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Lakes of Branson - Finding 6 Great Ways to Beat the Summer Heat!

by  |  Attractions & Activities
Lakes of Branson - Finding 6 Great Ways to Beat the Summer Heat!

More people are enjoying the other big attraction in Branson, but it still remains a best-kept-secret...Branson is swimming with lakes...pun intended!  Maybe you discovered the massive Table Rock Lake when you bought tickets for the Showboat Branson Belle, but did you know that a long, river-like lake snakes through Branson’s Historic Downtown District?  That’s the scenic Lake Taneycomo; it’s a cool water lake that begins below Table Rock Dam - the water is cooler because it’s pulled from the bottom of the deep Table Rock Lake, making Taneycomo an ideal home for world-class trout fishing.  And were you aware that another huge lake, even bigger than Table Rock, can be found in eastern Taney County, just minutes from Branson? That other big body of beautiful water is known as Bull Shoals Lake; although the majority of the lake lies in Arkansas, Branson’s Lake Taneycomo dumps into Bull Shoals over Powersite Dam.  Locals and guests alike can enjoy great bass fishing, clean swimming areas, and plenty of open expanses of clear water for boating, skiing, and other water sports. (Fun Fact:  “Taney-co-mo” is a name crafted by using the words “Taney County,” where Branson is located, and the two-letter abbreviation for the state - “mo” for Missouri.) 

Well, now that you’ve received a brief history and geography lesson on the lakes of Branson, how about we share some of the fantastic ways you can enjoy them?  We won’t go on and on about absolutely everything, but we’ll give you enough to keep you wet and happy on your next trip to our country’s capital of live entertainment!  (And speaking of, here are some posts on a few of the great live shows in Branson: “Branson’s Hughes Family - One Big Family, Lots of Big Talent!” - “What’s “New” in Branson with Guitar Great Leroy New? His Best Show Yet!” - “Branson’s Mike Walker - A Sensational Artist With Two Brilliant Shows!” - “Branson’s Golden Voice - Doug Gabriel Belts Out Music’s Biggest Hits!

1.  Finding those fish!  If you’re a professional or even just an avid fisherman, you’ve heard of Branson’s lakes.  Great bass fishing in Table Rock and Bull Shoals, an abundance of brown and rainbow trout in Lake Taneycomo, and other favorites in all three lakes.  With Bass Pro Shops at Branson Landing, supplies, guides, and more at Scotty’s Trout Dock and scores of other stores stocking licenses and bait, you’re all set!

Location:  Bass Pro Shops anchors the south end of Branson Landing -- Scotty’s Trout Dock can be found at 400 BoxCar Willie Drive in the city campground area 

Contact:  Scotty’s Trout Dock (417.334.4288)

2. The wonders of watercraft!  Nobody on Table Rock Lake can offer you more ways to enjoy the water than State Park Marina - they feature a nice variety of boats and other watercraft ready for cruisin’, flying, fishing, and finding the perfect place for a refreshing dip:  Yamaha Waverunner -- 18’ Ranger Boat -- Cobalt 220S Ski Boat -- Luxury Tritoon Boat -- Premier Slide Boat.

Location:  380 State Park Marina Road - accessed from Highway 265 - near Table Rock State Park and Dewey Short Visitor Center

Contact:  Branson Show Tickets at 888.996.3224 (for a great deal!)

3.  Cruising Taneycomo!  You can enjoy a peaceful, scenic lunch, dinner, or sightseeing cruise at Main Street Lake Cruises aboard the Lake Queen, a paddlewheel replica of river boats of days gone by, and a dinner cruise aboard the Landing Princess luxury yacht.  Both offer special holiday cruises, too, with their Fourth of July Fireworks cruises being the most popular - they sell out every year!

Location:  9 South Boardwalk - between Branson Landing and the Taneycomo bridge - parking is available in the Landing lot next to Bass Pro Shops.

Contact:  Branson Show Tickets at 888.996.3224 (for a great deal!)

4.  Swim, swim, & more swimming!  You can swim from shore at Table Rock Lake at Moonshine Beach, and from watercraft available for rent, and there’s plenty of swimming in Bull Shoals, accessible from the neighboring town of Forsyth, and more nearby Missouri communities near the Arkansas state line.  Taneycomo’s a bit chilly for swimming, so save that memorable lake for fishing, cruising, and watercraft fun!

Location:  Moonshine Beach is found on 3778 Highway 165 across from Table Rock Dam - Forsyth is just 10 minutes east of Branson via Highway 76 or Highway 65 to F Highway and onto Highway 160.

Contact:  Branson Show Tickets at 888.996.3224 (for more ideas on where to swim)

5.  Kayak to your heart’s content!  There are several places in Branson where you can easily rent a kayak, an especially great way to explore Lake Taneycomo, and that refreshingly cool water really helps beat the summer heat!  Kayak Branson and White River Kayaking are two options for rentals, and Main Street Marina offers kayaks, hydro bikes, stand up boards, and CraigCat catamaran boats.

Location:  Kayak Branson is at 5403 State Highway 165 -- White River Kayaking is at 187 1st Street in Hollister, just over the Lake Taneycomo bridge -- Main Street Marina is at 9 South Boardwalk by Branson Landing 

Contact:  Kayak Branson (417.336.2811) -- White River Kayaking (417.335.2210) -- Main Street Marina (417.239.1324)

6.  Discover the Jet Boats!  Probably the most exciting way for a group of folks to tackle Lake Taneycomo; two dozen friends, family, or strangers yet to become friends can zip and zoom up and down the lake like they’re on a ginormous jet ski!  A helpful tour guide will be aboard to share a bit of local history. Fun any time of the year; perfect when the temps are high because the water that’s sure to splash you is nice and cool!

Location:  7 A North Boardwalk at Branson Landing

Contact:  Branson Show Tickets at 888.996.3224 (for a great deal!)

As we mentioned above, there are certainly more ways to explore the wonderful waters of Branson, including running, jogging, or walking along the trails that trace the shoreline, ziplining over Taneycomo, camping on the shores on Bull Shoals, and the list goes on.  And when all of this lake lovin’ makes you hungry, because you know it will, discover some of the best eatin’ Branson has to about diner food? “Branson’s 10 Best Diners - Finding Comfort Food Favorites!” -- Or maybe a juicy burger?  “Branson MO - Finding Your Best Burger in Your Favorite Place!” -- Can't go wrong with barbecue! “Branson Loves Barbecue - These 8 Places Prove It!” -- Who doesn't love good Mexican food? “Branson Dining - Delicious Mexican Cuisine in the Music City!” -- How about something you've not tried before? “Branson Has International Options for Dining? You Bet It Does!” -- Go buffet and make everyone happy!  “Branson Buffets - 16 Places for Belly Fillin’ Fantastic Food!