8Great: Branson Missouri
by Stefanie Michaels
Branson, Missouri is all about being entertained. Known mostly for showmanship from the likes of entertainers such as the Oakridge Boys, the world’s only violin-playing aerialist, Janice Martin, and Shoji Tabuchi, who perform in this Ozark Mountain town for audiences from all over the world.
Although Branson is synonymous with musical talent, there is so much more to do. Check out these 8Great adventures.
1. Silver Dollar City is a theme park. Adventures abound from caving in Marvel Cave to visiting a working homestead. Every theme park has rides. Paying homage to the wooden coasters of yesteryear, don’t miss Outlaw Run. The Giant Pendulum Swing ride has two arms that whip up to 45mph. Explore the many booths filled with local artisans, restaurants, and shows. Don’t miss: For the Christmas season, a nightly parade ensues and It’s a Wonderful Life production takes place.
2. The Titanic Museum is an impressive collection of over 400 artifacts from the ship. Guided tours take you through recreated rooms of the ship, while sharing passenger stories–some who survived and others who perished with the vessel.
3. Branson Auto and Farm Museum. If antique farm equipment, classic cars, and vintage motorcycles are your thing, then this unique one of a kind museum is the place to spend a few hours. Over 100 vehicles and tractors under 20,000 square feet. It’s AH-mazing. Looking to buy and sell? Take a closer look, some of the autos are for sale.
4. If there was ever a dream store filled with everything and anything interesting, find it in historic downtown Branson. Dick’s Old-time 5 & 10 features more than 50,000 different items. Plan on spending at least an hour here marveling at all the merchandise.
5. If you aren’t into seeing singing acts, then check out two sensational shows. The Acrobats of China featuring the New Shanghai Circus at the RFD-TV The Theater collects several standing ovations during performances. A series of Traditional Chinese dances melded with jaw-dropping aerial acts.
For an evening of innovative magic, see The Revolutionists. Five internationally grand master magicians which include Brett Daniels, Reza, Luka and Kid Kadabra, who perform outrageous and optical illusions such as acts of levitation, mind-reading, disappearance and death-defying escapes.
6. A must do adventure! Visit the National Tiger Sanctuary. Dedicated to providing an educational facility to teach visitors of all ages about the “big cats’ such as lions, tigers, and leopards, it’s a one of a kind experience just outside of Branson. Spy Nikki one of the several white tigers and Etana and Judah both African lions. Adopt a cat before you leave, comes complete with a sanctuary t-shirt. Learn more here: http://www.nationaltigersanctuary.org
7. Shopper alert! The Tanger Outlet Mall boasts over 65 brand name designer outlets. Called the “shopping vortex in Branson” means deep discounts and deals on name brands such as Nike, GAP, Coach and Banana Republic.
8. Hike the 2,220-acre nature preserve in the heart of the Ozark Mountains known as Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. The acreage extends across the Missouri-Arkansas border. Hit two states in one trek and stumble upon herds of longhorns, wild buffalo, and New Bull Elk.