The Branson Lakes Area Offers Year-Round Outdoor Recreation

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BRANSON, MO -- The cool, crisp weather of late autumn and early winter is an appealing time for outdoor activities in the Ozarks. Fishing, hunting, hiking, camping and other pursuits are year-round opportunities for sporting enthusiasts.




Situated between three pristine lakes, many of Branson's water activities are available even during Ozark Mountain Christmas. Table Rock Lake is a popular recreational lake drawing millions of visitors each year. Fishing for bass, crappie and other species, boating, swimming, scuba diving, and many other types of water activities are offered on Table Rock Lake throughout the year.




The lake never freezes so it is ideal for enjoying water activities even in mid-winter. From November 3 through December 31, the Showboat Branson Belle offers lake cruises with a holiday flair. The enormous stern wheeler offers several cruises with live entertainment, festive meals and spectacular views.




Lake Taneycomo, famous for its rainbow and German brown trout, traditionally has a large role in Ozark Mountain Christmas. The narrow lake formed by the damming of the White River, begins at the Table Rock Dam south and west of Branson and winds for 22 miles to Forsyth. During the Ozark Mountain Christmas season, the Lake takes on a new role as center of some of the most popular lighting displays. The nativity scene, with figures up to 40 feet tall overlooks Lake Taneycomo and evokes an awe-inspiring reminder of the Christmas season.




Additional displays are featured on the Taneycomo lakefront opposite the downtown area and on the brightly decorated Taneycomo Bridge. The Polyhedron Music Star sits atop Mount Branson to welcome visitors to the downtown area.




Bull Shoals Lake offers much of the same recreational and sporting activity as Table Rock Lake, but in a more rural and secluded environment. On both lakes, the relatively mild temperatures during Ozark Mountain Christmas usually mean good fishing for largemouth, small mouth, Kentucky and white bass, as well as black and white crappie and bluegill.




Table Rock, Taneycomo and Bull Shoals Lakes all have plenty of lakeside resorts to accommodate families who enjoy outdoor recreation. Many of the marinas and docks remain open all year and some lake attractions operate on special holiday schedules during Ozark Mountain Christmas.




November and December are ideal months for experiencing the rugged Ozark hills first-hand. The winter landscape of red cedars, ledge rock, pine and leafless oaks presents an invitation to outdoor enthusiasts who want to truly experience the Ozarks. Established nature trails are offered for hiking and biking and for those who like to hike off-trail, the hills await the exploration.




The Branson/Lakes Area is a perfect hub from which to discover the area state parks and forests. With almost 20,000 acres of land dedicated to green space, the state parks and forests are ideal for hiking, biking, fishing, camping, picnicking, horseback riding, studying nature and exploring nearby caves. Dogwood Canyon, a 10,000 acre privately owned wilderness refuge offers tram tours that allow guests to spot herds of Elk, Bison and Texas Longhorns. Caving has been a popular pastime for Ozark residents and visitors for years. Area caves offer immense rooms and fascinating formations in this subterranean wonderland. Marvel Cave at Silver Dollar City, Cosmic Caverns, Talking Rocks Cavern and Fantastic Caverns in Springfield, all offer tours of the grottos.




The Branson entertainment scene includes dazzling shows, family attractions crystal clear lakes and awe-inspiring natural formations. No matter the kind of entertainment sought, the Branson/Lakes area is sure to deliver with spectacular style.




Information provided by Mandy Schwarz of the Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau



Showboat Branson Belle Lunch & Dinner Cruises
What a great experience!! I booked our family on the dinner boat for the 4th of july. We had the seats to the far end of the boat. The only down side to it is the overhang from above. When janis did her violin act with the ropes we couldn't see what was happening when she went to the top. The food was fine, the acts were great (i wasn't so sure when i booked) and the best part was they stopped the boat on the lake so we could leave our seats and go on deck to watch the fireworks from the boat. It looked like a sea of christmas lights with the all the boats on the lake and the fireworks put on by branson was spectacular. This event was worth every penny we spent in spite of the low view from our seating. Our son still speaks of the event. He was able to get his picture taken with the captain. All the staff were pleasant and willing to assist if and when needed. The sail was so smooth we didn't realize we were moving. A wonderful memory for our entire family. Love, love, loved it!!
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-- Loretta Wood - Dallas, TX
Silver Dollar City
Silver dollar city is a great place to take the family if they are wanting a fun-filled day. You couldn't ask for a better amusement park! The rides are adventurous and the shops are filled with great souvenirs. The family loves it when we head to branson, they know where we will end up. Great job branson!!
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-- The Baker Family - Verona, MO
Showboat Branson Belle Lunch & Dinner Cruises
Really enjoyed the cruise. Food was great, best roast beef i've ever had. Service was prompt and very good. Didn't have the best seats in the house, but that's what happens when you wait too long to reserve. The band was superb, the young man singing was good, but i didn't like some of the songs he did at the beginning of the show. Too old, i guess. I was impressed with the magician, but the bit with the dog and camera left me cold. The young lady that played the violin and piano was very good. The aerialist/violin act was just too gimmicky though. Leave the violin playing out and just be an aerialist. She was very good at that. The cruise portion was good too. Enjoyed going out on the deck for the breeze and to watch the other boats and jet skis sliding in and out around the big boat. Never even felt the boat get into motion or when it returned to the dock. Very steady. Thanks for a very enjoyable few hours. Highly recommended.
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-- James Beemon - Morton, Mississippi
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