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Unforgettable Historic Sites to Visit in Branson

A Landmark Travel Guide by Discover Branson

7 minute read

Buckle up, we’re taking a trip down memory lane.

Branson, Missouri was rich in culture and history long before the glamor and dazzling attractions that dominate the area today. As the “Live Music Capital of the World,” Branson is much more than just a place to enjoy live music and theater performances—it's a bonafide outdoor paradise.

Surrounded by the picturesque Ozark Mountains, there are countless fishing spots and scenic trails for hiking and exploring; it’s no wonder why celebrities and professional outdoorsmen have gravitated to this special place. Whether you prefer admiring nature or enjoying some entertainment on stage, the Branson area has always been the destination of choice even as it evolved over time.

The passion for the outdoors evidenced by the people of Branson has led to the preservation and protection of many historical places. From thrilling attractions like caves, fishing holes, museums and theme parks, Branson’s history is rich with incredible natural beauty that it continues to celebrate in all its splendor from within the Ozarks region.

Discover Branson is here with the most unforgettable historic sites that contributed to why Branson presently offers the best of both worlds for outdoor adventure and a tourist’s dreamland. These historic sites are already set up & arranged for you to visit, so you can focus more on immersing yourself or your group with Branson’s rich history & culture.If you’re planning to visit Branson, our travel experts are ready to handle the details for you with the lowest prices for the greatest values. We want your trip to run smoothly, and we’re so excited to show you around with the perks and benefits we have already established with tour establishments around the area.

Check out the unforgettable historic sites to visit in Branson on your next trip.

Bonniebrook Gallery, Museum, and Homestead

Step into the past by visiting Bonniebrook Gallery, Museum and Homestead. This museum was formerly Rose O'Neill's family home. She was an artist, illustrator and writer recognized for her adorable Kewpies. Today, the magnificent home is on the National Register of Historic Places and has been meticulously restored to its original state. Inside this place lies a collection of O’Neill's artwork that will leave you in awe. Not only that, it is surrounded by many other historical attractions in Branson. Bonniebrook serves as a tranquil retreat made complete by walking trails through the woods and peaceful spots near a creek.

Silver Dollar City

For more than half a century, this 1880s-inspired amusement park has been the go-to destination in Branson and is now one of its most valued historical landmarks. Because of the diverse range of interactive attractions, there are a lot of things to do to immerse oneself in its history. With hundreds of artisans showcasing their talents in the attraction venue, from glass blowers to weavers and potters to carpenters, it will be a surefire way to have fun as well as learn something new. Go beyond just learning how to make delicious homemade treats like jams and jellies, because you can take home your favorites too. Better yet, visitors of the park can join monthly culinary classes hosted within a charming turn-of-the-century style farmhouse for an even more immersive experience into traditional recipes. If you're looking for a rush of excitement, get ready to experience the thrills provided by our amusement park's thrilling roller coasters and rides. You can plummet eight stories in one go, spin 50 feet up high into the air, or even defy gravity on our iconic wooden coaster. 

Branson Scenic Railway

Come join on a memorable and historic 40-mile journey through the stunning Ozarks! The knowledgeable conductor will serve as your tour guide, narrating stories from this area's rich history, some of it dating to the early 20th century. Cruise past majestic creeks, rivers, valleys and even old ghost towns while relishing in the picturesque natural landscape. If you prefer an elevated view of all that nature has to offer, cozy up inside one of our observatory cars located at the top level of the train for beautiful panoramic views—and don't forget to stop by our retro dining car where you can enjoy a delicious meal during your ride.

Talking Rocks Cavern

Tourists and locals alike have been captivated by the Ozarks for many years, not only due to its countless lakes but also because of its underground cave system. In fact, some of Branson's famous comedy and musical acts began their careers entertaining in these caves. A visit to this breathtaking region promises an unforgettable experience like no other. Talking Rocks Cavern is a breathtaking destination, filled with remarkable beauty and the thrill of exploration. Originally given its name in 1969 when it was incorporated into Silver Dollar City's attractions, the cave system has deep-rooted history that can be discovered through an hour-long guided tour. From there you can ascend to the stunning lookout tower and picnic areas or take part in gemstone mining.

Baldknobbers Jamboree

This is the show that started it all. For over sixty years, the Mabe family has been dazzling Branson with their award-winning country music and comedy variety show at the newly erected Famous Theatre. The iconic Baldknobbers performance is preserved in its original form to this day as a testament to how far entertainment in Missouri has come since 1959. The family's unique combination of country music, gospel tunes, and comedy have earned their show a reputation as one of the most beloved historic sites in Branson. To this day, their show continues to draw huge crowds who come for an enjoyable experience that blends traditional entertainment with modern flare.

Ralph Foster Museum

If you are looking to truly experience the charm and history of the Ozarks, pay a visit to Ralph Foster Museum. Situated on College of the Ozarks' campus, this museum is an immaculate representation of life in the region during its early years. Inside you will find curated collections dating back to 1920s that feature antiques, houseware items and wildlife specimens as well as The Beverly Hillbillies iconic car. From its modest roots in the 1920s, The Ralph Foster Museum on the College of Ozarks campus has flourished into a leading Midwest center for historical preservation.

After College of the Ozarks President, Dr. Robert M. Good, heard about a potential museum on campus, he was keen to get involved and soon dedicated space in Abernathy Hall's basement for display items. Following this, when the residence hall became empty, funds were contributed which allowed for the entirety of the space to be transformed into an intriguing museum. The Ralph Foster Museum is focused on gathering, protecting, and displaying pieces from the Ozarks region. One of its most popular attractions is the original car used in "The Beverly Hillbillies" television show. Furthermore, patrons can explore a variety of antiques, firearms, dolls, natural history artifacts and other worldly items as well.

The History of Fishing Museum

Karl and Beverly White have the proud distinction of amassing the biggest collection of antique fishing equipment, including lures, rods, reels, boats and motors - all personally acquired by the couple alone. Karl fell in love with this hobby at 8 years old when he purchased his first James Heddon's Crazy Crawler (the most expensive to manufacture back then). Amazingly enough, it is still part of their vast assortment today, boasting an astounding 70-year journey!

With a compilation of 40,000 items worth around $5 million, the History of Fishing Museum is no ordinary exhibition. This museum displays an extensive array of lures, rods, reels and boats. Not to mention one of the first pairs of sunglasses ever made. Anyone who loves fishing will be in awe at its vast selection. Dubbed the world's most expensive and varied tackle collection, it is not surprising that many collectors have featured one area (e.g., ice fishing) or a single brand (James Heddon & Sons). However, the Whites' compilation includes every object in antique tackle collecting and paraphernalia—from the very first.

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