Branson, Missouri Ideal for Your Vacation

Branson is at the heart of your next getaway. That much you know.

Silver Dollar City is at the top of your to-do list and is followed in close order by the Titanic Museum Attraction, seeing a live show – maybe the Haygoods! – visiting Top of the Rock, shopping and wine tasting.

Despite that busy agenda, you also want to explore more of Missouri while you’re here.

After all, the Show-Me State is home to iconic attractions such as the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the National World War I Memorial in Kansas City, along with outdoor destinations such as Katy Trail State Park and a bevy of popular rivers and streams ideal for canoe trips.

You’ve only got about a week to see Branson and other exciting parts of Missouri. Can it be done?

Absolutely and here’s how.

For starters, plan two full days in Branson.

On day one, make Silver Dollar City your focus and then see the show of your choice that evening. You’ll be tired the next day, so sleep in a bit before visiting Titanic and hitting Branson’s shops and sampling wines.

Devote a good chunk of day two to Top of the Rock (whether you play golf or visit the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum and Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail). Plan to visit one of the city’s popular restaurants before you head back to your hotel to clean up before seeing another show that night.

From Branson, plan a road trip that looks a little something like this:

• Drive to Steelville to canoe or kayak on the Courtois or Huzzah rivers out of Bass’ River Resort. On the way, be sure to stop in Springfield to see the Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World – the first and largest Bass Pro Shop in the world. It’s about a three-hour drive from Branson to Steelville.
• From Steelville, plan a trip to St. Louis – about 90 minutes to the east – to see The Gateway Arch, to explore Forest Park (home to attractions such as Saint Louis Zoo) and dine on The Hill. Along the way, be sure to stop to see the Big Red Rocker in Cuba and Maramec Spring Park in St. James.
• After St. Louis, you have options aplenty. You could drive an hour south to explore the wineries of Ste. Genevieve, travel two hours north to see Mark Twain’s hometown, Hannibal, or start a journey west toward Kansas City. No matter which path you choose, be sure to plan for two to three hours enjoying the shops on the brick-lined streets of St. Charles, which offers convenient access to the Katy Trail (bike rental companies can get you outfitted for a ride!).
• For now, let’s choose the Kansas City option and begin the trek west. It’s about four hours between Missouri’s two largest cities. Along the way you’ll have the opportunity to see things like Graham Cave State Park in Danville, The National Churchill Memorial in Fulton and Warm Springs Ranch (home of the Budweiser Clydesdales) in Boonville, and still have two hours to drive!
• Okay, you made it to the Kansas City area. What now? Well, art lovers appreciate the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, baseball fans need to see the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, music aficionados find their rhythm at the American Jazz Museum and kids go crazy for attractions such as the Kansas City Zoo, Lego Land and Science City (located inside Union Station). Chances are you’ve heard about Kansas City’s legendary barbecue, so check out staples such as Gates or Arthur Bryant’s or newcomers like Q39.

Are you going to be able to see all the sights Missouri offers on your road trip? It seems unlikely, but there’s reason to celebrate. You can return to Missouri again and again and continually be surprised by all there is to see and do.

But remember, the fun begins in Branson, where live shows, outdoor fun and family activities are always in season. Start planning your travels at

Trip Ideas

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