The Branson Missouri Blog

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Watch Out for Branson Wildlife

There are plenty of great things to see during a vacation in Branson. There are great shows, geographical wonders, movies playing, museums displaying everything from wax celebrities to antique tractors to Titanic relics, and more. But what about the wildlife in Branson? The neat critters that make this area their home are an attraction in themselves – and there are plenty of different animals for you to see while you are out and about! Read on for a guide to Branson wildlife.

Wild DeerMammals: Whether you are in town, at Silver Dollar City, or out in the middle of the woods on a hiking trail, one furry member of the Branson wildlife crowd that you are almost guaranteed to see are squirrels. Hailing from the rodent family, these fuzzy, bushy tailed critters are not just adorable, they also play a vital role in establishing the next generation of forests – by burying acorns and other tree nuts with the best of intentions to come back for them, squirrels help seed new trees every year. Helpful, but also seemingly suicidal at times, squirrels are known for making a dash across busy roads to reach the other side – so watch out for these characters while driving!

Other unique mammalian Branson wildlife includes Whitetail Deer. These fleet, agile creatures thrive in the local geography – hills with deep hollows and clear ridgetops are perfect for providing food and cover for deer. Depending on the time of year, you might get lucky enough to spot a monster buck or even a spotted fawn with its mother. Deer are also known to run across roadways, especially at night, so keep an eye on the road shoulders when driving after dark.

Birds: No matter what time of year, Branson is always host to a variety of bird species. Many smaller songbirds, like house sparrows, can be found in the middle of town, snacking on crumbs and other bits of food left behind by people. As you move towards the lakes in Branson, you might spot a hawk, a bald eagle, or even an uncommon osprey. Other cool birds come through only during certain seasons – during the winter, for example, you might see a Common Loon or a Cackling Goose. In the spring you might run across a Nashville Warbler or a Yellow Billed Cuckoo. Be sure to pack a field guide and a pair of binoculars, and remember that the best birds can be found close to consistent water sources.

Reptiles and Fish: Branson wildlife includes some scaly critters too – like fish, for example! If you plan on spending any time at the lakes, chances are that you will see some fish, or at least some folks catching some! Species like rainbow trout, large and small mouthed bass, crappie, and channel catfish all make their home in the Ozark waterways. Snapping turtles, while not classified as a fish, can also be found in the water – mind your toes! Some land reptiles include a host of snakes – mostly non-venomous, but a few that are – like Black Snakes, Corn Rat Snakes, and Copperheads. Some venomous snakes have similar markings to those that are not poisonous, so unless you can confidently identify them, it is recommended that you don’t try to handle them!

You might also see Box or Western Chicken Turtles while hiking around Branson, or smaller critters like Fence Lizards and Blue Tongued Skinks.

These and a host of other critters all make their homes in and around Branson – so make sure to keep an eye out for some Branson wildlife. It’s the ultimate natural attraction!

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Branson is a Golfing Destination

It is no secret that there are an awful lot of great things to do in Branson. There are shows to see, attractions to visit, roller coasters to ride, food to eat, stores to shop, fish to catch, trails to hike and so much more. Branson is a sought after hotspot for many different activities – including golfing! Did you know that Branson is one of the Midwest’s top golfing destinations? Featuring some award winning golf courses and some top notch tournaments, Branson is where you will want to play your next round! Read on for a handy guide to the Branson golf courses around town.

Thousand Hills Golf CourseThousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort: The stunning 18 hole golf course, rated 4 stars by Golf Digest and voted Best of the Ozarks for Branson Golf Courses by the Springfield News-Leader, at Thousand Hills is a favorite for playing Branson golf. Open to both the public and resort guests, the Thousand Hills golf course welcomes all golfers, regardless of your level of expertise. Thousand Hills prides themselves on catering everyone from the novice to the professional with their three separate sets of tees. This beautiful golf course will take you past rushing streams, through hardwood forests, and past amazing rock outcroppings and formations that the Ozarks are famous for, all while being within walking distance of Highway 76 and the heart of Branson! You won’t want to miss a chance to play a round of Branson golf on this award winning course.

Branson Hills Golf Club (formerly Payne Stewart Golf Club): This great Branson golf course was designed by Chuck Smith with design consultant and PGA Professional, Bobby Clampett. This 18 hole course takes you through the beautiful wilderness of the Ozarks, and has incorporated much of the natural terrain into the challenging aspects of the course.

Pointe Royale Golfing Village: This recently renovated Branson golf course, set near Lake Taneycomo, makes for a beautiful place to play a round of golf. This course features a practice putting green, a Pro shop, a scenic nature trail for walking, and views of native wildlife and natural beauty on the green. The Pointe Royale course is another great example of course designers making great use of the natural challenges that are built into the Ozarks terrain!

Top of the Rock: Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve –“A Vision Worth the Wait”- is not just a place to dine, explore nature, and check out a natural history museum, it’s also a great place to golf! This world class golf course was seven years in the making with the help of several golfing pros including Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus. This course covers 47 acres, with much of it being allowed to maintain its natural state. This is made apparent in the rushing waterfalls, streams and hollows along the course. A stellar practice facility and putting complex are also available to the golfers here. This Branson golf course is where the PGA Bass Pro Legends Tournament is held annually.

This is just a handful of the great Branson golf courses available to those who make this area their go to golfing destination. Grab your clubs and make plans to tee off at these and other great courses around town!

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Why a Condo Might Be a Better Choice Than a Hotel

Brandon Condo BedroomThere are a number of great lodging options in and around the Branson area. But one of the best choices for lodging that you can make for you and your family during a trip to the Live Entertainment Capital of the Midwest would be a Branson condo. Condos are simple, fun, affordable, and come loaded with plenty of great amenities to accommodate your stay. Plus, they offer a homey environment that a hotel just can’t match. So check out a condos at Thousand Hills to see why you should choose a condo over a hotel that next time you come to stay in Branson!

The Branson condos at Thousand Hills are set in prime locations that are close to everything Branson has to offer – like attractions, shows, stores, restaurants and the award winning Thousand Hills golf course. Unlike hotels, the condos are set well back from the busy streets of Branson, giving you peace, quiet and privacy while still only a stone’s throw from all the fun of town. You can select a condo that overlooks a view of the famous golf course, or perhaps one that has a view of a rustic, wooded setting. Whatever view you choose, you’ll be getting a great place to stay!

The Branson condo options that Thousand Hills offer their guests are roomy and spacious – forget putting the kids in sleeping bags on the floor of a one bed hotel room! You can select a lodging option that will (very!) comfortably sleep two people, or up to twelve people! A Branson condo is a great choice for those with large families, church groups, or business retreats. And unlike most hotels, your roomy condo comes with a fully equipped kitchen, for everything from cooking supper for two to breakfast for twelve!

Your Branson condo features some awesome amenities to really make your stay feel homey. TVs and DVD players, cable and free wireless internet, washers and dryers, linens, private porches and whirlpool or Jacuzzi tubs are all provided to make your time in a Branson condo comfortable, convenient and memorable. When you are ready to venture outside of your comfy condo, Thousand Hills also offers indoor and outdoor swimming pools, a golf course with pro shop, and a full exercise facility for your enjoyment!

Don’t forget that many of the Branson condo stay options are eligible for a Platinum Experience upgrade – visit the Thousand Hills website for more details. And call today to book your condo – chances are, you will opt for this great lodging option again and again!

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Experience History with Ozarks Civil War Sites

The Civil War left a mark on America that no passage of time can erase. There has not been a war like it since. With many Civil War sites around the country marking the sesquicentennial anniversaries of notable battles and events, this is a great time to get out and experience some of the nation’s history firsthand – especially here in the Ozarks. There are many historical sites in the area that are well worth visiting, and will leave you with a greater appreciation of our country’s history, and those who went on before us.

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

The battle of Wilson’s Creek was the second major combat of the Civil War, and the first that was fought west of the Mississippi River. Taking place on August 10th, 1861, this brutal battle was won by Southern troops and was the first skirmish in which a Union general, Nathaniel Lyon, was killed. Today, this historic Civil War site is managed by the US Parks Service, and is one of the most well preserved battle sites in the country. Visitors to the site will certainly want to stop in at the Visitors Center to pick up a map and brochures, and to check out the museum. A 4.9 mile paved road takes visitors along a self-guided driving tour route, with interactive stops along the way that focus on important points of the battle. There are also walking paths and horseback riding trails to be found throughout this beautiful preserve. The Ray House, which served as a Southern field hospital, has been turned into a museum for guests. Wilson’s Creek offers many different events and functions throughout the year – check out their website for updated information.

Smallin Civil War Cave EntranceSmallin Civil War Cave

Smallin Civil War Cave, located in Ozark, Missouri, not only has a vast history during the Civil War time period, but it is a natural wonder as well. Ozark and the surrounding area was a key spot for Union activities during the Civil War, and it is very likely that Smallin Cave was used for activities related to the war. It was also a stop for Cherokee Indians along the Trail of Tears. This enormous cave is open to the public, and guided tours are offered by the knowledgeable staff. Regular tours take about one hour, and follow a paved path into the heart of the cave. Specialty tours are offered as well during select dates.

Pea Ridge National Military Park

Pea Ridge National Military Park, located in Arkansas, is known as the battle that saved Missouri for the Union. It was an atypical battle in that the Northerners attacked from the south, and vice versa. Taking place on March 7-8, 1862, this was one of the most pivotal battles of the war. The Pea Ridge Visitors Center offers guests a theater, a bookstore, and a museum. Outside, you can find a 7 mile hiking trail, a 9 mile horseback riding trail, and a 7 mile road that takes you through the heart of the battlefield.

The Ozarks is rich with Civil War history – you and your family will truly appreciate and enjoy these and other historic sites around the Ozarks.

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Tanger Outlets Branson for All Your Shopping Savings

Shopping at TangerOutlet malls and stores are great places to do your shopping. Not only do they provide a wide variety of stores and products, but you are getting name brand and designer items often at lower prices than you might find at other regular stores. This is certainly the case with the Tanger Outlet Mall in Branson – especially since when you do your Branson shopping at Tanger, you can receive a coupon book with discounts and savings at many of the mall’s mane brand stores! Be sure to go to the information desk to pick yours up before visiting some of Tanger Outlet Mall’s awesome stores that are listed below.

There are not just clothing stores for your Branson shopping list at the Tanger Outlet Mall – there are a host of other stores as well! Do you like Disney movies? You will find everything Disney from clothes to toys to books at the outlet’s Disney Store. You’ll never need another shopping stop for the children in your life! Got a list of needed supplies for your tool belt or tool box? Head on over to Direct Tools for hand tools, power tools, safety supplies, and more. If candles are what you need, visit the Yankee Candle Outlet – here you can find every scent imaginable to perfume your home. And don’t forget that candles make great gifts for the holidays, or every day! If jewelry is what you are after, you are in luck – the Kay Jewelers outlet and the Zales Diamond Store outlet both make their homes at Tanger. And if you are a cooking guru, be sure to put the Kitchen Collection on your list of places to stop! Pots, pans, gadgets and more await you here.

Looking for name brand clothing? Check out stores like the GAP Factory Store, Izod, Jockey, Dress Barn, the Old Navy Outlet, Adidas, the American Eagle Outfitters, the Levi’s Outlet, the Lane Bryant Outlet, and more! You will find clothes for the whole family at amazing prices when you do your Branson shopping for clothes at the Tanger Outlet Mall. And for footwear, check out Rack Room Shoes, Coach, the Crocs Outlet, and the Famous Footwear Outlet, to name a few. Then, for those much needed accessories, visit Pandora, Claire’s, Fossil, Rue 21, The Sunglass Hut, Wilsons Leather, and Torrid to round off your perfect outfits.

If you get hungry while checking items off of your Branson shopping list, never fear! There are plenty of tasty eatery options at Tanger. The A & W Restaurant, Kings Subs and Deli, and Harry and David can provide the savory options, while The Fudgery can round of your meal with a sweet treat – you can purchase fudge by the pound, or maybe blend it in a delicious milkshake!

These and many more great venues await your business at the Tanger Outlet Mall – don’t wait to get your Branson shopping done! Remember to pick up your complimentary coupon book, and take advantage of the mall’s free Wi-Fi!

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A Sweet Treat in Branson

It is rather difficult to not like dessert – especially since there are nearly as many desserts as there are palates! Dessert is one of those things that brings happiness, memories, satisfaction – and yes, occasionally guilt! Some people prefer the sweet, rich taste of chocolate, while others are geared more towards fruity desserts. Some people like cakes and pies while others like cookies or scones. There are folks that prefer their dessert cold (like frozen custard!) and still more folks who might prefer their sweets hot (think hot chocolate or a sweetened coffee drink). Then there are people – especially kids! – whose favorite treat might be candy like jelly beans or lollipops. Whatever type of sweet tooth you have, you are sure to be able to satisfy your craving with some great Branson dessert options!

Andys Custard in BransonBakery Treats: If you are looking for a Branson dessert that can be found in a bakery display case, you have a couple of great places to stop. For proven awesome baked treats, stop by Panera on Green Mountain Drive! Here, not only can you get a tasty sandwich, salad or cup of soup but you can also get a made fresh bakery treat. Panera offers sweet seekers a variety of cookies, cinnamon rolls, scones, cupcakes, brownies, and pastries like bear claws and pecan braids. Don’t forget a cup of coffee or a smoothie to accompany your Branson dessert! Sugar Leaf Bakery and Café is another ‘sweet’ place to go. This local bakery offers beautifully crafted baked goods like muffins, cobblers, pies, sticky buns and brownies! They are the perfect choice for a solo dessert venture, or for dessert catering!

Frozen Treats: Whether you like ice cream in the summer only, or are willing to take on the extra chill in the wintertime, Branson has the frozen treat options to meet your cravings head on! For a rich, customizable frozen dessert, visit Andy’s Frozen Custard on Highway 76. With their made fresh hourly frozen custard, you can customize a concrete with tasty add-ins like cookie dough, raspberries, Butterfinger bits and marshmallows, or try one of their regular treats like the Snowmonster. Cold Stone Creamery, also located on Highway 76, makes a great ice cream experience for the whole family with employees who sing, dance, and juggle delicious ice cream!

Candy Treats: For a Branson dessert experience for your kids – or the kid in you! – head down to the Branson Landing to visit the Northwood’s Candy Emporium. Don’t forget to bring your sweet tooth! This nostalgic candy store has everything from gummy orange slices, to jelly beans, to sugar free options, to fudge – and you can sample the fudge! This is one candy store you won’t want to miss out on visiting. Just make sure to brush your teeth afterwards! The Fudge Factory in the Tanger Outlet Mall is also a great place to get your chocolate fix – and they offer samples too.

These are just a handful of the great places that you can find Branson desserts. Follow your sweet tooth and find some more!

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Discover the TriLakes Area in Branson

 

The Branson Missouri TriLakes Area is one of the most famous attractions in Branson, Missouri. It is composed of three lakes – Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo, and Bull Shoals Lake – and is filled with different kinds of activities for you and your family. That’s being at the most pristine lakes in the world and have so much fun in it at the same time! There’s no doubt why locals and tourists from all over the world come to Branson to witness the beauty of the pristine lakes of Missouri.

Branson, Missouri is truly the home of all kinds of fun and entertainment. From live musical shows to delectable restaurants and dishes, you can have everything you imagine in the entertainment capital of the Midwest. And the TriLakes Area is one of many Branson Attractions that you should not miss while you are in the city. And if you want to make the most out of your visit, be sure to remember these events and festivities!

Hop Aboard Showboat Branson Belle

The Showboat of Table Rock Lake is known as the Branson Belle. It is a 1890s paddle wheeler. Visitors may hop aboard it and take part in the cruise. The cruise is not only for guests to witness the beauty of Branson scenery, but also for them to try the elegant dining and live entertainment on board.

Fishing at Table Rock Lake

Table Rock Lake is a renowned bass fishing lake. The lake is definitely as great spot for largemouth and smallmouth bass, crappie, bluegill, and catfish. Visitors coming for some quality fishing should not forget to look below the dam too. Lake Taneycomo completed below changed from a warm to a cold water lake and became a perfect habitat for trout.

Stay at resorts in the Ozarks

There are over 100 resorts in the Ozarks to choose from for family vacation. With this Branson lake activity, visitors will see that Table Rock Lake has two sides – Kimberling city side and Branson side. Visitors will also see that majority of the vacationers choose to stay at the Branson side of Table Rock.

Boating

To complete your stay on the lake, you can do some boating in the Table Rock Lake. And for those visitors who do not want to operate a boat, they can make use of the 3 commercial boat cruises or rides that operate on Table Rock Lake. Visitors can count on full service marinas that operate on Table Rock Lake at various locations to provide service and convenience. The State Park Marina is the best choice for any type of water craft rentals; they have everything from wave runners to daily cruised on a 48 ft. sailing catamaran.

Scuba Diving

Have some fun not just above water but also below with Rock Table Lake’s Scuba Diving! There are experienced dive shops and countless great diving spots in the Branson Trilakes Area for the convenience of visitors. The Zebulon Pike, Oasis, Enchanted Forest, and Duck Island are just a few great diving spots in Rock Table Lake. Try your hand at scuba diving on Table Rock Lake to see for yourself why those diving spots are considered to be great. Witness a whole other world with fantastic treasures underwater as you dive into the inviting waters of Rock Table Lake!

Have the best vacation ever in Branson, Missouri with all of the attractions the city can offer. And complete your stay by making Thousand Hills Hotel & Golf Resort your home away from home. You can choose from the three most famous Branson Lodging: Branson Condo, Branson Cabin, or Branson Lakefront Lake. Have that much needed rest with us after engaging in fun and exciting activities at the TriLakes Area! For more information, or for reservations, dial 1-877-262-0430.

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A Fun-Filled Tour in the Branson Scenic Railway

 

 

It is always a fun idea to take a tour of Branson Missouri. The place itself is full of adventures waiting for you. There are theme parks, nature parks, outlet malls, museums, and a lot more attractions. Any time of the year is also a good idea to visit Branson because you get to join in the activities and events in Branson. If you are in for a city tour that is out of the ordinary, then the Branson Scenic Railway is the right adventure for you!

Known as the White River Railway back in 1902, the Branson Scenic Railway started with $12 million worth of a 239-mile railroad track that trudges through the rugged terrain of the Ozark Mountains. The arrival of the railroad started to bring gains to the city of Branson. It became more accessible to tourists, and Branson started to become the ultimate vacation destination in the Midwest like it is today. The Scenic Railway began having excursions in 1993, with routes going either north or south. The routes of the trains themselves are a surprise treat because these are determined right after the train’s departure. If you take a northern route, you could go as far as Galena, Missouri in the James River Valley, and the southern route can take you as far as Arkansas. You will get to learn about the stories in every area. You will also spot extinct communities that existed when the railroad was built.

Now, you can enjoy a 40 mile roundtrip across the Ozark Mountains with the Branson Scenic Railway. There are 3 to 4 trips daily that will take you to places which cannot be accessed by other modes of transportation. Each trip in the train is more or less 1 hour and 45 minutes. Each passenger in the Scenic Railway is encouraged to tour each of the 3 dome cars so they can experience a panoramic view of the Ozark wonder. Branson Scenic Railway is open from March to December. If you go in a Saturday from April to October, you are lucky to be in a dinner train. Reservations are required for a dinner train. Excursions of the Branson Scenic Railway depart from the historic depot in downtown Branson, located at 206 East Main Street across Branson Landing. For tickets in Branson Scenic Railway, you can call 1-800-2-TRAIN-2 or you can visit www.bransontrain.com.

 

While in Branson, choose the best lodging place. Stay in Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort for various lodging options to suit your needs. It is also located close to Branson’s entertainment district so you can catch any of the live music shows whenever you want to. For reservations and inquiries, dial 1-877-262-0430.

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The Haygoods and Their World-Class Entertainment

 

 

Branson is made popular by its live music shows. Being the Live Music Capital of the World indeed entails a lot of pressure to provide only the best entertainment to the audience, but it is also a great privilege for Branson to be a major contributor to the tourism industry. Tourists flock to the place, mostly because of the live music shows. If you still haven’t experienced the Branson kind of entertainment, then it’s time you have one!

There are a lot of good artists in Branson. One of them is The Haygoods. The Haygoods never fail to elicit a standing ovation from their crowd because they have this unique and incredible harmony and energy when performing. Their performances will leave you in awe with 20 different instruments. The Haygoods have been in the Branson entertainment scene for a long time so this group is not just about hype.

Who are The Haygoods? This group is made up of 5 brothers and 1 sister. This 6-man band brings something fresh to everyone each year. From the marvelous special effects to the world-class stage presentation to their various musical styles, you are bound to get an unforgettable musical experience in Branson. They will be performing today’s top charts, Country, Rock, and Pop artists, and also the music of the yesteryears. Their show appeals to people of all ages, and it is also a great avenue to introduce the young generation to the hot hits decades ago, and the earlier generations to today’s chart toppers. The Haygoods also have a meet and greet with the fans after their show. Get a chance to meet The Haygoods and hang out with them. This is truly a wonderful experience for everyone!

During the months of November and December, The Haygoods perform a Christmas Extravaganza to pump up everyone’s holiday spirits. This has also become one of Branson’s family traditions to listen and sing along to Christmas carols performed by The Haygoods. You can also choose to celebrate New Year with The Haygoods! You can add this to your Branson holiday plans, because a Haygoods show is just too good to miss out on.

 

You can catch shows by The Haygoods in the Clay Cooper Theater in Branson’s The Strip. This is where you can also find several other theaters. If you are staying in Branson for more than a day, choose to stay in Thousand Hills Golf Resort because you get to stay real close to The Strip. Have the liberty of seeing any show that you want, anytime you want to. The lodging places in Thousand Hills are situated far enough from the city noise, and closer to the comforts of the Ozarks. Don’t forget Thousand Hills as you plan your trip to Branson. For inquiries and reservations, call 1-877-262-0430.

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More Hours, More Fun in Silver Dollar City’s Moonlight Madness

 

 

Branson attractions are truly world-class. It is these attractions that make people come back often to Branson. The Live Music Capital of the World is more than just about the music shows. Guests who have visited Branson are witnesses to the unique experience that Branson can offer. Aside from the live music shows, there are also outlet malls, restaurants, museums, nature parks, and theme parks. One of Branson’s most popular theme parks is Silver Dollar City. This 1880’s themed amusement park is all set to offer more entertainment to everyone.

Silver Dollar City is home to thrilling rides and attractions. It is in Silver Dollar City where you can find the most daring wood coaster in the world – the Outlaw Run. You can also enjoy the steam engine train rides, geysers, and other kid-friendly attractions in the park. More than 40 shows daily are also ready to give you a breather from all the excitement in the park. If you visit Silver Dollar City now, you may just be in time for the Moonlight Madness Festival. The Moonlight Madness Festival gives you extended park hours so you can have more fun in the park. From July 18 to August 2, 2015, the Moonlight Madness Festival will treat you to a long, fun night in Silver Dollar City.

The park opens at 9:30 AM. With Moonlight Madness, you have 12 hours to enjoy all the attractions in the park. There are also special shows and events to keep you coming back for more. The Great American Country Nights, an energetic country music show, will be taking over the spotlight all throughout the festival. You can also loosen up and party the night away with the street dances on the City’s Square every 9:30 PM. Everyone’s favorites will be played, such as The Chicken Dance, The Electric Slide, and The Cotton-Eyed Joe. Silver Dollar City is also known to have the best theme park food in America. Treat yourself to a delicious food trip as the eateries and shops are also open until 10 PM. Try out the food from Eva & Delilah’s, Fanny’s Funnel Cakes, Flossie’s Fried Fancies, Hannah’s Ice Cream Parlor, Wagon Works Grill, and a lot more. On July 25 and August 1, the park will be open from 9:30 AM to 12 MN.

 

Have a blast in your Moonlight Madness experience and have a comfortable stay in Branson’s Thousand Hills Golf Resort. Thousand Hills is just a couple of minutes away from Silver Dollar City so you get to have that much needed rest after a whole day of adventure. Choose from log cabins, lakefront condos, and golf homes in Thousand Hills. For inquiries and reservations, call 1-877-262-0430.

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