By: Kerry Pearson
If your New Year’s resolution involves travelling more and experiencing new things, Branson is the place to make that a reality. Aside from the numerous award-winning shows, Branson offers exciting attractions that range from activities on Table Rock Lake to venturing into dark caverns underground. Before you start planning your next vacation, check out a list we compiled of the top 16 Branson activities to try in 2016 to help bring more excitement into your life.
1) Branson Zipline
The best way to get your blood flowing and adrenaline pumping while on vacation in 2016 is with Branson Zipline. You’ll get a bird’s eye view as you soar high above the Ozarks while soaking in the captivating beauty of the surrounding scenery. See the Ozark Mountains like never before and make some great memories along the way when you experience Branson in this thrilling fashion.
2) Flyboard Branson
Sometimes swimming and floating on the water just isn’t enough. If that’s the case for you, then Flyboard Branson has what you need to add some excitement to your vacation. Learn how to hover above the water on Table Rock Lake while strapped to a jet pack for an experience you won’t soon forget.
3) Shepherd Super Summer Cruise
Who doesn’t love cruising down the strip in a classic car? Every year, Shepherd of the Hills hosts a classic car show on the second Saturday in August that puts hundreds of beautiful cars on display and features a midnight cruise down Shepherd of the Hills Expressway. Plan to be in Branson Aug. 13 for the Shepherd Super Summer Cruise and see some of history’s most iconic automobiles cruise through town in style.
4) Mel’s Hard Luck Diner
Step back in time and enjoy a meal at Mel's Hard Luck Diner. This 1950s-themed diner located in the heart of Branson serves up delicious food while you are serenaded by the talented staff. Come for the food, but be sure to stay for the entertainment at this unique dining establishment.
5) Billy Gail’s Pancakes
Experiencing new food you wouldn’t normally get anywhere else is one of the best parts about vacation. During your next Branson visit, eat your way through one of the famous hubcap-sized pancakes at Billy Gail’s Cafe. Eat there once and it’s sure to become a tradition for each Branson vacation that follows.
6) Silver Dollar City
A trip to Branson isn’t complete without visiting the Ozarks’ most popular attraction, Silver Dollar City. This 1880s-themed amusement park features various festivals and events throughout the year to go with more than 40 fun-filled rides. There’s plenty to see and do as you walk through this award-wining park, including taking a ride on Outlaw Run, the second fastest wooden roller coaster in the world with a top speed of 68 miles per hour.
7) Moonshine Beach
Enjoy the summer months and relax on the shores of Table Rock Lake by spending the day at Moonshine Beach. Branson’s most popular beach spot is a great place to hang out and soak in the sun while the kids play in the water.
8) Branson Festivals
If you’re fully committed to your resolution of experiencing new things, Branson is the perfect place to do so. Annually, the city of Branson is home to six unique festivals such as the Branson Fiddle Festival, Autumn Daze and Balloon Dayz. Not to mention the six additional festivals put on by Silver Dollar City each year. To truly get the most out of visiting Branson, we recommend attending as many festivals as possible.
9) Cave Exploration
Believe it or not, Branson is home to some of the most beautiful caves in Southwest Missouri. Some of our favorites include Talking Rocks Cavern and Silver Dollar City’s Marvel Cave. However, there are a few others located just a short distance outside of Branson that are well worth the drive. If you’re up for taking a quick trip, we recommend checking out the Smallin Civil War Cave in Ozark, MO or Fantastic Caverns in Springfield, MO. Each of the aforementioned caves offers guided tours with views that are sure to take your breath away.
10) Persimmon Hill Farms
If you plan on visiting Branson in the early summer months, taking a trip to Persimmon Hill Farm is a must. Making the short trip out to Lampe, MO will be well worth it when you experience this berry, fruit and mushroom farm for yourself. Sample fresh blueberry muffins or pick up tasty jams and jellies to bring home while visiting the area’s best farm. The weather may vary the picking season, but Persimmon Hill is worth including in your plans for your 2016 vacation to Branson.
11) Tour the Branson Wineries
Whether you want to visit one or all four, Branson is home to some great wineries. The Bear Creek, Stone Hill, Mount Pleasant and Lindwedel wineries all offer guests either free tours or wine tastings during their visit and a chance to leave Branson with a lovely bottle of wine as a memento of their vacation. If you’re looking for a relaxing and informative activity for adults, you can’t go wrong scheduling a trip to one Branson’s great wineries.
12) Scuba Diving
Interesting things always lay beneath the surface, so learn how to scuba dive at Table Rock Lake State Park Marina. You can take lessons from their SSI Platinum class instructor who will then lead you out into the waters of Table Rock Lake for an adventure of a lifetime.
13) Promised Land Zoo
Explore your wild side and have some close encounters when you visit Branson’s Promised Land Zoo. See big cats, kangaroos, baboons and more on their foot safari or feed, pet and play with certain animals with their Exclusive Encounters exhibit. You can also watch live animal shows, bottle feed baby animals and check out Promised Land Zoo’s Parakeet Paradise. For a memorable experience that everyone is sure to love, visit the zoo that’s located right in the middle of Branson.
14) Golfing in the Ozarks
The Ozarks is home to some of the best golf courses in the entire country. Branson has a number of premier courses such as Thousand Hills and Branson Hills while the surrounding area has their fair share of world-renowned courses that include Buffalo Ridge and Top of the Rock. Playing a round or two is a great way to take in the beautiful Ozark Mountain scenery and relax while on vacation.
15) Veterans Homecoming Week
Every year, Branson honors its veterans by hosting America’s largest Veterans Day celebration. Branson’s Veterans Homecoming Week features several festivals and events throughout the week of Veterans Day as the whole town lights up in a glorious display of patriotism.
16) Celebrate Christmas in the Ozarks
Celebrate the holidays by having an Ozark Mountain Christmas in Branson. From the Christmas parades and town decorations to light displays and Christmas shows, Branson is a great place to spend the most wonderful time of the year.
We’ve given you all sorts of ideas, now it’s up to you to book your fun-filled Branson getaway. It’s never too early to start thinking about your next vacation so start planning and have some fun!