Wide-open tracts of land roll past as a locomotive charges down the tracks. Passengers watch as the Boston Mountains' peaks and valleys rise and fall. A little red caboose brings up the rear. Aboard one of the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad's trains, passengers take a trip back in time without the aid of a DeLorean. As the train winds across valleys, through tunnels, and over bridges, the friendly conductors spin tales of the area's history. In total, the trains take a 150 mile route from Monett, Missouri to Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Grown sustainably on Augusta’s verdant hillsides, the fruit of Mount Pleasant’s voluptuous vines has soaked up a slew of accolades. Wine 101 classes in tasting, food pairing, and cork firing edify duos of aspiring aficionados with a one-hour onslaught of grape-centric wisdom, along with a complimentary souvenir wine glass. Students will learn to pair wines with cheese and chocolate and practice trapping even the wildest varietals in bottles. Indulge in a selection of delicious sips while honing the five S’s of proper tasting—seeing, swirling, sniffing, sipping, and savoring—before honoring instructors with the optional sixth S: snuggling.
A replica of Mount Rushmore reigns over the Hollywood Wax Museum—but instead of bearing faces of American presidents, the mugs of John Wayne, Charlie Chaplin, Marilyn Monroe, and Elvis welcome visitors into the museum's collection of celebrity wax figures. Each lifelike figure is meticulously crafted over the course of three months, resulting in uncanny stand-ins for stars such as Lucille Ball, Samuel L. Jackson, Willie Nelson, and Will Smith. Counter to the velvet ropes and glass cases of most museums, guests of the Hollywood Wax Museum can walk right up and touch their favorite figures, getting a taste of fame as they share the spotlight with them for unique photo ops. Celebrity trivia accompanies each figure across the two-level, multi-million-dollar facility, such as stars' accomplishments, the names of their pets, or which moon of Jupiter they own a resort on. After patrons max out on wax, they can head next door to Hannah's Maze of Mirrors, where reflective surfaces obfuscate players' paths as they rescue Princess Hannah from a wicked spell.
For more than 20 years, pilot Rodney Williams has shuttled guests on breathtaking excursions into the clouds aboard the gently swaying baskets of Branson Balloon's hot-air-propelled vessels. As balloons rise slowly into the stratosphere, passengers can enjoy views of the trees, valleys, lakes, and Sasquatch dwellings of the Ozarks stretch out underfoot. After the sojourn into the skies, Rodney leads clients through a post-flight champagne toast and the Balloonist's Prayer—ceremonial pleasantries that have helped Rodney maintain a perfect safety record throughout his entire career as a pilot.
From their perch on drifting kayaks, visitors explore Lake Taneycomo or Table Rock Lake, floating past geese and groundhogs who chitter on the banks of the man-made lakes. Twenty-seven miles of placid waters snake around foliage that hides hiking trails, deer, and even bald eagles, and guests can traverse the surface in 3- or 5-mile stretches as guides point out the wildlife.
Ozarks Extreme Outdoors Kayak and Canoe Company invites guests to explore the Ozarks at their own pace. In all seasons, visitors enjoy breathtaking views as they paddle along the region's many lakes and rivers. Along the way, guests can scope out wildlife while anglers can make stops to reel in Ozark smallmouth bass.