for people of all ages to enjoy. There is the Silver Dollar City, which houses the world’s most daring wood coaster. There is also the Tracks Family Fun Parks for exciting activities and attractions for the whole family to enjoy. The shopping malls in Branson have also become an attraction in themselves because guests can have great discounts here. Souvenir shops like the Branson IMAX Entertainment Complex, The Shoppes, and Downtown Branson also gives the guests the chance to take home and purchase unique gift items for their loved ones back home.

A perfect vacation in Branson is topped off with the best lodging place, too. For your vacation, always choose to stay in the leader in Branson lodging – Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort. Thousand Hills offers several lodging options that will suite anyone’s needs. If you are coming to Branson as a small family, as a couple, or as a small group, then the Queen Suite in Branson is the right one for you. You don’t have to rent a pricey hotel room anymore just to feel comfortable. A Queen Suite in Branson’s Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort gives you comfort and convenience all in one. Having the best location in town, the Queen Suite in Thousand Hills are just a few feet away from the award-winning golf course, and just minutes away from Branson’s entertainment district. A tranquil view and a homey atmosphere in the condo unit is so good to come home to after a day full of adventure.

The amenities that comes with your rental of a Queen Suite in Branson also compare to none. You can enjoy a swimming pool, private patio or deck, free high-speed wireless internet, and use of the exercise facility in Thousand Hills. The suite’s bedroom and bathroom are also fully furnished with linens, pillows, and a Jacuzzi tub. A fully equipped kitchen is also yours for your stay so you can cook your meals if you want to. The rooms, including the living room, also has a cable TV and a DVD player, too. There is also ample parking space for you.

Reserve your very own Branson Queen Suite now as you plan your dream vacation in Branson Missouri. For reservations and inquiries, just call 1-877-262-0430.



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Bring Your Date to Sweetheart Month at the Titanic


The month of February is known to be the month of love. Show your romantic side as you bring your date to the most exciting vacation destination in the Midwest. Branson Missouri is known to be the live entertainment capital of the world, so it would be a perfect venue for a fun, yet romantic date with your special someone. Enjoy the live music shows, theme parks, restaurants, outlet malls, and museums that Branson can offer you. One thing is for sure: you will never have a dull time with the love of your life here in Branson.

If you are looking for a unique date idea, then going to Branson’s Titanic Museum on Valentine’s Day is definitely what you need. From February 1 to February 28, 2015, Branson Titanic Museum is celebrating the Sweetheart Month. This February, expect the Titanic Museum in Branson to go all out in making you, their guests, feel special aboard the museum. You can celebrate your love stories and feel the inexplicable joy of being in love. The Titanic Museum in Branson has been a witness to surprise proposals, wedding engagements, weddings, and marriage vow renewals as officiated by Titanic’s Captain Smith. All these ceremonies are held in the museums’ Grand Staircase to give off that majestic feels for your special ceremonies. For those who have seen the hit movie Titanic, you may have remembered the scene in the Grand Staircase, and Branson Titanic Museum lets you recreate that scene if you want to!

Taking a look back at history, the Titanic has twelve couples aboard it when it set sail on April 10, 1912. Nine of these couples were in first class, and some of these couples are also young women who are just about to be married. This February, join the Branson Titanic Museum as they celebrate love and also to pay tribute to the great love of the couples in the Branson area.

If you want to take your date to the Branson Titanic Museum this month of February, it is always best to make a reservation ahead of your scheduled visit. The Sweetheart Month at the Titanic Museum has been a popular event through the years, so you can expect t appointment book to fill fast.

For your trip to Branson this February, choose a lodging place that will give you convenience and comfort. Thousand Hills Golf Resort lets you stay close to Branson’s entertainment district, restaurants, theme parks, and museums, too. Every night would be date night as you wish. Its lodging options are also situated in the calming and tranquil surroundings of the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake. Get your very own Branson lodging for your vacation. Just dial 1-877-262-0430 for reservations and inquiries.

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Bison Hunting Near Branson

bison-near-bransonIf you live around the Ozarks, chances are that you or someone you know might be into hunting. Hunting has been a way for mankind to provide food for themselves for thousands of years and done responsibly and sustainably, fewer pursuits are nobler. Hunting is a great way to connect with nature and the world we live in, and to gain respect for life, no matter what kind. Families often bond over hunting lessons and stories, and let’s face it – everyone looks good in camouflage! If you want a unique hunting experience near Branson that will connect you with Nature like no other, consider booking a bison hunt with Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch in Bruner, MO – it will be a hunt you will never forget.

The bison hunt experience at Elkhead Ranch (an hour north of Branson) is truly without parallel. You have the option to select from a Trophy Hunt package, or a Meat Hunt package, depending on what your needs and wants are. The Trophy Package is geared towards folks who want to take home a trophy wall mount, and/or a bison hide, along with the meat from the animal. For this hunt, a bull weighing up to a full ton is selected from the herd. These hunts are typically conducted during the winter when bison hides are thick and full. A Trophy hunts starts at $5,000. The Meat Hunt is for those who are interested in stocking their freezer with delicious, healthy, and responsibly ranch raised bison meat. A young bull or heifer is the animal of choice for this hunt, and hunters will receive all the meat (including prime cuts) from the animal. Meat hunts start at $2,950. Both hunts can be carried out at any time of year, and Elkhead Ranch can customize a hunt to suit your needs. Hunting groups can receive discount rates and, services such as trophy preparation, meat processing and shipping are available for an additional fee.

Prior to the hunt, the selected bison is released onto a part of the ranch that is set aside specifically for hunting. Your guided hunt can be carried out with a rifle or a bow, depending on your preference and skill level. Your hunt guide will remain with you at all times during the hunt, both for your safety and convenience. Other than just the hunt and the animal you harvest, other amenities include a stay in the hunting cabin, a fully stocked kitchen, a home cooked supper and all the recreational activities the ranch has to offer, like fishing and hiking.

Elkhead Ranch also offers hunt packages for Whitetail Deer and Wild Turkey. These hunts are semi-guided; hunters are offered the use of the ranch’s deer stands that are strategically placed near prime wildlife traffic areas. These hunts can be conducted with a bow or a rifle, and offer the same amenities as the bison hunts.

Hunting a bison is an opportunity that few people will ever get to experience. If you’d like to be one of those few, call Elkhead Ranch at 417-683-7058 or visit them on the web at to book your hunt today!

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Join in this 2015 Polar Bear Plunge


A new year has come for us, and we all have our New Year’s Resolution. This year, why not resolve to travel often and have the best fun in your life? Let Branson Missouri help you with that. Branson is known to be one of the most popular and exciting destinations in the Midwest. Aside from being the “live music show capital of the world”, Branson also has a great line-up of restaurants, outlet malls, and a lot more attractions. It also has thrilling activities that you can catch all year round.

For this February, Branson gives you the 2015 Polar Bear Plunge. This event allows you have fun, enjoy, and at the same time, lend a helping hand to a brother or sister. This February 14, 2014, the Polar Bear Plunge will treat you to thrilling sports action as support to the athletes of the Special Olympics. This event is lets you show your unfazed support to these special athletes by walking, running, or crawling into the ice cold waters of Missouri. The proceeds of the 2015 Polar Bear Plunge will be of great help to the sports programs of Missouri’s Special Olympics. The funds will be used for the training and competition of the children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Not only will you have fun with the entire family, with your friends, or with your special someone this Valentine’s Day; you also get to contribute to the development of Missouri’s special children and adults.

Those who are willing to participate in the Polar Bear Plunge should at least be 10 years old and above. Each participant should also be willing to raise a minimum of $75 by the day of the event. The Polar Bear Plunge is hosted by the police departments, highway patrols, correctional centers and other law enforcement agencies in the state of Missouri. This event is also a project of the Law Enforcement Torch Ruin for Special Olympics Missouri.

Since the Polar Bear Plunge will be held at the Table Rock Lake, why not book a stay with a lodging place near the lake? Table Rock Lake is known to be one of Branson’s pristine lakes, and one of the nearest lodging place to it is Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort. Thousand Hills offers you various lodging options, one of which is the lakefront condo so you can joy the view and ambiance of the lake even more. Thousand Hills is also situated near Branson’s entertainment district, restaurants, and outlet malls. For more inquiries and for reservations in Thousand Hills, call 1-877-262-0430. For more information on the Polar Bear Plunge, visit

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Lake Taneycomo: Hidden Gem of the Trilakes

If you have ever visited Branson before, chances are that you have heard of the area’s famous lakes. Table Rock is legendary for its bass fishing, as well as being the home waters for the Showboat Branson Belle – and don’t forget the dam! Table Rock Lake is certainly the most well-known body of water comprising the Trilakes – but what you may not know is that Lake Taneycomo, while less well-known, is just as awesome as Table Rock Lake! Read on to discover why Lake Taneycomo is referred to as a ‘hidden gem’ here in the Ozarks!

History: How did Lake Taneycomo come to be? And what’s with the name? Well, Taneycomo was originally a warm water lake. It came into existence in the year 1913, when the mighty waters of the White River were contained by the construction and completion of the Powersite Dam. (The Powersite Dam is owned privately by the Empire Electric Company.) The meaning behind the name of the lake, while puzzling at first, is actually quite simple: the body of water was named after Taney County Missouri, hence, Taney-co-mo. After the creation and naming of the lake, it remained a warm water area until 1958, when the completion of the Table Rock Dam turned it into a cold water lake. The deep, cold tailwaters from Table Rock pour into Taneycomo via the dam spillway, reducing the temperature quite a bit! But the drop in the water temperature is much of what makes Lake Taneycomo what it is today.

Recreation: While the water in this lake may be a little cold for swimming, it makes for out of this world trout fishing! The cold yet shallow waters of Taneycomo just below the Table Rock Dam create the perfect habitat for trout to flourish. (Of course, it helps having the Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery located just below the dam too!) The water gets deeper and a bit warmer the closer it gets to the Powersite Dam, making it great for other fish too. Fishing is not the only fun you can have on Lake Taneycomo – surrounded by beautiful Ozarks scenery, this lake is also great for boating, water skiing, hiking, and camping! You can even find great spots to swim if you are tough enough to brave the cold waters.

Hotspots: There are some fun places along Lake Taneycomo that you will want to be sure and visit while you are in town. Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is a unique and educational experience that you won’t want to miss – here you can see how the trout are raised for release in concrete raceways, learn about the water system in which they will be released, hike on the hatchery trails, and even feed the fish! The Powersite Dam is also a great place to stop. It provides great photo opportunities, as well as some great fishing and history. And if you are looking for a great place to stay and fish, check out Lilley’s Landing, where you can relax and fish to your hearts content!

Lake Taneycomo is full of hidden treasures. Be sure to make it a stop on your next trip!

Branson Missouri Blog

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Sweet Treat Stops in Branson

Most people will admit to having a sweet tooth at one point or another. Some people crave chocolate, some people go for fruit themed desserts, some like cupcakes, and still other people will scream for ice cream. Whatever your sweet treat craving is, there is sure to be a sugary rush waiting for you somewhere in Branson. With such an abundant array of bakeries, ice cream shops, and more, there are plenty of Branson sweets to settle your sweet tooth.

Andys Custard in BransonAndy’s Frozen Custard: For some creamy sweetness that is good any time of the year, stop by Andy’s Frozen Custard on Highway 76! With their friendly service and their made fresh hourly chocolate and vanilla custard, Andy’s Frozen Custard is the perfect stop for some Branson sweets. This location on The Strip features a drive thru, a walk-up window, and picnic tables for your convenience. You can order anything from a Root Beer Float to a Snow Monster Concrete to a Custom Concrete at Andy’s – chocolate custard with brownie bites and raspberry’s, anyone? And if you just can get enough of the smooth, creamy custard that Andy’s is famous for, order a take home pint! Then you can enjoy some Branson sweets for hours to come.

Panera Bread: While you are probably aware that Panera Bread, located on Green Mountain Drive (a convenient jaunt from Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort!), is known for their savory sandwiches, hearty soups and healthy but tasty salads, did you know that they also have a five star bakery counter? Here you can enjoy delicious Branson sweets like Red Velvet Cupcakes, giant Chocolate Chip Cookies, Scones, bagels of all flavors and fruit filled pastries. Try a fruit smoothie or a coffee drink to accompany your tasty baked goods!

Nettie Marie’s Ice Cream Counter: For the freshest ice cream in town, head on over to the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks in Point Lookout, MO! You won’t be disappointed. Served by friendly student workers, the ice cream from Nettie Marie’s Ice Cream Counter is made fresh (also by students!) using local milk and cream from the on campus dairy. Visitors can sample the flavors to find the one they like the best, and after purchasing your ice cream, you can walk down the hill to say thank you to the cows!

Northwood’s Candy Emporium: If visions of sugar plums and other amazing candies dance through your head, take a trip to the Branson Landing and head to the Northwood’s Candy Emporium – it’s sure to be the candy store from all your childhood dreams! Sample fudge in flavors like 7UP and raspberry vanilla, browse through bins of old time favorites like jelly beans and candy coated almonds, and even shop the sugar-free section! Be sure to watch for the model train that circles around the ceiling of the store.

With so many sweet treat stops in Branson, you will never run out of places to get your Branson sweets. Start sampling them all today!

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Bison Near Branson

If you are like most people, you probably think that any chance you have of seeing buffalo (Bison in Latin) is limited to nature shows on television or perhaps a summer vacation to Yellowstone National Park. Well, think again – if you are visiting Branson, the chance to see a herd of bison in person is closer than you think! Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch in Bruner, Missouri, just an hour north of Branson, is a working bison ranch dedicated to the preservation, conservation and education of the American Bison – and they would love to share their work with you!

elkhead-ranchWelcome to the Ranch: Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch is owned by Randy and Jane Miller. With roots and a bison business in Nebraska as well as Southwest Missouri, the Millers purchased the ranch to use as a grazing operation for about four hundred young bison. During their time on the ranch, the bison are allowed to roam and graze freely, mimicking their natural habits in the wild. The Millers and Howerton approach the raising and the maintenance of the bison with as much of a hands off approach as possible. In no way do they attempt to tame the animals or remove their ‘wild side.’ This creates a low stress environment for the bison to flourish. Bison are not the only thing flourishing at Elkhead Ranch – wildlife is also an important part of the business. There are several acres of the ranch dedicated to wildlife preservation, including deer, turkey and quail.

Ranch Recreation: Elkhead Ranch has many recreational opportunities to offer its visitors. Of course, there is the opportunity to see bison, but what if you have a Wild West urge to hunt one? Elkhead Ranch offers bison hunt packages in which the hunter can stay in a hunting cabin, have a guided hunt to take down a bison, and receive the cape and the meat from the animal. Deer and turkey hunting packages are also available. If you are interested in fishing, the ranch also features a fully stocked fishing pond with a dock! Catfish, bass and bluegill all await your baited hook in this forty foot deep pond surrounded by beautiful Ozarks scenery. Elkhead Ranch offers lots of hiking, ATV riding and even horseback riding opportunities. (Bring your own vehicle or horse!) There are several old homesteads on the property to see, some of them including root cellars and even a cemetery, making for some great photography locations.

Ranch Visits: To come tour the ranch, book a bison hunt, or to plan a hike, visit Elkhead Ranch on the web at or on Facebook, or call 417-683-7058. The ranch offers individual or group tours, and also hosts field trips. Tour start dates for the ranch will begin in June for the 2014 season. Depending on what you would like to get out of your visit, Elkhead Ranch can help you customize your tour. So make Miller Bison at Elkhead Ranch a stop on your summer vacation - you won’t want to miss this chance to see some bison near Branson!

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