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Bucket List Adventures- Branson

 

Hello, from The Show Me State: Missouri

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Missouri has a variety of landscapes that offer spectacular scenic views of the prairie lands, rolling hills, the Ozark mountains, forests, and lakes. In Missouri, you can sightsee, engage in many water activities, go hiking in the trails, explore deep caves, watch world-class shows and so much more!

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Historic Downtown Branson is lined up with shopping districts, dining options, theater shows and attractions. Branson is known best for its live entertainment!

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Route 76 Country Blvd is the hub for festivities. On Country Blvd. you check out the amusement park, theaters, and boardwalk. The Branson Ferris Wheel all lit up really stands out. They also have Ripley’s Believe It or Not, Titanic museum, zip lining, mini-golf, go-karts and more! It’s even better at night with all of the flashing and neon lights. I loved seeing all of the famed Branson theaters lined up in this iconic entertainment district!

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Branson Landing is great for shopping, dining and viewing the fountain show. I walked alongside the Taneycomo Lakefront at Branson Landing and watched the magical fire, water, and music fountain show! the animated fountain show is a true spectacle!

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Popular Branson Theater Shows: Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede, The Haygoods, Celtic Ladies, Presley’s Country Jubilee, Six, Sights and Sound Theater, Acrobats of China, Amazing Pets, Broadway’s Greatest Hits, Hamner’s Unbelievable Variety Show and more!

Top Branson Attractions: Showboat Branson Belle, Silver Dollar City, Marvel Cave, Titanic Museum, College of the Ozarks, Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery, Table Rock Lake, Veteran’s Memorial Museum, Downtown Historic Branson, The Branson Landing and many more!

Silver Dollar City and Marvel Cave offer park-goers an opportunity to take a step back into the 1800’s. In this amusement park, Silver Dollar, offers visitors period demonstrations, amusement rides, and good old-fashioned fun! Silver Dollar City is home to Marvel Cave, and the amusement park is actually built around it. Marvel Cave is a living limestone cave, and dates back to the 1500’s!

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Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery is actually the largest trout fish conservation center. The conservation facility has upwards of 35,000 rainbow and brown trout fish birthed in the aquarium tanks. The majority of the fish are rehomed in Lake Taneycomo. You can also stroll the little gardens and see many butterflies.

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Table Rock Dam is definitely to be admired and marvel at the architecture of the dam. Table Rock Dam was completed in 1959 to serve the purpose of damning the White Water and resulted in a new lake, Lake Taneycomo to be formed. The grounds and views of Table Rock Lake reservoir are quite special.

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Table Rock Lake is widely popular for outdoor recreation and water sports. Table Rock Lake is an artificial lake with many attractions for visitors and locals alike. At Table Rock Lake you can visit marinas, beaches, and swimming holes, and also engage in boating activities, sightseeing tours and even more.

Table Rock State Park is perfect for outdoor adventures including campsites, picnic sites, swimming spots, biking and hiking trails, fishing, and much more. There are amazing views of the Ozark mountains!

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State Park Marina is your go-to place for water sports. You are able to take catamaran boat tours or rent your own paddleboards or boats at the State Park Marina. There is also concessions, a food spot, and a gift shop.

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Moonshine Beach is part of Table Rock Lake and has sparkling blue water like the ocean, minus the saltwater. Moonshine beach offers picnic and play areas, hiking trails, swimming and boating, and a volleyball court.

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Sight and Sound Theatres is a live theater show where cast reenacts some of the most famous stories in the bible. Sight and Sound Theatres puts on famed bible stories such as Moses, Samson, and Jonah.

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College of the Ozark’s- is a Christian faith-based, tuition-free college that promotes self-sufficiency by having students utilize and work on the land. The college’s motto is Hard Work U and encourages personal development and hard work ethic. The college has an on-site church, museum, restaurant and more. College of the Ozark’s overlooks the beautiful Ozark Mountains and Lake Taneycomo.

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The Top of The Rock Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail is a top recreational resort property offering guests lodging, dining, golfing and golf-cart tours through paved trails and the on-site cave. The Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail afford visitors with beautiful scenic views of the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake.

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Branson is a lively city known for its entertainment varieties and beautiful geography. In Branson, you can catch world-famous shows and performances! Branson is situated perfectly in the Ozark mountains and offers many outdoor activities!

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

With All my Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“I wandered everywhere, through cities and countries wide. And everywhere I went, the world was on my side.” -Roman Payne

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Photography Roadtrip Travel Travel Blogger Travel Writer

Bucket List Dreams- Top of the Rock and Lost Canyon

 Top of The Rock

Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail

Greetings from The Show Me State! Missouri is filled with many outdoor activities for you to enjoy, whether it’s attending a world-class show, or immersing yourself in nature. My journey took me through two very beautiful mountain regions the Ouachita’s and the Ozark’s!

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Branson is perfect for a mini vacation or weekend getaway. Top of the Rock is a recreational resort destination offering lodging, golfing, nature trails, dining and shopping. There is also a museum and gift shop on site.

Big Cedar Lodge offers guests luxurious rustic log cabins, lodges and cottages. The stunning resort is situated with views of the Ozark’s and Table Rock Lake. You can stay lake-side, or even mountainside for woodsy views.

Top of the Rock Golf Course is a premier golfing destination. At top of the Rock you can get your practice in, schedule lessons, or just have a quiet morning stroll among the relaxing and inspiring scenery.

Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail allow guests to take a leisurely ride through the immaculate nature park. The Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail showcases the best vistas, scenic landscapes and panoramic views of The Great Outdoors.

Other points of interest: Chapel of the Ozark’s, Jack’s Civil War Cabin, Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum and the Golf Pro Shop, and The Amish bridge.

The Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail was the highlight of my Missouri trip! We paid the 10 dollar entrance fee and drove up to the Top of The Rock. You get the ten dollars back to either put towards food, amusements or the cost of the tour tickets (which we did.) We checked in and signed some waivers and paid the 25 dollar fee per person for the golf cart self-guided tour. There is a multitude of man-made and natural formations to observe and explore.

I spent the day exploring the beautiful Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail!

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We started off and saw waterfalls and rock formations, and then made our way to the four-story cave. The cave was so beautiful with a waterfall overhead, and when we came around the bend I saw the Bat Bar. The cave tour was a great experience and definitely a lot of fun. The views inside the cave were spectacular!

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We continued our way and stopped off many times to take in the gorgeous views from up at the top. You can see many beautiful cascading waterfalls, stacked table rock formations, and wildlife. Top of The Rock sits high atop a bluff and you can see Ozark’s and Table Rock Lake. This place is a photographers dream. Everything we witnessed was so mesmerizing.

 

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I love the unexpected discovery of being completely enchanted with the discovery of a new place. At Top of the Rock you will take in the scenic vistas of Ozark’s. The cave offers mystery and intrigue to curious minds. The gorges and canyons are bold and daring. The mountain views, rolling hills and towering waterfalls are awe-inspiring.

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The Lost Canyon affords visitors with unparalleled views of the Ozark mountains and Table Rock Lake. I am eternally grateful for getting to witness the beauty and greatness of The Lost Canyon!

And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“She is free in her wildness, she is a wanderess, a drop of free water. She knows nothing of borders and cares nothing for rules or customs. ‘Time’ for her isn’t something to fight against. Her life flows clean, with passion, like fresh water. ” -Roman Payne

 

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Bucketlist Musings Photography Travel Uncategorized

Bucket List Dreams- Eureka Springs

Eureka Springs, AR

The beautiful Victorian village of Eureka Springs is situated in the heart of the Ozark mountains. Eureka Springs is known for its picturesque Victorian houses and Hot Springs. Eureka sits high atop the mountains and many of the stunning and unique architecture of buildings and homes sit hillside. I imagine a time here when women wore Victorian gowns, donned parasols and had afternoon tea and tea cakes. It’s like something within a great novel coming alive.

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Downtown:

Downtown Eureka Springs and Basin Spring Park is the heart of the city. I had so much fun embracing all of the eccentricities and oddities. Eureka Springs is magical, enchanting, colorful and quirky. I also secretly adored all of the kitschy garden gnomes displayed throughout the city.

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Basin Spring Park is the bright and lively heart of Eureka Springs. Basin Spring Park is located in downtown Eureka and is a colorful and magical place to visit. Basin Spring Park showcases talented street performers and musicians playing live music. You can even grab some sweet and savory treats. We walked up the cliff area and to the Basin Spring.

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Hot Springs:

Eureka Springs has several hot springs that have been restored. Native American legend tells us that the natural spring water from the mountains contains healing properties. Many people still visit hot springs to soak and to sip the water for therapeutic benefits. These natural healing springs are revered by people from all walks of life. The healing mineral waters and natural springs are believed to be flowing life waters. There are many unique hot springs gracing Eureka Springs.

The famed springs in Eureka are Basin Spring Park, Magnetic Springs, Crescent Springs, and Grotto Spring.

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Top Places to visit:

Eureka Springs has many fantastic landmarks and points of interest. You’ll want to visit as many of these places as you can!

Thorncrown Chapel is a gorgeous glass chapel in the middle of the woods. Thorncrown Chapel has a tremendous architectural design that is truly inspiring. The drive to get to the Thorncrown chapel is very woodsy and beautiful. The Thorncrown Chapel is a glass and wooden structure situated in the woodlands. The Thorncrown Chapel has 425 stunning glass windows and 6,000 sq. ft. of glass. The ceiling has a cross-over stitching design and it’s arched so beautifully. This chapel is inspiring and a good place for reflection on life and purpose.

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St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church is tucked away on the hillside by the 1886 Crescent Hotel. St. Elizabeth was constructed in 1904 and showcases stunning Italian marble, limestone, rotunda architectural style and stained glass. Saint Elizabeth is the only church known that you enter through the bell tower. The dome shape is truly remarkable. The beautiful gardens and grounds offer pure serenity. The church also has a chapel room for prayer and reflection.

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Christ of the Ozark’s stands tall overlooking the great Ozark mountains. The Christ of the Ozark’s statue is housed at The Great Passion Play and Holy Land experience. The Christ statue has been here for over fifty years and stands 7 stories tall! It is truly a magnificent sight to behold.

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The Great Passion Play puts on the world-famous biblical passion play. The play is held in a large outdoor amphitheater and features a large cast and live animals. The Great Passion Play is said to be America’s number one outdoor drama. The Passion Play is held in a beautiful setting overlooking the Ozark’s and Christ of the Ozark’s statue. The Passion Play provides you with a window to the past complete with an interactive reenactment of the bible.

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Holy Land Tour brings you back into time with a replicated grounds of old Jerusalem. Here you can watch as The Holy Bible comes alive before your eyes. The cast and grounds at The Holy Land Tour are all reminiscent of biblical times as they share stories from The Holy Book.

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The Bible Museum and History Museum feature over 6,000 bibles and 3,000 artifacts from different eras and cultures. There are two museums located here where you can see Christian paintings, statues, and ancient bibles. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase religious items, bibles, and Holy Land souvenirs.

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Carry Nation House, Hatchet Hall is an interesting house built on the side of a cliff. During the Temperance movement and before the Prohibition Era Carry was known to go to taverns and break up the alcohol and beer kegs by way of an ax. The area her home is located in is nice and quaint. I loved all of the eccentric cottages along the winding road. The house is right on top of the street and the back of the house has a drop off a cliff.

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Pivot Rock and Natural Bridge is a good spot to check out some natural formations. The Pivot rock is actually the largest freestanding rock! The rock is so unique and it actually looks upside down. Also, The Natural Bridge was actually formed from the pure rock in the shape of a bridge.

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More things to do:

Onyx Cave offers self-guided tours of the underground onyx formations. The cave which was discovered in 1893 is popular for tourists and locals alike. Interestingly the cave stays at 57 degrees year round.

Blue Spring Heritage Center has a botanical garden, Blue Springs, and Native American history and artifacts. Here you can visit the gardens and grounds, admire the lagoon and spring, and take a walk down the Cherokee Trail of Tears.

Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge offers up-close safari encounters with rescued big cats.  Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge provides Safari Lodges to guests looking for a more natural and authentic wildlife experience. The Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge is home to 100 species of animals namely lions, tigers and bears.

Lodging:

In Eureka Springs you can stay in haunted hotels, quaint cabins, mysterious caves, unique treehouses, and magical hobbit holes!

Treehouses and Hobbit Caves:

Eureka Springs Treehouses will help make your fairytale dreams come true. At The Eureka Springs Treehouses, you can have an underground adventure in The Hobbit Caves, or have a dreamy night in The Magical Castle Treehouse, or a romantic night in the mesmerizing stoned underground Grottos caves! There are ten unique treehouses and themed accommodations at The Eureka Springs Treehouses.

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Historic Hotels:

The 1886 Crescent Hotel is America’s Most Haunted Hotel for good reason. I love the history of this spooky and beautiful hotel. The Crescent Hotel Ghost Tour has nightly tours and seances. The delightfully renowned 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa offers guests an experience you will be talking about for years to come.

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1905 Basin Park Hotel is the sister hotel of the 1886 Crescent Hotel. The Basin Hotel is also regarded as haunted and there are The Spirits of the Basin ghost and cave tours. This grand Basin Park hotel fits perfectly in the quirky heart of Eureka Springs.

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Eureka Springs is a magical place with its native healing waters and enchanting well-preserved historic Victorian houses and buildings. Eureka Springs is perched high into the Ozark’s surrounded by mountains, forests, and lakes. Eureka Springs is such an inspiring city and especially perfect for lovers, artists, and all free-spirited folks.

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And my bucket list dreams just keep coming true!

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“So, I love you because the entire universe conspired to help me find you.”- Paulo Coelho

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Bucketlist Photography Travel Uncategorized

1886 Crescent Hotel- America’s Most Haunted Hotel

1886 Crescent Hotel -America’s Most Haunted Hotel

The beautiful Victorian historic Ozark mountaintop resort, 1886 Crescent Hotel.

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The Crescent Hotel  is hailed as Americas’s Most Haunted Hotel 

The Victorian village of Eureka Springs sits hilltop overlooking the beautiful Ozark mountains. Eureka Springs is famed for their Hot Springs and Historic Bathhouse District. The 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa has a rich history and deep roots to Eureka.

The 1886 Crescent Hotel is a beautiful old Victorian historic mountaintop hotel set against the beautiful Victorian village of Eureka Springs. With one look you can picture a time of dames and dapper gentlemen riding carriages in the Victorian period. With another glance you can understand the stories of paranormal sightings of Dr. Norman Baker, his nurse, and the patients who checked in and never checked out. Guests report seeing ghostly apparitions from the Victorian era dancing in the grand Crystal ballroom.

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History:

In 1886 The Crescent Hotel operated as a resort Carriage Set during the Victorian era. The hotel catered to distingished travelers who were visiting Eureka Springs in search of the healing waters in the Ozark mountains. The Crescent Hotel offered guests luxury accommodations, including carriage rides and access to the 100 horses and stables! Over time the hotel would close its doors to guests.

In 1908, The Crescent Hotel emerged as The Crescent College and Conservatory for Young Women. The students attending this prestigious college would learn the arts of being a well-versed young lady. The Women’s College would later become a Junior College. The hotel eventually closed again.

In 1937, The Crescent Hotel was turned into a health reort and cancer hospital. The quirky Dr. Norman Baker had patients believe he was curing them from a multitude of ailments. The guests poured into Bakers Hospital without realizing the good doctor was in fact a fraud making nothing more than potions and concoctions. He pleged to his sick patients that with the healing waters and his magical potions he could cure all.

Dr. Baker was an eccentric man and he loved the color purple. Its said that he would parade around in purple threads, drive a purple car and painted hospital wings purple.  It was later found out that Dr. Norman Baker had never attened medical school a day in his life. The good doctor  was eventually arrested and once again the hotel would close. Many guests died here at the hands of Dr. Baker, and his morgue remains. The eerie hospital was later converted back to a hotel.

In 1946, The Crescent Hotel regained its vitality and opened its doors once again to welcome new guests. The hotel still operates today as a luxurious resort catering to eager folks from all over. The Crescent Hotel offers guests a unique and memorable experience that they will share with generations to come. The hotel is a hub for history lovers, paranormal investigators and more!

Sightings:

Dr. Norman Baker, is seen wearing purple in the basement.

Dr. Bakers nurse, is seen wearing all white pushing a hospital gurney in the hallway.

Michael, The Irishman craftsman who helped build the hotel, and later fell from room 218, which is one of the most active rooms.

Theodora, one of the cancer patients of Dr. Baker who is searching for her room key.

And many more!

You can go on the supernatural Spirit of the Crescent tour. There are nightly ghost tours at The Crescent Hotel and they also hold seances. Guests report feeling, hearing and seeing ghostly apparitions in their rooms and in the hallways. This hotel has been filmed for many supernatural shows.

We are staying at the most haunted hotel in America tonight! Guests check in and some don’t check out!

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Upon arrival I didn’t know what to expect. I knew this would be an adventure that is both exciting and terrifying. The hotel is spooky looking and checking in at 3 am doesn’t do much to settle the nerves. The lobby of the hotel has an older look to it and you can certainly tell the period in which this hotel was constructed. I got my keys and went up to room 330. I had previously asked to please not put me in a room that was notorious for ghost activity. I love that the keys are real keys.

I love how everything here stays true to character and nothing is modern. I noticed a big cat sleeping on the bellman’s luggage cart and I thought this to be strange especially in the middle of night. There were several little idiosyncrasies that I just knew I was in a ghostly place.  I took the old elevator up and I was looking around nervous yet curious. I was apprehensive but ready to have a paranormal experience and see these spirits.

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It’s 3 am and we are officially checked into America’s Most Haunted Hotel!

My room was very vintage and retro. The walls were red. I loved the antiques. I was apprehensive to fall asleep. The room was peculiar. Everything was beautiful, and terrifying. My night was thrilling. I tossed and turned wondering how close to my bed would the spirits stand. Sleep continued to elude me. I don’t know when my eyes closed or when they opened. I wasn’t sure what exactly happened. I just knew it was morning.

I rolled out of bed to go for a walk. The gardens are inspiring. I had breakfast in the Grand Crystal Ballroom. I had a full day of adventuring ahead. I’ll never forget my time at the The 1886 Crescent Hotel. Those kind of experiences just stay with you. Who doesn’t want to ghost hunt in an old 130 year-old elegant Victorian hotel?

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I got to stay at the most haunted hotel in America. I made it through the night. You know they said the guests check in and they don’t check out! You can really appreciate this hotel for the beauty and for the history. I love the charm and grandeur of stepping into times past. Whisk away.

With All My Love,
The Vintage Gypsy

“Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary.”- Edgar Allen Poe