May is Amazing in Branson

Giddy Up Your Golf Vacation in the Ozarks

In recent years, Branson, MO, has gained considerable celebrity for its premium live music entertainment—a Nashville twin sister, if you will. Yet rambling just below the radar is a litany of recreational diversions that will pique the interest of any avid traveler, especially the clubs-toting variety.

Here is a five-course sampler of Branson’s best:

1. Branson delivers first-class golf crafted by some of the best architects in the game, including Top of the Rock resort’s Buffalo Ridge Springs course (a Tom Fazio design that hosts the Champions Tour’s Bass Pros Shops Legends of Golf tournament) and its rambunctious par-3 routing (Jack Nicklaus Signature). Other must-plays include Payne Stewart Golf Club (pictured above, voted best public course in the state by Golfweek); mountainous LedgeStone Country Club (pictured below, Tom Clark); and in nearby Springfield, Rivercut Golf Course (Ken Dye).

2. Live entertainment is first and foremost in Branson, which illustrates its well-deserved fame with Vegas-quality shows at Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede; two-hour dinner-and-show cruises aboard the Showboat Branson Belle; joyful country, gospel, bluegrass and comedy at legendary Presley’s Country Jubilee; and the singular a capella performances of Six at the Mickey Gilley Theater.

3. If you have a giddy-up hankering for parades, patriotism, festivals and fireworks, May is great in Branson. Check out World-Fest at Silver City, in full gear through May 3; Bluegrass and BBQ (May 7-25); Armed Forces Remembrance Days (May 11-18); and the Memorial Day fireworks display at Chateau on the Lake resort (May 24).

4. The city has a fabulous 50-year history of offering residents and guests big-ticket diversions. Recommendations include the just-opened Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum; back-in-history experiences at wildly popular Titanic Museum; top-drawing Silver Dollar City’s family pleasing theme park; and the 100-plus specialty shops and restaurants at Branson Landing.

5. With the Ozark Mountains just minutes away, there’s no shortage of scrapbook-friendly outdoor recreation, including zip lining, water sports, camping, hunting, hiking, fishing, horseback riding, biking, helicopter touring and more. Don’t miss the adrenaline-infused thrills of flyboarding, now available at Table Rock State Park.

From Denver, Branson is an 11.5-hour drive or a 90-minute flight on Branson Air.


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Chris Duthie is a contributor to Colorado AvidGolfer, the state’s leading resource for golf and the lifestyle that surrounds it. It publishes eight issues annually and proudly delivers daily content via