I have always loved writing, and now that I am retired I thought I would be able to find time to write, but it seems that I still manage to fill my days with activities. I have however found that while I travel, I enjoy writing about some of the interesting things we do. I hope you enjoy reading of our adventures as much as I like writing about them.
Sunday, July 10, 2011
Camping in Branson
If you look for Branson, Missouri on a map, you will see that it is not really on the major routes across the country. Branson sits between two National Forests, about 100 km below Interstate 44 running East/West. It is a nice little town in the Ozark mountains, but no one would have much reason to drop off the Interstate and drive down to visit Branson. I don't actually know the History of Branson, but it looks to me that someone decided to do something to bring people to their town, and it looks like the strategy worked pretty well. Mom and Dad came here 15 years ago, and Dad wanted to come back this year. Last year on our trip to Nashville we almost made a side trip to Branson. Millions of people make this trip every year. We have been here two days, and could spend much longer.
5 & 10
Downtown Branson is a historical little town and has a fascinating store called “Dick's 5 & 10”. You can't get much for 5 or 10 cents any more, but the store is absolutely packed from floor to ceiling with thousands of interesting items. There are other shops and services but not enough to bring hundreds of cars a day to the town.
Branson's secret to success lies on Highway 76 leading out of town. There you will find, “3 Redneck Tenors”, “Acrobats of China”, “Baldknobbers”, “Buckets & Boards”, “The Duttons”, “Pierce Arrow”, “Shoji Tabuchi”, “Six”, or “Yakov Live”. These are just a few of almost 100 live shows playing in their own theatres almost every night, all year. Country music, Rock & Roll, Gospel, Comedy, Murder Mysteries, Dinner theatre, there is something for any taste.
To provide spaces for all the visitors to Branson, hundreds of hotels, motels, resorts, condos, have sprung up. There is everything from old fashioned roadside motels, to giant convention centres. One even advertised the "cleanest bathrooms in town." There are “theme” hotels, there are Golf Course Condos, there are Family motels and there are huge resorts trying to be everything to everyone. If like us, you prefer to bring your home with you, there are thousands of campsites scattered around the town, some like the one we choose are within walking distance of some of the shows.
Of course if you came, you will need to eat, so there are as many restaurants as there are theatres. You can get any style of food you prefer
If you get tired of music shows, someone thought of this, and there are other attractions. How about “Ride the Ducks”, “Branson Auto Museum”, “Castle of Choas”, “Ziplines”, “Branson Scenic Railway”, or “Titanic”. There are wineries, Factory Outlet centres, IMAX Theatres, and of course the natural beauty of the surrounding forests and lakes of the Ozark mountains.
Everywhere we go on this trip across the United States, we see signs of the dismal economy, and people are definitely suffering, but the town of Branson continues to do all they can to bring tourist dollars to their town.