5 Things You Wouldn’t Expect to Find in Branson

When you think of Branson, a few images might come to mind: country music, family attractions and Silver Dollar City. Though these are most certainly a big part of what Branson is, there’s more to this city than meets the eye. Check out our list of things you wouldn’t expect to find in Branson, you’ll be glad you did!

Gravity-Defying Acrobats

Witness incredible physical feats and beautiful artistry at the Amazing Acrobats of Shanghai, named “Branson’s Best Acrobat Show.” Each performer will astound you with their skill, making you wonder, "How in the world did they do that?"! Or immerse yourself in the magic of Yuyan: A Chinese Fairytale, a full production show that combines storytelling, state-of-the-art sets and lighting as well as amazing choreography.

For something you definitely have not seen anywhere else, try A Janice Martin Cirque Show. Ms. Martin, named Branson’s “Best Female Entertainer,” takes you on an aerial journey that combines her musical talent (she’s a Julliard-trained violinist!) and circus skills. It’s a combination you don’t want to miss!

Local Spirits and Wine

It might be no surprise that locals have been making moonshine ‘round these parts for hundreds of years, but you might be surprised that you can find it right out in the open and not in a hidden barrel!

Head to Copper Run Distillery, the first legal distillery in the Missouri Ozarks since prohibition ended in 1933, to taste small-batch whiskeys, rum and, of course, moonshine, and to tour their operation. Or head to Branson Landing and visit Smith Creek Moonshine, where you can try a variety of unique flavors of moonshine at the tasting bar and mixed moonshine concoctions at the master mixology bar.

Amazing International Food

Plate full of sushi.
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Plate full of sushi.
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While Branson certainly has good ole’ comfort food and recognizable chain restaurants, it also is home to incredible locally owned restaurants that feature food from around the globe.

For authentic Mexican food, try Little HaciendaCasa Fuentes or Arandas Tacos. For delicious Thai food, try Thai Thai Cuisine and for flavorful northern Indian cuisine, try India Clay Oven. For great Mediterranean food, try Vasken’s International Deli or Greek Gyros & Deli.

You can also find fresh sushi and other Japanese specialties at Wakyoto Japanese Steak & SushiShogun Japanese Steak & SushiMoMo Sushi & Grill or Mitsu Neko Fushion Cuisine & Sushi Bar.

Exotic Animals

Butterfly resting on a leaf at the Butterfly Palace in Branson, MO.
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Butterfly resting on a leaf at the Butterfly Palace in Branson, MO.
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Branson is home to several places you can get up close and personal with exotic animals. Branson’s Promised Land Zoo cover 75 acres and is filled with animals from all over the world. Whether you walk through or drive through, you can interact with many of the animals for an unforgettable experience.

Visit Branson’s Wild World to view over 180 animal species, including aquatic animals (don’t miss the sharks!), birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals (don’t miss “Wolf Woods”). Head over to the Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure to walk through the thousands of free-flying tropical butterflies from all over the world. While there, you can also visit the Living Rainforest Center where you can view a variety of species that make their homes in the rainforest.

Just north of Branson is the National Tiger Sanctuary, a rescue organization that provides a permanent home for exotic animals such as lions, tigers, leopards and more. There’s nothing like seeing the majestic animals up close!

Caves

The inside walls of the Talking Rocks Caverns in Branson West, MO.
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The inside walls of the Talking Rocks Caverns in Branson West, MO.
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You might (or might not!) know that Missouri is the “Cave State,” with over 6,000 caves within its borders. And some of the most impressive caves in the state are in the Branson area!

In fact, did you know that the first attraction at Silver Dollar City was a cave? That’s right—Marvel Cave. When visiting Silver Dollar City, you can take a 60-minute tour (included in your admission!) of this natural wonder that lies hundreds of feet below the park. The first room you come to—the Cathedral Room—is the largest cave entrance room in the United States! No doubt about it—you will be impressed with this hidden wonder.

While in the area, you can also visit Talking Rock Caverns, first named the “Fairy Cave” by one of its early explorers. Before or after your tour, you and your family can enjoy numerous above-ground activities such as panning for gemstones or navigating the SpeleoBox crawl mazes.

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