Dewey Short Visitor Center
The Dewey Short Visitor Center's expansive, scenic lakeside grounds and panoramic view of Table Rock dam beckon visitors to learn about Ozarks history and wildlifem and to walk along the lakeside nature trail. Located six miles south of Branson, Missouri on Hwy 165, the facility is free to the public. Audio-visual shows are screened in a modern auditorium. Adjacent is a bookstore and exhibits to provide an exciting introduction to the Table Rock Lake area.
Persimmon Hill Farm
Persimmon Hill Farm is a real berry, fruit and mushroom farm in the scenic Table Rock Lake country of Southwest Missouri where the blueberries hang like clusters of grapes from seven-foot tall bushes and the blackberries are huge - but thornless and in neatly trimmed rows. The addition of log-grown shiitake mushrooms began another gourmet product line.
The farm began several decades ago when the Bohner family fulfilled their dream of starting a berry farm that would also be a destination, where families could come for a farm experience as well as great berries and fruits. "Berry picking is a great family outdoor activity," Earnie Bohner says. "You can bring the kids or the grandkids, participate in a family harvest experience together in our peaceful environment, and pick the ripest, most delicious berries you'll ever put in your mouth, plus you can eat all you want while you're picking." The berries, always at the top of healthy foods lists, are not sprayed with anything - one of the reasons many people enjoy picking their own berries.
Visitors can tour the fields, pick and sample fresh berries right from the bushes, dine on hot muffins and cobblers, and taste the dozens of unique gourmet products made right on our farm. A huge picture window on the porch of the farm's store lets customers watch as Persimmon Hill Farm bakers make delicious jams and sauces, hand poured, with great attention to quality given to each jar. Summer visitors can also see the gigantic Blueberry Thunder Muffins and cobblers being made. The "you-pick" farm has fields of blueberries, blackberries, elderberries, gooseberries, plums and more!
The farm is located at 367 Persimmon Hill Lane in Lampe, Missouri.
Ralph Foster Museum
Regional history and culture of the Ozarks are presented at the Ralph Foster Museum. The permanent collection includes more than 750,000 objects representing Ozarks heritage. Clocks, dolls, weaponry, and natural exhibits are on display. Rotating displays feature Native American and Ozark artifacts and relics. In a special exhibit area, visitors can view the famed original "Beverly Hillbillies" truck from the 1960's television program. The Ozarks Hall of Fame is part of this "Smithsonian of the Ozarks", which is located on the cmapus of the College of the Ozarks at Point lookout just south of Branson.
Galena "Y" Bridge
Along the James River lies a small town called Galena, the seat of the government for Stone County. For the first half of the 20th century, Galena, Missouri was famous for it's float-fishing trips down the James River. Galena's best-known landmarks is the "Y" Bridge, built in 1926 and a familiar site to floaters on the James River. It is one of only six such bridges ever constructed, and one of only three still standing. No longer accessible to motor vehicles, the "Y" Bridge is a popular place for pedestrians.
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
Civil War history was made just a short drive away from the Table Rock Lake area. The Battle of Wilson's Creek, the first major battle west of the Mississippi River, was fought August 10th, 1861, on land about 10 miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri. The South won the battle but Missouri remained under Federal control. Wilson's Creek National Battlefield remains nearly unchanged in the 145 years since the battle was fought.
The Visitor Center offers exhibits, a fiber-optics map of the battle, film, bookstore and research library. The Wilson's Creek Civil War Museum holds a collection of original Civil War items. The park entrance fee includes admission to the museum as well as the Visitor Center and grounds where self-guided tours may be taken (park hour vary with seasons).
Operated by the National Park Service, The Visitor Center is open daily except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year's Day. The Museum is open daily April through November. Admission is $5 per adult (16 years and older) to a maximum of $10 per vehicle. A receipt is honored for seven days.
Roaring River State Park
Trout fishing enthusiasts may want to take a short drive to explore Roaring River State Park near Cassvill, Missouri. One of the most attractive of Missouri's many state parks, Roaring River is a favorite with campers and offers 187 campsites near the waterway and spring-fed trout pool. Comfortable accommodations, a restaurant and meeting rooms for non-camping visitors are available in the Emory Melton Inn and Conference Center, named for a much-respected Missouri lawmaker who lives in retirement in Cassville. Cabins with kitchens are also available by reservation.
The Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center displays exhibits and presents programs on the park's history. Seven walking trails totaling 10 miles take explorers through the nearly 4,000-acre park. The park also features a trout hatchery. Swimming and picnicking are also offered.
Mansfield, Home of "Little House" Author Laura Ingalls Wilder
Mansfield, Missouri is famous for Rocky Ridge Farm, the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the "Little House" books. Almanzo and Laura Ingalls Wilder and their daughter Rose moved in 1894 to Rocky Ridge Farm where they settled permanently. The nine manuscripts that made up the "Little House" series were written at Rocky Ridge Farm.
The museum, devoted to Laura Ingalls Wilder, contains items from more than a century of pioneer life. Her daughter Rose Wilder Lane, who became an author and journalist, is also memorialized in the museum. Open March through mid-November, admission is $4 per child (6-17 years), $8 per adult (18-64 years), and $6 per senior adult (65 years and older).
Pea Ridge National Military Park
Table Rock Lake visitors will find a vast Civil War battlefield about an hour's drive away in northern Arkansas. The Pea Ridge National Military Park at Garfield, Arkansas, commemorates a battle fought March 7th-8th, 1862 and is credited for saving Missouri for the Union. More than 26,000 soldiers were involved in what is called the "most decisive" battle west of the Mississippi River.
The 4,300 acre park, operated by the National Park Service, features a seven-mile road tour with 10 stops, nine miles of horse trails and a seven-mile hiking trail. The Visitor Center contains a theater that features a 28-minute film, bookstore and museum. The park is open daily except Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Entrance fees are $3 per person ages 16 to 61 years. A $5 maximum per vehicle permit may ne purchased. Permits are honored for seven days.