Monday, April 14, 2014

Deliciously Good Burgers Served at The Burger Shack


I love a good burger.  Not from a fast food chain, but a fresh cooked made-for-me burger.  I’m always looking for the next good burger joint, and I found one in Branson, Missouri. 
The Burger Shack, located directly on the famed Hwy. 76 or “The Strip,” is located in a surf-shack style building that is pure casualness.  Ordering from a menu board, you can load your burger with up to 18 different toppings.   You can add as many toppings as you like for no extra charge. You can also order a chicken or salmon burger, or salad, but this is a burger joint, so I opted for the simple but delicious bacon cheeseburger and had to get some of their hand-cut, fresh-made fries. 
All orders receive an order number, and there is generally about an eight minute wait on your hamburger.  They make them fresh, on order, so the wait time is definitely worth it.  And, if you need something to munch on, there are free peanuts on the table.
With seating for less than 90, the Burger Shack isn’t a big place and that’s a good thing.  It fits the laid back, California beach vibe it has created.  That carries over with the delivery of the food.  I call it “shack style” as the burgers are wrapped in foil to keep in the just-made goodness, and put in a paper bag along with your piping hot fries. 
Soon enough, my order was up and I quickly unwrapped my burger.  The cheesy, bacon covered, juicy burger that awaited me looked delicious.  And, yes, yes, it was.  Take a look for yourself:
 
The fries are something you must order.  They’re addictive though, so be ware.   I’m a ketchup lover by nature, but I barely dipped at all eating these natural cut, fresh-made fries. 
Feeling hungry?  Head to The Burger Shack at 1946 W. Hw 76 Country Music Blvd.

Learn more about Branson restaurants.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Branson vacations from Ashley.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Silver Dollar City Hosts Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival this May

The sweet smell of barbeque and sound of bluegrass music will greet visitors to Silver Dollar City early this summer.   With the return of the Bluegrass and BBQ Festival May 8 through June 1, 2014, the theme park will be featuring performances from some of today’s most popular Bluegrass musicians as well as some of the nations’ most delicious BBQ. The 13th KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest is also featured during the festival.

With the purchase of Silver Dollar City tickets, you’ll gain access to performances that include:
  • Frank Solivan & Dirty Kitchen
  • Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
  • Special Consensus
  • Kruger Brothers
  • The Boxcars
  • Bluegrass Brigade
  • Gibson Brothers
  • Marty Raybon
  • Blue Highway
  • Doyle Lawson & Quiksilver
  • Lonesome River Band
  • And Many More!

For a complete list of scheduled performers, click here.
The 13th Annual KSMU Youth in Bluegrass Band Contest is scheduled for May 24, also at the Opera House Theater.   Amateur entertainers 21 years of age or younger will be featured as they compete for top honors and cash prizes.

Of course, the tempting flavors of BBQ are also a highlight of this Silver Dollar City festival.  Everything from smoky Texas-style BBQ to tangy Carolina BBQ to the deliciousness of Kansas City BBQ will be available. During the Bluegrass & Barbeque Festival you can also sink your teeth into the All-You-Can-Eat Rib Feast. Served from 3pm until closing at Reunion Hall, succulent BBQ meats and a variety of sides are served family style at this feast. Sink your teeth into a variety of signature styles and sauces.  Beef brisket, pulled pork, smoked chicken, and four styles of ribs including Silver Dollar City Original-Style, Memphis Dry Rub, Hickory Smoked and South Carolina Mustard will be served. 
To enjoy all of the festival highlights, rides, attractions, shows and demonstrating craftsmen be sure to get your Silver Dollar City passes today.  Make a vacation out of it with a Silver Dollar City package. 

Learn about other Silver Dollar City festivals.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Branson vacations from Ashley.

Monday, April 7, 2014

May 2013 Events in Branson

May 8-June 1:  Bluegrass & BBQ Festival at Silver Dollar City
Don’t miss one of the premier bluegrass and BBQ festivals in the nation. There will be plenty of bluegrass performers from all over the country during this Silver Dollar City festival. The House of BBQ (Red Gold Heritage Hall) will be serving up plenty of mouthwatering BBQ.


May 14-19:  Armed Forces Remembrance Days
Military men and women will be treated to special ceremonies, events, and discounts Wednesday-Monday in Branson. For more information, view the full schedule of events.
May 16-17:  Table Rock and Ribs
Table Rock and Ribs, a Kansas City sanctioned BBQ event, will make its debut May 16-17 at the Table Rock Resort at Kimberling Inn.  The festivities will begin on Friday evening with bands and a VIP area. Saturday will be a family day with kid's activities and fun for everyone. 

May 17: Armed Forces Parade at Branson Landing
Branson Landing is honored to work alongside the Branson Veterans Task Force as they present the Armed Forces Parade on Saturday, May 117th – Armed Forces Day. The Parade will begin at 11:00 a.m. and proceed down Branson Landing’s Promenade, beginning at the North end of the property by Belk, in recognition of the Active Duty Military Personnel.
May 24-27:  Memorial Day Celebrations
Celebrate Memorial Day with fireworks and BBQ. Big Cedar Lodge and Chateau on the Lake will be having their own celebrations with plenty of food, music, and games.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Branson Landing Lines Up Special Events for 2014

The Branson Landing is a top source for entertainment in the Ozarks.  With shopping, dining and a spectacular fire and water show at your disposal, you'll find plenty of things to do.  The Branson complex also hosts a variety of special events throughout the year.  Take a look at what's in store for 2014!

May 4th
7:30am: Divas® Half Marathon & 5K

May 11th

11:00am: Sheridan High School Jazz Band Performance
12:05pm: Blue Springs High School Jazz Band Performance

May 17th

11:00am: Armed Forces Day Parade

June 6th

8:00pm: Makenna & Brock – LIVE In Concert!

June 13th

5:00pm: Branson/Lakes Area Salutes America’s Hometown Heroes - A Tribute to Law Enforcement – Opening Ceremony

June 20th

8:00pm: The Mark Chapman Band – LIVE In Concert!

July 3rd

8:00pm: 7th Annual Liberty Light Up Concert – Featuring Journey Resurrection – A Tribute To Journey – LIVE In Concert!
10:00pm: 7th Annual Liberty Light Up Fireworks Display Spectacular!

July 4th

7:30am: Firecracker 5k Run

July 18th

8:00pm: Boogie Wonderland – LIVE In Concert!

August 1st

8:00pm: The Mark Chapman Band – LIVE In Concert!

August 15th

8:00pm: Wonderland – LIVE In Concert!

August 29th

8:00pm: Backlit – LIVE In Concert!

September 5th

Rock The Spectrum 2014

September 26th & 27th

10:00am to 8:00pm: 4th Annual Artisan’s Market

September 26th

8:00pm: Journey Resurrection – LIVE In Concert!

October 11th

5th Annual Paint the Landing Pink! A Benefit for Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks
7:00pm: Makenna & Brock – LIVE In Concert!

October 31st

5:00pm to 7:00pm: 8th Annual Safe Street Trick or Treat (for children ages 12 & under)
7:00pm: Monster Mash Street Dance DJ’ed by SRM Productions

November 28th

7:00am to Noon: Branson Landing’s Annual Black Friday Blowout  

Learn about the variety of restaurants at Branson Landing.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Branson vacations from Ashley.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Baldknobbers are a Branson Tradition

The Baldknobbers in Branson, Missouri are known as the show that started it all.  The Mabe Brothers started performing in Branson in 1959.  A combination of country and gospel music, along with comedy and patriotism garnered the show a following.  Now, the tradition continues with members of the Mabe family still performing on the Branson stage and bringing the classic Baldknobbers show to new Branson audiences.

Everything from traditional country to today’s number one hits is performed the Baldknobbers show.   The 2nd & 3rd generations of the Mabe family carry on the family tradition of performing an all new show each year. Both longtime Baldknobbers’ fans and new fans alike appreciate the Baldknobbers’ family traditions that have made this show popular from generation to generation.  With some of the younger generation giving their input, song selections from the 90s and early 2000s have been added to performances.  Current country and classic country are given their due time as well, which appeals to a wide range of audience members.  Family fun is still number one at the Branson show, too.  Comedians Hargus Marcel and Droopy Drawers, Jr. create numerous laughs throughout the show. 
Come see why this show has been a Branson favorite for over 50 years!  Baldknobbers tickets are on sale now. 

Discover more about Branson music shows.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Branson vacations from Ashley.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Reserve Direct Destination's Offer Top Roller Coaster Thrills

You might not know it, but Reserve Direct, the parent company of Reserve Branson, services other great travel destinations.  As Travel Expert for Reserve Direct, I get to experience all of them and help keep our customers (that would be you!) informed about the latest and greatest things to do.  With the arrival of Spring theme park season is in full effect, which means one thing – it’s time for rollercoasters!  Since I can’t get enough of a thrilling coaster ride, I thought it would be fun to mention the best coasters on all of Reserve Direct’s destinations.  Ready to learn more about my guide to rollercoasters?  Read on.

Outlaw Run at Silver Dollar City

Branson, MO:  Silver Dollar City is the premier theme park of this Ozark Mountain destination.  With old-fashioned fun centric to the park, they also add plenty of modern fun at their attractions.  Outlaw Run, a high-speed, twisting coaster, debuted last year to rave reviews.  Featuring the world’s steepest drop on a wooden coaster – 162 feet at 81 degrees – Outlaw Run is paving an innovative trail for coaster enthusiasts.  It is also the only wood roller coaster to twist upside down and, at 68mph, is the second fastest in the world.  All reasons why it’s one of the top coaster thrills!
Intimidator 305 at Kings Dominion

Williamsburg, VA:  King’s Dominion, located just a short distance from the historic hamlet of Williamsburg, has a world-class collection of rollercoasters.  The best, in my opinion, is the Intimidator 305.  Not only is it the tallest, fastest and most thrilling roller coaster on the East Coast, but it reaches top speeds of 90mph!  On top of that, the ride stands 305 feet at its highest point with a first drop of 300 feet at an 85-degree angle.  It’s gets even better, though.  Intimidator 305 lasts three minutes, a long time for a coaster attraction, and the twists and turns of the track make it the most extreme ride at Kings Dominion VA.

Hulk Coaster at Universal Orlando

Orlando, FL:  Central Florida is the theme park capital of the world, with Disney World, Universal Orlando Resort, SeaWorld and neighboring Busch Gardens located here.  When it comes to rollercoasters though, Universal Orlando reigns supreme.  The Hulk Coaster is the best action-packed ride available for thrill seekers.  You start with an adrenaline including acceleration from zero to 40mph in two seconds flat, and then your world turns upside down with a weightless “Zero G” roll.  The high-speed coaster lasts over two minutes, and features seven inversions that keep you looping through the hulk-green monster track.  The second best coaster in Orlando?  That would be Manta SeaWorld Orlando.  Created to simulate the flying-like capabilities of manta rays, you ride this attraction head-first, face-down – which sets it apart from any other coaster.  A total of 3,359 feet of track features plenty of dips, twists and turns, including a wing dip maneuver splashing the manta-shaped riding apparatus into a lagoon surrounding the coaster, lightly splashing you with water.  It’s so much fun you’ll want to ride it more than once! 
Wild Eagle at Dollywood

Pigeon Forge, TN:  Dollywood is the place for families to gather for theme park fun in the Smokies.  The park strives to offer a mix of attractions for both young and old, and thrill seekers like me.  Several coasters at Dollywood provide a quick rush, but none do it better than Wild Eagle.  The first wing coaster in the country, Wild Eagle packs a lot of excitement into its more than 3,000 feet of track.  You ride with nothing above or below you (securely strapped in of course) to simulate the flight of an eagle.  Climbing 210 feet, offering a brief but spectacular view of the Smoky Mountains, and plummeting 135 feet, this soaring coaster zips along the track at speeds up to 61mph through curves, spirals and a giant loop.  It’s the best way to get an adrenaline rush at Dollywood!

See if you’re up for the coaster challenge and try out these top rollercoasters when you visit these vacation destinations.  They’re sure to make your heart race while putting a smiling on your face.

Learn more about the top five rollercoasters at Kings Dominion.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Reserve Direct’s destinations to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on vacations from Ashley.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Henning Conservation Area an Appealing Branson Retreat

One of the best aspects of a Branson vacation is the outdoor appeal of the Ozarks.  Getting outside and enjoying the natural surroundings of the area is easy to do with a visit to the Henning Conservation Area.  Located on the west side of Branson on Highway 76, the area is mostly forest and features a scenic lookout, hiking trails, stream and glades which create the White River Balds Natural Area.

There are over 1,500 acres inside the Henning Conservation Area.  The terrain intersperses steep hills with oak and hickory forests as well as scenic glades.  Relevant to Ozark history, the glades or “balds” were gathering places for post-Civil war vigilante groups that became known as Baldknobbers.  Features of the area were immortalized Harold Bell Wrights “Shepherd of the Hills” book, including Dewey Bald, Boulder Bald, Sammy Lane’s Lookout, The Signal Tree and Little Pete’s Cave.
Trails available to hike inside the Henning Conservation area:
  • Homesteaders Trail: 3.4 miles (Difficult)
  • Glade Exploration Trail: 1.10 miles (Moderate)
  • Shane’s Shortcut: .30 miles (Difficult)
  • Dewey Bald Trail: .40 miles (Moderate)
  • Streamside Trail: .40 (Moderate)
There are also three viewing decks at the conservation area and it is a favorite spot for bird watching. 

Learn more about outdoor activities in Branson.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Branson vacations from Ashley.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Billy Dean Brings New Show to Branson

Visitors to Branson, Missouri have an all-new show to see this year!  Billy Dean is now headlining at the Starlite Theatre, bringing a unique combination of talent and showmanship to the Branson show scene.  Dean is hoping to usher in new era in Branson, one that highlights the best of old and new country.

With the ultimate goal of entertaining in mind, Dean performs his collection of hit songs.   Fan favorites like “Let Them Be Little,” “If There Hadn’t Been You,” Billy The Kid,” “Somewhere in My Broken Heart” and “Only The Wind” are sure to be a hit with audiences.  Throughout this 25 year career, Dean has charted 11 Top 10 Hits, four Gold Albums, more than 20 hit singles and a Grammy Award. 

In addition to showcasing his signature songs, new original songs and bits of comedy, Dean is incorporating several videos into his show.  During the video segments, musical moments and funny anecdotes involving Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, among others, highlight the history of Dean’s career.  The entire show is different from any other show in Branson, as it features only original material – no covers are performed.  It also has another thing going for it – a hot band, The Steel Horses.

Reserve your Billy Dean tickets now and save over $6 per person! 

Learn more about new shows in Branson.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Branson vacations from Ashley.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wynonna Judd Brings her Soulful Sound to Branson

Country music sensation Wynonna Judd is set to perform in Branson, Missouri this fall.  Two performance dates are available – October 18 and November 8 – both of which will be held at the Oak Ridge Boys Theatre. 

Judd rose to fame, along with her mother Naomi, as part of the renowned duo The Judds.  Together, the pair released seven albums and charted 26 singles, of which 14 were number one hits.  Some of their best known hits are “Why Not Me,” “Mama He’s Crazy,” "Grandpa (Tell Me 'Bout the Good Old Days)" and “Love Can Build a Bridge.” 

Following her successful run as part of The Judds, Wynonna decided to embark on a solo career in the early 1990s.  She has sold 10 million solo albums and has six solo chart toppers to her credit.  Her best known songs include “No One Else on Earth,” “I Saw the Light,” “My Strongest Weakness,” “ Girls’ Night Out” and “Rockin’ with the Rhythm of the Rain.”

Tickets for the two-night only Branson shows are on sale now! 

Find out more about Branson Shows.
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Branson vacations from Ashley.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Branson Promised Land Zoo Welcomes Baby Bengal Tiger

Branson’s Promised Land Zoo has a new addition for visitors to see in 2014.  The animal attraction, which opened spring 2013, is now home to a baby Bengal tiger named Bruce Lee.  Bengal tigers are currently on the endangered species list, which makes the opportunity to see one up close even more special.

Bruce Lee weighs only 13 pounds now, and is very much at his “Aww, Look how cute he is stage.”  As he continues to grow he could possibly weigh 500 pounds and reach 9 feet long at maturity.  Once he is old enough, the Bengal tiger will participate in up-close encounters, as well as be able to pose for one-of-a-kind keepsake photos. 
Other intriguing creatures call Promised Land Zoo home too. Visitors will find a breeding group of sloths, a hyena, spider monkeys and micro-monkeys.  The attraction is a foot safari, petting zoo and interactive exhibit all-in-one. 

The up-close experiences also include:
  • Animal Encounters Live Show:  Interactive shows geared towards educating.
  • Parakeet Paradise: View and feed hundreds of parakeets.
  • Barnyard Petting Zoo:  Feed, pet and brush many of the animals in the park.
  • Keeper Talks:   Interesting conversations led by zoo keepers about the animals on-site.
  • Critter Cart: Small and unique animals are featured.
  • Bottle Feedings: View and engage in animal bottle feedings (definitely the most popular).
  • Exclusive Encounters: Visit one-on-one with some of the most lovable animals including monkeys, baby cats (lions or tigers), and much more.
Located on Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, Promised Land Zoo Branson is an easy to get to and well worth a stop.  They are the only Branson attraction to provide animal encounters and are affordable too.  Branson Promised Land Zoo admission is less than $18 for adults, and only $9.95 for children 12 and under.

And did I mention the baby tiger?  Visit the Zoo soon to see him!

Want to learn more about Branson?
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Ashley is Reserve Direct’s travel expert, visiting Branson to find the best travel tips, money-saving deals and insider information. With over 10 years of experience in first-hand travel adventures, she shares her stories, advice, and current events to help you stay in the know. Before you pack your bags, get the latest scoop on Branson vacations from Ashley.