The Branson Missouri Blog

Blogging Branson Missouri to Keep You Up To Date!

 

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 www.millerbisonatelkheadranch.com 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 www.somo.org/plunge.

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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!

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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 www.millerbisonatelkheadranch.com 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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Kids Love the VisionCon Anime, Gaming, Sci-Fi Convention

 

We all have this inner kiddo in us. Being too serious always is not for the best, so why not try to loosen up a bit and get into the lighter side of life? Reward yourself and the whole family a vacation in Branson Missouri. For sure, they will all enjoy the experience and have loads of fun and memories to bring back home with them.

Branson is most famous for the magnificent live music shows that it always has. Another thing about Branson which has made it into a popular destination whatever time of the year is it is the celebrations and events happening in the area. These events are too exciting to miss! So if you decide to visit Branson this February, make sure that you get to attend the VisionCon Anime, Gaming, and Sci-Fi Convention. This event will be held on February 20-22, 2015 at The Raddison in Branson MO.

VisionCon is one of those events that will surely bring out your lighter side. You’ll be surprised that you will still get amazed by the toys coming to life in this event. As the event has promised, they are going bigger this year with more activities and attractions for everyone. Get ready for an awesome cosplay experience in VisionCon because you can see your favorite anime characters coming to life. Whether you are a veteran or a newbie con-goer, VisionCon 2015 will still be a fun experience. Some of the audience’s favorites from last year will still be back. These are the Slave Aucction, the Best Buy Game Room, Anime Room, and the Masquerade Ball. This year, watch out for new features in the event, and one of these is the Free Photo Booth! Capture the moments with your family, friends, and loved ones in the photo booth in VisionCon 2015.

This year’s guests are also not to be missed. Alaina Huffman, also known as Stargate Universe’s Lt. Tamara Johansen and Smallville’s The Black Canary, will be guesting in VisionCon 2015. Her most recent appearance is in USA’s Necessary Roughness and CBS’s NCIS: LA. She also plays Abandon the Queen of Hell on CW’s show Supernatural. 

The main program for VisionCon 2015 starts on Friday, February 20 at 5 PM for the Opening Ceremonies. There will also be a VisionCon 101 at 6 PM and a Dating Game at 7 PM. Everyone’s favorite Slave Auction comes up at 9 PM and at 10 PM will be the Wheel of Inebriation. Saturday, February 21, starts at 10 AM with VisionCon 101, Bellydancing at 11 AM, Fu Holk Studio at 2 PM, 501st at 3 PM, and a Masquerade at 8 PM. On February 22, Sunday, there will be a closing/charity raffle at 2 PM.

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Make a Branson Condo the Center of Your Next Vacation

There is no shortage of places to stay in Branson, Missouri, if you come to visit the Entertainment Capital of the Midwest for your summer vacation. But what if you could stay somewhere that was (almost) exactly like home? What if you could stay somewhere that had all the appliances, luxuries, comforts and privacy of your usual dwelling? Somewhere that had all that, AND was located in the very heart of Branson? Well, now you can! Book a Thousand Hills Hotel and Golf Resort condo for your summer vacation – you will never stay in a motel room again.

What are the benefits of staying in a Branson condo and making it your summer vacation home base? There are lots of them – but here are three of the main reasons why staying in a Branson condo will improve the quality of your trip.

Location, Location, Location: If you reserve a summer stay at a Branson condo, you are literally just minutes from all the good things that Branson has to offer. But the best part is…you will never know it! Your condo is situated in a prime location while still maintaining the quiet and the privacy that you would have at home. Once you are ready to leave your quiet haven, though, a world of adventure awaits. Everything from Table Rock Lake and hiking trails, to fine dining and shopping, to shows for people of all ages are just outside your door. Some attractions are close enough to walk to, while others might require the car. Be sure to take a map of Branson when you leave your condo – you will find several hidden routes that will save you time when The Strip has heavy traffic!

Convinient Coziness: When you are at home, chances are that you like to cook a nice meal and watch a little TV or a movie at the end of a long day. With a Branson condo, you can do just that! The Thousand Hills condos come complete with a fully equipped kitchen, TVs in every bedroom and DVD players. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could wash some of those clothes after a day trekking around Branson? You can do that too – your condo also features a washer and dryer, and any laundry soap you may need. The condos come in all sizes, so if you have a crowd, never fear!

Better Benefits: With a Branson condo, you don’t even have to venture into town to have a good time. Thousand Hills offers some great benefits to those who stay with them. When you stay in a condo, you and your family or friends will have access to indoor and outdoor swimming pools, an award winning golf course, fully equipped exercise facilities, and spacious meeting rooms. What more do you need?

A Branson condo is sure to be a great hub for your next summer vacation. Call Thousand Hills to reserve yours today!

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Get a Deal at Branson Outlet Malls

Branson is known for its wide variety of live entertainment including music, dancing and even acrobatics. But the city is also home to a variety of shopping experiences. Whether you’re looking to buy clothing, jewelry, shoes, leather good, glassware, books or even gourmet coffee, there’s a place in Branson for you.

Tanger Outlets ShoppingMany of the products you’re looking for are in outlet malls, and Branson has a number of them with a variety of shops to suit your needs. One of the best known outlet malls in town is Tanger Outlets, which houses more than 60 name brand retailers including American Eagle, Yankee Candle, Bath and Body Works, Coach, Finish Line, Fossil and more. When you shop at Tanger, you can save anywhere from 30 to 70 percent because you’re buying directly from the manufacturer. In addition to those deep discounts, you can also find other coupons and deals on their website at tangeroutlet.com or by downloading their mobile app for Android and iPhone.

The Shoppes at Branson Meadows is another one of Branson’s favorite outlet malls. With twenty different stores carrying specialty items like china and cutlery, you’ll never have a problem finding that perfect gift or special item you were needing. Dressbarn, Hush Puppies, Scuba Sports, and Touch of Class are just a few of the names you’ll find in the Shoppes at Branson Meadows.

While not outlet malls, the next two shopping options are great if you still need a shopping fix. The Branson Landing has become a tourist favorite since it opened in 2007. There are a variety of name brand stores for you to explore, including Maurices, Hollister, Deb and Charlotte Russe. Plus, you can spend a morning or evening on the Landing without having to worry about getting lunch or dinner – the Branson Landing has a number of restaurants at your fingertips so you can enjoy a great meal even when you’re away from home. Black Oak Grill, Cantina Laredo, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Texas Land and Cattle Steakhouse and White River Fish House are just a few of the options you have on a day out.

A second option for shopping in Branson is the unique and quaint Grand Village Shops. As you walk along the cobblestone streets of the village, you’ll pass by a variety of local shops, some of which featuring products from local crafters and artists. Twenty-six shops await you, along with some great cafes and restaurants. Some of the shops include Grand Glitz, Serendipity, Helwig Art Glass, Kringles Christmas Store, Peter Engler Woodcarving and Design and Mulberry Mill. Grab lunch with the folks at Sugar Leaf Bakery, where they serve up giant BLTs with soups and salads. Or you can get something to eat at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner, home of the singing servers. The diner’s servers, hosts, cooks and cashiers are professional singers and song writers, so when you walk in the door, you’ll get serenaded with a song.

So if you’re looking for shopping, look no further than Branson and it’s outlet malls. From clothing to cutlery and woodcarving to scuba diving, you’ll find everything you need at outlet malls.

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Bored of the Surface? Scuba Dive Table Rock Lake

Almost everyone who comes to Branson falls in love with Table Rock Lake. It’s beautiful, it offers countless recreational opportunities, it’s romantic, it’s full of native wildlife – the list goes on and on. But if you are a repeat lake visitor, chances are that you might find the surface of the lake a bit dull after a time – so what can you do to rekindle your fire for one of the Midwest’s most famous lakes? Why, learn to scuba dive of course! Get ready for an adventure with Table Rock Lake scuba diving.

SCUBA Diving at the Table Rock Logo

So what are some of the things you might find under the surface during your Table Rock Lake scuba diving trip? You will find amazing critters such as bass, giant catfish and spoonbills, crawdads, sunfish that will nibble the palm of your hand and even rare freshwater jellyfish! On the material side of things, you may find a few ‘treasures’ that have been dropped beneath the water by surface explorers over the years. You never know what you might find on the bottom of the lake!

A great place to get the entire Table Rock Lake scuba diving experience (which includes training, equipment and guided trips) is the White River Dive Company. White River Dive Company employs highly-qualified PADI Instructors and Divemasters to instruct everyone from beginners who have never gone underwater to professionals who want a big challenge in their scuba diving career. Classes are one day only, making them a great choice for folks who may not have the time to devote to a three day training program. There is no obligation to go on a dive trip after the class – or if you only have time for the class that day and wish to do the trip separately, you can do that too! This business offers Open Water Diver Courses – this is the world’s most popular diving course – where new and experienced divers can dive with a partner, rent or buy equipment, and dive to depths of one hundred feet. There is also an Advanced Open Water Diver Course for those wanting to build on a solid scuba diving foundation and improve their skills with the assistance of a PADI instructor.

If you are looking for a great skill that can transfer to a career, consider the PADI Rescue Diver Course. You will learn how to expand on your prior scuba diving knowledge to prevent dangerous problems, and how to handle them if they do occur. You can also participate in CPR and First Aid courses with this program. And for a real adventure, try spearfishing! If the thought of bow hunting underwater appeals to you, this is the trip you want to sign up for.

Adventure awaits you below the surface of Table Rock Lake – take a scuba diving class and start your adventure today!

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