Last weekend my sidekick Loretta and I were lucky enough to spend a few days taking in the holiday sights in Branson, Missouri, one of the entertainment capitals of the whole country. The night we arrived our first stop was the famous Baldnobbers’ show which helped establish Branson as a destination for down home country music and comedy and what a way to start out! For those of you who have never been, Branson is situated among the Ozark Mountains and today dozens of theaters are located there including venues featuring veteran performers such as Andy Williams, Loretta Lynn and The Oak Ridge Boys. When the holidays roll around the whole town gets decked out for shopping, Christmas entertainment and of course great food.
With over 18,000 available rooms, you have your pick of places to stay in Branson, ranging from upscale resorts to scenic cabins. On this trip we stayed at the Radisson Hotel which is right on the main drag through town where most of the theaters and restaurants are located. The Radisson has recently been renovated and offers all of the amenities you would expect in a big city hotel including room service, an indoor pool and spa and a friendly, helpful staff. We especially enjoyed the adjustable “Sleep Number” beds featured in many of their rooms.
Silver Dollar City is a big amusement and theme park at the north end of town and we spent a whole day there riding the roller coasters and visiting the specialty shops that offer handmade crafts and baked goods. The park is already lit up for Christmas with literally millions of LED lights and a big tree at the center of the property. Dickens’ Christmas Story is the featured play at their theater and the restaurants are offering excellent buffets of holiday fare like ham and roast turkey with all the trimmings. As if that weren’t enough there is a parade through the park every night until Christmas Day!
On our last day we went to Branson’s Landing — a development along the river’s edge in Old Town. The Landing is billed as the place to discover “shopping, dining and entertainment” and it is all of that and more. There are over one hundred stores along the river walk between a Bass Pro Shop and a Belk’s Department Store and a free trolley service is available to take you up and down the beautifully laid out streets. It is a world unto itself.
While you are there you might want to take a little boat ride on the White River and enjoy the views of the mountains. Branson Landing Cruises operates two large ships that anchor right at the Landing. We went out on the paddle wheel boat and they also have a larger, more modern and fully enclosed dinner cruise ship.
I have been to Branson many times and at all times of the year. There is always something to do for every member of the family and it is impossible to get tired of coming here. Check out their website for more info: www.explorebranson.com