Hotel at a Glance: The Suites at Fall Creek
There’s nothing in America quite like Branson—Frommer’s calls it “a miniature Vegas without the gambling or showgirls, a G-rated destination where families outnumber swinging singles 10-to-1.” Located a few miles south of the action, The Suites at Fall Creek sits amid the lakes of the White River Basin, offering a taste of natural serenity. The family-friendly lakeside resort features an indoor pool and a bustling activities center.
- Enjoy the pond by going fishing along the shore or renting a boat from the marina.
- Get active: Play horseshoes, shuffleboard, or tennis.
- Work on your short game on the mini-golf course.
- Whip up a meal: Each unit has a partial or full kitchen with cooking utensils.
- Relax in your room with a DVD rental from the onsite library.
- Distance to the Branson strip: about 3 miles
Branson, Missouri: Family-Friendly Theaters and Concert Halls in the Ozarks
If you take a drive through the Ozarks in Missouri, it might seem like an unlikely place to find glittering lights and stage shows—for the most part, it’s a rolling plateau of wooded hills, snaking rivers, and limestone bluffs. But follow down Route 76 and you’ll find Branson, which looks like a miniature, more family-friendly version of Las Vegas.
Dozens of stages and music halls line Branson’s main strip, some of which are owned by stars such as Dolly Parton. On any given night you can watch anything from country music performances to circus acrobatics to magic shows.
If you’re traveling with kids, Silver Dollar City is a safe bet; it’s located about 5 miles west of the strip. The popular theme park is built around Marvel Cave and modeled after an 18th-century frontier town. Here you can hop on a mine-car roller coaster, take a tour by lantern through limestone caverns, or watch as blacksmiths hand-forge mailboxes for the mayor’s private collection.
If you want to duck away from the lights, it’s worth it to explore the surrounding countryside. Within about 30 miles, there are two large lakes—Table Rock and Taneycomo. Each is stocked with trout and has boats available for rent. Or head to Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area, where you can bike or hike along Roark Creek and through dense oak forests. Paul Henning, who was inspired to create the Beverly Hillbillies after a Boy Scout trip to the Ozarks, donated the 1,534-acre reserve.