When you think of places to go in Missouri, your mind might immediately think St. Louis or Kansas City. But don't underestimate the quirky little town in the Ozark mountains -- Branson, Missouri. It's full of unique and charming attractions all surrounded by the beauty of the Ozarks.
Your Branson vacation can be full of amusement parks, roller coasters, interesting museums, and most importantly, fun for the whole family. We've rounded up the 10 best Branson attractions to give you some fun things to do on your next getaway.
1. The Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park
For 60 years Shepherd of the Hills (which was rated #1 aerial adventure park in the country) has been welcoming guests to zipline, explore the ropes course, ATV offroading and more. Take a tour around the historic farm grounds, visit the petting zoo, or attend one of the live shows at the outdoor theater. There's enough here to keep you occupied for an entire day!
2. The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure
The Emerald Forest Mirror Maze, Great Banyan Tree Adventure, and the Living Rainforest Science Center will give you the chance to see thousands of tropical butterflies up close and personal. You even get to feed them with complimentary nectar! The Butterfly Palace also lets you release newly hatched butterflies into the exhibit.
3. Titanic Museum
All aboard the Titanic Museum attraction where you get to learn everything about the unsinkable ship that sank. Your guide will show you mock-ups of the ship as well as real artifacts that have been collected.
Since the museum is currently closed due to COVID-19, it's offering a virtual tour.
4. Silver Dollar City Theme Park
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This theme park was built around the entrance to the Marvel Cave, discovered in 1894. You can still take a tour through the historic caves before enjoying the rides and attractions throughout the theme park. Roller coasters, a steam train, petting zoo, and even an authentic schoolhouse from the 1800s.
5. Table Rock Lake
Table Rock Lake is on the southern end of Missouri but extends into northern Arkansas. Take a lake cruise and enjoy the sunset of the Ozark mountains.
6. Branson Scenic Railway
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The historic depot in downtown Branson will take you on a picturesque ride through the Ozarks on this 40-minute round trip.
7. Branson's Promised Land Zoo
Bet you didn't realize that you could go on a safari in the Midwest. This family-owned zoo lets you see all kinds of cool animals like lemurs, sloths, kangaroos, zebras and more.
8. World's Largest Toy Museum
Six different museums comprise this massive complex that lets you see more toys than you probably ever thought you'd see in one building. They even have toys that date as far back as the 1800s.
9. Splash Country Water Park
Grand Country resort has an onsite water park that's the perfect place to cool down in the summer heat. Enjoy the lazy river, a treehouse with a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket, and more at this indoor-outdoor park.
10. Dolly Parton's Stampede
Dolly's Stampede is the dinner show that you can't miss. 32 horses, lots of horse stunts, laughs and country music -- what more could you ask for?
11. Live Music & Comedy
Branson is known for its nightly shows filled with music, comedy and a whole lot of country charm. Many can be found on the city's entertainment center Highway 76, also known as "the strip."
12. 'Shepherd of the Hills' Play
This is the story that started it all for Branson. Based on the 1907 book by Harold Bell Wright, the Shepherd of the Hills outdoor drama centers on life in Missouri's Ozark Mountains in the 1800s. The book, based on Wright's friendship with a real mountain couple (John and Anna Ross), is said to be the first American novel to sell one million copies.
The book was such a sensation, readers from all over the country started traveling to the Ozark hills to experience the mountain spirit featured in the novel.
With over 90 actors, a burning log cabin and a captivating romance and mystery, there's a reason the drama has been a staple of Branson for decades.