Three Things to Know Before You Go

  1. Branson has American history

    Native Americans lived in the area for thousands of years before European settlers came. The first large tourist attraction in Branson was the opening of Marvel Cave in 1894 by William Henry Lynch. Now, nearly 8 million visitors travel to Branson each year, enjoying more than 200 restaurants and 50 live entertainment theaters.

  2. Bald Knobbers are bandits

    These vigilante groups, commonly depicted wearing hoods with horns, met at the grassy bald knob summits of Taney County from 1883-1889. They are the villains in Harold Bell Wright’s famous book, The Shepherd of the Hills. Now, the Mabe family stars in the western comedy revue “Baldknobbers,” which you can see at their theater on Highway 76.

  3. Unique geology abounds

    You’ve heard of the Show Me State, but how about the Cave State? According to the Missouri department of natural resources, there are 6,300 caves in the state with more being discovered every year, most in the Ozarks area, due to the soluble dolomite and limestone rock formations found there. You’ll see this flat Table Rock everywhere, and it’s where Table Rock Lake got its name.

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    The Top of the Rock Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail features a large cave with golf cart drive through tours.

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About the Author

About the Author: Pat Barcas serves as staff writer and photographer for RTX Traveler Magazine, based in Asheville, NC. In his spare time he enjoys photography, astronomy, hiking, hanging out with his family and dog, and of course, traveling! His favorite RTX spots to visit are Orange Beach, Alabama, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, and Murrells Inlet, South Carolina, but he's visiting new places all the time. .

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