Shopping is one of Branson, Missouri’s biggest draws, only the huge collection of great live shows and attractions brings more guests to the area. Of course, the big beautiful retail centers are what people know best, like all the great brand names you’ll find at Tanger Outlets and the fun shopping experience you’ll get at Branson Landing. But, unless you look around a bit, or find a local with valuable insider knowledge, you might miss some of the smaller, more unique, and found-only-in-Branson boutiques and specialty shops. We’re removing the “best kept secret” label from five of these fantastic, family-owned spots so you can enjoy shopping beyond the box stores and well-publicized retail centers and districts. Look for future postings about other unique shops and unusual stores that you might have missed during your last Branson “retail therapy” vacation!
1. Beautiful Dresses - This well-stocked dress shop recently opened on Highway 76 in a strip-style retail center that’s been in Branson for decades. Easy to find - you can see some of their dresses and skirts displayed in front of the store facing the world-famous Strip - this shop is filled with both brilliantly-hued peasant style dresses, as well as more simple fashion. Long and flowing skirts, cold-shoulder tops, maxi-length dresses, swimwear, a nice selection of both bohemian and elegant jewelry, and even more! The shop’s friendly owner also does alterations, and she likes to take some of the clothing she’s purchased around the world and make them into something else - like opening up a long dress to create a duster-style jacket that will fit a wide-range of body sizes and types. She carries everything from extra-small to more generous sizes for all those gorgeously curvy ladies. Added bonus - unlike most small retailers, Beautiful Dresses offers extended operating hours, staying open until 9 p.m. from Monday through Saturday.
Don’t let the name fool you, this delightful boutique offers far more than “Beautiful Dresses;” it’s filled with the frilly, the simple, the elegant, the fashionable, and especially the fun side of clothing, and it’s ready to help you add some wonderful items to your wardrobe, or find the perfect gift for someone special back home!
Location: 2855 West Highway 76, Suite #501 (across the street from Landry’s Seafood - next door to the Americana Theater)
Hours: Monday through Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
2. Branson Hobby Center: If you thought all we’d be talking about were dress shops, you thought wrong! Just a quick hop, skip, and a jump across Lake Taneycomo (well, you don’t really need to jump - there are two side-by-side bridges that’ll get you easily across the narrow waterway,) you’ll find this excellent hobby center located in the small town of Hollister, Branson’s closest neighbor. This shop is overflowing with a huge variety of hobby items, including model car kits, and model trains, planes, boats and all the necessary accessories, as well as games, puzzles, remote-controlled cars, and the list goes on.
You’ll be thrilled with Branson Hobby Center’s selection of paints, brushes, glues, parts, and everything else you need to indulge in your favorite pasttime. And the owners aren’t just selling the stuff you’re looking for, they’re also active hobbiests who enjoy sharing their projects with customers, and having great discussions about processes, time-saving secrets, and other helpful hints. Men, women, and children will all find something of interest at the Branson Hobby Center, but if the ladies in your group are looking forward to a day of shopping for shoes and handbags, it’s a fantastic place for keeping the guys happy!
Location: 251 St. James Street in Hollister (Cross the Taneycomo Bridge and take the Hollister exit off the roundabout - you’ll be on Business 65 South - turn left at the stoplight - you’ll cross a small bridge and find a two-story building on your left.)
Hours: Monday through Saturday: 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Closed on Sunday)
3. Crystal Fish - Gifts of Distinction: Owner, Linda Cherry, loves nothing more than putting a smile on the face of someone looking for the perfect gift, or a customer who finds that special handbag or necklace to go with their favorite outfit! This shop contains some of the prettiest displays you’ll find anywhere; stunning items from popular brands like Vera Bradley - known for fun and fancy prints adored by gals of all ages, Pandora Jewelry - for everyone who collects pretty charms and other treasures, Spartina 449 accessories - famous for their fashionable and sturdy linen purses and totes, Mud Pie - offering casual apparel and decor, and Swarovski - the world’s favorite resource for crystal jewelry, accessories, and decor. All of these familiar, quality brands and more fill the store with color, pretty patterns, sparkling brilliance, and that “something shiny” sure to pull anyone’s attention away from checking Facebook on their phone! Buy too much to load into the car or take back on the plane? Or maybe you want something to arrive in time for a loved one’s birthday? Just ask about getting your purchases shipped directly from the store!
The Crystal Fish is always offering specials, bringing in new lines and items, hosting and/or participating in charitable fundraisers (they especially love animals, and even feed the ducks that waddle up from the lake to their back door,) and doing stuff just for the sake of having fun - like displaying a giant pink flamingo named “Mingo” in front of the store (there’s a story here, come on in and Linda will tell you all about it!)
Location: The Lakeside Shoppes - 490 Branson Landing Boulevard, Suite 301
Hours: Monday through Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. - Friday & Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Sunday: 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (On your way, but worried you won’t get there before closing? Just give ‘em a call at 417-335-8236 and they’ll wait for you...yep, it’s that kind of store, one where hospitality and customer service always come first!)
4. 80’s World: Whether you were born in the “me” decade, lived through it, or recently discovered this amazing era that was long gone before you were even born, there’s something about the 80s that grabs our attention and imagination! The 80s gave us big hair, flashy fashion filled with pastels, and action figures and other collectibles from movies, comic books, and the growing industry of video games, as well as dazzling us with ground-breaking TV shows that had groups of friends and family members holding watch parties - shows like “Miami Vice,” “The A Team,” “Magnum PI,” “Hill Street Blues,” and “Moonlighting.” And then there was the music! If there’s any decade that can claim a solid, loyal following that includes fans of all ages, it’s the 80s...hair bands, metal mania, and the birth of solo superstars and mainstream rap and hip hop - the 80s created the soundtrack of our lives.
80's World is where you’ll find the music you remember, along with posters, guitars, action figures, toys, games, novelty items, framed artwork, wigs, clothing, jewelry, accessories, and everything needed to launch you right back to the unforgettable decade we just can’t help but love! More than just a simple store, 80's World also plays host to small concert performances - you’ll be surprised at the well-known faces and names in music that come in to entertain!
Location: 3310 West Highway 76 - in the small plaza at the intersection of 76 and Highway 165 (across the street from Walgreens on 165)
Hours: Monday through Thursday: 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. - Friday & Saturday: 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and Sunday: 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
5. Secret Garden: Branson’s location for truly timeless romantic clothing! This delighfully gorgeous boutique has so much to see, perfectly displayed throughout two sizable rooms, it almost feels like you’ve stepped into another world, one that’s more whimsical and charming, a bit more frilly, and so fantastically feminine, you’ll certainly want to save plenty of time in your schedule to explore. You’ll find an impressive collection of clothing and accessories with a Victorian flair...items that bring the word “gypsy” to mind (Stevie Nicks would feel right at home in the Secret Garden)...pieces that can only be described as bohemian - you get the idea, only someone lacking in fashion imagination will walk away empty-handed! Everywhere you look you’ll see delicate lace, washable linen, the softest silks, comfortable cottons, and vintage-inspired velvets. You’ll definitely want to try everything on, and even that experience is special, because the dressing rooms are every bit as pretty and feminine as the sales areas. This is the shop you’ll think about long after your vacation is over and you’ve returned home to the usual array of chain stores and big box retailers, but not to worry, Secret Garden offers personal shopping services - they’re happy to select items based on your personal style and special needs, and ship everything right to your home!
Banson has lots of incredible places to shop for women’s fashion, but you won’t find a boutique that offers quite the experience you’ll enjoy at the Secret Garden...soft, frilly, feminine, mysterious, fairytale-feeling, bohemian, and even a touch of steampunk is represented in the dresses, skirts, loungewear, pants, tops, bed-time clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessories artfully displayed throughout the shop!
Location: 2420 West Highway 76 - Suite A (across the street from the main entrance to Tanger Outlets, and next door to the Gazebo Inn)
Hours: Monday through Saturday: 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Closed on Sunday and open seasonally - usually from April through Branson’s Christmas season)
We hope we’ve helped you find the kind of stores that the most discerning shopper looks for in a vacation destination - something different, unique, and not found anywhere else! And don’t forget that, when your shopping day is done, we’ll find you great seats at all the best shows in town, and get your passes ready for a visit to Silver Dollar City, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, Titanic Museum Attraction, and all of your other favorite attractions!