Great places to visit while staying in a Cody's Cabin.


Silver Dollar City

Of course, first is Silver Dollar City - great fun for all ages! Big roller coaster, kiddie rides, and lots of craftsmen and shops. Also, food is everywhere and different shows play at many places throughout the park. Pick up a map and show guide for the daily schedule.





Shepherd of the Hills

The Shepherd of the Hills is one of the original attractions of the area. The book is fiction but is based on actual places and some real people. The Homestead tour has interesting depictions from the book and the outdoor drama truly brings the story to life. While the drama can be very enjoyable without reading the book, I really do recommend reading it before seeing the drama.




Grand Country

There are numerous putt-putt courses and go-cart tracks on the strip and on Green Mountain Drive. (Yellow Route). There is a nice indoor putt-putt course inside the Grand Country on Hwy 76. There are some shops and a great buffet inside also. The indoor waterpark is only open to their guests—sorry.






The Ducks

Everyone wants to ride the ducks! And everyone should do it---once. Charles and I have ridden the ducks FAR too many times. Before my dad died, dementia had impaired his short term memory and he quickly forgot the amazing time he had riding the ducks. We enjoyed his experience so much that we took him on the ducks each time we brought him to Branson. Since then, we have brought other family members to the ducks--many times. If you all want to save your money, we can recite the entire tour for you. LOL Truly, it is a nice tour of the area and a fun ride on Tablerock Lake. There are 2 ride the ducks now, one downtown on the Landing that goes into Lake Taneycomo and the original one that goes onto Tablerock, starting near McDonalds on Hwy 76. It takes about 60-90 minutes.



Pierce Arrow


Pierce Arrow (Oak Ridge Boys style music and a hilarious comedian) and SIX ( various music styles performed by 6 very talented brothers! They do not use instruments but do AMAZING things with their voices!)


The Baldknobbers


The Baldknobbers and The Presleys are the two original shows in Branson and give you a good flavor of how it all started here. Both are good shows—we personally like the Presleys a little better.


Clay Cooper


Clay Cooper’s show is great for a pure country music sounding show.


Dixie Stampede


Dixie Stampede is very popular-horses, etc with a meal also.


The Showboat Branson Belle


The Showboat Branson Belle is very nice. It is a cruise on Tablerock Lake along with a meal and show. They do have a brand new show this season. If you heard of the performing dogs, they are no longer there but have moved to another theater. They now have a young lady that is a very talented violinist and aerial performer. Very entertaining!


The Sight and Sound Theater


The Sight and Sound Theater does an exceptional job of putting on a high quality, inspiring musical. This is the first year of the story of Joseph. We saw their Noah production several times and were always very impressed. We didn’t know how Joseph could ever top it. But WOW !! We think it did! We were blessed to see Joseph earlier this year and were absolutely overwhelmed with the performance!! The sound, the sets, the acting, and of course-the music was all over the top!! It is not typical Branson/hillbilly fare but it certainly provides a different flavor than the other shows. It is a little expensive but if you like a Broadway style musical with a strong ministry element- it is a must see! They also do a backstage tour on certain days.



The Butterfly Palace


The Butterfly Palace is popular especially for the little ones. We were there after Christmas last year and really enjoyed it. Our granddaughter loved it at the old location when she was smaller and this one has much more to offer. It is very educational and enjoyable.


Veteran’s Museum

It doesn’t take long around the area to realize that Branson is the most patriotic place most of us have ever seen! They do a great job of honoring all Veterans, therefore it is not surprising that the Veteran’s Museum is very well done and enjoyable for anyone with a military background or that just enjoys military history. It is very emotional and touching in places. It may be a little much for the little ones.


The Titanic Museum


The Titanic Museum is very popular and is interesting to tour. Not a thrilling ride, but it provides good history and some hands-on experiences for Titantic fans.


The Hollywood Wax Museum


The Hollywood Wax Museum is fun to walk through and there are 2 fairly new areas —a Maze of Mirrors and a 3-D virtual reality “ride” through the “Castle of Chaos”. The Maze is a challenge (I would still be lost in there if Charles had not helped me out. LOL) The Castle ride was fun (a little cheesy but not terribly scary. Should be OK for most kids unless they are easily scared.) It takes about an hour to do it all.


Ripley’s Believe it or Not


A few summers ago our granddaughter and her friend really wanted to go to Ripley’s Believe it or Not While there are some neat things to see, there is a LOT of reading at each exhibit and our 12 year olds got bored very quickly. We enjoyed it more than they did because we did the reading but grandparents have a longer attention span. LOL


The Ducks


Everyone wants to ride the ducks! And everyone should do it---once. Charles and I have ridden the ducks FAR too many times. Before my dad died, dementia had impaired his short term memory and he quickly forgot the amazing time he had riding the ducks. We enjoyed his experience so much that we took him on the ducks each time we brought him to Branson. Since then, we have brought other family members to the ducks--many times. If you all want to save your money, we can recite the entire tour for you. LOL Truly, it is a nice tour of the area and a fun ride on Tablerock Lake. There are 2 ride the ducks now, one downtown on the Landing that goes into Lake Taneycomo and the original one that goes onto Tablerock, starting near McDonalds on Hwy 76. It takes about 60-90 minutes.




Near the new Wal-Mart on Bee Creek Rd, there is an athletic complex called the Rec-Plex. We’ve not been there but sounds like there is a lot to do.



There are some great hiking trails around the area. In the cabins we have books by a local author that gives great detailed information on many area trails. The book is great as it gives times and level of difficulty for each hike.  The Lakeside Forest Wilderness area is very convenient and has some great trails with varied difficulty.   One trail leads to an Old Soldier’s Cave and is very interesting. The Henning Conservation Area ( is also great with several trails!    The White River Trail System   (10+ miles) has 3 trailheads and loops and is for mountain biking as well as hiking.  It is designed so that you can do it all or just sections.


Dogwood Canyon

Dogwood Canyon is a beautiful place to visit! There are trails to hike and a wildlife tram ride through the woods. It is a very manicured wilderness oasis in the woods. There are charming bridges and waterfalls! Magnificent! There is a 6+ mile, paved biking, walking track and then some wilderness trails. The tram goes even further where wildlife are roaming free. They get very close to the tram but appear to be very docile. If you have the time, it is a great change of pace and well worth a visit.


Hiking Around the Cabins

At the Notch cabins, there are some hiking trails around the cabin and the condos. At the Branson Cedar cabins, I like to walk around the golf course and Phase 1, where the other cabins are. It is not really a “trail” but mostly follows the old golf cart paths. Both can be good stimulating walks! Big Cedar has a really nice wilderness trail that is about 2 ½ miles. There is also a 5K track at Big Cedar. You do not have to be a guest to use these trails.



The new craze! They are showing up everywhere! I found this site telling about ziplines all over the area



Charles and I did the Vigilante off of the Shepherd of the Hills Tower last fall. It is just one --long, high line-- but it is a thrill!!

The Branson Canopy Tours

Branson Zipline and Canopy Tours


​Ziplining has been on my bucket list for some time…so two summers my friend and I did it!! It was great!

There are several Ziplines around the area now but the one we did is The Branson Canopy Tours on Hwy 65 north of Branson.

They seem to be very safety conscious and we felt very safe.



We are not golfers and personally know nothing about the courses. I am including some links but unfortunately that is about all I know. Sorry…


Ledgestone Golf Course is located in Stonebridge Village,  with our Little Creek Cabin and is a beautiful, award winning course.


Johnny Morris' Top of the Rock Golf Course is located about 5 minutes away from our Branson Cedars Cabins and is also an a beautiful course.  Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, and Tom Watson helped to design it.   In the spring, Top of the Rock hosts the Legends of Golf Tournament.

Buffalo Ridge Golf Course is a Tom Fazio desiged course and gorgeous, as well.


I found this website by accident one day and just recently got to visit there. Ernie and Martha are gracious and hardworking hosts. They were working hard to get ready to open their new restaurant for the season but took time out to visit with us and to serve us the absolutely best blueberry muffins we have ever eaten!!!! The muffins alone are worth the drive! They operate a berry farm with a restaurant and store to purchase their products. You can also pick the berries that are in season. They have blueberries, blackberries, gooseberries, and shitake mushrooms. I have fond childhood memories of picking blackberries and would love to do it again. Anyway, it is a short drive out of Branson and may be one of those activities that is hard to work into a schedule, but is something very different from the other Branson activities. If you go to Dogwood Canyon, it is very close to there. Just ask directions from the desk, then follow the signs.



The Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is an interesting stop. You can feed the fish and see some exhibits inside the Center. There are snakes, etc—yuck!! I didn’t go in that part!!



The Dewey Short Visitor Center has always been an interesting place to visit, but this year they opened a brand new center with more things to see about Tablerock Lake and the dam. It is a very nice center and will appeal to anyone that is engineer-minded. Visiting the center and watching the short film about the White River and building the dam are free. However, they are doing tours inside the dam (there are many restrictions since it is monitored by Homeland Security) and there is about a $14.00 charge for that. Someone else will have to tell me about it because, I guarantee, that is one experience I will never do! Huh uh--not going into a little space under all that water--NO way!



The College of the Ozarks is a little known treasure of the area. It is located in Hollister, only a few minutes from the strip and is well worth a visit. It is a unique college in that the students work off their tuition there at the college. It has been a successful institution for many years and a source of pride for the area. There are self guided tours through many of the divisions such as the bakery, the jelly making kitchen, etc. The Ralph Foster Museum is located here also and has a small admission fee (around $4.00). The Beverly Hillbilly’s old truck is in there, among other things.


A great restaurant is located here inside the Keeter Center. It is a nice place to eat with white linens, piano music, and great views. It has a log, lodge-type feel. Formal dress is not required.



Stone Hill Winery also does a free tour and tasting. Also, see below.



Oh where do I begin???



The Tanger Outlet (Blue Roof-- ) is very nice.



The Branson Meadows Shoppes (Green Roof--4562 Gretna Rd) is also nice. (Tool World is located here—in case the guys need shopping motivation.)



Be sure to visit Branson Landing ( ) in old historic Branson and watch for the fire show every hour at town center on the waterfront. Bass Pro Shop is located here. Check out some of the old shops on the way to the Landing. This is the original part of the sleepy little Ozark town of Branson. Not so sleepy now!!!



Dick’s 5& 10


is a great stop with the nostalgia of an old time dime store because that is exactly what it is. You need to walk through there just to see all the “stuff” they have crammed into that building! It is amazing! For you baseball fans, they have a very exclusive display of baseball memorabilia on the walls.



Craft Malls are everywhere (and I love them all!) Charles’ favorite is The Branson Craft Mall on Hwy 165 near the intersection of Green Mtn Drive. It has a men’s sitting room with a TV!!


The Apple Tree on the strip and Whitney’s on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway are two of the bigger ones.



Coffelt Craft Village is right across from the Branson Craft Mall on Hwy 165 and has some interesting shops. Coffelt Country -


We bought our cedar signs from Jake’s in this village.



The Branson Mill Shops off Gretna Rd is a nice, clean place that includes an eatery. (Nice for the guys while the girls shop.) They also have some interesting artisans producing crafts at certain times.



The Grand Village off Hwy 76 has some nice shops and is an interesting place to walk around. There is a huge Christmas store that is open year round. In the courtyard area is a huge rocking chair that is a fun picture opportunity.


(Right now as I am revising this letter for the 2012 season, Branson is recovering from the Feb 29 tornado. Sadly, my cousins’ Flea Market was badly damaged. I know they will be back better and stronger but for now, it is closed.)



We are not much into water activities so our personal experience is very limited.



The State Park Marina


Lots of information available at the Dewey Short Visitor Center—(say hello to my other cousin LouAnn.)



Long Creek Marina This is very close to our Ridgedale cabins. This marina was recently purchased by Bass Pro so I’m sure it will offer a great service.



Port of Kimberling City Marina



Indian Creek Marina




Stone Hill Winery is the oldest in town and they do a very nice tour and tasting. The store has lots of interesting things and it is a fun free stop.



Mount Pleasant Winery is new and seems nice but is not our favorite and they do charge a fee for tasting of some wines.




Another favorite wine of ours is the Blackberry and the Velvet Red made by St James Winery and can be purchased at Wal Mart and the grocery stores. They do have a tasting room in Ozark (near Lambert’s restaurant) but we have never visited there. Their main winery in St James MO is a very nice place to visit if you are going toward St Louis on Hwy 44. It is too far to drive unless you are headed that way.



There is Wine garden off Hwy 265 that we have not tried yet but hope to soon.



Now—this is our best area of expertise!! We have been on a mission to discover unique and interesting places to eat besides the usual buffets-- hence, the need to experience the hiking trails!! LOL



The Dobyns Restaurant (Keeter Center) at the College of the Ozarks is not a buffet but splendid atmosphere and good food. They do serve a Sunday brunch that is reputed to be excellent albeit-very pricey—about $25.00 per person. Yikes!!



Probably our favorite place in Branson is a super fun place is called Mel’s Hard Luck Diner. It is in the Grand Village and has singing waiters that are VERY good!! Some have been on American Idol in the past. The food is good and HUGE and the décor is fun. We love combining good food, fun atmosphere, and great entertainment! They really play to the audience and will do requests and special songs for anniversaries, birthdays, etc.



A brand new favorite of ours is the Paradise Steakhouse on Shepherd of the Hills. We went there to try a steak but had the buffet instead. NOTE: The buffet is not always open but they do have always have a salad/fruit bar. Anyway--the décor was beautiful (not typical Branson. It was “old world flavor with lots of greenery.) It was very clean, the service was excellent, and the food was great!! (Of course, the potatoes were instant and rolls were not homemade- but great otherwise.)



We recently tried Botana’s and found it to be excellent authentic Mexican food. The service was great!



Elenita’s and Tequila’s have OK Mexican food.




The Grand Country Buffet on the strip (serves all 3 meals and that are all really good for a buffet.)



The restaurants at Big Cedar are open to the public. The Worman House is a beautiful restaurant. They also do an amazing Sunday brunch--(also very pricey!!)



The Gardens Restaurant


is located in the Branson Meadow Shoppes (the one with Tool World). It is an eclectic, shabby chic type place that seems to be a favorite with many of the local entertainers. Sometimes there is live entertainment. Very nice place to eat! I first thought it was a “girlie” place and went with my sister and my friend but now I think the guys would like it just fine.



Danna’s has great burgers and barbecue! It an “order at the counter” place but really good food!



A fun place to go after a show or anytime is Cakes and Creams Dessert Parlor on the strip across from the Grand Palace. It is decorated in 50s décor complete with a jukebox! It tends to get a little busy after the shows but we love their funnel cakes!



McFarlain’s Restaurant in the IMAX complex ( )is also very good. It is a sit down—order from the menu type restaurant with interesting hillbilly décor. The fried green tomatoes are usually very good. There are also some nice shops in the building.



Lambert’s, Home of the Throwed Rolls is not in Branson but is an area icon. The food is great and there is PLENTY of it. Go hungry!! It is north on Hwy 65 toward Springfield at Ozark. It is always busy there so many times there is a wait to get in. But it is a fun place to eat.




We had a great evening at the Uptown Café recently. There are a couple of options, you can purchase dinner and a show which is a limited menu and seating close to the stage or you can sit in the main restaurant area and order from the menu. We chose the dinner and show and the food (chicken fried steak or Hawaiian chicken) was very good. The show is a tribute to George Strait and has a female singer also (they are married) and we loved it! They were both very good and put on a very entertaining show. If you are not concerned with sitting close to the stage, you can just order from the menu and still hear everything. Last year, they also entertained during the breakfast buffet without an extra charge. We plan to go back soon.



I used to say “Per a good friend of ours, Laundry’s Seafood House is very good.” Now I can say, Oh my!! Danny was right! It was a wonderful experience! We had exceptional service (ask for Dustin) and the seafood was superb!! It is a beautiful old restaurant with white linen table cloths and an upscale atmosphere. (An upscale price too!) I’m sure we won’t be able to become regulars but for a special occasion or just a very nice dinner out, we highly recommend it.



If you’re looking for home cooking and authentic hillbilly atmosphere, try Billy Gail’s on Hwy 265. Breakfast is amazing! Another family owned treasure. It can be very busy at times and is open limited hours. (This is closer to Cabin Dreams and the Great Outdoors Cabin in Notch Estates.)



Branson Café in downtown Branson is a good old time restaurant-the kind my mama loved. It’s been a while since we were there but they have been around a long time and know what they’re doing.



Twin Island Restaurant on Hwy 86 (closer to the Branson Cedars cabins) is also a great place for breakfast and more.


Don’t expect a lot of atmosphere-but the food is good.



Mickey’s A Taste of Chicago is in Branson West (close to the Notch Cabins). It is very good. It is a gyro and sandwich type place.



If any of you are fans of the writer, Janet Dailey, you may not know that she lives in the area and now owns a historic inn and restaurant in downtown Hollister. It is called the Ye Olde English Inn. It just opened last fall after a big renovation.



We have not tried this yet but the All American Café (now Sharkeys)



New last year is the The Great American Chicken and Steak House You can’t miss it right on the strip--it has the huge chicken in front. The salad/soup bar is very nice, and the fried chicken is good. The building is uniquely-decorated like the inside of a barn. There is live music on the weekends and the service is very fast and efficient. We have enjoyed it.


We recently tried Rocky’s Restaurant in old Branson. The reviews were really mixed so we were fearful. However, we were pleasantly surprised when we enjoyed a nice lunch, reasonably priced (don’t panic when you walk in and see the special around $20) in a nostalgic old building. It is primarily an Italian place but they do have sandwiches, burgers, etc. The service was great. We took some friends later and had a nice meal again. The Alfredo sauce is not great but everything else was good. We may not be regulars here either, but if you want something a little different and feel adventuresome, you should try it out.



I could go on and on but I’ll stop here for now. I hope this helps you plan a great trip! Please let us know if you find something else really exceptional and have a great time!!


If you find a great place to eat, you can pick up a paper menu and put it in the book.