Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Branson Missouri

We left Arkansas and headed northeast to Branson, Missouri to catch some of their wonderful shows. Branson is known as a family vacation destination  Its 76 Country Boulevard is famously lined with theaters, which once hosted mostly country music performers but today present diverse entertainment. Also along the strip are the Marvel Cave, the Wild West-style Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction and Silver Dollar City, an 1800s-themed amusement park with live music.

We enjoy backroad travel and this portion of Arkansas and Missouri didn't disappoint. The roads were in pretty good shape, traffic was light and the scenery was spectacular. This is Hwy 23 through the Ozark Mountains. A very relaxing and enjoyable adventure.

Whether you love live shows, attractions, museums, shopping or just good old family fun, Branson has it all. If you're an outdoor type person, enjoy hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, kayaking, horseback riding, fishing and rock climbing.

We booked a two week stay at Table Rock State Park on Table Rock Lake. Our campsite was concrete with grass and full hookups. There is a walking trail from the campground to the marina and all around the eastern shore of the lake. It is about 4 miles to the Branson town center.

It took four years (1954-58) to construct Table Rock Dam on the White River. Construction of the dam enabled the formation of Table Rock Lake, an artificial lake and reservoir. The dam itself is 6,423' long and 947' tall. It's designed to hold back about 760,000 acre feet of water. It's original design was for flood control but it also provides for recreational activities such as water skiing, scuba diving and fishing.

Live shows are what attracted us to Branson and we were not disappointed. There are many shops along Country Road 76 that offer discounts. Make sure to visit several as each has their own brand of discounts. We found the "Purple House" to have what we were looking for. Picture Branson as sort of a cross between Disneyland and Universal Studios.

Looking for a great place to eat? All you can eat breakfast buffet and a discount to boot. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner but breakfast is their specialty. 

Branson was formally incorporated in 1912 but had been in existence since 1882. There is a marble cave nearby which was opened to visitors in 1894 by an entrepreneur named William Lynch, who charged a fee to visit. The cave was renamed Marvel Cave in the 50s another entrepreneur, Hugo Herschend,  leased it for 99 years and installed electricity and staircases. In 1960, Herschend opened Silver Dollar City, a re-creation of a frontier town that featured five shops, a church, and a log cabin, with actors that played out the feud between the Hatfields and McCoys.
In 1962, Paul Henning, a playwright, created The Beverly Hillbillies TV show which was inspired by a camping trip to this area. The first five shows in 1969 were filmed here as the Clampetts returned home.

In all, Branson features over 50 theaters providing entertainment across a broad venue from country to 50's music. Besides the numerous entertainment theaters for which Branson is known for, other local attractions include ziplines, cave tours, go-karts, mini golf, and more.