If you’re looking for a place where you can have just good clean fun, you should definitely go ahead and spend a day in Branson, Missouri. This small town is known across the United States as a fantastic place for the whole family to visit, and when you get here, you’ll immediately see why. Most importantly, you can always find a good live show to enjoy, but there are so many other things that will help you recharge your batteries, too. Even just one day in this place is bound to be spectacular.
What’s the best time to visit Branson?
The best time to visit Branson is during the months of July and August. The weather will be fairly warm, and there will be much less precipitation than for example in May and June, so you will be able to enjoy plenty of outdoor activities.
However, coming here in late November or December is also a great idea because the town looks absolutely stunning while getting ready for the Christmas holidays.
As far as events and festivals are concerned, you can find something entertaining no matter when you come. Check out Winter Wonderlanding in the days leading up to Christmas, Bluegrass & BBQ is ideal for all you foodies in May, Star-Spangled Summer will keep you occupied in June and July, while the National Crafts & Cowboy Festival is a fantastic choice in September.
A few facts about Branson
Branson was named after a gentleman called Reuben Branson, the man who ran a store and a post office here at the end of the 19th century. As a matter of fact, he opened them in 1882 and this year is therefore considered the founding year of this charming town.
Today, the place is estimated to have between 11 and 12,000 people.
However, Branson has the largest privately owned airport in the US, but you should know that casinos and gambling as a form of entertainment are not exactly welcome here. As we said, this place is all about good, clean fun (although you can hop over to some of the nearby cities for that).
And if you like roller coasters, you will be happy to know that Time Traveler in the Silver Dollar City amusement park cost 26 million dollars and was the tallest at the time it was built (2018).
One day in Branson itinerary
To make the most out of your one day in Branson, Missouri, just follow this detailed itinerary. It contains all the best things to do while in town and the sights that can easily be reached. Follow our tips, and you will have a fantastic time!
Start your day in downtown Branson
The best way to start your one day in Branson, Missouri is to head to the historic downtown area and take a stroll. There are loads of shops, restaurants, old buildings and other attractions here, and all of that exudes a very special vibe of a small old town.
There’s also a charming trolley that can take you around this area for free, and this kind of ride will only add to the experience. So, just grab a coffee and go for a stroll. Once you’re done, though, take 76 Country Boulevard and head to your next destination.
Explore the amazing WonderWorks
WonderWorks is a very special amusement park, and not just because of the fact that it looks like an upside-down building that has just gone through a major earthquake.
No, this is one of the best things to do in Branson if you have children with you because there are more than 100 interactive exhibits here that teach us about space, physics, meteorology, art, and so much more. Even adults are sure to find many interesting things here. A fantastic place for the whole family.
See what the Titanic was like
Just down the road from WonderWorks is another big Branson attraction – Titanic Museum. As you walk through the museum, you will see that its interior is designed to reflect that of the original ship. There are many interesting artifacts here, and you can experience some things the people aboard had to go through: how cold the water was, how small the lifeboats were, etc.
But the most unique aspect of this museum is that your ticket comes with a name of an actual passenger who was aboard the ship that night. You can learn more about them as you go through the museum, and in the end, you learn whether they’ve survived or not.
Stop for lunch
At this point, you will probably start thinking about lunch, and luckily, there are a couple of good options nearby – Florentina’s Ristorante Italiano and LongHorn Steakhouse are a few minutes’ walk from Titanic Museum and serve some pretty tasty dishes.
However, if you’re willing to make the trip for something special, head to the Keeter Center for some amazing American dishes in a wonderful setting (and their homemade ice cream is divine!) or to Danna’s for some mouth-watering BBQ.
Or just do some exploring on your own. Branson is absolutely packed with great restaurants.
Discover Silver Dollar City
Once you’re done with lunch, it’s time to head to one of the biggest Branson attractions – the amusement park called Silver Dollar City. The place was designed to look like a frontier town from the late 19th century, and it looks stunning.
Countless rides and attractions are at your disposal, and there are also dozens of craftsmen here showing you the skills that have gone almost completely extinct. Do not miss out on the roller coasters if you like them because they will give you the ride of your life. There’s literally something for everyone here, and you can easily lose the rest of the day in this place.
Visit Aquarium at the Boardwalk
If you have time between Silver Dollar City and Dinner, you should go and check out Branson Aquarium. It’s a great place for the whole family, and some parts of this place’s interior will leave you speechless.
The Jelly Infinity Room is definitely one such place, but there is more. You can explore the Aquarium’s own coral reef, walk through tunnels surrounded by sharks and other exotic fish, get lost in the kelp forest or poke around in the touch pools. Both children and adults will be amazed by the underwater world in this magical place.
Go to Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show
Eventually, there will come time for dinner, but if you have just one day in Branson, Missouri, it would really be a shame if you didn’t go to Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show for the meal. Yes, the food is great, but it also comes with a spectacular show.
32 beautiful horses will give you the show of a lifetime as they and their riders perform various stunts, accompanied by fantastic special effects and musical productions. You can even go and see the horses in their stables if you so desire. It’s quite simply a dining experience like no other, and you will love every second of it.
Go see a show
Branson is famous for its live shows all across the US. So, why not enjoy a lovely evening watching one of them? It’s an ideal way to wrap up a busy day with your significant others, and even if you have kids along you may be able to find something that will suit them.
Comedy shows, concerts, kids shows… the list just goes on and on, and you may be surprised to learn that some of these acts have been performed not for years but decades.
And if you have time earlier in the day, you can still go and watch something, there’s always something playing somewhere, but we believe that something that represents the core of what Branson really is should be left for the end. Enjoy!
Where to stay in Branson?
Palace View Resort by Spinnaker
700 Blue Meadows, Branson, MO 65616
Palace View Resort by Spinnaker is everything you need to rest well in Branson, Missouri. Amazing condos, wonderful staff and three swimming pools (one of which is indoors) will make sure you enjoy this place to the fullest. The location is very calm and quiet, but you are just five minutes away from Branson’s entertainment strip, which you can easily reach thanks to the resort’s concierge service.
Lodge of the Ozarks
3431 W. 76 Country Blvd, Branson Theatre District, Branson, MO 65616
If you really want to get right in the middle of it all, Lodge of the Ozarks is the place where you should book your room. Not only is this a great hotel that serves an excellent breakfast, has an indoor swimming pool and a great fitness centre, but you will also be located right there on the entertainment strip and just a few minutes away from White Water Amusement Park. Oh, and some rooms here come with a spa bath!
Branson Towers Hotel
236 Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Branson, MO 65616
Branson Towers Hotel is bound to get you your money’s worth. It has an indoor pool, a hot tub and a great games room for your entertainment. Its guests praise the hotel’s location because it’s tucked away, but close to all the most important places in Branson. Furthermore, the rooms are very well equipped and come with a coffee maker, a microwave and a fridge. A great and clean place that comes at a great price.
Savannah House Hotel
165 Expressway Lane, Branson, MO 65616
Savannah House Hotel is an absolutely beautiful property full of greenery and water features that also comes with a seasonal outdoor pool. You can enjoy a great breakfast here, and they serve an awesome hot cobbler for free in the evening! The rooms are very comfortable and full of natural light, and there’s even a tour desk where you can buy tickets for the attractions you want to see. Perfect service for an incredible stay.
Day trips from Branson
The chances are that you will want to stay more than one day in Branson. Should that happen, you may want to take a day trip to some of the destinations we list here. It will be a great way to spend an active day with your whole family.
If you don’t mind get a slightly earlier start, you could spend one day in Kansas City and have a blast. It takes just over three hours to reach it by car, but it will be well worth it. Great barbecue is just one of the reasons to visit – the city has been going through quite a revival recently and now boasts excellent museums, numerous fountains and artsy districts.
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
Want to spend an active day in nature? Then this is the perfect day trip from Branson for you! This nature park has plenty of hiking and biking trails as well as excellent fishing spots. However, you can also enjoy horseback riding, hop on a tram to enjoy the sights and much more. A great day out, no doubt about that.
Now this is a great choice if you just want to chill a bit. Eureka Springs is an incredibly quaint little town just south of Branson, over the state border with Arkansas. Loads of beautiful Victorian buildings and lovely little shops make this a fantastic choice for a nice little getaway. Come here, you won’t regret it.
Floating on Buffalo River
Another destination for a day trip from Branson that is in Arkansas, but making the 80-minute trip will be so worth it. You can pick up a kayak here and just float in it serenely down Buffalo River. It’s an incredibly soothing experience that will recharge your batteries with incredible landscapes and unspoilt nature.
Extra tips for visiting Branson
– It can get fairly hot in summer as well as cold in winter here, so make sure you pack accordingly.
– The food scene in Branson is thriving! if you’re a foodie, you’ll love it here, but even if you’re not, you should definitely give local restaurants a chance.
– Should you come here during peak season, there WILL be traffic jams. You can get handy maps in the town that show you alternate routes, but of course, Google is your friend, too.
– Branson is a very safe town, but some caution is always advised, especially if you’re here during the aforementioned peak season.
– You can get family passes for various shows in Branson. Definitely, something to keep in mind if you’re coming here with your spouse and children.
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.