Monthly Archives: May 2014

Baldknobbers Jamboree Show


Credit Branson CVB

Groups of Show Me State wanderers sampling all the down-home sights and sounds of Branson, Missouri, will definitely want to make it out to catch the Baldknobbers Jamboree Show – “The Show That Started it All.” Over fifty years ago the four Mabe brothers – Jim, Lyle, Bill and Bob – also known as the Baldknobbers – began entertaining guests out on the beautiful Branson lakefront; their rollicking show was an immediate hit with the fishermen and tourists. Decades later, they continue to wow faithful fans and new audiences by delivering a wonderful blend of traditional country, today’s hottest #1 hits and hilarious comedy that keeps them coming back for more! Generations of talented Mabe Family members feed the legacy and keep the beloved Branson Baldknobbers tradition running strong, bringing a dynamic, completely new show to the stage each year; it’s their “Songs You Know By Heart” and hilarious comedy that have made this show so popular from generation to generation. Today, the 2nd & 3rd generations of the Mabe family are joined by a dynamic cast of singers, musicians, comedians, and entertainers, and they consistently deliver that Baldknobber brand of Ozark Mountain magic, performing your favorite Country Classics, hot, new Country Hits, and side-splitting comedy. Cool fact: In 2011, an assortment of original costumes, instruments and artifacts were donated to the permanent Arts and Culture collection on display at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History! Be sure to stop in at Country Restaurant right next door to the Theatre and Inn for a home style menu and old-fashioned buffet of delightful favorites based on authentic Ozark recipes; “ya’ll” might want to save a little room for their scrumptious homemade cobblers and pies!

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede

Country and Western music fans on Show Me State adventure will not want to miss this one-of-a-kind dinner show extravaganza celebrating its 20th season! Guests are treated to a thrilling, over-the-top Dolly-style presentation of precision horsemanship, flamboyant pageantry, traditional romance and red, white and blue patriotism, all showcased in a friendly rivalry between North and South and served up with a fabulous four-course feast! Enjoy a delightful evening of non-stop laughs, big-screen Dolly and fast and furious entertainment including racing pigs, a 32 horse show, the Rumble in the Treetops Lumberjack Relay, Return of the Buffalo and the Roman Ride of Fire. Stuff yourselves ring-side as you’re served a lip-smackin’ country-style meal of roast game hen, pork loin, corn on the cob, baked potato and all the yummy fixin’s. The kicker – you eat with your hands, but with endless refreshment to wash it all down and nifty doggie bags to haul away what you can’t finish.

Exploring America > U.S. Cities > Branson Tours

Branson Ride the Duck

Groups of happy wanderers planning their Show Me State extravaganza will definitely be down with an awesome 70 minute tour on one of Ride the Ducks’ remarkable land and water duck vehicles. All aboard – and your amphibious adventure begins as you roll through the bustling Branson Entertainment District or Historic Downtown Branson and head out to explore Table Rock Dam and Baird Mountain or the College of the Ozarks; wrap it all up with a grand splashdown into beautiful Lake Taneycomo or Table Rock Lake! The Ducks promise – and deliver – guests of all ages an entertaining and educational cruise like no other; pipe up and quack right along with your zany Captain as he orchestrates your group’s outrageously fun interactive land and water experience. All the “Ducks” are built from the ground-up exclusively for Ride The Ducks and its partners and resemble the venerable WWII DUKW in appearance only. Ride The Ducks utilizes the latest in marine design and safety and its tour vehicles are regularly inspected, tested & certified by the United States Coast Guard to ensure passengers a safe, silly and comfortable Duck excursion. The Branson Duck Adventure is the perfect outing choice for families, adults and seniors, family reunions, school field trips, scouting events, Summer camps, social organizations, and company outings! Exciting combo Duck Offers get you and your bunch the best of Branson AND plenty of Duck Time – leave the details to the travel pros at Exploring America, grab your group and discover the scenic Ozarks while getting an American Military Vehicle History Lesson on a customizable Duck Tour – Branson’s one and only land and lake adventure!

Stone Hill Winery

Nestled among the rolling hillsides of the Missouri River, in verdant and stunning surroundings reminiscent of Germany’s lush Rhine Valley, is the little town of Hermann. Here, in these glorious green hills is where you will find the original Stone Hill Winery. Established in 1847, Stone Hill grew to be the second largest winery in the United States, proudly showcasing their world renowned, award-winning wines and shipping 1,250,000 gallons per year. Enter, the Prohibition: the winery ceased production and closed in 1920, along with virtually all others in the nation. During this time, the family earned a living growing mushrooms in its magnificent arched cellars until 1965. It was the first Missouri winery to be re-established once the Prohibition was lifted. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Stone Hill Winery welcomes visitors to its three beautiful locations with open arms. The 12,000 square foot Branson facility offers an entertaining guided 60 minute tour of Stonehill’s sparkling wine and cream sherry production, video viewing room, six tasting rooms and spacious gift shop. Visitors are led through the enormous winery complex where they witness the winemaking process; a short introductory film depicts the proud tradition of Missouri winemaking, focusing on the vineyards and cellars of the winery’s main headquarters in Hermann, Missouri. Guests are invited to revel in the delightful aromas of maturing Sherry, which is baked and then well-aged in artisanal oak casks; next, they watch the actual bottling process of Stone Hill’s acclaimed Spumante wines. The fantastic foray into the world of winemaking ends in tasting rooms where visitors sample their way through an exciting selection of Stone Hill’s delightful wines and juices. Tours and tasting adventures can be easily customized to fit individual agendas; if you’re in a hurry, you can get straight to the sipping! Do be sure to leave yourself a little time to browse the wonderful gift shop filled with wine-related items for that perfect memento of your Stonehill experience.

Exploring America > U.S. Cities > Branson Tours

Eisenhower National Historic Site

Interior of Eisenhower National Historic Site

Credit Gettysburg CVB

When your adult group plans a visit to Gettysburg, you may want to explore the Eisenhower National Historic Site which is the farm and home of President Dwight D. Eisenhower and his wife. The group can take a tour of the house and surrounding area. THE location has a beautiful landscape for you to view. The group can take the new Audio Tour of the home which gives you a glimpse into the lives of the Eisenhower family. Visitors can use their cell phone to call a number or log on to a website and listen to the tour free of charge. Cell phone minutes do apply if applicable. During the tour, you will stop at various sites and listen to stories about the Eisenhowers, their family, and features around their home. The group will encounter areas such as the orchard, the putting green, the show barn, the rose gardens, and the dog pens. Dwight D. Eisenhower traveled to Gettysburg in 1915. He was a cadet at the Military Academy. During World War I, his family came back to the area and Dwight was appointed to be the commander of Camp Colt. Eisenhower purchased the farm in 1950. The general took a trip to Europe where he was in command of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization after purchasing the farm. He ran for the presidency in 1952. During his first term as President, he and his wife renovated the farm because most of the original structure was not sound. The construction was completed in 1955 and the Eisenhowers stayed on the farm on weekends and holidays.

David Wills House

When your group travels to Gettysburg, you may want to visit the David Wills House Museum. It is dedicated to the memory of President Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address and the remarkable recovery of a town devastated by the war. Visitors will have the opportunity to explore five museum galleries and two recreated rooms. There are interesting educational programs for your group to experience during the visit. The David Wills House Museum offers group tours to visitors of all ages. During the tour, the group will have the opportunity to view two 15 minute films and look at personal photos and artifacts from the Wills family. The tour is about 45 minutes however; your group can spend as much time as you need. You should arrive 15 minutes prior to your tour. You will also see Abraham Lincoln’s bedroom furnishings that he used while he was composing the Gettysburg Address. The exhibit galleries at the museum are fascinating for visitors to explore. One of the galleries is known as the Wills Parlor: War Comes to Town Gallery. There are artifacts, photos, and stories dealing with the Battle of Gettysburg. The group can view a five minute film called “From Battle Ground to Hallowed Ground,” which tells the story about the transformation of Cemetery Hill from a union army defensive position to the site of the National Cemetery. Another gallery is the recreated room of David Wills Office which was the busiest office in Gettysburg. You will find period furniture and original documents that show the effort of David Wills informing the National Cemetery. There is an audio program for visitors to enjoy that gives a sense of what was happening at that particular time in American history.

Ghostly Tours

Ghost Image of a Lady with a Lantern

Credit Gettysburg Tour Center

Are you fascinated with the supernatural? If so, the group can take a Ghost Tour of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. The location features several different options. Featured tours include the following: The Author’s Tour, The Award Winning Black Cat Tour, The Battle cry Tour, “Scare on the Square” Tour, XTREME Ghost Hunt, and Ghost Hunts. During the Author’s Tour, visitors will have the opportunity to meet and be guided by Johlene “Spooky” Riley who is the published author of the book “Ghostly Encounters of Gettysburg.” She will guide you to locations featured in her book. During the Award Winning Black Cat Tour, guests will travel the dark alleys by candlelight to locations which were active battlefields and homes. Featured locations include: Lincoln Cemetery, the Farnseworth House, the Grove, the Haunted Creek Bed, the Rupp House Museum, the Dobbin House, the Jennie Wade House, the Orphanage and the Victorian Photo Studio. The “Scare on the Square” Tour is a 1 hour walk and includes many interesting locations. Featured locations include: the Wills House, the James Getty Hotel, the Globe Tavern, the Gettysburg Hotel, the German Reform Church, the Old Main School Building, Seminary Ridge and the Town Square. Groups will find something interesting and haunting during these ghostly tours!

Antietam National Battlefield

Battlefield Re-enactors

Credit Antietam National Battlefield

During your group trip to Gettysburg, you may want to stop by Antietam National Battlefield. The battle lasted 12 hours and took place on September 17, 1862. There were 23,000 soldiers killed, wounded or missing after this horrific attack. The group can take a tour of the location. If the group has one to two hours, you can do activities such as explore the exhibits at the museum in the visitor center, view a 26 minute introductory film, browse the museum store, or enjoy a ranger walk. If you can stay four hours, visitors can add more to the list of things to do during the visit. You can take a self-guided hike, enjoy a ranger-led walk or talk about the battlefield, or you can visit the Pry House Field Hospital Museum. There are several hiking trails for you to explore. The hiking trails are full of nature and breathtaking views. Your group will find a variety of areas to explore such as the Bloody Lane, the Cornfield, Final Attack, Union Advance, and Antietam Remembered. The Antietam Remembered trail is a quarter mile in length. During the hike, you will pass by some significant landmarks and monuments which help tell the story of the battle. The group will see sites such as the Battlefield Namesake Bell, Colonel S.D. Lee’s Artillery Battalion, the Dunker Church, and the Maryland Monument. You will have the opportunity to stand on the same land as the soldiers who fought during the war. The hike will begin and end at the Visitor Center.

Manassas National Park

As part of your adult group tour to Gettysburg, you may want to visit the Manassas National Battlefield. The first battle at this location took place on July 21, 1861. During the battle, there was heavy fighting between the two armies. In August of 1862, the Union and Confederate armies clashed a second time on the plains of Manassas. The Confederates won the victory which brought them to the height of their power. Your group can take a tour of the battlefield and see the interesting sites in the area. The group will begin your visit at the Henry Hill Visitor Center which contains an interesting museum with fascinating exhibits for you to explore. The group can watch a 45-minute film called “End of Innocence,” in the visitor center. The center also has a bookstore where you will find interesting books related to the Battle of Manassas. The park offers walking tours and self-guided cell phone tour options as part of the experience. The walking tours are seasonal options. There are two cell phone tours available. One of them is known as the Henry Hill Cell Phone Tour. During the experience, visitors can call a number and listen to interpretive audio programs about the various stops on the walk. The tour has nine stops along the way. The other option is called the Stone Bridge Cell Phone Tour. The group can participate in several outdoor activities during the visit. There are a few hiking trails for you to explore. Visitors will learn information about the battle on the hike by looking at the information presented at each area of the battlefield. You can also go horseback riding or have a picnic at the park.

Jennie Wade House

Credit Gettysburg Tour Center

Credit Gettysburg Tour Center

The Jennie Wade House is located in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. It is dedicated to the only civilian killed in the Battle of Gettysburg. The location has been in operation since 1906. The group may take a tour of the Museum and also visit the Gift Shop which contains collectibles and other souvenirs. The house is authentically furnished from the cellar to the attic and is a shrine to Jennie and life during the American Civil War. During the time of the battle, Jennie Wade was just 20 years old kneading dough in her kitchen when a rifle bullet pierced two of the doors and claimed her life. The location features guides who are dressed in period attire. These individuals are well-versed in the history of the house. For several years, they have enthralled visitors with passionate retellings of the tragedy that befell young Jennie and her family. There are artifacts from that fatal day in 1863 on display at the location as well, including the artillery shell that punctured the roof of the house and a floorboard.