I have good friends going to the Springfield and Branson area for an all too short getaway. I hope they have a much needed break, because after this weekend, Christmas shopping, decorating, baking, caroling begins in all our lives. Lynn and Brian McCreery own the The Irish Inn in Ozark, IL USA
If they don’t have time for everything, maybe they can try some of these things: Branson Zipline is just North of Branson, off Hwy 65, easy to see the giant billboard. I wrote about it at Halloween time, but I think now is a good time to go. Leaf fall has made it easier to see the terrain from a fast flying birds eye view and, Brian, it may comfort you to know that they’ve never lost anyone, yet. http://www.examiner.com/ozarks-travel-in-st-louis/happy-halloweeee
I like to have a little bit of magic and mystery in this old world. That brings me to Happiness is an Illusion. Hamner Barber Variety Show is laugh out loud funny with comedy, dance, magic and ventriloquism in one show. Hamner Barber also has one of Branson’s most touching tributes to veterans. “Thank You’s Not Enough,” is a heartwarming multimedia finale that has audiences on their feet.
In Branson, not fancy just simply good. Eat Here:
Branson Cafe, this is authentic regional cuisine. Save room for pie.
I love the Grand Village and I love the Sugar Leaf Bakery/Cafe. No matter what you have, it will be good.
You will love Shoji’s Christmas Show and don’t miss the Titanic Exhibit.
- Say “Hi!” to Molly and Carter.
(FREE Event Father Christmas will be at the Titanic with his reindeer on some weekends.)
In Springfield, help make the world a better place. Eat chocolate.
Don’t miss Askinoisie Chocolate This may be the purest chocolate you have ever eaten. It is made of only two things: Cacao and sugar.
Chocolate for a better world.
Askinosie Chocolate is a small batch bean to bar chocolate manufacturer. Shawn Askinoisie buys cacao directly from the farmers for more than market value. (most cacao farmers live in poverty). Askinosie is unique because each small batch is single-origin cocoa butter and nibs, plus you get to know exactly who grew your chocolate and where.
Askinoisie Chocolate 514 E Commercial St. Springfield, MO 65803 (417) 862-9900
Go Here. No, really. Bass Pro is Springfield’s biggest tourist attraction. Popcorn, Christmas dishes, warm socks. Really good warm socks, plus I bought a jacket on sale. They even have binoculars, GPS’ , knife sharpeners and hand warmers.
In Springfield, Eat Here:
Springfield Brewing Company, a local pub, seasonal beer, can’t wait to hear what you think, Lynn and Brian. Also, this is good food, lunch or dinner.
or eat here, Farmers Gastropub, sustainable, farm to table food. Not fancy, but the food is good and the beer is cold. 431 S. Jefferson, Ste. 160 (entrance on Pershing next to The Moxie), phone (417) 864-6994 is open 9:30-11 p.m. M-W and 9:30 a.m.-midnight Th-Sat, with Bistro Dining 6-9:30 p.m. Th-Sat
The Irish Inn
The Irish Inn is in the Shawnee National Forest in Southernmost Illinois. I’ve stayed at the Irish Inn. The hosts are charming, the rooms are beautifully appointed, the breakfast is unforgetable. I enjoyed our getaways to the Irish Inn, they are on the Shawnee wine trail and near orchards and vinyards. http://irishinn.tripod.com This may turn out to be one of you favorite B&Bs, too. Call (618) 695-3355 or (618) 695-5683.
The McCreerys are staying at Dear’s Rest Bed and Breakfast in Ozark, MO. Owned by Allan and Linda Schilter, call 417 581 3839 or view the weboage http://www.dearsrest.com. The Dear’s Rest is half way between Springfield and Branson.
- Visit Branson/Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce/CVB and stop by the official Welcome Center of the Chamber of Commerce and Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) at the intersection of U.S. 65 and Highway 248 (Red Route). You’ll find friendly faces, free maps, brochures, Branson Vacation Guides, coffee and clean restrooms.