Your Branson Shortlist

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Okay, so you’ve decided to vacation with your family in Branson and booked your stay at a timeshare or nightly rental. Now it’s time for the fun part—deciding what you want to do while you’re here! The thing is, what should be a really enjoyable process can end up being more than a little. . .overwhelming. There are so many things to do in Branson, from amusement parks to aquariums and shopping malls, that it can be difficult to narrow down your options. Don’t worry, we’re here to help! As those who have lived in this town for years and know all that it has to offer, these are attractions we think should be at the top of your Branson bucket list!

Silver Dollar City

Frankly, this is a given. You can’t say you’ve done Branson without spending at least a full day in the park that put this town on the map as an entertainment destination! Test your mettle with the adrenaline-pumping take-off of Power Keg or hair-raising heights of Wildfire, then take a break from the action and enjoy the old-time tunes of the Homestead Pickers, an SDC fixture, or another of the rotating bluegrass and gospel acts. If it’s getting hot during the afternoon, hop on a water ride or tour the cool recesses of Marvel Cave! It’s impossible to do everything in a day, so you might just have to upgrade to a season pass so you can return during another of the park’s several festivals—you can’t go wrong with any of them, but you simply can’t afford to miss Silver Dollar City when it’s lit up for An Old-Time Christmas!

Dogwood Canyon

Though a 40-minute drive from Branson, this 10,000-acre nature park is worth the trip! Developed by Johnny Morris, the billionaire founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge, Dogwood Canyon offers an escape into the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains for those seeking an alternative to the busyness of The Strip. Hike or bike the trails that wind through the canyon, enjoy the scenery and wildlife on a tram tour or horseback ride, or rent a pole and fish the streams! A day at Dogwood is the perfect way to recharge from, and for, the fun of Branson’s traditional entertainment options.

Dolly’s Stampede

If there’s one show in Branson you shouldn’t miss, this would be it! The equivalent of a permanent rodeo, with a host of talented riders and no less than 32 horses, Dolly’s Stampede truly does live up to its claim as “Branson’s Most Fun Place to Eat.” That’s right. . .it’s more than a show. As you are awed by a multitude of inspiring tricks from the cast and a barrage of spectacular special effects, you’ll be enjoying a delicious four-course meal, including creamy vegetable soup, cheese biscuits, pork and potatoes, and a full rotisserie chicken—and that’s all before dessert arrives! Especially with the way it celebrates our American heritage, from the ageless traditions of the Native Americans to the sacrifices made by those who traveled west in Conestoga wagons, this show epitomizes what Branson is all about.

Branson offers an incredible array of wonderful entertainment options, and these three recommendations don’t even exhaust our “Branson Essentials”! We didn’t even get to the Track Family Fun Parks, the brand-new Aquarium, mini golf, IMAX, the ferris wheel, or White Water. . .the list could go on. But we hope this Branson Shortlist will help you pare down your options and set your vacation’s priorities!