Free Things To Do in Branson
- #1View all PhotosfreeTable Rock Lake#1 in BransonBeaches, Natural Wonders, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Natural Wonders, FreeTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Table Rock Lake covers more than 50,000 acres, with nearly 800 miles of shoreline, in southwestern Missouri. Visitors enjoy the natural diversions of swimming, boating, fishing and even scuba diving at the lake, especially since they're so different than the rest of Branson's activities.
Recent travelers, which ranged from avid fishermen to families with young children, said Table Rock Lake is clean, peaceful and altogether lovely. The fishing, swimming and sunset cruises earn particular high praise among travelers.
- #2View all PhotosfreeBranson Landing#2 in BransonEntertainment and Nightlife, Free, Shopping, SightseeingTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDEntertainment and Nightlife, Free, Shopping, SightseeingTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Branson Landing is an outdoor shopping, dining and entertainment center located along a 1.5-mile stretch of Lake Taneycomo. Along with shops and restaurants, the area also boasts a lakeside boardwalk and a series of water fountains set to lights, fire and music (the feature was designed by the same company responsible for the fountains at the Bellagio in Las Vegas).
Recent travelers enjoyed shopping at the more than 100 storefronts in the center, as well as eating at its restaurants, including Cantina Laredo and White River Fish House. More adventurous visitors highly recommended Parakeet Pete's Waterfront Zipline, which allows visitors to zip line across the lake.
- #4View all Photos#4 in BransonNatural Wonders, Free, ToursTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDNatural Wonders, Free, ToursTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is a trout-rearing facility operated by the Missouri Department of Conservation. Travelers can tour the hatchery, which produces between 350,000 to 400,000 pounds of rainbow and brown trout annually. Visitors can also take a hike on one of four trails – which provide fishing access to Lake Taneycomo – pack a picnic to enjoy at the picnic tables and pavilions, and take a peek at the hatchery's nature center.
Families traveling with kids said they enjoyed feeding the fish, but they suggested future visitors bring quarters to pay for the fish food and a cup to collect the fish food. Others highly recommended making time to view the video in the visitor center and speak to the friendly and knowledgeable docents.
- #5View all Photos#5 in BransonFree, Tours, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDFree, Tours, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
A college visit might not usually be on a traveler's must-do list, but the College of the Ozarks is unique. Nicknamed "Hard Work U," this college allows students to graduate debt-free if they work campus jobs while they attend. In addition to being an innovative educational institution, the campus also offers travelers a handful of interesting attractions, including the Ralph Foster Museum, which tells the history of the Ozarks, and Edwards Mill, which grinds whole-grain flour and meal that visitors can purchase.
Travelers highly recommend visitors try a meal at either Dobyns Dining Hall or the Keeter Center, saying the food was delicious and the student employees were kind and professional. The homemade ice cream, made from the fresh milk at the on-campus W. Alton Jones Dairy, is another big hit among recent visitors.
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