The Ozarks, Southwestern Missouri and Northwestern Arkansas, a land so beautiful you might just think it had to have been painted by not just an artist, but a great master. Sunrise and sunsets seem to last a little longer and seem to be ever more colorful. The food seems to be tastier, the night sky full of more stars – including the star on the stages for the many shows in Branson, and the water seems to always be just right to jump in. The hills are high, and boy the roads are winding, making them perfect for motorcycle and bike rides. The clean air, sparkling lakes and rivers, and miles of forests are refreshing. The Ozarks really are a magical place to visit.
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Clearly while you are in the Ozarks there is so much to do and you will want to do it all, and that can make planning a trip very stressful. Using the Tripio app you will be able to experience the absolute best things to do in the Ozarks by creating your own custom top 10 lists, and custom itineraries for all things to see, do and eat. Travel and adventure awaits on all vacations, Tripio just helps to make it easier to plan out. So plan your perfect vacation to the beautiful rolling hills of the countryside known as the Ozarks – and do it stress free by downloading the Tripio App and allow us to create your custom itinerary of top 10 activities allowing you to accomplish everything on your bucket list.
First up on our top 10 things to do in the Ozarks list is Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a public recreation area encompassing over 3,700 acres on the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. Get outdoors to the Castle Trail is a fun family-friendly trail leading to castle ruins and a lake overlook. The hike is a 0.8 mile out-and-back trail with 121 feet in elevation gain. The hike itself takes about 30 minutes and is completely paved, making it accessible for those needing wheelchairs, strollers, walkers or any type of disability. The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Construction on the castle was originally started in 1905 by a businessman from Kansas City but it was burned down in 1942 from chimney issues. The carriage house burned the same day too. Then in 1976, the water tower was burned by vandals. Today, only their ruins remain, and trust us when we say these ruins should be on your Ozarks’ bucket list.
The horse is a majestic animal, and going horseback riding is an experience that anyone in this part of the world would want to enjoy as they go riding through the gorgeous countryside. If you’re nervous about riding or being around horses then this is where you want to be. Thouvenel Stables offers a wonderful selection of safe, clean and friendly horses suitable for family members of all sizes and ages. This will be some family fun you will not forget. You’ll get a true horse riding experience with their guides out on the trail. There are even ponies for the small children. They are conveniently located close to the main hotel front desk check-in center at Tan-Tar-A Resort.
Who doesn’t want, or even need a night out with Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons? Well soak up one of the greatest shows to ever hit the stage – New Jersey Nights – A true celebration of the music of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons. This show takes the audience on a nostalgic musical journey through the career of one of the biggest selling groups of all time. From the backstreet studio in New Jersey where it all began to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this vibrant production includes all of The Four Seasons greatest hits, Including, “Sherry”, “Rag Doll”, “Big Girls Don’t Cry”, “Walk Like A Man” and so much more. You and the family will have fun singing alone for days after the show.
Next on our list of top 10 things to do in the Ozarks is the Johnny Morris Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, also known as simply Wonders of Wildlife is a not-for-profit educational conservation-themed attraction in Springfield, Missouri. The 350,000 square foot facility consists of two major sections. The Wildlife Museum presents a series of immersive wildlife galleries containing taxidermy animals from around the world displayed in elaborate and detailed dioramas representing a variety of natural habitats, as well as historic artifacts, artwork, films, and special exhibits, including a collection of big game mounts. The 1.5 million gallon Aquarium showcases 35,000 individual fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals in a series of themed areas including an ocean shipwreck, Louisiana swamp, Ozark forest, and the Amazon rainforest.
35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles and birds, and immersive wildlife galleries that bring visitors eye-to-eye with the greatest collection of record-setting game animals ever assembled. Years in the making, the Wonders of Wildlife experience begins with an ascent up an escalator surrounded by buffalo and leads to a gallery recognizing Native Americans and their contribution to conservation.
Now let’s see how bold you are. Ready for a real adventure? Are you up for a swim with the sharks? The Out to Sea Shark Dive takes you into the water inside a metal cage so that you can come face to face with these live Sharks but still be safe. They have helmets that will allow you to breathe underwater so that you can be down there and enjoy the sharks. Once inside the dive cage and submerged underwater, you will see the sand tiger sharks, brown sharks and loads of other colorful and beautiful fish. At Tripio we love a good adventure, are you bold enough to hop in with these sharks?
All participants must be at least 10 years or older. Children ages 10-14 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian during the safety briefing. And children ages 15-17 must have a parent/guardian signature to participate.
Home of The Throwed Rolls! Now you might be wondering to yourself what’s a throwed roll and how do I get one?! Well all you have to do is be sitting at your table, put your hand up in the air and make eye contact with the server that’s holding a big bowl filled with rolls and they’ll throw a roll to you! Yep you read that right – that means rolls literally being thrown at you through the air. Sounds fun right? Well that’s because it is. But they taste even better! The best part, you can get as many as you want! While your dinner is being prepared, servers will be walking around with different sides, so make sure you’re ready with a paper towel because that’s your “plate”. Don’t worry though, your meal will come on an actual plate. Their entrees are easily shareable with a group but no one will judge you if you want your meal all to yourself. Don’t go starving because the average wait time to be seated is 1-2 hours long. It is located between Springfield and Branson Missouri on the corner of Highway 65 and CC. Of course the best restaurant around would be on our top 10 things to do in the Ozarks list. Is it on your custom itinerary from the Tripio app? Whenever you travel to the Ozarks make sure you come with an appetite.
Hiding out in the Ozarks countryside is a gorgeous natural pool called Gunner Pool, and it has its very own recreation area complete with cool, clear creeks and absolutely gorgeous scenery. One thing you’ll notice about Gunner Pool is that the water there is a gorgeous shade of blue. In fact, you’re not likely to find bluer water anywhere. What causes the blue color of the water is dissolved limestone and minerals from caverns under the ground. That little fact doesn’t make it any more beautiful, but it sure is fun to think about the cool water rushing through the earth. So whether you just want to cool off from the summer heat or find a great place for the kids to play, Gunner Pool is a great place to visit and have some family fun. No vacation to the Ozarks would be complete without a relaxing swimming hole like Gunner Pool.
No top 10 list for the Ozarks would be complete without an amazing cave – so located on Old Route 5, Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park get its based on an Osage Native American myth found in R. G. Scott’s Indian Romances. The cave is a mile long, but only a quarter of it is accessible to the public due to underground lakes. The cave tours travel over concrete pathways, through the cave’s 60-degree Fahrenheit environment. One-hour guided tours begin every few minutes. Enjoy the tour, or if you are more adventurous, enjoy climbing through it on your own.
Facilities on site include: rock shop; a sportswear shop; observation decks and Observation Tower; a lakeside picnic area; and a boat dock. A stalactite adorned Bridal Chapel is inside the cave and has hosted over 4,200 weddings.
But it doesn’t have to be go, go, go! Sometimes you just want a relaxing lazy day in the sun. Moonshine Beach is located at the north end of Table Rock Dam on Table Rock Lake. This is a day use only park that is open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. during the recreation season. A really fun beach for the family.There are restrooms, showers, picnic areas and a park. Calm environment for some sunbathing, for some swimming, and for some family fun games in the park. Will you add this beach to your custom top 10 list?
Feel the need for some adventure? Well it will be time to visit Branson’s most adventurous zipline! As you travel through the air on their ziplines you will have the opportunity to admire the canopy floor as you leisurely cross suspension bridges and walkways and fly through the canopy itself by way of zipline, turning the Ozarks wilderness into your own, personal playground! Along the way you will find yourself engulfed in the beauty of the land around you as you zip through the air. As with all of their canopy experiences, you will be transported from Wolfe Creek Station to the top of Wolfe Mountain to begin your adventure. They require all participants to wear closed toed shoes, pull their long hair back, and encourage casual athletic attire.
One of the many beautiful views from Branson’s Zipline at Wolfe Mountain
And rounding out our list of top 10 things to do in the Ozarks is none other than the Christ of the Ozarks statue. This is a monumental sculpture of Jesus located near Eureka Springs, Arkansas, on top of Magnetic Mountain. This seven-story Christ of the Ozarks Statue continues to be one of the most visited attractions in the Ozarks since it was completed in 1966. Standing sixty-seven feet high, the statue stands over and blesses the picturesque Victorian village of Eureka Springs, Arkansas and offers incredible views of the countryside especially around sunset. The statue faces west, and sunsets often turn the spread-armed Savior a rosy pink.
Christ of the Ozarks has a similar pose to the world famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro — is the largest in the USA. Sixty-seven feet tall, with arms 65 feet wide, he stands at an altitude of 1,500 feet. The Great Passion Play theme park keeps the Christ of the Ozarks open and available 365 days a year, dawn to dusk, as a free attraction. On the way to see him, tourists can visit a slab of the Berlin Wall along the road, and the graves of Smith and his wife, who are buried within the shadow cast by their mega-Messiah.
Make sure you have downloaded the Tripio app to plan the most epic itineraries for all of your vacations and make sure you hit all of your bucket list items.
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-Mike E, Tripio Guru
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