My family visited Branson during one of the hotest weeks of the year and boy did it get hot. As high as 101 degrees. Good thing we were seeing a lot of shows where it was cool.
We stayed at the Lodge of The Ozarks. It was really nice and included a free hot breakfast including eggs, bacon, potatoes, waffles and more. The room was clean and perfect for going to see our favorite show - SIX who performed in the Hughes Brothers Theater attached to the hotel.
We saw the following shows:
Clay Cooper Country Music Express - performing in his very own theater Clay Cooper is a genuine country singer who can really sing. Plenty of comedy dancing, roping and some family members thrown in for good measure make this show a lot of fun.
The Acrobats of China - Amazing acrobats, juglers, and drummers and colorful costumes made this fast paced show a feast for the eyes.
The Haygoods - What an amazingly talented family. I would rank them as the #2 show in Branson. They are so talented on the violins and saxophones and they sing and dance the entire show. My only suggestion is that they try to feature their only sister (18)a little more and maybe even pair her with their 16 year old brother (the youngest of the bunch) and maybe do a kind of Donnie & Marie set. They would fit the bill perfectly.
The Hughes Brothers - Nice show, in my opinion kind of over hyped. The brothers all have huge voices but need to blend a little more as a unit. This show is very similar to most of the other shows that follows a pattern. That was my experience throughout our Branson stay. Just about every show follows a similar pattern and if you've seen one you've just about seen them all.
The Rankin Brothers - Another nice show which included a bunch of recognizable songs which brought back a lot of great memories. The brothers do some amazing impressions of singers like Buddy Holly, Elvis and Willie Nelson. I actually rank them as my 3rd favorite.
Dixie Stampede - A great show with a lot of food. It's fast paced and is very exciting at times. The only draw back is eating without utensils, and the constant asking for the crowd to clap and cheer. It can be very tiring.
SIX - I've saved the best for last. SIX is six real brothers singing a cappella music at its best and is the show that every show in town would like to be like. They are the new guys in town that have taken Branson by storm. They follow only one of the typical patterns of the other shows by doing a salute to the Veterans, but unlike the other shows who have various other performers filling the time during their shows, from the time the curtain opens till the final song you get SIX, and only the performers of SIX! Add to that, they are one of just a few shows in town that don't perform with back tracks and the only one that doesn't even have a band. Everything you hear is created by the SIX brothers on stage, LIVE! They are simply the most amazing show on the strip and perform something for everyone in the family. If you have time for only one show make this your first choice. We actually saw them twice while we were in town!
The other things we did while we were in town were The Titanic Museum, Ride The Ducks and Silver Dollar City. They were all great. My only regret was being in Silver Dollar City in 98 degree weather walking up and down all of those hills.
We had lunch and dinner out at several places and would recommend Mel's Hard Luck Diner for the fun experience, the food was ok. We got serenaded by several of the waiters and waitresses including one of the finalist from American Idol.
Our two favorite dinners were Andy Williams Moon River Grill. Amazing homestyle cooking using Andy's mom's recipies. Add to that wonderful live piano music and great friends made this a wonderful experience.
Our other dining experience worth mentioning would be the Gardens. Really awesome dinner with a beautiful atmosphere. Live jazz guitar played in the background made it very enjoyable. Honorable mention goes to The Grand Country Buffet. Nice food choices and great catfish.
Best desserts were at Cakes and Creams and Andy's Frozen Custard. I had the the signature funnel cake at C&C and the Key Lime Pie Concrete at Andy's, YUM!
Our Branson trip was incredible and very tiring at the same time. The big drawback was the traffic on 76 (the main strip) which got even crazier when the annual cruise started coming into town while we were there which added to the horrific traffic. We did learn some back roads which helped get us around a little faster.
We'll definately return to Branson although next time we'll plan on being there a longer period of time and we'll fly into the new Branson Airport instead of the 15 hour drive from Saxonburg, PA.
Thanks for reading.