Don't Forget Springfield, Missouri
When planning a vacation for Branson, Missouri, don't think that your vacation has to be limited to just the one city. There are many interesting surrounding towns and cities, the most popular is Springfield, Missouri.
Springfield is the third largest city in the state of Missouri, and has plenty to offer visiting families. Springfield is located about 30 minutes north of Branson, just a short scenic drive away. When visiting Springfield, there are many things to see, and the question always is 'Where do I start?'
The center of activity in Springfield, is downtown. There are local pubs, shopping, Jordan Valley Ice Park, Hammons Field, Missouri State University, and more. Free parking is available all over the downtown area, or there is a brand new parking garage just across the street from Hammons Field.
Don't think even for a second that all the sights are downtown, though. On the eastern edge of town is the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, where there is tons of memorabilia, hands-on exhibits, and fascinating displays. Go through America's only ride-through cave, on the north side of Springfield, at Fantastic Caverns, or catch the most amazing vacations photos at Exotic Animal Paradise, where you drive through the park within the comfort of your own car.
The entertainment possibilities are endless when in Springfield. It's a unique city because while it has all the conveniences of a big city, like the Springfield - Branson Regional Airport, it has all the feel of a small town. The people are friendly and the restaurants are fantastic. There are some new favorites in Springfield, as far as dining goes. It welcomed the Texas Roadhouse just this year, but there are other favorites that have been around for years, like the Mudhouse, which is a coffee house located downtown that offers snacks as well, or Lambert's Cafe is just a few minutes down Highway 65 in Ozark, Missouri.
With all the exciting things to see and do in Branson, it may be hard to remember that there are other places to see, but if you do remember, Springfield will not disappoint.