America By Rail Blog

posted on February 05, 2016

Branson, Missouri has an assortment of activities and is a lesser known family favorite vacation destination. The city will welcome you with country music, themes from the 1800s, a boulevard of theaters and a diverse group of performers. With a popular amusement park, a Wild West dinner theater, and a historic cave, Branson takes its visitors back to the Old West. Branson is also known for its water parks, family theme parks, golf courses, and several museums including Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and the Titanic Museum. As you travel Branson by train, be sure to hop off the tracks and visit some of these western-style attractions. 


Silver Dollar City

If there is one thing Branson is known for, it’s its theme park, Silver Dollar City. The amusement park is a popular family destination open March to December. Roller coasters, unique performances, and western-style entertainment are some of Silver Dollar City’s most popular attractions. Guests can even take vintage photographs in colonial period clothing as if they are really in the Old West. At Silver Dollar City, guests can go back to a simpler time and observe craftsmen as they demonstrate techniques passed down through generations. The theme park is home to many artisans that showcase and teach their craft, whether it is pottery, carving, glass blowing, blacksmithing, or the culinary arts.

Silver Dollar City is also home to the famous Showboat entertainment dinner cruise where guests can enjoy a freshly prepared meal while watching live performances. Silver Dollar City prides itself in being a place that not only celebrates entertainment, diversity, and culture, but also a place to celebrate family.

Branson Titanic Museum

At the end of the American Frontier, the largest ship afloat in 1912 was a dream to thousands of people. The giant ship had cost thousands of lives when it struck an iceberg and sank on its maiden voyage. Today, people are fascinated to learn about the passengers on the Titanic and you can do just that at the largest museum attraction in the world in Branson. The Titanic Museum showcases the ship’s history where guests can explore a replica of the ship, view 400 artifacts, and interact with one of the most famous events in history.

Marvel Cave

Below the busy streets of Silver Dollar City is a truly spectacular landmark that carves 505 feet into the earth. The mysterious, dark Marvel Cave is the deepest cave in Missouri, and visitors can choose to climb down to explore. The cave has a lot of history connected to it. Old wooden ladders within the cave suggest that Spanish explorers might have discovered the cave in 1541, which was hundreds of years prior to tourist interaction.

The cave once was referred to as Marble Cave because explorers had thought they saw marble on the cave’s ceilings. When this was discredited, the name officially became Marvel Cave. It has 16 rooms and passages, each given a name associated with its natural features or its historical relation.

In the 1800s, tours lasted about 8 hours and required tourists to climb down into the hole while carrying candles or lanterns. Today, tourists can explore this magnificent cave by taking concrete steps down the cave on two available tours. The traditional tours are an hour and are free to the public. Guests will take man-made pathways that are lit up inside the cave to explore various rooms and passages. Guests can also choose to take the Lantern Light Tour, which takes visitors back in time as they must use lanterns throughout the hour and a half long tour.

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction

If you truly want to feel like you’re in the Wild West, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede Dinner Attraction combines a colonial and Wild West performance with a freshly cooked four-course dining experience. The 35,000 square foot arena showcases 32 horses and trick riders jumping through rings of fire and performing incredible stunts at top speeds. There is dancing, singing and other wild performances such as a stampede of buffaloes, fire blowing, and acrobatics. The family feast involves homemade country style food such as soup and tender Cornish hen.

The show takes the audience through America’s past with fun, interactive performances. Prior to the dinner show, audience members are invited to enjoy the pre-show entertainment in the Carriage Room Saloon which includes meeting the performers and taking a beautiful horse walk to meet the performing horses.

If you truly want to delve into the western atmosphere of Branson, Missouri, check out our Branson tours.

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