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Branson City Trip

The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks

Day 1 Day 2 Day 3
Where to Stay Where to Eat What to See & Do

DAY 2: Buffalo Ridge Springs, the Grand Village and the Veteran's Memorial Museum

Your best bet for breakfast today lies near the landing at Level 2 Steakhouse, which is located inside the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel and features Hilton's signature breakfast program. For coffee and a pastry, read the paper at Starbucks, just across the street from the hotel; otherwise, order in.

The itinerary today offers a lot of variety. This morning, do a bit of trout fishing on Lake Taneycomo, take in a round of golf at Buffalo Ridge Springs Golf Course or Thousand Hills Golf Resort, explore the campus of the College of the Ozarks, or reward yourself with a spa treatment at Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa & Convention Center.

Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa & Convention Center in Branson, Missouri

North Park Beach has two fishing docks. Otherwise, boats can be rented at Scotty's Trout Dock and Marina. ( Lake Taneycomo, fed by deep water from Table Rock Dam, is too cold for swimming.) To make a morning of it, avail yourself of Scotty's professional guide services. Buffalo Ridge Springs is a popular championship-level course designed by Tom Fazio, a renowned golf architect. Golf Digest has called Branson Creek the "Top Public Golf Course in Missouri."

The College of the Ozarks is home to several points of interest, including the Ralph Foster Museum, a storehouse of Ozark artifacts and lore. The museum also boasts a remarkable collection of weaponry and other exhibits. Also not to be missed are the old-time Star Schoolhouse and Edwards Mill with its working water wheel. Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa & Convention Center, which overlooks the beautiful and expansive Table Rock Lake, offers a full range of spa services in a European-inspired setting.

You'll hit the Strip in the afternoon for museums, restaurants, shopping and shows. You can easily spend the entire day on and off the Strip. If you prefer, substitute the morning's activities for some of the afternoon's sights.

For lunch, stop at Andy William's deceptively elegant Moon River Grill. Order spaghetti and meatballs — the tangy marinara sauce is wonderful. Eat at the bar if you don't want to wait for a table. Families may prefer to pull into Dick Clark's American Bandstand Grill for their almond-crusted chicken fingers and 1950s memorabilia.

The Grand Village, modeled after old town Charleston, South Carolina, is home to 26 fine shops, including Kringles, where it's always Christmas. For outlet junkies, take in the retailers at the Tanger Outlets mall. Stores include Coach Factory, Eddie Bauer Outlet, Liz Claiborne Outlet, Polo Ralph Lauren Factory Store and Nike Factory Store, among many others.

The free one-hour wine-tasting tour at Stone Hill Winery is a must-see. The vineyard and main facility are located in Hermann, Missouri. At the Branson facility, you'll learn about the winery's history, witness the Spumanté bottling process, and sample about 20 wines. It's a popular activity, but tours are given frequently throughout the day.

The Titanic Museum is one of Branson's newest and most popular attractions. The two-story building is actually a 100-foot tall half-scale replica of the famous ship at sea, complete with iceberg. The 90-minute tour is well worth the admission price.

The Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri is a 100-foot tall, half-scale replica of the famous ship

The Veteran's Memorial Museum and the America's Presidency Museum are great patriotic alternatives. The Presidency can be difficult to locate; it's in the Magic Parlor on the corner of Gretna Road and Roark Valley Road. The Branson Auto Museum and Ripley's Believe It or Not Branson-Odditorium, which claims to be the most photographed building in Branson, are also good choices.

Make reservations for dinner at the elegant Steve's Treehouse (in the StoneBridge Clubhouse) for steak and seafood. Or you might opt instead to recline in the Safari atmosphere of Buckingham's Restaurant and Oasis at the Clarion Hotel, where you can feast on the house specialty: prime rib. The steak, too, is particularly tasty.

Take in a show in the evening. You may also want to double up and see one in the afternoon. Show dates and times vary so check the schedules. Choose among many favorites: the Acrobats of China Featuring the New Shanghai Circus is thrilling. Local favorites the Duttons is great musical entertainment. At the Sight and Sound Theatre, enjoy stories performed on a 300-foot-long stage. Magician Kirby VanBurch, at his self-named theater, provides an uplifting experience.

One of the best acts in Branson is Six. Catch these singing brothers at Hughes American Family Theatre (a.k.a. the Celebrity Theatre). For Beatles fans, Liverpool Legends at the Mansion Theatre is a must-see show. Last but certainly not least, Tony Roi's two-hour Elvis Experience tribute show at the Americana Theatre is stupendous. You may see other Elvis impersonators in the audience.

Round out the night Vegas-style with drinks at the Club at Lodge of the Ozarks, next to the Hughes American Family Theatre. As an alternative, sample a couple of the more than 100 types of beer at the Australian-themed Outback Pub.

*Images courtesy of the Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau


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