Branson, Missouri, Family Fun: Planes, Boats and Go-Karts
On my recent trip to Branson, Missouri, I was already familiar with the exciting smorgasbord of fabulous live music shows. However, with State Park Marina on Table Rock Lake, excellent dining options and plenty of activities for the entire family, there is a lot more to Branson than the music. And with the addition of Branson Airport, getting to Branson is now much easier for national and international visitors to be able to experience it all. Built in 2009, the airport connects to most major international hubs. There is a Famous Dave’s restaurant to enjoy some award-winning barbecue whilst waiting for your plane and a Bass Pro Shops General Store to pick up some one-of-a-kind souvenirs! Plus, its unique rustic décor reflects the beautiful surroundings of the Ozarks.
Fun on the Water
After touring the airport and sampling some of Famous Dave’s delicious barbecue, we headed over to the State Park Marina located in Table Rock Lake State Park. There are loads of things to do here including water skiing, jet skiing, parasailing, SCUBA diving, fishing or just renting a boat and tooling around. Table Rock is a warm water lake, so it’s perfect for swimming and bass fishing. There is a really nice café there as well as the Boathouse Store – hands down the best marina store I have visited. I bought a really pretty scarf and a sweatshirt for those chilly evenings on the water!
Family Attractions in Downtown
After a wonderful time at the State Park Marina, we were ready for some competitive fun, and where better to do that than at the Track Family Fun Parks? There are eight different go-kart tracks, miniature golf, bumper cars, arcades, laser tag and batting cages. We picked the fastest and highest track to race on, and though I would like to lie and say I won, I actually came in last of about eight people – sad!
The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the downtown area which has some unique shops including Dick’s Five and Dime General Store. The place is full of nostalgic sweets and toys, the kind of stuff I ate and played with as a kid back in the 1970s and ’80s. No matter what bizarre item you may be looking for, there’s a very strong chance you will find it here.
For dinner, we walked over to Branson Landing, more than two kilometers of walk-able waterfront on Lake Taneycomo with wonderful shopping, restaurants and an amazing fountain show that consists of water and fire. We opted to eat at Cantina Laredo, an upscale Mexican restaurant that had been highly recommended, and I can see why as the food was excellent. We popped into Waxy O’Shea’s Irish Pub on the way back to the hotel for one of the local craft brews. It is a fun and lively pub to say the least!
All in all, my time in Branson has been a lot of fun and highly entertaining and I would return in a heartbeat!