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This post brought to you by Hiltons of Branson. All opinions are 100% mine.
I lived in Branson from the time I was 6 until my early twenties, so most of my memories from my early life take place there. I remember going to the lake with my family a lot as a kid, buying corn to feed the ducks and geese, and going when I was older on work breaks to just sit by the water and read or write and relax.
The settings of my childhood memories were torn out when the Branson Landing went up, but the lake itself is still there, of course, and I can enjoy the area in a different way. There's now a whole string of outdoor shops from clothing to fudge, a cool water/fire display with the lake as a backdrop, some fun restaurants and the Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel. The area reminds me a little bit of Downtown Disney in atmosphere, I guess because of the whole shops along a lake thing, and there is even a Disney Store
Snazzy water/fire fountain at the BransonLanding
Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing has a Spring promo package that includes food vouchers and tickets to Silver Dollar City theme park, which is right by my house, so it is practically a "come visit Crystal" package! Silver Dollar City is a total must-do if you're in the area. I'm a rollercoaster nerd, so of course I love the rides, but I also really love the tour of Marvel Cave below the park! It's beautiful in an otherworldly way.
What else to see while you're in town? I have to vote for Dixie Stampede because a) horsies! and b) I worked there for almost 5 years, so I'm totally biased. I'd also spend some time checking out the cool shops in Downtown Branson near the lake, you can find some especially cool things in the flea markets! I also have a weird fascinating with the Waltzing Waters show. As soon as I get my dSLR camera I'm going to try to hit the show for some crazy water photos.
So, who is coming to visit me before I head back to sunny FL?