Branson, Missouri the new Nashville
If you’ve never been to Branson, you need to go when you have lots of time. I spent two days there and barely scraped the surface of everything there is to see and do. It is part amusement park and part concert venue.
Make your reservations in advance. I stayed at a Hampton Inn at the very end of the strip. There were a few souvenir shops near where I was. The nice thing is once I settled in I could look at all the shows and activities and decide what I wanted to do. Then I called to make my reservations. They delivered all my tickets to the front desk by breakfast the next morning. It was amazing. For the evening concert I went to, the tickets were delivered by the time I got back from sight-seeing.
I was able to see the Eagles Tribute and if you did not know you’d have thought the Eagles had entered the room. There were probably 40 people there so it made for an intimate concert. The guys signed autographs after the show and took time to talk with us. They even posed for photos if you asked them. It was really nice.
The next day I toured the World’s Largest Toy Museum. From the outside it doesn’t look like much but inside it is huge and filled will secret little rooms. There was a room filled with matchbox cars. More than I have ever seen. Of course I got lost in the dolls. The old game collection was also amazing. It was a wonderful treat.
I had lunch at Jackie B Goode’s Uptown Café. If you don’t get a feel for the 50’s and 60’s there you won’t find it anywhere. The décor is a scene out of “Happy Days.” While everything is red and white check it has a great balance so you are not overwhelmed. Music of the era plays from a huge juke box. The food was good and reasonably priced. The nice thing is that it is family owned. Out front were some antique cars from the 1950’s including a taxi.
From lunch I caught an afternoon show “Back to the 60’s.” The cast of that show is amazing. They change quickly. They are believable and a treat to watch. I learned that some do the afternoon show and then work at other theaters doing different shows. Each of them is very talented. Again it was a small audience but this time closer to fifty or sixty in the group. They still took time for autographs and chat after.
There were many other wonderful shows, but I just could not fit them in. It is someplace I would gladly return. I did not go into Ripley’s or play miniature golf, but I would. I did find and antique shop where I was able to purchase a kewpie doll for my collection. But that is for a different article.
Branson, Missouri is nestled in the Ozark Mountains just across the border from Arkansas. If you are brave, you should take the winding mountain roads into Eureka Springs, Arkansas and spend the day in a town from another era. There are many neat places to visit in and around Branson and the Ozarks offer some spectacular scenery.