Branson Travel Guide

USA  #19 in Best Cheap Vacations in the U.S.
Credit

Courtesy of JeremyMasonMcGraw.com/Getty Images

Free Things To Do in Branson

If you have extra time, Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is worthwhile.
  • #1
    Things to do in Branson
    View all Photos
    #1 in Branson
    Beaches, Natural Wonders, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Natural Wonders, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME 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.

  • #2
    Branson Landing
    View all Photos
    #2 in Branson
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife, Shopping, Sightseeing, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME 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.

  • #4
    Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery
    View all Photos
    #4 in Branson
    Natural Wonders, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Natural Wonders, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME 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.

  • #5
    College of the Ozarks
    View all Photos
    #5 in Branson
    Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing, Tours, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME 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.

Explore More of Branson

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.