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This museum is located in the center of Branson amid the bright lights and flashy country singers, but inside it's a somber reminder of the American lives lost in the horrors of war. You will be able to read letters sent home by WWII prisoners-of-war as well as view photographs taken in the heat of the battle. There are also beautiful murals that depict tragic scenes of war and humility. Outside, you will be impressed with the giant sculpture of 50 soldiers running up a beach. This is one patriotic stop in Branson you will not want to miss.
Mount Pleasant Estates is one of the oldest wineries in the United States. The vineyard is located in what is called the 'Augusta Appellation' in the town of the same name about four hours north of Branson. However, you don't have to drive this far to sample some of the wines. At this massive facility on Green Mountain Drive, guests can try some of their cabernet sauvignon, merlot and Norton estate grapes as well as take a wine 101 class with knowledgeable professionals. In addition to the sour grapes, visitors also can obtain a bottle of dessert wine from their 600-gallon French Oak barrel; the process used is similar to that of a Solera, where wine is added over a period of years creating a blend. When people generally think of American wine, California usually comes to mind, however this place is a charming anomaly in the Midwest and an absolute gem not to be missed.
This toy museum will resurrect the childhood of anybody. The museum houses more toys than you could possibly imagine, from tin toys and matchbox cars to action figures and trains, the amount is overwhelming until you eventually find your favorite toy and can finally end your quest. After your walk down memory lane, there are plenty of different toys for both boys and girls to buy at the shop in order to give as gifts. Check out their website for a sample of their exhibits.
This experience is one of two (the other in Pigeon Forge, TN) Titanic exhibits which take you back to that voyage on that fateful April night. Inside the museum, there is a large scale reproduction of the Grand Staircase, an 18-foot model of the ship, and galleries full of historical treasures in which there are more than 400 actual artifacts from crew and passengers alike. The museum is very interactive, where you can touch an iceberg and feel exactly how cold the 28-degree water was or shovel some coal into a mock boiler.
Branson's location in the beauty that is the Ozarks provides ample opportunities for recreation on trails, creeks and caves. In this case, the Lakeside Forest Wilderness Area is right in the heart of Branson just off the bustling Strip. There are two main trails inside this hidden forest, the first one leads to Old Soldier's Cave and waterfall. The second trail provides visitors with an easier stroll that doesn't require too much effort. Moreover, it's the ideal spot to visit if you are staying in town and want to see some real Ozark country, but cannot make a full excursion to the backwoods.
Just outside of Branson at the College of the Ozarks, you will discover one of the best local collections of Ozarkian memorabilia around. This three-story building, which was once a men's dormitory, now houses antiques and fine arts along with objects representing the region's history, archeology, environment, numismatics, geology and mineralogy. Ralph D. Foster, who was an avid gun collector, donated the majority of the collection. While you are here, don't forget to check out Pancho Villa's gun.
In the heart of Branson, this 95-acre mixed-use district includes a diverse array of entertainment, lodging, and eating options. The nearly two-mile boardwalk along Lake Taneycomo and the hourly water show at the fountains are the highlights. Most of the shops are of the big-box variety, like Aeropostale, Sunglass Hut and Dressbarn, but guests still can find some local wares from Dead Sea & More or Belk Department Store.
Grab your phone and join A-listers for pictures to post to your online photo account! From Lucille Ball and John Wayne to Johnny Depp and Will Smith, you'll rub elbows with the stars—caught in the act of performing the most famous scenes in entertainment history. Skip down the Yellow Brick Road, sail aboard the Titanic, encounter Frankenstein, and lots more. The new additions are the world's first 5D ride and the Maze of Mirrors and on your way out, don't forget to take your photo with the gargantuan King Kong atop the Empire State Building!
Silver Dollar City is another wholesome family spot in Branson, the only difference is that this place has the beauty of the Ozarks along with the magnificent Marvel Cave below it. The Marvel Cave itself is an attraction and the Herschend family knew this when they built the park in 1960. Today, in addition to rides and games both inside and out of the cave, SDC takes you back to a time when people living in these mountains created everything they needed using local materials. Guests can learn from artisans how to make products such as fresh candy, leather, pottery, and glass. You can even try your hand at glass blowing and/or pottery making from one of the workshops. While all this is okay for stuffy adults, the kids can escape the boredom and get an adrenaline rush from rides like Buzzsaw Falls, the Runaway Mine Train, Fire in the Hole and the Wildfire Roller Coaster. During the year, the park hosts numerous festivals.
Under the placid waters of this artificial lake in the Ozarks, a plentiful population of rainbow and brown trout attracts avid fishing enthusiasts throughout the year. However, Lake Taneycomo was not always the cold-water, trout-teeming beauty that it is today. Its origins date back to 1913 with the construction of the Powersite Dam on the White River, when the river's warm waters swirled to create an ideal setting for swimming and water-skiing aficionados. Until 1958, this warm-water lake offered lovely recreational opportunities to summering visitors from nearby Branson and Rockaway Beach. With the advent of the Table Rock Dam that sourced waters from the depths of the eponymous lake, Lake Taneycomo soon embraced a colder disposition. While this resulted in dwindling summertime visitors, it rose to fame as one of the finest spots for trout fishing in the country. On any given day, one can enjoy Lake Taneycomo and all its jade-ringed beauty under the setting Ozark sun.
This big cat conservation center is the home to more than 20 exotic animals, most of them are tigers, but they also have lions and other cats. Almost all of the tigers came in to the shelter under traumatic circumstances and could not be returned to the wild. In fact, some of the male lions are quite docile, Leo for instance usually comes to the edge of the enclosure to greet visitors. Visiting hours are strictly specified and tours are held to a minimum three times a day in order to assuage the animals. The sanctuary does however offer behind-the-scenes tours for a higher fee, where guests can see how much it takes to maintain these beautiful cats.