Category Archives: Tourism

Have you thought about giving the special Christmas gift of Branson memories?

What a fantastic way to give someone the Christmas gift of Branson and memories that could last a lifetime!

What a fantastic way to give someone the Christmas gift of Branson and memories that could last a lifetime!

As it gets closer to Christmas, it seemingly becomes harder to find that perfect gift for everyone,” said Preston Garrison, Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center.  “Most who have been to Branson have wonderful fun filled memories of their experience so, why not share the gift of Branson with employees, associates, friends, and others on your Christmas List?”

Garrison points out that the Branson Tourism Center not only makes it easy to give the gift of wonderful Branson memories this Christmas season, but provides added value with a special bonus! Purchase a Branson Tourism Center Gift Card* of at least $100 and get a separate $25 Bonus Card**, free-of-charge, with each card purchased on or before December 22, 2016! Buy one $100.00 Branson Tourism Center Gift Card and get a $25.00 Bonus Card, buy five individual $100.00 Gift Cards and receive five $25.00 Bonus Cards.

Gift Cards and Bonus Cards are redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center with only airline tickets, golf, and car rentals excluded. The Branson Tourism Center, established in 2003, is one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services; has sold well over 4.5 million show and attraction tickets and hundreds of thousands of room nights to Branson visitors; enjoys an A+ rating with the BBB, with which it has been an accredited member since 2003; and can reserve nearly any Branson Show, Attraction, or Lodging for you.

*** This offer has expired ***

Whether you give it to yourself or someone else, it’s hard to imagine a better value on giving the gift of Branson this Christmas or a more convenient way to do it! Shop from the comfort and convenience of your home by either calling 1-800-493-4584 or click here  to shop through Branson Tourism Center’s web site www.BransonTourismCenter.Com.

*Note: Gift cards are only redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center. The only exclusions are airline tickets, golf, and car rentals.
**Note: Bonus cards will be emailed and become valid January 1, 2017 and can only be used for orders placed between the dates of January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, and are only redeemable for show tickets, admission to attractions, lodging, vacation packages, and other services offered by Branson Tourism Center. The only exclusions are airline tickets, golf, and car rental.

Can it be more easy than this to plan an amazing Branson trip?

If you want to value time, money, and less stress, Branson Tourism Center's free one call planning service is for you.

When it comes to planning a trip to Branson, if you value time, money, and less stress,  “one call,”  to one of Branson Tourism Center’s  Branson based Travel Planners, “takes care of it all.”

“We are devoted to assisting our clients in planning wonderful Branson vacations and ensuring the quality and value of their Branson experience,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “Although we could stress that we have sold over 4.5 million Branson show and attraction tickets, have an A+ rating from the BBB, and have over 100 Branson based employees striving, on a daily basis, to meet or exceed our customer’s expectations to illustrate that point, at the end of the day, what actually counts is the experience our customers have,” she added.

Woods points out that the Branson Tourism Center interacts with its customers on Facebook and other social media channels on a regular basis throughout the working day. “These recent reviews from customers, on our Facebook Page, are both humbling and encouraging to us, and say ‘volumes’ about the value, time savings, and quality of the experience they had working with BTC,” she added:

Chuck Price: I have used your services three times and have been completely satisfied! It’s one stop shopping, the seating assignments [were] perfect, I always get the requested aisle seats and generally in the 1st ten rows. You seem to have a seamless system and I love getting great rooms and seating. Agents are friendly and knowledgeable and I recommend you to everyone I talk to when sharing my trip or if they are planning a trip. I would like to give a shout out to Brett Hebblethwaite who was our sales agent this last time!! I didn’t get a chance to meet him but he did a terrific job. I will use you again!

Nancy Miller: I would use these folks in a heartbeat!! Friendly, professional, knowledgeable, courteous. Need I say more?

Carla Christy: The people were extremely helpful, over and above anything you would expect. I will definitely schedule my next vacation through them as well.

Ellen Cunningham: We make trip plans to Branson thru [the]Tourism Center…They do a great job of making our reservations and we enjoy our trip with no hassles!!

Todd Ryan: We had a great time in Branson, at the Welk Resort. We saw the Million Dollar Quartet (Fantastic Show) and went to the Butterfly Palace…The Tourism center did a great job for us, setting us up with everything.

Betty Kohls Heide: I have always booked with Albert and he is the best. I don’t remember ever having a bad seat at a show or a bad hotel. Been using them for many, many years. 5 stars from me.

Karen Sue Schwartz: This is an excellent service – especially if a person isn’t sure what to do in the Branson Area. I certainly plan on using [them] again!

Tom and Denita Walters: This was our first time booking thru the Branson Tourism Center and it was a great experience all the way around. On stop shop – got lodging and show tickets all at a very good price. I do not think these prices could have been beat. Just made our trip enjoyable to know everything was already planned and just pick up [the] package and relax. We will do it all over again when we come back to Branson.

For those who place a value on their time, getting the best show seats and lodging accommodations available, saving money by packaging shows and lodging together, and who want to avoid unneeded stress in planning a Branson vacation or get-a-way, the words of Peggy Barthel from Florence, MS, the purchaser of our 3 millionth ticket, comes to mind. She said, “One call that’s all, they just took care of everything. We’re just going to go up there and have fun.”

For more information or help on planning an awesome trip to Branson please call one of Branson Tourism Center’s Branson based Travel Planners at 1-800-785-1550. They will be delighted to assist you, there is no charge for this service, and they are available daily, except Christmas Day, from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM.

Three powerful words inspiring people to choose Branson

Just a few of the many exciting  ways to have family  friendly fun in Branson, Presleys' Country Jubilee, Ride the Ducks, Branson Scenic Railway, Lake Queen, and interactive fun aboard the Titanic Museum Attraction.

Just a few of the many exciting ways to relax and have family friendly fun in Branson, “Presleys’ Country Jubilee,” “Ride the Ducks,” “Branson Scenic Railway”, “Main Street Lake Cruises’ Lake Queen,” and interactive fun aboard the “Titanic Museum Attraction.”

“We love the input that we receive from the tens of thousands who interact with us on our Facebook page. It provides us with invaluable information that better enables us to help them have a great Branson experience and promote Branson’s amazing live shows and attractions,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center.

Wood said that although people write articles that are hundreds and thousands of words long, describing why people should come to Branson we thought it would be a fun challenge for our Facebook readers to see what they could do with three words. So we asked the question, “Can you say in 3 words or less, what is the #1 thing that most caused, or would most cause, you to choose Branson as a vacation destination?”

The three words used most often, either directly or indirectly were “Fun,” “Family” and “Friendly.” Here’s some of our favorite responses, with the handle the Commenter uses on Facebook and our comments, following in brackets, where appropriate.

In our opinion, the first five do an excellent job of summing up the awesome totality of the Branson experience in only three words:

Denise York: BEST PLACE EVER!
Donna Glass: Consistently great time
Kayla Graves: Excited to go!
Debbie Sellen Artindale: I’m coming back!
Jena Maree Vaughn: So much to do. [Here’s a link to Branson’s major Shows and Attractions.

These next five are selections from the direct “Fun,” “Family” and “Friendly” answers:

Linda Mccoy: Fun, fun, fun
Jaime Johnson: Very Family Friendly
Jacob Russell: Family, Nostalgia, Fun
Linda DuPre: Clean family fun
CE Martin: Beautiful, family fun

These last five speak to specific reasons or things:

Suzanne Drennon: God, country, family [Things of the heart and spirit were seemingly as important as “things” in deciding to choose Branson for a vacation.]
Ashley Rucker: Silver Dollar City [Not surprisingly it was the attraction named most, but then it is Branson’s oldest and most popular Attraction.]
Jim Fine: The Awesome SHOWS!! [One of the biggest attractors was Branson’s Shows]
George Wilbur Jeter Jr.: BEAUTIFUL & RELAXING [A common theme throughout]
Kristie Stanley-Gatewood: Close to home [Branson is located within an eight hour or less drive for about one third of the U.S. Population.]

Whether described using words such as fun, family, friendly, value, relaxing, variety, entertainment, natural beauty, pristine lakes, closeness, excitement, adventure, or any one of dozens of other words, Branson is a unique one of a kind destination. Scott DeCamp sums it all up beautifully saying, “Best vacation ever” and isn’t that what we all want for our families?

What is the best winter thing to do in Branson?

Winter or summer, there's always lots of fun things to do in Branson.

Winter or summer, there’s always lots of fun things to do in Branson.

“Having lots of fun in Branson is neither seasonal nor weather dependent; spring, summer, fall, or winter; rain or shine; 17 degrees or 90 degrees, there’s always a wide choice of attractions, shopping, entertainment, and other things to do in Branson that provides visitors with an exciting, fun-filled experience,” said Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “The ‘best thing’ to do in Branson, winter or any other time of the year, is whatever gives you and your family the most enjoyment,” she continued.

Even though many of Branson’s shows, as well as Silver Dollar City, are closed for the season, there are always shows open. The vast majority of Branson’s shopping opportunities, attractions, and other activities are not weather-dependent; they remain open year round. On a day-to-day basis, the weather – even in January and February – is comparatively mild, permitting the enjoyment of an exciting range of outdoor activities that are typically weather-dependent, such as golf, hiking, biking, fishing, and other outdoor activities.

Here’s a list of five very different and specific things, selected from among many other fun things, for you and your family to do in Branson during the winter months:

  1. Indoor Water Parks: Although many of Branson’s lodging facilities have indoor pools, if your family loves water activities, it’s hard to beat staying at a facility that has its own indoor water park. Branson has three to pick from: The Welk Resort with its fantastic 10,000 square foot Splash-A-Torium, featuring a 100 foot water slide, a kid’s splash-zone, and an indoor/outdoor pool, and hot tub; Grand Country Inn’s Splash Country, an elaborate water-soaked wonderland including a lazy river, toddler pool, a three-level tree house, and an indoor basketball play pool, the Eureka Mine waterslide, and the Froggie Bog jumping water play area; and Castle Rock Resort & Waterpark’s expansive water park that measures an impressive 40,000 square feet with numerous features, like large tipping buckets, kiddie pools, waterfalls, an indoor lap pool, and thrill slides.
  1. Titanic Museum Attraction: Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, the Titanic Museum Attraction is a Branson favorite; it’s so much more than simply a museum! It’s a fun-filled, exciting, and interactive attraction that honors and shares the stories of those who were onboard for its fateful, tragic, and famous maiden voyage that has fascinated the world for more than a century.
  1. See A Show at the Grand Country Music Hall: With shows such as Amazing Pets, Comedy Jamboree, and its signature Grand Jubilee, starring the award-winning New South Quartet and female vocalist of the year, the amazing Jackie Brown, the phenomenal comedy of Jamie Haage, aka Jim Dandy, and the sound of the Grand Band, this is a show with something for every member of the family!
  1. Dicks Oldtime 5 & 10 and Historic Downtown Branson: Historic Downtown Branson is an authentic downtown that’s a Branson attraction of the best kind, with fine art, flea markets, antiques, clothing and jewelry boutiques, cafes, music shows, and more. No visitor to Branson should miss downtown’s retail centerpiece, Dick’s Oldtime 5 & 10! You’ll be launched back to your childhood of visiting the local variety store, complete with green and white tiled floors, everyday household goods, and fun Branson souvenirs. Locals will tell you “if you don’t find it at Dick’s, it just can’t be found!”
  1. Butterflies, Lemurs, and Tigers: From the thousands of butterflies, mirror maze, and much more at the Butterfly Palace and Rain Forest Adventure, to the zebras, lemurs, and other cuddly and not so cuddly creatures of Branson’s Promised Land Zoo, and the lions and tigers of the National Tiger Sanctuary, Branson has a wonderful and exciting variety of animal experiences to delight every member of the family.

“And we haven’t even touched on shopping, indoor mini-golf, go-karts, arcades, and the dozens of other fun things there are to do in Branson,” Wood said. She suggests that, for additional information on these or any of the things there are to do in Branson, you contact BTC and talk with one of their Branson-based Travel Planners. They’ll be delighted to assist you! BTC can be reached by calling 1-800-785-1550 from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM seven days a week, or through its website www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

How many of these November 2015 Branson highlights would you like to see?

Silver Dollar City's Main Street aglow with Christmas lights.

Silver Dollar City’s Main Street aglow with Christmas lights.

“With Branson’s Veterans Week, Ozark Mountain Christmas, Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas, Branson’s Christmas shows, and Thanksgiving, the month of November is easily one of the busiest and most exciting months of the year,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “From the nation’s largest Veteran’s Day Celebration, to what may very well be its biggest celebration of the traditional American Christmas, and so much more, Branson will be bursting at the seams with special events and other activities during November,” she added.

Here’s our Featured Show, Event, and Limited Engagement of the Month, along with a list of the major, limited engagement performances and special events you can enjoy in Branson during November, 2015:

Featured Show: Andy Williams Christmas Show: It’s the most wonderful time of the year as the tradition and legacy of “Andy Williams Christmas Show” continues in Branson. The Osmonds and The Lennon Sisters honor Andy’s favorite time of year! Everything that made television’s Andy William’s Christmas Show special is here; music, dancing, and beautiful sets filled with holiday cheer, all backed up by the incomparable Moon River Orchestra!

Featured Limited Engagement: Moon River and Me pays tribute to the life, the music, and the man himself…Andy Williams! Enjoy memorable video footage, the voice of Britain’s Got Talent singing sensation, Charlie Green, performing his songs, and masterful magic that’s cleverly combined with laugh-out-loud comedy, courtesy of the versatile Chipper Lowell! This is one powerful show!

Featured Events:

Branson Veterans Homecoming Week is one of the the biggest, Veterans Day tributes in America, and is celebrated from November 5 through November 11. It features dozens of events all keyed toward honoring those who have served our nation and sacrificed so much.

Silver Dollar City’s Old Time Christmas celebrates the true meaning of this special magical season amidst the glow of over 5 million dazzling lights. Heralded “The Most Illuminated Park on Earth” by the Travel Channel and “One of the most sparkly, lively holiday celebrations anywhere” by Midwest Living, you’ll take home beautiful holiday memories destined to last a lifetime!

LIMITED ENGAGEMENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Nov 1 – 30                  Yakov – Wake Up with Yakov
Nov 2 – 30                  Jerusalem performed by Dudu Fisher
Nov 4 – 24                  Neal McCoy
Nov 4 – 30                  Moon River andMe
Nov 5 – 8                    Larry Gatlin & the Gatlin Brothers
Nov 6                          Charlie Daniels Band
Nov 7                          Ricky Skaggs
Nov 8                          Pam Tillis & Lorrie Morgan
Nov 8                          Rich Little
Nov 11                        Jeff Foxworthy and Larry the Cable Guy
Nov 11                        Lee Greenwood
Nov 13 – 14                Johnny Mathis Christmas Show
Nov 14                        Michael English
Nov 15                        Herman’s Hermits Starring Peter Noone
Nov 16 -17                  Boot Daddy Presents Jimmy Fortune
Nov 18:                       Kellie Pickler
Nov 19 – 21                Boot Daddy Presents Dailey & Vincent
Nov 20                        Little River Band
Nov 21                        Wynonna Judd
Nov 22                        Charley Pride

 

Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village is Branson's newest drive through lighting display and much more.

Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village is Branson’s newest drive through lighting display and much more.

SPECIAL EVENT HIGHLIGHTS (Sorted by starting date.)

Nov 1 – Nov 30           Christmas and Winter Celebration at Titanic Museum Attraction
Nov 1 – Nov 30           Branson Landing’s Winter Wonderlanding!
Nov 1 – Nov 30           White Flight at The Butterfly Palace
Nov 1 – Nov 30           Shepherd of the Hills Trail of Lights
Nov 1                           26th Annual Branson Motorcycle Toy Run
Nov 5 – 11                   Branson’s Veterans Home Coming Week
Nov 5 – Nov. 30          Ozark Mountain Christmas Lights & Village
Nov 7 – Nov 30           An Old Time Christmas Festival at Silver Dollar City
Nov 11                         83rd Annual Veteran’s Day Parade
Nov 14                         Most Wonderful Time of Year Parade, Branson Landing, 417-239-3002
Nov 23 – Nov 29         Thanksgiving Week in Branson
Nov 26                         4th Annual Branson 5K Turkey Trot
Nov 26                         Chateau on the Lake – Thanksgiving Day Brunch
Nov 26 – Nov 29         Moonlight Madness & After Thanksgiving Sales

For additional information on these events, or any of Branson’s shows and attractions, or for lodging arrangements, please contact the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services by calling 1-800-785-1550, or by visiting www.BransonTourismCenter.com.

 

Lower gasoline prices make an amazing Branson vacation for your family even more of a bargain

Like Branson itself, Silver Dollar City's iconic "WidFire" coaster takes its riders to lofty heights of adventure and excitement even as gas prices slide lower.

Like Branson itself, Silver Dollar City’s iconic “WidFire” coaster takes its riders to lofty heights of adventure and excitement even as gas prices slide lower.*

According to GasBuddy.Com the national average retail price of regular gasoline on April 15, 2014 was about $3.70 per gallon. According to the same source, that price has gone down to about $2.39 per gallon, or by about 37%, as of April 15, 2015. But wait, from a summer vacation and travel perspective, it gets even better!

The AAA’s Daily Fuel Gauge Report for April 15 not only confirmed the $2.39 per gallon price as of that date, but estimates that prices will continue to slide lower for the peak summer driving period. Its commentary, entitled, Temperatures Rising But Gas Prices Expected To Slide said, “Any market moving developments in the aforementioned items will cause the price at the pump to fluctuate; however it is estimated that even with prices reflecting seasonality, consumers are expected [to] see prices move lower leading up to the peak driving season this summer.”

“What great news that is for those who are traveling to Branson for vacation this summer,” said Annette Wood, the Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services. “When you combine the lower gas prices with the fact that Branson is one of the top two value cities in America for lodging and the reasonableness of the prices for Branson shows, attractions and other activities, it really makes Branson a great vacation value,” she added.

Wood points out that those who have been to Branson are aware of all it has to offer, but that there are many, located within less than a day’s driving distance of Branson who have yet to experience its natural beauty, fun, adventure, excitement and live entertainment. She suggests that with the lower gas prices and the great value that Branson offers this might be a great time for those who have never been to Branson or who haven’t visited in a while to plan a vacation in Branson this summer.

“Along with lower gas prices and the inherent value offered throughout Branson, visitors can save even more of their hard earned money by working with a company like Branson Tourism Center (BTC) that offers “packages,” shows, lodging, attractions and other activities bundled together at a discount compared to buying them individually. For the ultimate in convenience and value they offer a wide variety of preset Branson Vacation Packages from which to pick.

If one of the preset packages doesn’t meet your needs BTC will help create a custom package that will help save you time and money. It’s as easy as one toll free phone call to 1-800-785-1550 to talk with one of one of BTC’s Travel Planning Specialists who are available from 8:00 AM to 9:30 PM seven days a week. The Travel Planning Specialists are all Branson based, will be delighted to answer any questions you might have about Branson and assist with show and attraction tickets and reservations as well as lodging arrangements, either as part of a package or individually.

With anticipated lower gas prices, all the fun, adventure and excitement that Branson offers and its great value, isn’t this a great time to begin planning a unique and unforgettable vacation for your family in Branson, Missouri this summer?

*Picture courtesy of Silver Dollar City

A list of 12 reasons why you and your family should consider Branson for a truly amazing vacation

Silver Dollar City's record setting wooden coaster ,"Outlaw Run," is one example of the fun and excitement Branson offers.

Silver Dollar City’s record setting wood coaster ,”Outlaw Run,” is one example of the fun and excitement Branson offers.

Curious about what Branson means to those who have visited it or heard about it; the Branson Tourism Center, one of Branson’s largest and most respected vacation planning services, asked the following question on its Facebook Page this week:

“Based on what you have seen, experienced or heard about Branson, what one word would you use to describe what Branson means to you?”

We believe that the following one word responses, from the dozens received, describe the ideal place for a family to have an amazing vacation filled with the excitement, fun and adventure that will provide wonderful memories for years to come and are presented without further embellishment:

1. Family
2. Memories
3. God loving
4. Fun
5. Happy
6. Fantabulous
7. Entertaining
8. Exciting
9. Comfort
10. Home
11. Relaxing
12. Enjoyable

While we are at it, let’s make it a “Baker’s Dozen:”

13. Wholesome

If this sounds like the type of place you might want to share with your family and you want more information about what Branson has to offer please feel free to contact the Branson Tourism Center by calling 1-800-785-1550 and talking with one of their Branson based Vacation Planners. There is absolutely no charge for this service. To get an excellent overview of all that Branson has to offer on line visit www.Branson.Com

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Branson Tourism Center’s 4 millionth ticket surprises 1st time Branson visitors

Don and Marsha Meeker right after the balloon drop.

Don and Marsha Meeker right after the balloon drop.

It was their first trip to Branson and they knew that Branson was known for its excitement and friendliness, but Don and Marsha Meeker, from Remus, Michigan, were surprised at the reception they received when they arrived to check-in at the Reception Area of the Branson Tourism Center on July 2nd. Hundreds of blue and white balloons fell from the ceiling and everyone was clapping and cheering as they were informed that they had purchased the 4 millionth show and attraction ticket sold by the Branson Tourism Center.

The Meekers were greeted by Lianne and Larry Milton, CEO and co-founders of the Branson Tourism Center, and Dave Hamner, co-owner and star of Hamners Unbelievable Variety Show, one of the five shows on their Branson itinerary. They were thrilled to find out that, in celebration of their purchase of the 4 millionth ticket, that all the lodging, shows and other activities they had booked through the Branson Tourism Center for their entire six day five night Branson vacation was as guests of BTC and at no charge to them. In addition, $100 BTC Gift cards were handed out to all of BTC’s customers who were in the reception area checking in at the time the announcement was made to the Meekers.

When asked what made them decide to come to Branson for the first time Marsha said, “My parents have been here two or three times and friends have been here two or three times. Everybody that I know that has been here has either come back or said that they wanted to come back. I’ve never heard of anybody who said, ‘I will never go back to that place again.'” She pointed out that they have been trying to get to Branson for some time and were considering a bus tour, but decided to come on their own when none was available.

The 4 millionth ticket was actually sold on June 1, 2014, by BTC Travel Planner Irving Garcia, was to the Hamners’ Unbelievable Variety Show and remained a secret to the Meekers, and just about everybody else, until they checked in at the Branson Tourism Center on July 2. Garcia, a Branson Tourism Center Travel Planner, sold the ticket as part of BTCs unique, free, personal “concierge” type service, offered through a toll free phone call 1-800-785-1550, which helps potential Branson visitors plan their vacation, get answers to questions and, as was the case with the Meekers, purchase their tickets and lodging.

Marsha said she called the Branson Tourism Center when she went on line, saw their website, www.BransonTourismCenter.com, and thought that would be the right place to get Branson information. When asked if she was right, she replied, “Absolutely!” She went on to say, Even before all this happened, “Everybody, was so friendly and so helpful.”

Annette Wood, Director of Sales and Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center said, “That’s one of the great joys in selling our 4 millionth ticket; they were all sold one at a time, with the same friendliness and helpfulness the Meekers felt, to wonderful people like the Meekers.

 

Three “free” Branson activities for families to enjoy

The free downtown trolley at Stop #4 just accross from Dicks 5 & 10.

BRANSON, MO, June 11, 2013 — “One of the reasons Branson is known as a value travel destination is because of the reasonableness of the prices for its lodging, attractions and shows,” said Tammy Johnson, the Director of Operations for the Branson Tourism Center. “That value and the fun that families can have is enhanced by activities they can enjoy for free,” she added.

From the many free activities that are available I n Branson here is a list of three varied things that families can enjoy and have fun sharing together and not have to spend a penny:

1. Historic Downtown Branson’s “Discovery Trolley” – A good place to board the Trolley is at Stop #2 on Commercial Street in historic downtown Branson. Free three hour parking is available in the public parking lot at the southwest corner of Commercial and Atlantic Street and Stop #2 is at the “Commercial Street” end of the lot.

The Trolley ride is a great way to get an overview and perspective of the historic downtown area, the Branson Convention Center and Branson Landing. Along the way you will pass a number of Branson landmarks including the grave site of the man the city of Branson is named after Ruben S. Branson; the Owens Theatre, Branson’s first theatre, the Branson Convention Center, Branson Landing and the spot where the “Baldknobbers” performed Branson’s first live music show over 53 years ago. About 15 to 20 minutes after boarding the trolley it will complete its loop and drop you back at Stop #2.

2. Feed the Lake Taneycomo Ducks and Geese – Nestled near Branson Landing in the shadow of Scotty’s Trout Dock, near the public boat loading ramp on the southeastern corner of the City of Branson’s Camp Ground, is the “unofficial “duck feeding area that most people coming to Branson never see. The owner of Scotty’s, Lamar Patton, said that on any given day, depending on the season, there are about 50 to 200 Canada Geese, pigeons, Mallard ducks and other water fowl swimming around between his dock and the shoreline waiting to be fed. Scotty’s sells bags of corn to feed them with, but Patton points out that they will also eat crackers and bread, etc. The unofficial duck feeding area provides what in the old days was called “a Kodak moment” and can provide some great pictures of the family feeding the ducks.

3. The Dewey Short Regional Visitors Center at Table Rock Dam –  The new $7.9 million, 15,000 square foot U.S. Army Corps of Engineers visitor center has been called the “the crown jewel of Table Rock Lake” and for good reason. It is one of only 11 Class A visitor centers in the U.S. and offers an unparalleled view of two of Branson’s lakes, Table Rock Lake and Lake Taneycomo that can be seen from the floor to ceiling glass windows on the Table Rock Lake side of the building. Among other things, the Center features interactive activities, displays on area history nature and the inner workings of Table Rock Dam, movies, a gift shop with unique merchandise and an interesting film on the construction of Table Rock Dam. It also serves as the starting point for tours of the inside of Table Rock Dam for which there is a charge.

And that’s just three. From grist mills, to scenic overlooks, a trout hatchery, a giant bass kids can stand in, a $7.5 million synchronized fire, water and music show, Dicks 5 & 10, nature trails, hiking trails, parks and more Branson has many free activities that visitors can enjoy. For more information on these activities, Branson shows, attractions and lodging please feel free to call the Branson Tourism Center toll free at 1-800-785-1550.

 

Hospitality and shows bring couple back to Branson for 17 years

George and Sally Kaup during 2011 Branson Trip.*

BRANSON, MO, June 2, 2013 – “The quality and quantity of Branson’s live shows is a major reason many people come to Branson,” said Tiffany Isnard, Director of Marketing for the Branson Tourism Center. “That’s not surprising, given the reputation Branson has for the variety and quality of its live entertainment, but it is a wonderful testimony to Branson’s shows and how important they are to Branson when people like George and Sally Kaup, from Woodridge, IL, come back to Branson year after year primarily to see them and have seen as many as 32 in one visit.”

The Kaup’s loyalty to Branson and its shows came to light while George and his wife were having a discussion with personnel from Main Street Cruise Lines in connection with a sightseeing cruise on scenic Lake Taneycomo aboard the paddlewheel river boat replica, “Lake Queen.” Although “Branson – Up Close and Personal,” a service of the Branson Tourism Center, normally provides readers with an up close and personal look at a Branson star or personality we thought it would be interesting to interview the Kaups. The interview with George Kaup (GK), with input from Sally, uses a “Question and Answer” format with the interviewing being done for the Branson Tourism Center (BTC) by Gary J. Groman, a 27 year resident of the Branson area, local columnist and freelance writer.

BTC: How long have you been coming to Branson?

GK:  Since 1996, at least once a year, sometimes by ourselves and other times, like last Thanksgiving with family members.

BTC: What do you like the most about Branson?

GK: Its shows, friendliness of the people and hospitality.

BTC: What is your favorite thing to do in Branson?

GK: Go to shows.

BTC: When was your last trip to Branson?

GK: We arrived late on May 22 and left on May 29. Our last trip prior to that was the week of Thanksgiving so that we could show our Grandchildren what Christmas was like in Branson.

BTC: How many shows did you see during your May trip?

GK: We saw 14 shows.

BTC: What were your favorite top three shows on this trip?

Rankin Brothers vocal cast performing a beautiful rendition of "Shenandoah," with Lori Kelly, left, Matt Rankin, Mark Rankin and Amy Coffer.

GK: Rankin Brothers, ABBA Tribute – Thank You for the Music and Ozark Murder Mysteries.

BTC: What is the most shows you have seen on one trip?

GK: We had a 13 day trip during which we saw 32 shows.

BTC: With all those trips to Branson do you have a favorite place that you stay?

GK: Over the years we have had the Branson Tourism Center book us into different hotels. This last trip they booked us into the Dutton Inn. We were very impressed with the continental breakfast, how clean their rooms were and their hospitality. I would put them at the top of our list and, over the years, we have stayed at a variety of different Branson lodging establishments. When we come back we are sure going to try to stay there because it really made an impression on us. Again, not only were the rooms extremely clean, but whatever people you dealt with at the hotel seemed to bend over backwards to do anything they could for you. Hospitality goes a long way.

BTC: On your last trip you took a sightseeing trip on Lake Taneycomo aboard the Lake Queen. How did you enjoy the trip?

GK: It was fantastic.

BTC: What did you like most about the trip?

GK: The relaxing ride, beautiful scenery and the narration the Captain gives about Branson history and the sites we were passing on the trip.

BTC: Would you recommend a sightseeing cruise on the Lake Queen to others?

GK: Definitely. As a matter of fact we did already while we were down there.

BTC: What other Branson attractions did you see?

GK: None this trip, but we saw the Titanic Museum Attraction on one of our recent trips and really enjoyed it.

BTC: About how many times have you used the services of the Branson Tourism Center to plan a Branson vacation?

GK: For at least the last ten years.

BTC: Would you recommend the Branson Tourism Center to others?

GK: Oh definitely!

BTC: Why?

GK: It’s the only way to go. You make a call to them, decide what shows and attractions you want to see, the type of lodging you want and they arrange it all. You just sit back and wait for the call from them confirming your reservations, where you are staying and pricing. Everything is locked in. It’s a super place to work through, friendly, hospitable and ready to bend over backwards to help you. On our last trip we decided to come a day early, called the BTC about getting an extra night lodging at the Dutton Inn when we were about 20 minutes out of Branson and by the time we pulled into their reception center at 8:00 PM, they had made the arrangements with the Dutton Inn for our extra day.

BTC: When are you coming back to Branson?

GK:  Next year in May.

BTC: Is there anything in Branson that you haven’t done yet that you are planning to do on your next visit?

GK: We have never been to Silver Dollar city and we are talking about going next year.

BTC: Anything else you would like me to include?

GK:  Great place to visit and we would love to live there.

*Photo courtesy George and Sally Kaup.