In honor of the coming holiday (Halloween), I would like to take a few posts to pay tribute to the creepiest tourist destinations in America, beginning with the creepiest. If you’re looking for haunted houses, I’m afraid this post will disappoint you. But if you’ve ever been to southwest Missouri, you know what I mean. That’s the place… Branson, Missouri.
Branson is like a tiny fake Las Vegas in the middle of bible thumper land. Fake Las Vegas, is that an Oxy-Moron or what? The only thing to do is count the billboards. What is the worst? The shows. With weirdo entertainment like Yakov Smirnoff, Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampeed and the New Shanghai Circus Acrobats of China, you’re sure to be thoroughly creeped out. Last time I was there, my heart was broken. There was a longer line to get in to the replica Titanic Museum than I stood in at the world renowned Art Institute of Chicago. In fact, the line was longer than the buffet at the Sizzler on a Sunday afternoon. I didn’t make it in to the Titanic, maybe it’s fabulous.
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Branson’s one redeeming value (besides the lottery tickets)? The Tanger Outlet Mall, home of the Banana Republic outlet, which is my fav. Don’t roll you eyes too much, guys. I go twice a year to stock up and that is pretty much the extent of my shopping (besides on-line and for shoes). Tanger Outlets are a heck of a deal if you get the coupons. For real. You can get a coupon book at any Tanger Outlet office with AMAZING deals. The best is the 20% off if you spend $150.00 or more at BR. $150.00 is a drop in the bucket at Banana, so I usually save several hundred dollars.
A word of advice for the road warriors: move on up US 65 for about 45 minutes to Springfield for the night. They actually have a pretty great bar scene due to all of the colleges in town. The only drawback is the early closing time, but I guess if you’re working that’s a good thing. On your way to Springfield, do not, I repeat DO NOT stop at Lambert’s Café (Home of the Throwed Rolls) in Ozark. They have hams that hang from the ceiling looking like vampire bats and a list of rules a mile long.