Branson, Missouri: Our Favorite Vacation Spot

My wife, son, and I love to travel. As teachers, my wife and I have significant vacation time, and we use it to take four or more trips every year. One favorite location of ours is Branson, Missouri. We first visited in 2006 due to my parents’ advice. We enjoyed it so much that we made sure to visit again in 2011. Should the opportunity come for a third visit, we will see Branson once again.


The Dutton Inn

My parents made several trips to Branson from the 90s through the 2000s. Although Branson has many fine hotels, they always stayed at the Dutton Inn on West Highway 76. It is perfect for couples, families, and solo travelers. The Dutton Inn is right in the middle of the entertainment district and allows easy walking to many of the shows, restaurants, and other attractions.

The Dutton Inn offers these free amenities: cable television, full hot breakfast buffet, Wi-Fi, local phone calls, and in-room coffee makers. The lobby allows guests to enjoy company with each other with television and computer/Internet service. A special offer includes two nights of lodging plus tickets for two Dutton Family shows for up to two people for only $99.00 per person.

The Dutton Inn

3454 W Hwy 76, Branson, MO 65616


The Falls Village resort

My wife, son, and I have visited Branson twice. Each time, we stayed at The Falls Village. This resort is made for either solo travelers or families. Solo travelers may choose from studio rooms that serve more as a traditional hotel room with a mini kitchenette or a one-bedroom apartment-style unit with a full kitchen. We used our vacation club membership, but guests may also make traditional reservations.

The Falls is more than just a hotel. It is a very family-friendly resort. We enjoyed the indoor and outdoor pool, billiards, shuffle board, family lounge, mini golf, playground, basketball court, and many board games. We normally buy groceries and use the fully-stocked kitchens to dine in and save money, but we will also dine in many nearby restaurants.

The Falls Village

200 Creekside Rd., Branson, MO 65616


Must-see shows

Branson is host to some of the finest entertainment in the country. Branson is proof that entertainers can uplift us and make us laugh, smile, and wonder without infusing any inappropriate material. Not once did we hear a profane word or off-color joke or other reference in any performance in either visit. Branson is truly a family-friendly entertainment atmosphere.

The Duttons

The Duttons are big headliners in Branson. Their blend of music, dance, and comedy gave us a terrific afternoon or evening of quality entertainment. My parents would see their show in every visit as they purchased the $99.00 special each time.

The Dutton Family Theater

3454 West Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616


Grand Country Music Hall

The Grand Country Music Hall hosts a number of Branson’s best performances. Throughout the day, guests can enjoy the Amazing Pets show, Comedy Jamboree, Grand Jubilee, and more. Each show has its unique events, but they all have great music and comedy. These shows allow audience participation and volunteering for parts in the shows. I went on stage twice during our 2010 visit and received free tickets to future shows during our stay. My son laughed more than ever when he saw me dressed up as a puppet and lip syncing to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.”

Grand Country Music Hall

1945 West Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616



For breakfast, we typically eat in out room, but as we get out to see the town, we dine in some great restaurants. We especially enjoyed two very close to the resort.

Grand County Buffet

Grand Country Buffet is in the Grand Country Music Hall on Highway 76. The all-you-can-eat buffet has a wide variety of food and a very large salad bar. We enjoyed it so much that we dined here more than all other restaurants combined. The price is great and makes it convenient for dining between shows. We made sure to stop here for breakfast on our way out of Branson, which we really did not want to leave.

Grand Country Buffet

1945 West Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616


Mel’s Hard Luck Diner

The name caught our attention. This diner is a birthplace for budding stars. It has a wide variety of food, and the waiters and waitresses sing while we eat. They showcase their talent as they walk around and greet the guests as they sing. The food is excellent and very well-priced, especially considering the live entertainment.

Mel’s Hard Luck Diner

2800 West Highway 76, Branson, MO 65616



On our last full day in Branson, we rode the ducks. The DUKW (pronounced “duck”) is a land/water amphibious hour-long ride that runs during warm-weather seasons. The ride tours the entire city and enters Lake Tannycomo. The driver kept us laughing the entire time. During the tour, we heard a brief history of the DUKW’s role in World War II. Once on the lake, the kids got to drive the boat.

Ride the Ducks

123 Branson Landing Blvd, Branson MO 65616


We will definitely visit again

All three of us will definitely visit Branson again when the next opportunity arises. Even more than five years after our first visit, we still talk about the fun we had. We went with my parents then but by ourselves the second time. Each time, we had loads of fun and made memories that will stay with us for eternity.


Official Branson Website,

More from this contributor:

The Enjoyment of Frequent Family Travels

First Person: Reducing Our Vacation Costs Without Reducing the Fun

First Person: How We Benefit Financially From Our Vacation Club

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