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A Guide to the Ozark Mountains in Branson, MO

This article is part of the Hipmunk #CityLove Project

Branson is a truly remarkable city, and with so much to offer as one of the world’s leading entertainment capitals, tourists from all over the globe flock to this Missouri city to experience world-class shows and entertainment.

Over 100 shows run on any given night, delighting fans with a choice of musical theater, stand-up comedy, and magical performances alike.

One of the most underrated regions of Branson are the Ozark Mountains, and travelers who can tear themselves out of their theater seats to discover the great outdoors are in for a treat.

Perhaps a horse ride through the beautiful Ozark Mountains? Photo CC DI Jones.

Rolling hills and sprawling mountain scenery coupled with many spectacular lakes make this area a haven for both outdoor adventurers and nature enthusiasts alike.

Outdoor Activity for Everyone

The Ozark Mountains are full of opportunity for exciting outdoor activity, and there truly is something to offer for everyone.

Perhaps you would enjoy hiking or horseback riding in the morning, with a bit of fishing or kayaking in the afternoon. Maybe a few rounds of golf on a world-class course is more your speed.

Those who are more adventurous have the option of parasailing and zip-lining, and there is no better way to view the sprawling mountain scenery than from above.

Zipping over the Ozarks. Photo CC by Ed Johnson.

Together with the availability of canyons and caves, these are probably the most exciting ways to experience the area.

Getting There and Around

Travelers heading to the Ozarks should drive, and for those who don’t have their own transportation, Branson is full of great deals on car rentals. Return lots are conveniently located near all of Branson’s best cheap hotels.

To get to the Ozark Mountains:

take Interstate 44, which runs across the Missouri Ozarks from St. Louis to Tulsa;

Interstate 40, which runs East-West along the southern edge of the Ozarks;

Interstate 70, which runs East-West along the northern edge of the Ozarks; or

the historic Route 66, which runs from St. Louis to Tulsa and goes straight through the mountain range.

Driving is a fabulous way to explore, and the scenery will never get old no matter which time of year you travel.

The mountains are breathtaking during spring and fall, and during summer there is green everywhere. Winter is beautiful when covered in snow, though take extra caution while driving as the back roads can prove dangerous when covered in ice.

Major Lakes

The Ozarks are full of stunning lakes, many teeming with trout, and all with crystal-clear water.

Sunset over Table Rock Lake. Photo CC by John Starnes.

The lakes throughout the Ozarks make the mountains a premiere destination for world-class fishing and watersports, including white water adventures, boating, scuba diving, skiiing, and sailing. The options for water activities in the Ozarks are truly endless.

Major lakes in the Missouri area not too far from Branson include the Lake of the Ozarks, Harry S. Truman Lake, Table Rock Lake, Stockton Lake, Pomme de Terre Lake, and Lake Tanneycomo.

Hiking trails are located alongside each lake, and offer incredibly scenic views that make phenomenal photo ops, especially at sunrise or sunset.

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Meg Jerrard is an Australian Journalist who has been travelling and blogging around the world for the last 7 years to inspire others to embark on their own worldwide adventure!  Her husband Mike is an American travel photographer, and together they have made the world their home.

Follow their journey on FacebookGoogle+ and Twitter.

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