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Tell me about Branson, MO.

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Jan 24th, 2011, 08:05 AM
  #1
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Tell me about Branson, MO.

We're looking for an early summer destination from Philadelphia. We had been thinking about Las Vegas, but for various reasons we are kind of off that. DH very much likes the idea of driving to Branson, and we are seriously thinking about that. We are two adults in our 40's and an HFA teenager (good about travel). I can get a package with a hotel with an indoor waterpark and two days of tickets to Silver Dollar City very reasonably, and had thought it might be practical to sandwich in a visit to the Laura Ingalls Wilder Homestead as well.

We are thinking we can drive it in two days each way (seems to be about 18 hours drive time), out very early on the first day with an overnight in Terre Haute, and a quick stop in St. Louis on the second day, and back with a slightly later start, and a stop somewhere in Ohio (an acquaintance recommended Dayton). Thoughts?
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Jan 24th, 2011, 08:19 AM
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I've been to Branson exactly once and we stayed right "downtown" at the Hilton which meant we were within walking distance of SOME attractions and restaurants but we still drove to the various theatres for their shows, etc.

It is NOT Las Vegas and believe me, there is a definite "force" which operates in the town that keeps an eye on just what kind of shows are offered (even Wayne Newton was eventually found to be somewhat too outre for Branson).

Plenty of fun things to do for sure. I cannot comment on your planned driving time..am sure it would work well for some and others would be horrified. I do think the place is worth visiting at least once (the same thing some people would say about Vegas).
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Jan 24th, 2011, 08:33 AM
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When we had a family reunion there a couple of years ago with people of all ages everybody had a good time. But that was when Wayne Newton was there.
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Jan 24th, 2011, 09:20 AM
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We only have a single driver, although that driver seems to have missed a calling as a long distance truck driver, and we find that if we start somewhere around 3am-5am, we can get a lot of mileage in during daylight before that driver starts to get tired. We are figuring Terre Haute as about 12 hours from here, so we could be in and settled by dinnertime, and were thinking to stay at Belterra, both because we like casinos, and casino/hotels are generally pretty self-contained and you don't have to roam in search of food and entertainment.
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Jan 24th, 2011, 11:52 AM
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I'm not a huge fan of Branson, but the area is lovely.

I've been to the Laura Ingalls Wilder farm and museum twice and thoroughly enjoyed it each time. If you're a Laura fan, it's a must see.

Lee Ann
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Jan 24th, 2011, 11:56 AM
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As I said earlier, worth at least one visit and as to your drive: i routinely start out on long drives at 1 or 2 AM to beat traffic..whatever works and enjoy your trip.
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Jan 24th, 2011, 01:25 PM
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We are about 3 hours from Branson and have been 20+ trips. We almost always see The Haygoods and we think they are the best show there. If you make plans well ahead, at almost all of the shows, you can get a front row seat. Souji Tabuchi is a good show. You might want to see The Baldknobbers as well.

The indoor waterpark is fairly small and crowded with smaller kids. Definately spend a day at Silver Dollar City. They have various themed seasons throughout the year that are normally good.

what does HFA mean?
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Jan 24th, 2011, 02:25 PM
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Not sure how old your teenager is (or what HFA means) but he/she will enjoy Silver Dollar City and many of the shows. There also are plenty of go-kart and mini-golf places and outlet malls. Lots of good hotels in town, so plenty of choices there. We've been to Branson at least twice with our kids...lots to do and see.
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Jan 24th, 2011, 02:36 PM
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I agree thE area is lovely and nice to drive through, however, we were disappointed with Branson, pretty small really, no shows that suited us as we are county fans. It was full of coach loads of old people while we were there. Apart from Silver Doller City can't see a teenager enjoying this town.
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Jan 24th, 2011, 02:46 PM
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Branson has been described as Vegas for old people - think orchestrated live shows without the gambling, sex or hot weather. I found it telling that the happy hour drink specials start at 9:00 pm, after the tourists have gone to bed and the performers are free for the evening.

Unless your teen has a great and twisted sense of humor, you may be in for an interesting time (note I didn't say "good" time). I believe the term HFA means "high functioning autism", which would not be the type of person I'd want to subject to Branson.
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Jan 24th, 2011, 05:18 PM
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We took our teenage kids along with us to branson and they loved it. We went horseback riding, Silver$ City, paddlewheel dinner cruise, Dolly Parton dinner show, Jim Stafford show too. I agree with the earlier suggestion from spirobulldog- Souji Tabuchi is a good show and the The Baldknobbers. Another great show is "SIX". Great entertainment, no musicians, but they all make their own music! A show not to be missed. Have fun.
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Jan 24th, 2011, 08:42 PM
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HFA does indeed mean "high functioning autism", which in this case translates mostly into very childlike, quirky, and somewhat clumsy. He alternately acts like he's either 10 or 50, so we were kind of thinking that Branson might not be a bad match. The only "typical teenager" trait he exhibits is an unending appetite. He likes to travel, too, even though it's not always the easiest thing for him. And he has no sense of irony, so he'll take it all at cheerful face value.

We were a little more worried that Branson might not be the best match for the adults, but both Silver Dollar City and the Dixie Stampede sound like fun.
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Jan 25th, 2011, 04:09 AM
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Vegas for OLD people? Oh, that's a laugh, especially "downtown" along the lake...lots of very very YOUNGER than YOU folks cruising around on cycles, in pick-ups, etc
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Jan 25th, 2011, 04:19 AM
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He'd Love it. Showboat Branson Belle might be another good option. I say he'd love the Haygoods as well. It's action packed.
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Jan 25th, 2011, 10:26 AM
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I hope you have a great time in Branson.
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Jan 25th, 2011, 01:14 PM
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Sounds real classy Dukey1 - teens cruising around in pickups etc.
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Jan 26th, 2011, 06:56 AM
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I'm quite sure that DS is not going to be cruising around in a pickup (he'd be horrified by the idea, even if we let him, which we wouldn't). I had wondered a little about Showboat Branson Belle, but had thought it a little on the pricey side. He probably would like it, though.
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Jan 26th, 2011, 12:39 PM
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My family and I went to Branson when wife and I were in our early 40's. We all agreed not to go back until we had white hair. I swear we were the only couple under the age of 65. The area is pretty, but Las Vegas it isn't. My girls were bored stiff but different strokes for different folks. We did ride on the Branson Belle, it was the most memorable part of the trip but the food was terrible and the entertainment cheesy and boring. I know this is a negative post but it was not a good vacation for us.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 04:46 PM
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In 2009, in the average age of a Branson visitor was 67 and above. Branson is trying to lower the mean age of visitors, and in 2010 it succeeded in lowering the age to (I forget the exact age) to 66.something.

Plus as stated, Branson is almost a Bible Belt attraction (which may be a good thing, or not). NO lewd shows are allowed.
As I recently discovered, the Showboat Branson Belle says it does not serve liquor (which could be a good thing).

Your choice - we are going aback again.
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Mar 10th, 2011, 07:37 PM
  #20
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We decided that while we might like it, we didn't really want to commit to driving across half the US, especially with gas prices rising, and booked a cruise for ourselves. Hope you have a great time, though, and we will try it sometime.
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