#1 Best Attraction in Branson Missouri hands down is the TOP OF THE ROCK Ozarks, Heritage Preserve.
Branson Missouri is a famous tourist destination. First of all, it’s no secret that this self-proclaimed live music capital of the world is a popular vacation spot. A number 1 tourist stop for people from all over the Midwest. There are tons of shows, museums, miniature golf courses, zip lines, mountain coasters, and of course, the famous Silver Dollar City.
However, tucked away just a short 15 minute drive southwest from Branson proper in Ridgedale, is literally the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Top of the Rock
. Located at the highest elevation in Taney County, with uninterrupted views of the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake. This attraction is picturesque and offers lots of interesting things to see and do for people of all ages.
Top of the Rock was opened in 2014 by Johnny Morris. Probably known best for its golf course, which hosts the Senior PGA Legends of Golf tournament every year. It’s also known for the giant sink hole that occurred there. Morris has chosen to keep digging the sinkhole in the hopes of finding a secret passageway and uncovering a massive cave system.
Below are a few of Top of the Rock’s amazing adventures and attractions.
#1 Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail
First the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail. Here you are able to rent a 2-seat or 4-seat golf cart and head off for a 2.5 Mile golf cart path tour featuring caves, waterfalls, Amish built bridges and a plethora of nature. ($27 per adult; $14.50 child prices subject to change
Admittedly at first, I was not overly thrilled with the idea of riding a golf cart down a mountain, I mean… my brain pictures me, cart and all, tumbling down the side of the mountain, being eaten by a bear or who knows what. But about 3 minutes in this voyage, I did not want it to end. Below are some of the pictures we took on the tour. I am telling you I would go back here a 1000x, it is that beautiful.
#2 Chapel of the Ozarks
Next, the Chapel of the Ozarks. This three-story mountain top wedding chapel rests at the highest point in the county and has incredible floor to ceiling views. Built by Ozarks artisan craftsmen, the chapel has gorgeous arched windows, native limestone detailing and a steeple with a bell tower. Beyond the antique pine wood entry doors, the chapel opens to soaring 23-foot vaulted ceilings and broad bay windows that perfectly frame the overlook of Table Rock Lake. The chapel accommodates up to 180 guests and can be rented for weddings. It’s not a bad place for engagements either, but if you happen to notice the photo, I may be slightly biased.
#3 Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum
Then we have the Ozarks natural History Museum. This museum takes your through the history of the Ozarks with subterranean walks through the development of the region where you will discover prehistoric dioramas, as well as gigantic skeletons of unimaginable beasts such as a woolly mammoth, a saber tooth cat, a giant ground sloth and prehistoric cave bears.
The museum also holds an expansive exhibit on the Civil War and America West. Including a Civil War room with not only showcases uniforms and weapons, but also a locket with a piece of Abraham Lincoln’s hair as well as a flag used in his funeral. Don’t miss one of the most significant collections of Native American artifacts ever assembled.
#4 Buffalo Bar
This is an amazing open aired patio that features indoor and outdoor seating, located on the lower level of the main restaurant. The views of Table Rock lake are spectacular and a beautiful place to sit and take in the sunset. They actually offer a sunset ceremony package where you will hear bagpipe music and see the firing of an authentic Civil War Cannon. (seasonal)
#5 End of the Trail All-American Wine Cellar
Finally the End of the Trail Wine Cellar. This wine cellar is located in a cave. You descend down a winding stone staircase where the End of the Trail All-American Wine Cellar is located. There is a wine bar and a whiskey room. Continue walking out side to an infinity pool that looks like it flows into Table Rock lake. The pool features the magnificent “End of the Trail” bronze statue that pays tribute to Native American History.
Other Noteworthy Mentions:
Top of the Rock Golf Course
When you’re finishing exploring the attractions, tee off on your choice of two world-class golf courses:
- The Jack Nicklaus signature Top of the Rock Golf Course a beautiful 47-acre, nine-hole golf course at Top of the Rock regularly draws visitors from near and far.
- The Tom Fazio-designed Buffalo Ridge Course.
- Arnold Palmer-designed practice range with sixteen target greens.
Cathedral of Nature
After the sinkhole opened in 2015, a treasure hunt began to discover a natural cave. You can watch the excavation process happen right in front of you!
There are a few different restaurants are on the grounds of the Top of the Rock preserve.
- Arnie’s Barn Restaurant: Mexican cuisine with an Ozark flair inside a 150 year old barn from Arnold Palmer’s hometown of Latrobe, PA.
- Osage Restaurant: Upscale American dining with gorgeous Ozark Mountain views and breath-taking artwork and artifacts.
Is Branson Missouri close enough for you to take a road trip? If so check out my Road Trip Survival Tips.
Remember, if you’d like personalized help booking a trip to Branson Missouri, consider booking an appointment with Enchanted Woods Travel to discuss your travel needs.
Not sure if you need a travel agent or think you can do it yourself for cheaper? Check out this blog I wrote called Should I use a Travel Agent or Book Online Myself
discussing why it’s actually beneficial to use an agent.
Oh and feel free to download my packing list here
Have you ever been to TOP OF THE ROCK? If so, please leave a comment below and tell me what your favorite thing is!
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