Branson, Missouri is widely known as a family friendly vacation destination. Tucked into the Ozark Mountains, there is no short supply of music shows, shopping outlets and all you can eat buffets. A trip down highway 76 (known to locals as “The Strip”) and you are likely to notice mini vans, RV’s and tour buses. Yes, it’s a great place to visit as a family or with a group of friends. However, when thinking about a romantic get away Branson, Missouri may not be a top contender, but it should be.
Branson touts some of the most elegant hotels and boutique shopping in the Midwest. With the recent addition of The Branson Landing located along the shores of Lake Taneycomo, Branson has gone Metropolitan. Just blocks from Dick’s Old Time 5 & 10, are the trendy shops of White House, Black Market, Apricot Lane and Caché among others. But some of the best kept secrets in Branson are the romantic dining experiences that can be found if you know where to look, or who to ask.
#3 on my list is the Chateau Grille located in the Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa and Convention Center (www.chateauonthelake.com). The award winning restaurant offers American fare from Lobster, to Ribeye to Seared Mahi Mahi priced between $38 and $24. Your dining experience begins with the attentive serving staff and culminates with an exceptional meal however the romance is in the privacy offered by well spaced tables near the full view windows that offer a panoramic view of Tablerock Lake that is especially lovely at sunset. We felt welcome to sit well after our meal to watch the sun go down over the lake and to just enjoy each others company.
#2 is The Candlestick Inn ( www.candlestickinn.com ), established in 1962. It offers one of the best views in the Ozarks. Sitting atop Mount Branson it overlooks Lake Taneycomo and the newest addition to the Branson skyline, The Branson Landing. The Candlestick Inn has watched Branson grow up over the past forty eight years. Those who visit The Candlestick Inn feel as if they are coming home when they enter the front door of what used to be a family residence. The restaurant has racked up a list of awards including 417 magazine’s Best Restaurant for a Romantic Dinner 2009, Best View 2009 & 2008 and the Springfield NewsLeader’s: Best Branson Restaurant 2006, 2007. The Candlestick Inn’s menu offers seafood, pasta, steaks and even a rack of Elk. The Entrees are priced from $49 to $24. The romance is in the cozy candlelit main dining room or on the open air terrace which offers a view of the hourly water and fire show at The Branson Landing.
Buckingham’s Restaurant & Oasis ( www.clarionhotelbranson.com ) can be found in The Clarion Hotel on The Strip in Branson. As you walk into Buckingham’s you will feel as if you are walking into a 19th century South African Villa. This restaurant is #1 on my list due to its unmatched décor and atmosphere as well as the private dining tables and fabulous fare. The moderately priced menu offers Prime Rib ranging in price from $19.99 to $33.99 and daily dining specials for $11.99. What ever your meal the private dining nooks with candlelit tables and romantic décor offer an intimate atmosphere that you need not share with the other diners.