We drove out to Branson this weekend to continue my BrApril celebration. From Leavenworth, it was about 3.5 hours, not bad at all and it’s actually very scenic during this time of the year! Overall, the weekend was very entertaining, be it the activities we did or just the people watching/interacting. That said, I’m glad we experienced it but I will not be going back 😉 Just not my cup of tea.
We stayed at the Radisson which had 3 stars on hotel.com, I’ll give it that. It was not horrible and not great, just in between. One down fall is the breakfast, we love staying at hotels where it’s included as I’m sure the majority of people do, well they had it, but it was served only from 6 am – 7am…who goes on vacation and wakes up that early?! Not these two people, that’s for sure! Other than that, they did have a nice indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub and pool bar, that’s always extra points for us. The Radisson is located on the main strip which runs east and west, there is a Walmart that marks pretty much the center from down east where old town Branson is and far west where the strip ends and you start getting into the more lake front resort type hotels, we were just west of that Walmart if that helps. It was a great location as far as being close to all of the main attractions but if we could have a do over, I’d stay down east in old town Branson. It’s more quaint down there and it’s by the river so you have the water view effect as well and if you have your car you can just drive up to the other activities, no biggie or I’m sure there are shuttles/trolleys and things of that nature. So I guess I’ll sum it up with this, the Radisson was great if you have kids, a lot of stuff in walking distance to keep them entertained, if you are a no kid couple, I’d recommend Old Branson or Branson Landing, or even one of the lake side hotels, they are out of the way but nothing is THAT inconvenient or far to drive to.
We got there Friday at about 5:30pm, we were starving so we just pulled into the first place we saw. It was called the Outback Oyster and Steak Pub, it’s not the chain Outback you’re thinking of. I’d give it 5 out of 5 starts for this, the service was great, fast and friendly! Rare, we later discovered in Branson! I had a steak salad that was to die for and Brian had the prime rib, also delicious. The best part was the rolls! Holy yum to those buttery dough balls from heaven! I always held Texas Road House’s rolls to the highest standard, no my friend, it’s now this gem of a pub in little old Branson, MO! A down side, no where in Branson has a great selection of beer on tap 😦 boo! After we were fat and happy from dinner we just checked in and headed to the hot tub, I know right, all fat and full and then I had to get into a bikini, YIKES!
We started our Saturday AM with a Duck water/land tour, you know, one of those tank type vehicles you always see in touristy towns with people that look like they are having so much fun, yep we finally did one of those! It was well worth the money, not very informative as far as history or sights of the town, more comedy on a moving open air bus/boat for 90 min. Our drive was hilarious, none stop jokes, including blowing our quackers at randome people walking on the sidewalks and scaring the living day lights out of them, and I am one that LOVES to laugh so that was a highlight of the weekend for sure! It was $21 per person with a military discount, which by the way, EVERY SINGLE activity we did honored a military discount, I had no idea Branson was so Veteran friendly! So it starts mid main strip, right by the Radisson and heads up west, up into the hills and then floats into Table Rock Lake, it was really pretty. I would highly recommend this tour.
After the Duck tour ended we ventured down to Old Branson, about 3 miles from the Duck tour drop off. It’s a huge outdoor mall/restaurant area right on Lake Taneycomo (it looks more like a river), it’s the newer more upscale part of Branson, very pretty! We saw a cute pub that was having a grand opening right on the water called Paddlewheel Pub, great outdoor deck atmosphere right on the river, not so great service, all we ordered was fries to share and we sat there for 30 minutes before my ugly hunger temper came out and I told her to forget it and we left, walked up the stairs and pigged out at Old Chicago. I know, not very original for a new city but when I’m hungry, I’m not a pleasure to be around 😉 Old Cs had phenomenal service! we had a pitcher of beer and our apps in the time we sat there with nothing at the Paddlewheel. After lunch, we ventured out and walked up and down the street of stores, they had a pretty good selection of retail stores and water features that were pretty cool too.
Since we only had one night to see a show, we picked one that I think is their most popular and some of our good friends recommended it as well, The Dixie Stampede, Dolly Parton actually owns it. It was a show that included dinner so that’s always a plus, they feed you an entire chicken, rolls, soups, pork, potatoes and a dessert. All of which you eat with your hands, that made it fun 😉 The show is a mixture or horse tricks, acrobat, dancing, singing, ostrich races, baby pig races (my favorite part!!!). It was a little cheesy but again, worth the money, and they gave us a military discount as well so we paid $41 per ticket.
On Sunday since we were leaving, I still wanted to cram in a couple more things I’d been eyeing. We found a Groupon for those Old Time photos, I’ve never done them before and was dying to do it 🙂 their are like 50 of these types of photo places along the main street but our Groupon was just for the one right across from the Titanic Museum. It was SO fun and the Groupon was a great deal, we go the sitting fee and a free 8×10 for $9! After the photo shoot, we headed east on the strip to the Hollywood Wax Museum, I don’t know why, but I had so much fun in there! I can’t believe how life like the characters looked, it was a little creepy! That’s how we ended our Branson weekend. Again, I’m happy we made the trip to see what it’s like since we are so close but I wouldn’t drive any longer than 4 hours to go. As someone said, “It’s Vegas if Ned Flanders had created it”.
Here are links to all the places I mentioned above. Enjoy, and thanks for taking time to read my blog!