The best thing about a visit to remote Missouri may well be a stay at a Branson bed and breakfast. Deep in the southwest corner of Missouri, the city of Branson appears to suffer from a severe case of urban isolation. That is, a city all by its lonesome.
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Despair not, though. Branson’s small population of 11,000 hosts major entertainment centers with some of the biggest acts in the music and performance industries making frequent appearances in town. With over 50 theaters and venues scattered throughout the area, Branson has 57,000 seats for its shows– that’s more than Broadway, New York!
In addition to the world-class entertainment available, there is an abundance of outdoor activities to enjoy with several large lakes, rivers, streams, and springs populating the region. Visitors come from across the United States for the entertainment, but they stay because of the natural beauty, the friendly people, and top-rated B&B lodging.
Branson got its start from humble beginnings in 1882 when Reuben Branson opened a general store and post office in the area. It wasn’t long before a second enterprise became profitable, and that was charging visitors to tour the expansive Marvel Cave (originally named “Marble Cave”) discovered nearby. The rest, as they say in show business, is history. From those inauspicious beginnings, the tourism and entertainment industries soon followed.
Another factor played in Branson’s favor in 1912 when the White River was dammed by Powersite Dam, forming Lake Taneycomo. Boating, fishing, camping, and other lake-centric activities grew in popularity as did lodging and hospitality.
The real boon began when famous country singers started passing through Branson attracting larger crowds. The list of A-listers that called Branson home for at least part of the year reads like a Who’s Who role call at the CMT Awards. From Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Loretta Lynn, and The Oak Ridge Boys to Wynonna Judd, The Osmonds, and Johnny Mathis, they have all made regular stops in town and many have homes in the area.
Entertainment attractions aside, arguably the most popular sport in town is shopping. You’ll find over 200 shops between Tanger Outlets, Branson Hills, Branson Landing, and historic downtown Branson. When you’re not engaged in full-contact strategery for that special deal, other outdoor activities for the whole family include fishing, hiking, camping (over 2800 sites!), horseback riding, and the ever-present water sports of boating, jet skiing, and parasailing.
Other family outings can include zip lines, go-kart racing, or an educational visit to a museum. Work on your handicap at a favorite golf course or spend an afternoon at one of the many theme parks. The Titanic Museum, Butterfly Palace & Rainforest, Hollywood Wax Museum, and the National Tiger Sanctuary are all must-see destinations. There are more hiking and biking trails than you can cover in a summer, and the numerous springs and caves offer exciting exploration for those who don’t mind getting a little wet and dirty!
The natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains presents a beautiful backdrop to any and all activities. Don’t forget your camera while you’re out boating. Scenic lake views in the early morning or evening on Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake make fabulous photo ops.
Large portions of Branson’s outlying areas to the east are covered with state forests. There are several wildlife sanctuaries such as the Busiek State Forest and Wildlife Area to the north and east of town. Spend an Ozark afternoon exploring the innumerable caves, caverns, mountains, lakes, rivers, and waterfalls that provide endless recreational opportunities.
The soft limestone that comprises much of the region’s bedrock has been eroded over time by the rivers and sub-surface alluvial channels, resulting in so many of the area’s subterranean caves.
The majestic White River, originating in northwest Arkansas, loops up just to Branson's south and east before arcing back through Arkansas’ Upper Delta on its way to the Mississippi. The Powersite Dam built in the early 20th century created Lake Taneycomo and is responsible for much of the water sports locals and visitors enjoy year-round.
If there’s one thing to check off the to-do list, it’s going to be a visit to Silver Dollar City. An internationally-awarded amusement park and venue, there are dozens of live concerts, events, restaurants, shops, and thrilling rides, all sitting on top of one of Missouri’s deepest caves. Find your fun above ground, or swap the sunlight for some cavorting in the cave. Either way, the whole family won’t soon forget their stay at the ‘Silver Dollar.’
Spend an afternoon cruising Table Rock Lake on the Riverboat Branson Belle and capture scenes from a different vantage point. Live shows, fine dining, and fabulous lake views will have you signing up for another cruise in no time! Check out the narrow-gauge railroad for a tour of the area, splash through the white water rides and slides, or make your reservation for a night’s campout in one of the cabins or at your own tent site.
Located in the western part of the American South, Branson's weather is consistent with that of the rest of the region. Summers are long, hot, and humid as moisture from the Gulf of Mexico continually flows north, keeping the air sticky.
The numerous lakes and rivers add to the air's overall moisture content, resulting in sweltering days and sultry nights. With the resident humidity and hot summer temperatures, keep an eye out for those afternoon thunderstorms that can swoop up from the Gulf or pop up at any time for a surprise.
Winters are short and typically mild to cool. With the humidity and dew points maintaining consistently high levels, dampness prevails throughout the year. Visitors who live in other parts of the Southeast US won’t notice anything different. But those traveling from the US's drier parts will want to make sure their B&B air conditioning is in good working order.
This doesn’t mean the weather in Branson can’t be delightful. Warm spring days spent sunning on the lake or out taking in the local attractions as the landscape wakes from its short winter nap make for a memorable weekend getaway. Fall colors every bit as captivating as New England’s garner attention along some of the scenic byways across the state.
Branson has drawn visitors to its entertainment venues from across the country for over a century. That people with different food tastes would choose to settle here is no surprise. And with them come their culinary habits. The result is an eclectic mix of menus, tastes, and treats across a broad spectrum of offerings that contrasts with what might be expected to be a more consistent regional style of dining.
Strolling the vibrant downtown historic area, residents and visitors alike will have challenging choices between Tex-Mex, Bavarian, Chinese, classic Southern cooking, Cajun, Indian, and gourmet pizza. Specialty shops benignly seduce passersby with their sweet delicacies, offering treats as hors d’oeuvres rather than dessert!
A sandwich of locally-sourced Missouri BBQ washed down with an excellent craft beer at one of the breweries is a lunchtime favorite. And there are several wineries close by where you can sample the local grape and intriguing wine accessories.
Amenities at your favorite bed and breakfast inn can range from the expected to the exquisite. Free wifi, luxury bed with baby-soft linens, the option of a Jacuzzi or hot tub, and organic bath products are often staples today in all guest rooms. Other basics can include free private parking and bicycles for about-town touring. Free cancellation is the norm as well, provided you give your hosts plenty of advance notice.
Many inns will offer a private bath or whirlpool tubs. The height of luxury is a fireplace nearby for added ambiance, especially when booking guesthouses with a private entrance. Farm-to-table freshness can be counted on with any full breakfast enjoyed in the dining room or the comfort of your room while enjoying the beautiful view of a great location.
Pamper versus pragmatic. B&B luxury versus hotel efficiency. Log cabin luxury surrounded by breathtaking mountain views. A bed and breakfast getaway has a way of winning their guests over like that. Host-friendliness, coupled with a romantic getaway and aesthetically pleasing Victorian architecture, is found in Branson's many locations.
Branson vacation rental inns work hard to please their guests and with good reason. Innkeepers are passionate about the service they provide. Additionally, while comfort and extravagance are at the forefront of the guest’s experience while visiting the inn, the hosts are extremely safety-conscious to ensure all rooms and facilities are safe and clean.
This includes precautions about the current state of affairs with Covid-19. Speak with your hosts at check-in or phone ahead to address any questions you may have regarding their health and safety protocols.
The most convenient large city providing major carrier air service is Little Rock, Arkansas, just over 3 hours south of Branson. Aside from Little Rock, consider Kansas City or possibly Oklahoma City as alternative arrival points. You may also look at connecting flights to some of the closer, smaller airports in Springfield, MO or Tulsa, OK if you want to reduce driving time.
For B&Bs located near the historic districts, a walk or a bike ride is a great way to stretch the legs after traveling. You will have easy access to desired attractions, including shops, restaurants, galleries, and museums, many of which are within a short distance of each other.
Hail a free trolley and flirt with an old-fashioned “bus” while making new friends onboard as you check out Branson’s historic district. There are 13 stops in all that will provide you with an excellent overview of the downtown attractions. For ventures farther afield, the convenience of a cab or your rental car is best.
Locating the best bed and breakfast in Branson will depend on knowing what you’re seeking and having a good idea of where to find it. Looking for something deep in the woods to immerse yourself in silence? A lakeside cottage with an outdoor fireplace to listen for the call of an evening loon? Perhaps a Victorian retreat close to town for the convenience of walking. You’ll find these types and more across Branson that possess a fabulous assortment of inns from which to choose.
Enjoy views of Branson Landing and the lake from The Branson House's front porch, conveniently located in the historic district. Bradford House boasts 20 guest rooms and suites, king beds, and Jacuzzi tubs. It’s just over a mile from Highway 76 Strip and 10 minutes from Silver Dollar City.
Anchor Inn on the Lake is the perfect romantic getaway secluded on Table Rock Lake. Its out-of-the-way location still offers a quick and scenic 17-mile drive to town. Crystal Cove Bed and Breakfast on Table Rock Lake is just 5 minutes from Silver Dollar City. Scenery and city life, the best of both worlds at this exceptional retreat.
Bear Creek Lodge offers the ultimate in Branson MO bed and breakfast cabins. Bucolic luxury comes complete with hot tubs in each cabin and Ozark views to calm the soul. Emory Creek Victorian Bed & Breakfast offers an excellent menu of luxury amenities such as hot tubs, fireplaces, a library, and a lounge. Access to an 8-mile walking trail through the woods is an added favorite of guests.
For those looking for a romantic bed and breakfast Branson MO-style, your search is over. Hummingbird Inn offers beautiful grounds, expansive views and is the ultimate in intimate when it comes to a wedding venue.