The Branson Missouri Blog

Blogging Branson Missouri to Keep You Up To Date!

Bird Watching Near Branson

Busiek State Forest for BirdwatchingBranson appeals to folks with all kinds of interests. Those who love history will adore Branson’s historical pride in their town, and will enjoy attractions like Shepherd of the Hills Historic Homestead and Old Mill Theater, or the museum at the Dewey Short Visitor Center that chronicles the history of the Table Rock Dam. If your interest lies in classic cars, Branson is home to great summer car shows, not to mention an auto and farm museum, plus several classic diners that feature old school car memorabilia. If you are one of those who have an interest in bird watching, you are in luck! There are numerous Branson birdwatching opportunities in and around town.

Table Rock Lake: Table Rock Lake can be a great place to get in some Branson birdwatching. Not only is it a beautiful place to visit anyway, but you can get the chance to view some shorebirds and water loving birds to add to your life list! The Greater Ozarks Audubon Society says that grebes, ducks, loons and Bald Eagles are just a few of the species that you can see when you are down on Table Rock Lake!

Busiek State Park: Busiek State Park, located just north of Branson off of Highway 65, is hundreds of acres of Branson birdwatching paradise. Not only can you hike, mountain bike or ride horseback on Busiek’s miles of beautiful trails, but you can view some great birds while you are there. Bluebirds, cardinals, goldfinches and other songbirds are almost always present in the woods, and oftentimes different species of hawks can be seen flying over the creek. Busiek State Park is also prime warbler territory during their migration.

Roaring River State Park: Roaring River is one of the most beautiful parks in the Ozarks – and it is great for birdwatchers too! Located south of Branson, Roaring River State Park has loads of hiking trails, picnic areas, cabins for rent, plus an on-site trout hatchery that makes for great fishing! The Greater Ozarks Audubon Society notes that “Roaring River State Park resides in one of southwest Missouri’s Important Bird Areas, where migrating warblers, thrushes, empid flycatchers, grosbeaks, and vireos are abundant. Many species nest here too, including Wood Thrush and two Tanager species.”

Springfield Conservation Nature Center: Located about twenty minutes north of Branson on just off of Highway 65, the Springfield Conservation Nature Center, operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation, is a wildlife paradise on the edge of town – perfect for birds, and birdwatchers! According to the Greater Ozarks Audubon Society, “The center has 3 miles of trails that offer bottom land, forest, and glade-savannah habitat, and a bird feeding area where birds are fed year-round. Turkey and Black Vultures and a variety of waterfowl are found in winter, while Cooper's, Red-shouldered, and Red-tailed Hawks nest in summer. Many neotropicals use the area during spring migration, while Prothonotary, Northern Parula, Black and White Warblers, and Louisiana Waterthrushes are just a sampling of the summer breeding species.”

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Where to Turn for Local News and Weather

If you are lucky enough to be visiting Branson, Missouri, the Live Entertainment Capital of the Midwest, for any period of time, you have probably noticed that it is a little different than your home terrain. The weather is different, the geography is different, even the news headlines are different! So if you are staying in Branson for a vacation, a business trip, or a weekend getaway, here is what you need to know about tuning in for Branson news and weather so you can stay up to date!

Local TV Stations: No matter where you are, local TV news stations can be gold mines of information for what is going on in the area. This certainly holds true in Branson! Just about any hotel, cabin or condo (like those offered by Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort) has a television set and a channel guide so that you can tune in to the local Branson news. For the Branson/Tri-Lakes area, you will want to check out the following stations for weather and important headlines: KY3 News and Weather – this local station features news personalities such as Maria Neider and Paula Morehouse, and reports morning, evening and afternoon on recent events such as flooding, traffic accidents and more. KOLR 10 News is home to John Ziegler and a host of other great news casters who keep the community up to date with politics, community friendly events, weather, etc.

Local Radio: Sometimes you don’t always have access to a television – like when you’re driving – but that doesn’t mean you can’t stay up to date! Radio is free and always has been – and there are lots of great radio stations where you can tune in for Branson news. For a dose of today’s best country music, like The Band Perry or Luke Bryan, plus local news, turn your radio to 94.7 KTTS! You will hear up to the minute traffic reports, school closings, weather, and even have the chance to participate in fun radio contests. Be sure to catch their morning news report with local radio host Jessica Covert! If a musical variety sprinkled with news is more your style, tune in to 105.9 KGBX – it’s the area’s best workday variety, plus news, weather and fun celebrity facts!

Apps: Sometimes, it’s quicker to grab your smartphone when you want a weather update - so if you are in town, download the KY3 Weather App, available on the App Store. This handy and functional app features a live weather radar, extended ten day forecast, and an hourly weather tracker. Plus, you will receive an alert of your phone if there are any severe weather alerts in the area.

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Ride the Rails with Branson Scenic Railway

Branson Scenic Railway EngineBranson, Missouri, the Live Entertainment Capital of the Midwest, is home to lots of classic attractions that appeal to all ages. Take Silver Dollar City, for instance – this world famous theme park boasts thrill rides for young (or old!) adrenaline junkies, as well as shops, shows and performances for those who like things a bit calmer. Branson Landing, nestled of the shores of Lake Taneycomo, has hip stores for the kids, professional dress stores for mom, and Bass Pro Shops for Dad – and let’s face it, the candy store is for everyone! What is something else around town that all ages will love? The Branson Scenic Railway! It’s hard not to fall in love with the nostalgic appeal of trains – so make sure to ride the rails while you’re in town!

The Branson Scenic Railway station is located across the road from the Branson Landing. The luxury passenger cars will carry you through some of the most beautiful country the Ozarks has to offer in style! The scenic landscapes passengers have the opportunity to see are inaccessible by car – so you can almost get a sense of what it was like for folks of old when they rode the rails to new places! Train rides on the Branson Scenic Railway last for an hour and forty-five minutes; since this luxurious passenger train travels on a working commercial railroad, the direction of the train’s travel (either north or south) is pre-determined before departure by the Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad. The northern route goes as far as Galena, Missouri, to the James River Valley, and the southern route extends into Arkansas to the Barren Fork Trestle.

During your nostalgic train ride on the Branson Scenic Railway, you will see sights such as Cricket Tunnel, Tharp’s Grade, and numerous old townships that have slowly returned to the land. You will also experience the native wildlife and beautiful terrain of the Ozarks. Both the northern and southern routes take passengers about 20 miles from Branson before reversing direction and returning on the same tracks. Your train tour isn’t just about the scenery – it’s also about the train experience itself! Not only are there the beautiful refurbished passenger cars, but you can also have the rare experience of peeking out of one of three dome cars. A train car that features a concession stand is also available. Plus, Saturdays May through December, a dinner train is offered. A four-course candlelight meal is served, and the guests are treated to traditional style dining that was the ultimate experience long ago when riding on the rails. Seating is limited on the dinner train and reservations are required, so make sure you book your tickets early!

There are many, many beloved attractions here in Branson, Missouri. But for an adventurous attraction that really brings back memories of yesteryear, make sure you ride the rails with the Branson Scenic Railway while you are in town!

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Playing the Many Mini-Greens of Branson

Dinosaur Canyon Minigolf at NightThere are lots of fun family activities that you can find in and around Branson, Missouri, the Live Entertainment Capital of the Midwest. After all, Branson is one of the nation’s top vacation destinations – and with good reason! Families love it here in the Ozarks, and they come back year after year after year. Branson is a great place to take the family fishing, ziplining, or horseback riding; there are countless shows and plenty of movie theaters, not to mention the great theme parks like Silver Dollar City and White Water! Branson features numerous museums that appeal to a wide range of interests, like the Titanic or Ripley’s Believe It or Not. And don’t forget the go karts! But perhaps one of the most beloved family pastimes here Branson is hitting one of several tiny greens for some Branson mini golf.

Lost Treasure Golf: Lost Treasure Golf, a Professor Hacker minigolf course, is not just a mini golf experience, but a real adventure! This mini-green takes you along the paths followed by noted explorer, archaeologist, anthropologist, paleontologist, and part-time taxidermist from the University of Chicago, Professor Duffer A. Hacker, as he searched for ancient gold and other treasure of the coast of South Africa in the 1920s. During his journey, he discovered an old mining train built by the Germans during the First World War. You will ride a similar model of a mining car to the top of this awesome mini-green, and follow Professor Hacker’s footsteps as you put your way down!

Dinosaur Canyon: Professor Hacker is back, and this time you will follow him through a fantastic land of creatures that have long been both loved and feared – dinosaurs! Get ready to putt your way through mystic waterfalls, past both peaceful and terrifying dinos, and take your chances putting past a volcano with REAL fire!

Pirates Cove: Pirates Cove is known everywhere as award winning adventure golf – so don’t miss your chance to spend a day playing Branson minigolf here with your family! Pirate’s Cove features two 18 hole courses full of swashbuckling adventure set in the days when buccaneers roamed the high seas. This stunning mini-green is chock full of elaborately themed buildings, cascading waterfalls, true tales of buccaneer lore, exotic fauna and even a full-scale pirate ship – what more could you want in a mini golf course?

Greatest Adventures Mini Golf: This unique 36 hole themed Branson minigolf course is sure to please and delight everyone in your family. You and your group of golfers will putt your way through a waterfall cave, past the Smokin’ Dragon, around knights in shining armor and past the medieval castle. You might even find a gorilla during your game here!

Branson is chock full of great mini-greens for you and your family to enjoy. Make plans to putt them all!

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Veterans Reunions in Branson

In Branson, Missouri, the Live Entertainment Capital of the Midwest, veterans are always welcome and honored for their service. Branson is a highly patriotic community, and making our nation’s veterans feel at home is one of the really great things about this Ozarks town. From salutes to veterans at many popular area shows, to past and present military discounts, to the Veterans memorial garden on The Strip, there are many ways that the Branson community says ‘thank you’ to those who have served. This includes many opportunities for a veterans reunion – these important events are held annually here in town.

The Branson Veterans Task Force plays a large role in planning and hosting veterans reunions, and other annual events to honor military members. In 2015 they have helped put on the Branson Armed Forces Remembrance Days, a weeklong event where veterans were honored with special shows, a salute on the Showboat Branson Belle, fun games, excellent meals and a flag retirement ceremony with the help of the local Boy Scout troop. The Branson Veterans Task Force also hosted the All Bien Hoa AB Vietnam Reunion in Branson this year. Branson is also home to the nation’s largest Veterans Day event – the annual Veterans Homecoming! This is a weeklong event that starts the week before Veterans Day, and leads up to it.

If you are planning a veterans reunion for you and your comrades, there is no better place to hold such a special event than in Branson. With dozens of lodging options, endless dining and entertainment venues, and opportunities for veterans to be honored, Branson is the perfect place to plan a reunion. For lodging and meeting rooms big enough to host a crowd, check out Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort - with lodging options ranging from hotel rooms that sleep two, to condos and cabins that sleep sixteen, plus meeting and event rooms to hold ceremonies or large group meals, Thousand Hills is ready and waiting to assist you in planning a stellar veterans reunion.

For some sightseeing for your group, consider planning an outing to College of the Ozarks. This unique, hardworking and patriotic school features a military museum inside The Keeter Center, as well as the Missouri Vietnam War Veterans Memorial. College of the Ozarks also hosts an Honor America 4th of July Celebration for the public to enjoy. You can also visit the Veterans Memorial Museum located on The Strip, which covers the wars of the 20th century, including WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam and The Persian Gulf. You and your group will also want to plan a visit to the beautiful Veterans Memorial Garden. This living tribute was created by a non-profit gardening group and stands today as a beautiful monument to those who have served, featuring trees, flowering shrubs and all sorts of plants.

There is no doubt that Branson, Missouri, is the perfect place to hold a veterans reunion. The community does its very best to honor all veterans, and give them a warm welcome 365 days a year – so vets are sure to feel right at home in Branson!

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Branson Burgers – Fresh Takes on an Old Standby

America is known as the ‘melting pot.’ The influence of other cultures in America can be seen in many ways, but especially in the food! America’s food culture features tastes from all over the world, but one flavor that tends to shine through as All American is the burger. This classic meat patty on bread has been around for ages, and still remains a favorite to this day! Plain, with lettuce, onion and tomato, smothered in barbeque sauce or guacamole, or fancied up with blue cheese, a burger and a side of fries is just good American comfort food. Luckily for Branson residents and visitors, there are lots of Branson burgers to choose from!

Burgers at Billy Bob's DairylandBilly Bob’s Dairy Land: For a real old fashioned All American diner feel, grab some Branson burgers from Billy Bob’s Dairy Land. This nostalgic eatery is sure to satisfy your taste buds! Located on Highway 76 (known around town as ‘The Strip’) this little diner is a must if a classic burger and fry meal is what you are craving. Featuring hamburgers, cheeseburgers, BBQ sandwiches, foot long hot dogs, corn dogs, grilled cheese, chicken tenders and more, you might need to come back several times to try everything on the menu. Be sure to save room for a classic shake or a tasty fried pie!

Fuddruckers: For big, tasty burgers topped with a huge array of fresh ingredients, stop by Fuddruckers, located on The Strip just across from the American Bandstand Theater! With lots of airy, open seating room areas and a clean environment, Fuddruckers is the place to go for a date for two, or a big bus group! Fuddruckers is known for serving their burgers on homemade sesame seed buns – in fact, the bun is every bit as good as the burger! Fuddruckers serves up a variety of burgers to go with their buns – everything from plain to bacon cheeseburger to southwestern burgers to elk burgers and beyond! You can also find grilled chicken or fish sandwiches here too, depending on your tastes. To go with your hefty burger, you can choose form sides like regular fries, sweet potato fries, or onion rings. Top it off with an old fashioned shake, sundae or a fresh cookie!

Burger Shack: Everyone knows that when it comes to a good burger, it is nothing without the fries – that is why Burger Shack boasts hand cut fresh French fries and they deliver every time! They make a pretty mean burger too – plus, you can enjoy unlimited peanuts, free drink refills, and thick and creamy milk shakes at this groovy burger joint too!

Wherever you are in Branson, chances are that you aren’t too terribly far from a pretty good burger joint. Branson loves this All American classic, so make sure that you experience Branson burgers during your time here!

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Celebrate Christmas in the Branson Titanic Museum



Branson Missouri is not only a haven for people looking for grand celebrations of the festivities all year round. It is also the go-to place of solo travelers, friends, couples, and families looking for a unique adventure on their vacation. This Christmas season is no exception for Branson tourists. If you want a unique and exciting way of celebrating the happiest time of the year, a trip to Branson Missouri is all you need.

Branson, being the Live Entertainment Capital of the World and the ultimate vacation destination in the Midwest, offers everyone a lot of options for their Christmas celebrations. All the attractions and tourist spots in Branson come together to give the guests a very memorable Christmas experience. One such attraction is the Branson Titanic Museum. The Titanic Museum here in Branson is considered to be biggest Titanic museum in the world. It also houses exclusive artifacts and memorabilia that will surely delight the guests. It is hard to miss this museum while you are touring Branson. The museum itself is shaped like an exact replica of the ship. Inside the museum, you can feel the nostalgia from watching the film Titanic, too. There is the Grand Staircase, cabin hallways, boiler room, and the captain viewing deck to make you feel like you are living inside that hit movie Titanic.

The Branson Titanic Museum is a whole new experience of its own. This Christmas, the museum introduces an exclusive and limited attraction. The halls and corners of this ship museum will be filled with holiday sights and sounds. The museum is also one with the entire Branson community in the lighting ceremonies for the Christmas season. See the ship glow with Christmas cheers and love, and exchange holiday greetings with the ever jolly and professional Titanic crew. The Christmas celebration in the Titanic Museum started last November, but it’s not too late to experience it since the Christmas attractions last until December. You can also shop for Christmas gifts for your loved ones back home (and even for yourself, too) in the museum’s Titanic Gift Shop. The gift shop is open every day and you also get to have access to several Titanic gift ideas and collectibles.


Planning to spend the night in Branson? Come to Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort for the most comfortable and convenient lodging options. Not only that, you will also be treated to discounted tickets and a lot of other perks in Branson’s premier attractions. Inquire now by calling 1-877-262-0430.

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The Branson Convention Center

If you have ever visited Branson, Missouri, the Live Entertainment Capital of the Midwest, chances are that you noticed it is a great town to hold events in! Branson caters not only to the locals looking for something new or the vacationers looking for something fun, but also to the event planner who wants a neat place to hold an event. With many lodging venues that can sleep a crowd, resteraunts that have large party rooms available for reservation, and meeting rooms galore, Branson makes for great events! And if you really want an event venue that will wow a crowd – check out the Branson Convention Center!

The world-class Branson Convention Center, managed by SMG Management, is located on Sycamore Street in Downtown Branson, and is an eye catching part of the famed Branson Landing. The modern architecture of this dream-like event venue creates a beautiful yet functional space for any event. The Branson Convention Center features 113,725 square feet of workable space for your event, including one exhibit hall that totals 47,172 square feet and is attached to a 22,703 square foot ballroom. Meeting space also includes 10 breakout rooms conveniently located near the ballroom and exhibit hall. With so much space, it is no wonder that the Branson Convention Center is an event planner’s cloud nine!

SMG Management and the Branson Convention Center strive to model and promote environmental sustainability at their venue. By composting food waste, using environmentally friendly cleaning agents, maximizing natural lighting using skylights, recycling and keeping all unnecessary lights off, the Branson Convention Center does their part to be green. The Branson Convention Center can hold up to 4,000 event attendees, and offers a wide array of convenient services and amenities to make your event perfect. Audio and visual services and set-up, transportation, customized décor, VIP arrangements, catering and more are all available to convention center users. Whether you are holding a corporate gathering, a wedding or an exhibit, the staff at this exciting venue will make sure every detail is in place!

The Branson Convention Center has held numerous large events in the past, and continues to do so since its opening in 2007. This year, the convention center will be hosting the Missouri Valley Institute of Transportation Engineers, an international professional society for persons engaged in the planning, design and operation of streets, highways and other transportation facilities, American Association of Attorney-CPAs, the Starpower 2015 Dance Competition, the Oklahoma Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Missouri Forest Products Association, and the Missouri EMS Conference & Expo 2015, to name a few!

The Branson Convention Center is, without a doubt, one of the best places to hold an event in Branson. With a world-class facility, outstanding service, beautiful scenery, and a short walk to the Branson Landing, what more could you ask for in an event venue?

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Branson Extravagances for When You’re Ready to Splurge

These days, saving money is an important goal for most people. Saving money provides security, helps you reach your goals, and can come in handy during an emergency. As important as it is to save money, though, it is also important to be able to splurge every now and again – after all, you work hard for your money and should be able to enjoy it! If you are in Branson, Missouri, there are lots of great ways to save money while having fun, but there are also some fantastic Branson extravagances around town for when you are ready to splurge.

Branson Shopping at the LandingLevel 2 Steakhouse: Sometimes, there is nothing more rewarding than spending some money on a classy, quality meal – so for a real Branson extravagance that comes with outstanding food, treat yourself to a visit to the Level 2 Steakhouse! Level 2 Steakhouse, located on Main Street near Downtown Branson, is one of the finest restaurants in the area. Featuring 28 day aged corn fed Midwest beef, Heritage Missouri pork, locally grown produce and fresh seafood flown in from Hawaii, you are in for a real treat when you have a meal here. Level 2 Steakhouse also offers their 5 distinct steak knives, and valet parking! Join them for breakfast, lunch or dinner, or book a private event.

Adventure Helicopter Tours: For one of the more unique Branson extravagances, book a tour high above the town with Branson’s Adventure Helicopter Tours! This tour company specializes in hospitality and safety, and provides them with the best views for aerial photography, and a look at some of the nation’s most exciting tour destinations! Your helicopter tour of Branson offers you a bird’s eye view of some of the hottest spots in town. Tours include the Table Rock Dam, Sneak Peak, Branson Grand and Branson Landing adventures, plus an option for a custom tour!

Branson Landing: For some Branson extravagances that you can take home in a shopping bag, cruise some of the high end stores at the Branson Landing! Chico’s, Victoria’s Secret, Christopher and Banks and White House Black Market feature luxurious clothing and accessories, while Dove Olive Oil and Brookstone offer fun specialty items and gifts. After a long day of shopping, indulge yourself with a treat from Dino’s Cake and Coffee Company!

There are plenty of places in Branson where you can really treat yourself. Indulging in some Branson extravagances every now and again can really help you enjoy your money when you are ready to take a break from saving and splurge!

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What’s In Store For You In A Branson Winter


Branson, Missouri, being known to be the home of all kinds of fun and entertainment, can also be a winter wonderland during the winter season. The snow blankets the beautiful Ozark Mountains, giving you a different view of the beautiful landform. During this season, not only the cool weather can be enjoyed by locals and tourists, but also all the festivities and events Branson has to offer!

Make your winter a Branson Winter and make the most out of this snow-filled season! There are so many things to do and see in Branson, including live musical shows, educational museums and establishments, great shopping malls, thrill rides and water activities, breathtaking sceneries, delectable restaurants and unique dishes, and so much more. With that, your next winter should definitely be in Branson. And while you’re here in the entertainment city, don’t forget about these festivities and events!

Winter Fun

All throughout January & February, Hot Winter Fun is Branson’s answer to the winter blues. It rolls out with many special offers throughout town with a number of shows and shops staying open through the Hot Winter Fun season. You could also visit area museums such as the world’s largest Titanic Museum, The Hollywood Wax Museum, and the Veteran’s Memorial Museum, just to name a few.

Branson After Christmas Sales

For the shoppers, the outlet malls and the Branson Landing offer an after-Christmas sales. When you stay at Thousand Hills Golf Resort, don’t forget to get your coupons for the malls! Save the date for sales start December 26, 2013.

The Branson IMAX Film Festival

From March through April, you can enjoy your Branson winter by being in the Branson IMAX Film Festival. It is a month-long celebration featuring cutting-edge technology and IMAX presentations. The Big Screen is sure to please you and your family!

NAIA Division II Men’s Basketball Championship

If you are a college basketball fan, you shouldn’t miss out on the Annual NAIA Division II Men’s basketball championship presented by College of the Ozarks. From March 6 through March 12, Keeter Gymnasium, College of the Ozarks will entertain you with its talented college basketball players. You might want to get ready to cheer for your favourite team!

But a Branson Winter would not be complete without a place to stay. Thus, Thousand Hills Hotel & Golf Resort invites you to spend your nights with us and make us your home away from home. There are three choices for you: A Branson Condo, Branson Cabin, and a Branson Lakefront Condo. Whichever you choose, there is surely something that will fit the things that you are looking for.

For more information or for reservations, dial 1-877-262-0430.

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