Introduction to the Episode
Welcome to the fifteenth episode of Locals Know Best! I’m your host, Cindy. I’m a full-time RVer and lover of all things travel-related. Years of adventuring on the road have taught me one fundamental lesson; locals ALWAYS know best! Every episode of this podcast will dive into one local’s perfect day of outdoor adventure in their town!
Today, I’ll be speaking with Ashley Mann about a fun outdoorsy day in the tourist destination of Branson, Missouri. And then at the end of our chat, we’re also going to touch on a bunch of the outdoor adventures possible in the greater Ozarks area.
Join Ashley and me as we make the most of a day outdoors in Branson, Missouri, and then journey into all of the outdoor adventures provided by the surrounding Ozarks area.
Is Branson, Missouri Worth Visiting?
Ashley: There’s so much to see and do here. Branson, it’s a vacation destination for people in the Ozarks, but there’s a lot I think to offer people that are not from the area as well.
You know, every part of the U.S. has its own flavor and feel, and I think Branson is a good representation of what the Ozarks have to offer.
And … not just Branson, but the Ozarks is where I would travel from across the country to visit.
What is the Best Time to go to Branson?
Ashley: Yeah, that’s an easy question to answer. It pretty much shuts down in the winter. So don’t come in the winter. Basically so our climate here is it’s pretty cold from about November to February. That’s like, it’s like really, you know, temperatures below freezing.
There are some really neat, like Christmas things you can do if you’re wanting to have some kind of a Christmas experience. But I would really recommend staying between April and October, and really spring and fall are the most beautiful times of the year.
Why Explore Beyond Branson, MO?
Ashley: Branson, I like not because so much of Branson itself, but because it’s kind of centrally located.
So if you can spend a week or two in the Ozarks, there is a lot outside of Branson to do, and all of it is within an hour or two of Branson in different directions.
So I think it’s really a good hub for seeing the Ozarks. But there is a lot to do in Branson as well.
It can get pretty hot in the summer, and the outdoor activities are not as fun. It’s just oppressively humid sometimes in the summer. Also, it’s a lot more crowded in the summer because people are out of school then, but I would really stick to April and May, and then September and October are really the best times to visit.
What is there to do in Branson, MO, Besides Shows?
Links to all the places and activities we talk about in the episode (and a map of the area) can be found below!
About Ashley Mann
Ashley is a former full-time RVer.
She and her husband lived in an RV for three years, starting in 2016, while they both started their online businesses.
In 2019, they decided to return to their hometown of Springfield, Missouri for a few months and ended up falling in love with it so much that they decided to sell their RV and make it their permanent home base.
Ashley currently owns and operates a multitude of websites, including RVinspiration.com, a website about RV organization, decor, and renovations, and RenovatedRVsforsale.com, an RV listing website for buying and selling renovated RVs.
While RVing, Ashley blogged about their experiences, including why they bought an RV that they never traveled in, how they started out their online businesses, and even ultimately why they decided to end their RV life journey.
What We Cover in this Episode
- What makes Branson, MO, a great hub for visiting the Ozarks.
- The history behind the development of Branson.
- What makes Branson both cheesy and charming.
- The best time of year to visit Branson, MO.
- Where to stay in Branson, MO, with and without an RV.
- The best spots to get coffee and juice near Branson, MO.
- A relaxing outdoorsy spot near Branson, MO that’s not to be missed – complete with streams, lakes, waterfalls, caves, bike rentals, tram tours, segway rentals, and horseback riding.
- Why historic downtown Branson is worth your time.
- The most authentic Ozarks Southern dinner spot in Branson, MO, and what to order.
- A local’s favorite place to play mini-golf in Branson, MO.
- The most overrated attractions in Branson, MO, and where you should go instead to get the biggest bang for your buck.
- The best shows, museum, and Instagram spots in Branson, MO.
- The must-visit destinations throughout the Ozarks, in both Missouri and Arkansas, for paddling, hiking, rock climbing, and swimming.
Ashley’s Branson, MO Ozarks Travel Itinerary Map
Links to Places Mentioned in this Episode
Where to Stay in Branson, MO:
- Airbnb Rentals (If you’re new to Airbnb, you’ll get $65 off your first booking with this link!)
- 86 Campground
- Best Western Branson Inn And Conference Center
- La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham Branson
Outdoor Activities Mentioned in the Episode & What to do in Branson, MO:
- Table Rock Lake
- Dogwood Canyon
- Historic Downtown Branson
- Dick’s Oldtime 5 & 10
- Branson Landing
- Lake Taneycomo
- Branson Ferris Wheel (Formerly Chicago’s Navy Pier Ferris Wheel)
- Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf
- Silver Dollar City
- Ralph Foster Museum
Outdoor Activities Mentioned in the Episode & What to do Beyond Branson Throughout the Ozarks:
- Jasper, AR – Buffalo River Area
- Sam’s Throne
- Eureka Springs, AR
- Bentonville, AR
- Fayetteville, AR
- Hot Springs, AR
- Petit Jean State Park
- Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park
- Elephant Rocks State Park
Branson, MO Restaurants Mentioned in this Episode:
Branson, MO Instagram Photo Spots Mentioned in this Episode:
- Point Lookout
- Top of the Rock
Thanks for Listening!
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