Explore Branson – Your Next Vacation Destination
Remember me telling you that my husband and I were invited on a press trip to Explore Branson? This trip was sponsored by the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau. Our days and nights were packed with a sampling of the awesome things that Branson, Missouri has to offer their visitors.
This was a first time for both of us. I have had Branson on my travel list for years but we had not been able to work it in so far. Boy, were we impressed! I can’t begin to share all the trip details in one post, but will be sharing the shows and activities over the next few days.
To be honest, I thought Branson was a “senior” vacation spot. Nope! I can see how some of the shows would cater to the older guests unless you are like us and just love anything promoting God and Country. Sure they have concert halls that bring back memories from the 50’s and 60’s but they also have the most awesome extreme adventure park around!
So if you were thinking that Branson was only for seniors, think again. I know for a fact that my kids and grandkids would have a blast visiting all the attractions.
Here is the overview of our visit. Links will be added as the reviews are posted.
- Traveled to Sikeston, MO
- Dined at the Cracker Barrel in LaGrange, KY
- Dined at the Stoll’s Country Inn in Stacer, IN
- Stayed at the Pear Tree Inn by Drury
- Dined at the Lambert’s Café in Sikeston, MO
- Continued on to Branson, MO via the scenic route on Highway 160
- Dined at the Colton’s Steakhouse in West Plains, MO
- Upon arrival in Branson, we were booked at the Welk Resorts – this place is simply gorgeous!
- Welcome reception and dinner was at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner. It was here that we met the other bloggers who were also on this press tour. Our tour group was made up of Betsy from Dallas Socials, Donna from Donnahup.com, Ericka from Ericka Saves, Heather from The Food Hussy, Natasha from Houseful of Nicholes and Kelly from Kelly’s Thoughts On Things. We knew Heather as she is from Cincinnati, but had not met the others IRL (In Real Life). We had so much fun together and I can’t wait to see them again at blogging conferences or other press tours soon!
- Following dinner at Mel’s Hard Luck Diner, we met up at the Mickey Gilley Theatre to listen in fascination to the musical madness of SIX.
Are you tired yet? Our visit is only just beginning.
- All the group was split up to different shows or activities. We were treated to the All American Gospel Show. Talk about bringing back the memories of being a little girl in church!
- We were treated to lunch at the Hibachi Grill before heading to the Sons of the Pioneers. This show was the favorite of hubster. He felt like a little boy again listening to their concert.
- Then we were off to the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure. Oh my, to walk in and have butterflies land on you just takes your breath away. They are so beautiful!
- Next stop was the Titanic Museum. We were both assigned a passenger name and we were able to follow the path through the museum. At the end we discovered the fate of the passenger.
- Our evening kicked off with a dinner cruise and show on the Showboat Branson Belle. Wow!
Yes.. by now we are exhausted but having just too much fun to worry about it!
- Bright and early we arrived at the Silver Dollar City Amusement Park to participate in their 2014 season opening ceremony.
- We were treated to a sampling of food from around the world as part of the current World Festival at the Silver Dollar City.
- Next we were blown away by the talent of Benise – The Spanish Guitar!
Spending most of the day wandering the park, we ventured into so many shops and trade areas that it was like a visit back in time. My favorites were the glass blowing and the blacksmith stations. My husband was on a mission to find a duster like all the men wore back in the day! Sadly, we did not find him a duster..maybe I will be able to locate one for Father’s Day.
Finding ourselves back in town, we had to return to Mel’s Hard Luck Diner for one of their Nathan Hot Dogs and their Chicken Salad; both of which are favorites on the menu.
Of course we made time for a little shopping. Kringles Christmas Store had me smiling like a child! I love Christmas and this store had all the lights, displays and gifts that I dream of having one day. I would have to work there if we lived in Branson! Hubster has a weakness for fudge (anything chocolate really) so we spent a great deal of time in the Northwoods Candy Shop. Rounding out our shopping spree was the T. Charlestons Books and Gifts store. We needed extra hands to get our packages to the car!
Dinner was another concert while dining at the Uptown Café. We were entertained by Susan Hudson Carman who does Patsy Cline Memory proud. What a wonderful and talented singer. The food was awesome too!
After crashing for an hour in our room back at the Welk Resort, we loaded up and attended the Sight and Sound Theatres production of Jonah. We are still talking about this show!
We gathered at the White Water Park for the installation of the drop floor module on their new KaPau Plummet slide. Venturing on to the construction site of this massive one in world ride was so crazy! I for one; will not be riding this ride when it opens, but I have several children that would be camping at the gate for days to be one of first on it!
Our trip home took us through Saint Robert, MO where we stopped at the Aussie Jack’s for all you can eat fried catfish. You do not want to miss this if you are in the area!
Stopping in St Louis to visit the Gateway Arch was a bust as it was closed. Construction on roads around the park combined with opening day traffic was enough to encourage us to head on home. I hope to make it back soon to St. Louis. I would love to tour the city with my family.
Deciding to push all way back to NKY instead of stopping ended up being a wise decision. We were about an hour out of Louisville when we got the call that our youngest was being taken to the ER with what they thought was an appendix attack. Talk about a stressful last 120 miles home. Thankfully, she did not require surgery and has recovered completely at home.
As you can see, we had a full schedule from the time we left NKY until we arrived home. I probably would not advise a trip like this if you are traveling with little ones, but since this was just the hubster and I it was so worth it!
Make sure to watch for the review and roundup of all the events and shows that we attended while on this trip. You should also scroll back up and visit the other blogger sites that were on this trip as their schedules were different than ours for most of the day. I know that several went zip lining… more than once! While others toured the Wax Museum, rode the Ducks, saw the Acrobats of China just to name a few activities.
I would like to thank the Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau, US Family Guide and all the participating vendors that made this trip possible. It was an amazing trip and one that I hope to repeat again soon.
Betsy Mitchell says
You had a BUSY weekend! Great to meet you.
Being from Australia, I had never heard of Branson before, so it was great to be become aware of a new place to visit.
Crystal Ross says
Hi! This looks like alot of fun! I have never been to Missouri before. I heard there is a Broadway town in Missouri where the people who do not make it in New York go there to work. Thanks for the article and showing me a window into Missouri.
Seems like you had a great time! 5 days of non-stop fun! A few family pictures would have added spice to this post! 🙂