Here are two great reviews on JEERK, the only 100% original show in Branson. They're only there for the summer (and then go back on tour).
Dedicated in 1923 at a cost of over $600,000, this huge auditorium in the Saracenic architectural style has received a number of prominent entertainers and personalities since its creation. Harry S Truman, General John Pershing, Glenn Miller, JFK and others have all been associated with this venue over the years.
This limestone cave takes people through the cave by small wagon type carts pulled by a Jeep. The tour is around one hour, and does display a lot of stalactites. Price is an outrageous $21.50 for adults. That, in my opinion is a very steep charge because other caves do not have fees that high. The cave itself is not great, but okay. Privately owned, they are trying to make it go after a couple of prior failures, and closings.
The caverns are reknowned for about 80 years and located in Stanton on the way to Springfield or St. Louis. It is one of the largest caves in the Midwest and the tour is worth it for young and old alike.
Canoeing is also a popular sport, mostly for the regional people, who know where to go and find the best swift flow without a lot of cramped traffic and tourists coming for those pleasures. The rivers in south Missouri are all well suited for canoeing and fishing-trout is stocked out of some springs annually.
Maybe I am a bit too 70's, but the country music played here and all the lights and glitter is not my place to visit. I hear lot of older people, and I am one do like the whole concept, but I am more modern and non-traditional, so the hooten and hollerin is out of my league. There are over 100 different shows in this town, and the variety is ample. Mostly country western, but also many old time names of entertainers, who once made it big, now are in Branson trying to keep it going.
For sure for the kids to enjoy-but I hear many older folk also like the old time theme in the park. I went twice and now I moved on to bigger things. They do have rides and roller coasters, theme shows, and replicated trades that were needed in every day life of the 1800's.
If you have a bit of spirit, this site will impact you. It is a driving tour through the battlefield area near Springfield, called Wilson's Creek. It was a brutal battle and the outcome began to swing for the north here. The site is 10 miles SW of town and was fought in August 1861. There were about 2,500 killed in the battle here. Gen Lyon, the leader of the Union troops was killed also. The fight was over trying to make Missouri a Union State, but Gen Price, a band leading a Confederate state guard, thought differently. The Union had 7,000 men, and South 11,000 assembled. The battle went back and forth until the Union ran low on ammo and retreated to Springfield.
Fantastic Caverns is one of only four ride-through caves in the world. It was first discovered in 1862 when a farmer's dog dissappeared into the cave. The first exploration took place five years later when 12 WOMEN from Springfield answered an ad in the paper looking for cave explorers. The women's names, written on a wall during that first exploration in 1867, remain easily visible today. Over the years the caves have been used for many purposes including: an illegal gambling and drinking club during prohibition, a KKK meeting spot, and a concert venue (one of the rooms seats 2,000).
During your one hour tour through the 60 degree F caverns, you will ride in a Jeep drawn tram and listen to your guide explain the history of the caverns. Being able to ride (instead of hike) allows the entire family - young & old - to enjoy the experience together. The only physical requirements are that you can get into the tram (a step is provided) and that you duck during certain parts of the tour to keep from hitting your head on the roof of the cave. Photographs are encouraged and there are no restrictions regarding flash photography. If you are traveling with your dog, bring your canine pal along. Just let the staff know when you are buying your ticket that Fido wants to go on the tour too. There is also a 1/2 mile Canyon Trail for hiking.
Admission was just under $20 for an adult.
Springfield gets really hot and humid in the summer time, so to hang out by the pool is a great way to pass the day away. There are some public pools, but i am tend to go for privately owned pools. i am very lucky to have a great neighbor and friend that lets me use hers anytime i want. thanks deborah!!!
For the size of town it's is, there's nothing to do there! Very boring place. It reminds me of a suburb of a big city where you have to drive miles and miles for something to do. The people are okay but only entertainment mainly is for drinkers. If you don't fish or hunt you have nothing to do there. I have always wonder how it grown to the size it is without having some kind entertainment.
Every time I tell someone I'm from Springfield, they ask two things: One, have you ever been to Branson (the answer is yes and I would like it if I were over 65 years old).
I agree, if you only go once in your life, you should at least TRY to go to Branson. There are tons of shows and it's where Vegas headliners go to die.
Another question I often get is, "Have you ever been to Bass Pro?" Which of course, the answer is yes (I'm not much of an outdoorsman myself though). They are technically two "must-see" things to do. I also recommend the Meramec Caverns, just north of Springfield on 13 Highway.
The biggest tourist attraction in Springfield is that it has the largest Brass Pro Shop in the world. Even if you are not a hunter or fisherman you must at least go in to see. There is a lot interesting stuff to see. They have many times of stuffed animals (i mean used to be alive and now they are stuffed). They also have some live animals like turtles, huge fish, and ducks. There is an aquarium downstairs, check the times and you watch them feed the fish. Dont forget to eat at the restaurant Hemingways if you like seafood (It is a little pricey). They now have the widlife museum which is great for kids
Built in 1909 and finally completed ten years later, the St Agnes Cathedral and Parish have a rich and troubled history. Thanks to the influx of more Catholic worshippers after the laying of the Atlantic-Pacific Railroad, the presence of train tracks essentially divided Springfield into "south" and "central" communities. With the establishment of a new parish in 1908 (St Agnes parish) thanks to these separated communities, a new house of worship came into being.
Built in 1905 at a cost of $22,000, this old church may have been the first in the city to be built of solid concrete blocks. Listed on Springfield's Register of Historic Sites, the front facade sports a small rose window, and thirteen other stained-glass windows were provided by a company in St Louis. Except perhaps for City Hall, St Joseph's has an incomparable architecture in Springfield.
Dave Tutt started for Hickok from near the original courthouse (no longer on the city square). The opponents were about 75 yards apart. Hickok had warned Tutt not to appear in public wearing his watch, which Tutt had taken as collateral for a gambling debt. Tutt was an expert pistolero himself, and heeded not such warnings. Reports indicate that Tutt drew first and fired, followed by two shots by Hickok in such rapid succession that they seemed to come on top of one another. Both men stood motionless. At such a distance, both would have been excused for missing altogether, but suddenly Tutt staggered and fell on his face. Hickok surrendered himself to authorities, but he was released in accord with the laws of the day. (Picture taken from Hickok's position. The woman at left stands on a similar marker showing Tutt's position, all at real-life magnification.)
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