Sunday, November 19, 2017

Branson: A Music Town With Family Fun

Branson, Missouri is known for it's music roots and it is known for it's shows, but there is plenty of fun to be found without attending a show. There is plenty for a family to do and plenty of outdoor fun to keep the kids from being bored. I would highly recommend Branson as a family vacation spot.

In September, my husband and I took a 4 day trip to Branson along with our oldest daughter and her fiancé. I was worried about whether my husband would enjoy it since he does not care about dinner shows and things like that and I knew that was Branson. What I did not realize was how much we could find to do that did not involve the shows.

Since we were driving down, I suggested that we leave a day early and take our time traveling down and spend the night about half way. I Googled what the half way point was and it was a town along the Illinois/ Missouri border, so we were just a few minutes outside of St. Louis.  It was a nice break from the travels and we chose a less expensive hotel, but a nice one.
                                                                St. Louis Skyline

The following morning, I told my husband that before we started to our Missouri destination, I wanted to stop in St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch. I have seen photos and I have heard stories, but I had not ever been to it and wanted to go. He agreed, even though I don't believe that he truly cared. Our daughter and fiancé, had left home early that morning, so they met us at the hotel and went to the Arch with us.
It is absolutely breathtaking to see up close. We did not go up in it, but it was just as amazing as I expected it to be. We visited the gift shop and was able to get a couple of souvenirs. Even my husband enjoyed the visit.  The Gateway Arch  is part of the National Park System, so my daughter was able to have her passport stamped as well.  
The boats that travel the river near the Arch are just as amazing to watch. My husband watched many of them as we were in the gift shop. The entire area around the Arch is beautiful, but we were a little disappointed when we seen signs of homeless living within a few blocks from this beautiful monument. 
We made a couple more stops before we went to Branson, but I will write of them later. When we arrived at Branson, we were staying at Chauteau on the Lake and it was breathtaking as we arrived. 

The inside of the hotel is just as nice. There is a restaurant, bakery, theatre, pools ( inside and out), hot tub, and many more things to enjoy. 
                                                                       Lush greenery
I could have spent most of the trip in the hotel, but I knew that there were things to see. One of our favorite parts of our trip was the American History Museum. It is located at the Big Cedar resort and is absolutely an amazing museum. For $12 per person, it was well worth the money and there is so much historical value in the museum. Being that my grandmother was full blooded Cherokee Indian, any Indian history is always a welcoming sight. 

The American History Museum is not just Indian history though. It is Ozark history, cowboys, even a section dedicated to the cowboys of the film industry- Roy Rogers, John Wayne, etc. 

Of course, you can't have a historical museum without including some prehistoric history either. These amazing exhibits are close to the entry of the museum and were interesting to see as well. 

Any family would enjoy this museum. I would say that it is not geared towards younger children, but anyone with school age children could easily spend a day here. The scenery around the museum is amazing as well. There is a restaurant next door, although we did not eat there. The aroma coming from it was mouth-watering. 

For families with younger children, I would recommend Ripley's Believe It Or Not in Branson.
There are so many bright colors and fun things for kids to see and some interactive displays too that they could touch and play. 

Among other things to see and do there are many gift shops, music shows that appeal to a wide variety of ages and interests, restaurants, go karts, a toy museum, mini golf, and many other attractions. We are looking forward to returning in March and I must say that I am truly excited about returning. I have plenty more to share, but I think that I will write another post in a day or two. Just remember Branson your next family vacation. 

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