Located in the heart of the Ozark Mountains, the small town of Branson is a fantastic family vacation destination. Live shows, beautiful views, theme parks, museums, shops, restaurants—Branson has it all. And while you may be tempted to visit it during the Christmas holidays, the best time to visit Branson is during July and August. The weather will be relatively warmer, but good enough to enjoy all the outdoor activities. Here are four reasons you should choose Branson as your summer vacation destination.
1. Famous Missourian Food
Missouri’s colonial history dates back to the late 1600s. Thus, its food scene draws influences from German, French, and Italian cuisines. Moreover, Branson is located just 40 minutes south of Springfield—Missouri’s culinary capital. Hence, it’s no surprise that Branson has a thriving restaurant scene.
From Southern barbecue and fancy, beach-themed dishes to high-class comfort food, Branson has something for everyone. Some standout items are:
- Rowdy’s Cheesesteak’s craft sandwiches
- Wakyoto’s sushi
- Pasghetti’s giant meatballs
- Mitsu Neko’s crab rangoon
- Oscar’s fall-off-the-bone ribs
Then there are Paula Deen’s signature Ooey Gooey butter cake, McFarlain’s traffic jam pie, and Persimmon Hill Farms’ thunder muffins that will make your mouth sing with joy at every bite.
In short, it doesn’t matter whether you’re in an old-style pub, a roadside barbecue joint, a family restaurant, or a local diner. Branson cuisine offers excellent food and unique flavors on all budgets.
2. Live Shows & Performances
Perhaps you’re a live music lover. Or maybe, you’re a performing arts enthusiast or simply a comedy buff. No matter how you identify, you’re in luck, for there’s no shortage of seize-the-day, fun things to do in Branson.
The city is known for its plentiful family-friendly entertainment options. It’s home to several performance art theaters that host over 100 shows every year, including the world-famous Dolly Parton’s Stampede. Dolly Parton’s Stampede offers a unique and enjoyable way for families to spend an evening in Branson. The show takes place in a charming, rustic arena and features thrilling scenes, such as a buffalo stampede. While you watch the show, you can also savor a delicious Southern-style meal, including a rotisserie chicken, barbequed pork loin, and other delectable dishes. As a result, there are a variety of theatrical genres and styles to choose from while in Branson.
Moreover, the city is a regular stop for well-known standup comics, illusionists, acrobats, and cirque performers. Thus, if you’re looking for good, wholesome, clean fun that’s perfect for all ages, Branson, MO, is your place.
Some of the biggest names in the music industry also perform at various venues in Branson throughout the year. So, music fans will always find something to enjoy here, regardless of their taste in music. 60 Minutes, an American television show, nicknamed Branson the “live music capital of the entire universe” and for good reason.
3. Spectacular Outdoor Destinations
Branson’s incredible scenic views and fun-filled, activity-packed outdoors draw people of all lifestyles and interests. With so many options and so little time, even compiling a list of must-visit attractions can be daunting. So, to help you, here are our top six recommendations you’ll want to check out on your next visit.
- Silver Dollar City Park: This 1880s-style theme park is the quintessential American adventure. It features over 40 rides and attractions, including seven rollercoasters.
- Zipline Adventure at Wolfe Creek Preserve: We can’t all be cliff divers or bungee jumpers. But we can zipline at Wolfe Mountain for an equally heart-pounding adventure. To ensure a safe ride, each tour starts with a quick yet thorough training from a professional guide.
- Titanic Museum: You’ll receive a make-believe Titanic boarding pass upon entering the museum. The 400 artifacts displayed inside will transport you back in time as if you were there. You’ll even have to feel the icy cold water to experience first-hand what it was like for the people aboard the ship. At the end of the tour, you’ll find out whether the real-life passenger whose name was on your ticket survived or not.
- White Water Water Park: If you want a break from the heat briefly, you should visit White Water! This 13-acre park features 2 million gallons of world-class water park fun for all ages. Wave pools, water rides, raft adventures, you name it, they have it! Sit by the Aloha River to relax, unwind, or body surf a 4-foot wave at Surfs Up Wave Pool. Take a ride on the KaPau Plummet waterfall slide. Or, set up camp in Coconut Cove with your gang of little swimmers. No matter your age, find your flow and enjoy!
- WonderWorks: This is a really cool, S.T.E.A.M-themed amusement park. It has three floors full of 100+ educational exhibits on all things science. What’s unique about it is that everything is upside-down, so it’s like you’re walking on the ceiling.
- Lindwedel Winery: Pair handcrafted wine with bakery-fresh focaccia bread or charcuterie tray for an exceptional winery (and restaurant) experience. You can also step out on the deck overlooking Branson to take in the breathtaking scenery. Bring the kids along. They’ll love sipping on the winery’s homemade grape juice while you enjoy a flight of wine.
4. Wonderful Shopping Experience
No trip to Branson is complete without visiting the city’s famous shopping destination, Branson Landing. Perhaps you’re on a shopping detox. Still, we’re positive that you won’t regret a detour to this 95-acre shopper’s paradise located at the foot of the beautiful Landing Fountains.
At Branson Landing, you’ll get a unique retail experience and plenty of fine dining and live entertainment opportunities. This beautiful, 1.5-mile-long boardwalk lines hundreds of specialty shops, brand-name stores, and high-end restaurants. Bass Pro Shops, Belk, Francesca’s, Bath & Body Works, and Journey’s are a few crowd favorites. Even if you don’t plan on spending a dime, you’ll still enjoy window shopping in all these amazing shops.
If you get thirsty, you can stop by a moonshine shop for a free tasting. When bored, you can relax by the fountains. The scenic river views are a welcome bonus as you stroll through stores or enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the restaurants. You’ll also see catching fish from the shore. Come back at noon to see the fountain water and fire show.
You must also check out Grand Village, another shopping hotspot in Branson, when you’re here. Here you’ll find many artisanal goods to buy and delicious local treats to taste. The historic downtown Branson also has eclectic shops offering candy samples, jewelry, rugs, baskets, and pottery.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. There are many other reasons why Branson, Missouri, should be on your bucket list this summer. But hopefully, the above list will help you plan the perfect itinerary for your family.