For those seeking outdoor adventures, Springfield and neighboring Branson offer plenty of outdoorsy entertainment to bring you closer to nature. Enjoy lakeside al fresco fun or seek subterranean thrills in stalagmite-filled caves — there are plenty of options for the family, for solo excursions, or for romantic getaways.
Table Rock Lake
For a weekend retreat in the great outdoors head to the fresh blue-green waters of Table Rock Lake in Branson’s Table Rock State Park. Engage in aquatic activities like fishing or paddle boarding, or hike through oak and hickory trees in the park’s winding trails. If an afternoon isn’t enough, rent a premium yurt and keep the adventure going.
Branson Scenic Railway
Travel back in time on the Branson Scenic Railway, a nostalgic journey over century-old bridges and through scenic Ozark vistas. Snag an old-school coach seat or a spot in a dome car with sweeping views of the countryside, and listen to ghost stories and pioneer tales as an expert guide narrates the 45-minute ride.
206 E. Main St., Branson, MO, bransontrain.com
Silver Dollar City
Set atop of one of the oldest Ozark caves is Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-themed amusement park with steam trains and steep wooden rollercoasters that will take you back in time. The rides are exhilarating and educational, a mix of old-time charm and modern fun.
399 Silver Dollar City Pkwy., Branson, MO; silverdollarcity.com
This public trail network is over 73 miles long and has been in development in Springfield since the 1990s. The trails link together communities, with some pathways cutting right through the center of town. This expansive greenway system is a great way to traverse the outdoors on foot or on bike.
Runaway Mountain Coaster
Strap yourself in and sit back as you zoom through the Ozark Mountains on this outdoor mountain coaster. This thrilling ride takes advantage of the land’s topography, winding around hills and over mountains in a choose-your-own-speed adventure. Whiz by the Branson skyline at 30mph or take it slow — you decide.
935 MO-165; bransonalpinemountaincoaster.com
Branson Treehouse Adventures
Hanging out in treehouses isn’t just a childhood pastime. Branson Treehouse Adventures offers nature-lovers a unique opportunity to spend time among the pines. For a romantic getaway try the Belle Arbres treehouse for two, complete with a private deck and outdoor shower. The deluxe Ben’s Hideaway treehouse is spacious enough for 15 people, ideal for group camping… and really getting to know your friends and family. There are also cabins and camping options available for those who prefer to lodge on land.
159 Acorn Acres Ln., Branson, MO; bransontreehouseadventures.com
The Butterfly Palace & Rainforest Adventure
Branson’s Butterfly Palace is a lush, interactive outdoor experience that’s educational and fun for all ages. Step into a tropical sanctuary teeming with wildlife and verdant flora beyond just butterflies. You’ll be mesmerized by birds fluttering overhead and enchanted by various tree-frog species. Enjoy the Rainforest Theater, the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze, and the Banyan Tree Adventure that’s perfect for kids.
4106 W. 76 Country Blvd., Branson, MO; thebutterflypalace.com