The big attraction to anglers are the three nearby lakes. The cold water of Lake Taneycomo, the smallest of the lakes, makes for good fishing for rainbow and brown trout that are annually stocked. Table Rock Lake, just west of town, is considered one of the country’s best for bass fishing. Table Rock is also good for crappie, catfish, and bluegill. Bull Shoals Lake, the largest of the three, is considered best for white, largemouth, and spotted bass. Trout fishing is popular with visitors to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park. Anglers from 16 to 65 years of age are required to have a valid fishing permit. Daily permits are $7 for both residents and nonresidents.
White Water, which covers 13 acres, is a water park that has more than a dozen rides and activities. Zip lining is available at a number of locations. Numerous water-related activities include riding the Ducks (WWII-era amphibious vehicles), jet skiing, and parasailing. The multitude of shows and activities in Branson could fill several weeks without a visitor doing the same thing twice.
IF YOU GO
Getting There: Branson is in southwest Missouri, 830 miles from Valdosta. The Branson airport is serviced by Frontier and Southwest. Springfield, 45 miles north, is the nearest airport served by Delta. Ticket prices from Valdosta to Springfield tend to range between $450 and $600, depending on season and day of the week.
Where to Eat: Restaurants are as plentiful as theaters. In fact, several of the latter including Andy Williams Moon River Theatre, have their own restaurant. In the downtown area, try the Farmhouse and at The Landing, the Black Oak Grill. For an elegant evening, Hilton’s Level 2 Steakhouse is a good choice. Plan for at least one meal at the Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks and save room for homemade ice cream.
Where to Stay: Most hotel chains are represented in the area. Condominium rentals are also widely available. The Hilton has condominiums located at The Landing and a hotel across the street. The Thousand Hills Golf Resort, located off Highway 76, rents both cabins and condos (www.thousandhills.com). The Branson House (www.thebransonhouse.com) in the downtown area is a good choice if you like the personal touch of a bed and breakfast.
Additional Information: For general information on Branson visit www.explorebranson.com or call (800) 296-0463. For information on Silver Dollar City, visit www.silverdollarcity.com or call (800) 475-9370