Member Monday: Springtime in the Ozarks

Members Laura and Stephen D. didn’t have to leave their condo overlooking White River to have a great vacation, but their adventures were only beginning at the Suites at Fall Creek in Branson, Missouri. From Silver Dollar City to the Ozarks, see what made this trip so memorable for these experienced Global Discovery Vacations members in this week’s Member Monday.

Where would you recommend a fellow member to go to…
Eat
At the College of the Ozarks. Superb cuisine made and served by students at one of the most unique and selective schools in the USA in a beautiful environment. The evening meal looks out on the sunset. Give yourself some time to stroll the well-kept and beautifully landscaped grounds.

Shop
The craftsperson and artisan shops abound in Branson. My favorite experience was purchasing a mountain dulcimer from the maker himself, a 30-year luthier and veteran of the craft, in his own small shop at Silver Dollar City.

Have fun/attractions
Silver Dollar City theme park was gorgeous in spring and not too crowded.

Photo courtesy of the Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The World Music Festival there attracts performers from Russia/Ukraine/Romania, the Andes Mountains of South America, Spain, Morocco, Austria, Ireland, Brazil, etc. They were fabulous. Some performed outdoors, gazebo style and some indoors, in comfortable, climate controlled venues. Not too long, it was just right to sit and be taken away by the music. Also, they had American roots music, regional signature music and humor to match.

The theme park has old growth trees and lovely plantings, in addition to the craftspersons and artisans mentioned above. Oh, and bakeries and outdoor grills! And, of course, the roller coasters and rides, including a number of cool water rides and an actual cave.

What was your favorite:
Resort/Condominium Amenity or Room
Our screened-in patio overlooked the creek (White River, actually). We heard a symphony of creatures each morning and an eagle flew up and down the creek at eye level.  A little red fox trotted on the island below, a couple of mallard ducks, a blue heron, sandhill crane, mockingbirds, goldfinch, cardinals, Canada geese on the creek, two grey squirrel babies and a big round ground hog – all without leaving the comfort of the condo.

Place to go in the destination
The selection of professional shows is extensive, and these folks know how to entertain. Our favorite was the consummate vocal band SIX.

Why did you choose this destination?
Spring is the perfect time to be in Branson – the mountains light up with dogwoods and redbuds, the lawns with lilacs; the crowds are thin, therefore the traffic is easy to navigate. Ozark mountain hospitality is a real pleasure, and this location was in driving distance here in the heartland, saving us the expense of flying.

Who did you travel with?
My husband. Also visited friends from our wedding party of 35 years ago who live in the area.

What was your favorite memory of your vacation?
Strolling the lovely grounds at Silver Dollar City, sitting a spell to hear World Music Fest shows.

Any tips for a traveler to this resort or destination? Anything you think they should bring?
Half price tickets are widely available and the little purple  building offers them with no strings attached. We got our Silver Dollar City two-day passes free for sitting through a “90 minute” travel presentation, which took four hours (really!) and made us thankful for Global!

Additional Comments
It’s so easy and the price is right. We have done the Outer Banks, Cape Cod, Port Clinton, Florida, and now Branson. Each one was rewarding and relaxing and a unique memory of a lifetime. Looking forward to a return to Port Clinton in a couple of weeks, and Michigan’s spectacular “Up North” in the fall.

Sometimes, because I am a teacher, we go for the weekend and share the weekdays with friends or family members. I am grateful to have places within driving distance within the heartland regions so that we don’t have to pay for or expand our carbon footprints with airline flights.

About you

How long have you been a Global Discovery Vacations member?
Seven years.

Why did you join the club?
To vacation comfortably and economically with our family and friends.

What is your profession?
I am a teacher, my husband is an MIS Manager.

How many trips have you taken using your membership?
Six, and my sister and niece have taken three.

Corey is a writer from Overland Park, KS, and has been with Global Discovery Vacations since September 2013. Once a sportswriter, he traveled the country and became proficient in airport security line etiquette and leaving items in hotel rooms.