Just four hours southwest of St. Louis, and nestled in the rolling Ozark hills, Branson offers an enjoyable and easy-to-plan vacation for St. Louis families. From amusement parks to fishing, hiking to shopping, Branson has something for every member of the family.
Still Waters Resort www.stillwatersresort.com For a resort experience, complete with multiple pools, a marina and tons of activities for kids, you can't beat Still Waters Resort on the shores of Table Rock Lake on Indian Point (close to Silver Dollar City and minutes from the Branson Strip). The property features updated condo- and hotel-style accommodations, three pools, a marina with boat and jet ski rentals, free kayaks and bicycles, a playground, game room, and plenty of open space for exploring. The kids will love the Island Oasis, a zero-entry pool with cool features, including a bridge and swim-through waterfall. The more adventurous can "Zoom the Flume" on the resort's waterslide. A stay at Still Waters Resort is literally a vacation unto itself.
Branson Landing www.bransonlanding.com With its upscale shops, refined and tasteful architecture and modern entertainment, at Branson Landing, you'll feel like you're at a big-city plaza rather than along the peaceful banks of Lake Taneycomo.
There is literally something for every age at Branson Landing, a playground for the little ones, street performers for the school-aged bunch, shopping for teens and adults, and a first-of-its-kind water and fire spectacle. The fountain features 120-foot geysers of water, fire cannons, lights and music. Fountain shows occur on the hour throughout the day and more frequently in the evening. The Landing also has a variety of special events, including musical performances and fireworks shows. Check their calendar for details.
Ride the Ducks branson.ridetheducks.com Climb aboard an endearing "Duck Boat" for a Branson sight-seeing experience by land and lake. The tours last about an hour and sightseers can choose a Lake Taneycomo experience or a Table Rock Lake experience. Captains point out places of interest, tell historic stories and generally make sure all passengers have a ducky good time.
Silver Dollar City www.bransonsilverdollarcity.com For 50 years, Silver Dollar City has been catering to families with festivals, rollercoasters, exhibits and more. This summer, Silver Dollar City has opened a new ride, Tom & Huck's RiverBlast, in which riders participate in an interactive water battle to soak each other. This year, the annual KidsFest, June 5 - Aug. 8, features a Stunt Dog Experience, and character interactions with SpongeBob and Patrick, Shaggy and Scooby Doo, the Jetsons, the Flintstones and the Backyardigans. KidsFest also features The Magic of Peter Gossamer, with comedy and tricks from the world-famous illusionist. While Silver Dollar City is an Ozark hot spot, it can also be a traffic nightmare. While some congestion has been alleviated, allow ample time to find parking especially during peak hours.
The Track www.bransontracks.com No trip to Branson would be complete without a stop at one of several go-kart tracks that dot the strip. Perhaps the ultimate track is Wild Woody with its four-story wooden track with spirals, hills and karts that just don't slip, even with the accelerator pedal to the metal. Little drivers will enjoy being strapped next to mom or dad, and those that can reach the pedals can man their own karts.
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