The live entertainment capital of the world brings you such an abundance of attractions that it can be difficult to choose what to put on your itinerary. That's what we're here for at Adventure Student Travel so sit back and let us inform you on the best and brightest attractions in Branson for your next student trip.
1. Silver Dollar City
One of the best theme parks in the country finds itself just outside of Branson in the Ozark Mountains. Themed after a 19th century mining community, Silver Dollar City is complete with authentic demonstrations of candy making, glass blowing, and furniture making among others. Take a tour through the Marvel Cave, ride the thrilling Thunderation or Wildfire roller coasters, grab yourself a frozen lemonade and funnel cake while you wander through the open plazas and catch a live show at the gazebo. More than just a theme park, Silver Dollar City is an adventure with shows, shopping, incredible food, and, of course, rides.
2. Titanic Museum
It's not everyday that you can drive along and see a giant ship on the side of the road, especially when that ship is the Titanic. Travel through the disastrous timeline of this famous sunken cruise liner by viewing original artifacts from ship survivors and those recovered from the wreck, authentically recreated rooms including the grand staircase, and more. At the beginning of each tour, visitors are assigned a name of someone who was aboard the Titanic and by the end of the tour, look for your 'name' on the list of survivors or the list of those who did not make it to New York. This poignant museum is one of the best in the country for its extensiveness and knowledgeable tours capturing the essence of this historic tragedy.
3. Table Rock Lake and State Park
Fun and beauty is endless at this gorgeous lake. Do everything from water sports to fishing, camping along its shores, kayaking and tubing, to hiking the Table Rock Lake State Park's nature trails and more. Covering more than 67 square miles, Table Rock is large enough to accommodate even the largest of groups on the busiest of summer days. The lake is accessible from Branson although if you enjoy getting away from the city and having a nice day exploring nature, head to the State Park's land and grab a map at the visitors center to start your adventure.
4. Shepherd of the Hills
An outdoor performance park, Shepherd of the Hills magnifies the atmosphere of Branson's famous 19th century aura with outdoor drama, a chuckwagon dinner show, horseback trail rides, and a Historic Homestead Tour during which time you can visit an old mountain cabin based on the characters of the novel from which the park gets its name. Take a look over the surrounding mountainside from Inspiration Tower or zip line over the canopy on an adventure course but you don't want to miss out on the performances presenting the history of Branson and life during the 19th century.
5. Branson Landing
This gorgeous shopping, dining, and entertainment district abandons Branson's 19th century theme for sophisticated attractions on the waterfront. Find your favorite stores along perfectly manicured walkways, see live entertainment on the curbs, observe the year round festivals, and dine in some of the best restaurants in the city with amazing views. While you're here you won't be able to miss the Branson Landing fountains which act as entertainment themselves, performing to music, fire, and light shows designed by the same company that created the fountain shows at the Downtown Disney marketplace in Orlando and the Bellagio in Las Vegas.
As the live entertainment capital of the world, you should expect a theater and a show playing on every major thoroughfare in the city at all times. In truth, there are over 100 live shows including famous performances like Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede dinner theater where the audience is split into the Union and Confederate sides while they watch a fun and exciting rodeo during dinner. Also see the Dutton Family Theater, home of the Dutton Family of America's Got Talent fame, the Starlite Theater, Legends in Concert, and the Moon River Theater among others.
7. Historic Downtown Branson
Take the free trolley from Branson Landing to the Historic Downtown Branson district where you can find authentic little shops, boutiques and specialty stores alongside mom-and-pop restaurants, old Branson landmarks, and beautifully kept landscapes. From here you can visit the Branson Centennial Museum, take a 90 minute walking ghost tour, ride the 40 minute scenic railway through the Ozark Mountains, and shop at Dick's Oldtime 5 & 10, a half century old store with a unique selection of fun souvenirs.
8. Showboat Branson Belle
Missouri waterways continuously evoke images of days gone by when steamboats and paddleboats swam along the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers with people like Mark Twain at the helm. Today, although paddleboats have only ornamental use, you can still climb aboard the beautiful Branson Belle for dinner, a show, and a timeless view of Table Rock Lake and the Branson skyline.
9. National Tiger Sanctuary
Located only minutes from Branson is a thrilling collection of rescued tigers. Don't miss the opportunity to see exotic creatures in the Missouri hills. This non-profit organization strives to protect and rescue big cats like lions and tigers that have nowhere else to go, making for a unique attraction for Branson visitors. Come by and learn how the business operates, take a Jeep safari tour of the compound and see big cats up-close, separated from you only by a fence.
As an entertainment city, Branson's museums lean more towards the fun and quirky side than they do educational. There are, however, a few on the side of history like the Veterans Memorial Museum and the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum. The fun ones, though, include the World's Largest Toy Museum, Ripley's Believe It or Not, Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure, and the Hollywood Wax Museum. Even when there isn't a live show, Branson manages to entertain visitors endlessly.