Girlfriends, Get Away – To Branson!

Girlfriends’ getaway… It just sounds inviting. Time spent together with good friends is precious; with bonding, sharing new experiences, and recalling why you’re such great friends. Time is important. We spend a lot of time creating ways to save it. Spend your girlfriend time wisely… Come to Branson!

Branson has everything women want: great accommodations, dining, shopping, spas, shows and a never-ending list of fun things to do. Relaxing comes to mind, too. And Branson offers hotels and resorts that are just right for the trip you are planning. What’s your pleasure? A place with a great view of Table Rock Lake? Maybe you want to be closer to shopping. Or should we say SHOPPING? How about a place on “the strip” that’s close to the shows and some wonderful one-of-a-kind shops? You’re in luck, because Branson has it all!

If luxury and a view tempt you, the Chateau on the Lake has what you want with fine accommodations, dining, and a two-story European-style spa. Relax in elegance or enjoy the nature trail, two lighted tennis courts and many more lakeside activities. Or you could stay at the Comfort Inn and Suites which also has great views of the Ozark Mountains, features a unique mountain lodge theme and is located close to all of the shopping outlets in Branson.

Luxury in a more rustic setting can be found at Big Cedar Lodge, also on Table Rock Lake. Big Cedar is just minutes south of Branson and boasts the casual elegance of Adirondack lodges, cozy cottages and log cabins. “Girls” are known far and wide for their love of shopping, but lots of ladies enjoy the outdoors, too. Big Cedar Lodge offers horseback riding, bass fishing and trout fishing, and wonderful dining. One of the restaurants, The Worman House, was originally built as a home in 1921. There are vaulted ceilings and beautiful wrought iron chandeliers. The caretaker’s house is now the Carriage House Spa.

And now, back to the shopping (SHOPPING). The new Branson Landing, located on Lake Taneycomo in Historic Downtown Branson, offers over 100 specialty shops and restaurants. J Jill, Ann Taylor Loft, Cache and Charlotte Russe are just a few of the shops in the beautiful outdoor atmosphere of the Landing. Shop ’til you drop into one of the fun restaurants like Joe’s Crab Shack or Cantina Laredo. Dine al fresco and enjoy the view of Lake Taneycomo and the magnificent $7.5 million Branson Landing fountains. Or you can get a spectacular view of the fire and water fountain show from The Candlestick Inn, a Branson tradition of casual fine dining just across the lake, where diners enjoy great meals in the cozy ambiance of wonderful antiques and art, much of it by local artists.

There is exceptional shopping all around Branson. The Engler Block on Highway 76 is a collection of local shops and artists. Helwig’s Art Glass has a unique selection of hand-blown glass; you can watch Wren Helwig blowing glass in his studio. You’ll also find quilts, handmade musical instruments and many traditional Ozark crafts being made right before your eyes.

Did you forget to bring a good “read” for those late afternoons by the pool? Check out T. Charleston’s Books & Gifts in the Grand Village; and while you’re there you will want to shop at Mulberry Mill, Kringles (a year-round Christmas shop) and the other unique individual shops. Or grab a great bite to eat at the Hard Luck Diner.

Three outlet malls provide a lot of variety and favorite stores like Liz Claiborne, Eddie Bauer, Nautica, Carter’s, Harry and David’s, Pendleton, Disney Store and Banana Republic. The things you decide to buy while you’re here will always be a little extra special. You’ll think of your girlfriends when you slip into that brightly colored sundress they insisted was just right for you.

The new Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing is a boutique hotel with an indoor pool, health club and the famous Liberty Tavern Restaurant. You’re close to all the “action” at the Landing, which also includes street entertainers, outdoor concerts and a water fountain spectacular that synchronizes light, sound, music and fire!

Branson has become famous as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World” and now is home to dozens of theaters and more than 100 shows. You’ll enjoy everything from Irish step-dancing at Branson Variety Theater’s Spirit of the Dance to an evening of laughter at the Jim Stafford Theatre or Siegfried & Roy’s amazing protégé Darren Romeo, the Voice of Magic. You’ll have a rockin’ good time at Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater! And if you remember 1957, you’ll love the cars and memorabilia in ’57 Heaven there.

Andy Williams and his guest stars perform at his Moon River Theatre, the only theater ever written up in Architectural Digest. And now Andy offers delicious food (and an impressive display of his marvelous art collection) at the Andy Williams Moon River Grill, next door to the theater. Or enjoy Beatle Mania LIVE in Branson with Liverpool Legends, the ultimate Beatles experience, and meet Louise Harrison, George Harrison’s sister, at the show.

Another “Branson only” local favorite is Tony Z’s Italian Ristorante located on Highway 165, near the Welk Resort. Tony’s parents came to this country from Italy and he’s always had a passion for cooking. You’ll enjoy his specialty recipes in the old world charm of his dining room and the lounge. The Outback Steak and Oyster Bar, on Highway 76, is another local restaurant everyone loves. The food is delicious and the décor is down under with a remarkable collection of things from Australia, everything from planes to propellers, bikes, books and boomerangs. And a real classic, Rocky’s Italian Restaurant is downtown just a couple of blocks from the Landing.

Stone Hill Winery should be on your list of places to visit while you are in Branson. Touring their Branson facility is fun and informative, and you can taste their wonderful wines. The winery was written up in the March 2007 issue of Martha Stewart LIVING magazine. Stone Hill is a family winery, and the article recounts their preservation of the Norton grape, one of just a few red grapes native to America. The Norton grape makes one of their very best reds.

If the girls are interested in a round of golf, many of the courses in Branson are shorter and designed more for a ladies’ game. Ladies’ golf in Branson is not an afterthought, like so many places. There’s golf designed for players of all skill levels including well-planned forward tees, greens with open fronts, few forced carries and multiple tee boxes; simply better playability and more fun for the girls.

In Branson, you have so many choices: Courses (and every other experience) are memorable; each course is a visual treat, with water features, mountain terrain, tournament conditions and landscaping beyond expectations. Branson Creek Golf Club was named one of America’s top 100 golf courses and Missouri’s number one public golf course by Golf Digest; Thousand Hills Golf Club is the recipient of a 3 1/2 star rating from Golf Digest, and the course features USGA Bentgrass greens with Zoysia fairways and tees; and Pointe Royale Golf Course is a favorite of Branson-area celebrities, many of whom live on the course.

And there are a couple of new courses coming along; John Daly’s Murder Rock golf course will open this fall and The Tribute to Payne Stewart, a Bobby Clampett-designed signature course, is set for completion in 2008. Coming for Ozark hospitality and friendly service, most golfing guests are visitors from everywhere in the U.S., and they love having the staff at Branson area courses cater to them.

It’s easy to keep busy while you’re in Branson. But it’s also easy to relax and rejuvenate; spend the afternoon at the spa getting pampered with your girlfriends so you’ll be beautifully refreshed for your evening out. Don’t forget your cameras. You’ll want photographs to show off to everyone back home. And there is always someone nearby to “take a picture of all of you.”

Girlfriends are a very important part of your life. You deserve a really extraordinary place to spend quality time together. Your time in Branson can be everything you want for your Girlfriends Getaway! And remember: What happens in Branson . . . Becomes a treasured memory!

(And here’s an important tip: If you shop for the fellows at the new Bass Pro Shops at Branson Landing, they won’t care that you’ve already booked your next getaway to Branson!)

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