Top of the Rock is about ten minutes from Branson. It is a must-see World Class destination.
The Top Of The Rock includes 360-degree views of the area, breathtaking sunsets, three delicious restaurants, Canyon Cave and nature trail, a gorgeous wedding chapel, plus a stunning golf course you will not want to miss. This post is a review of some of my favorites. My family and I enjoyed the best time at the Top Of The Rock. If you are near Branson, you must see it for yourself.
Top of the Rock, just south of Branson, is a world-class destination created by Johnny Morris of Bass Pro Shop’s fame. This should tell you no expense has been spared to build a spectacular facility in the Big Cedar Lodge family of outdoor destinations. Top of the Rock features the world-class Top of the Rock Golf Course, Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail, and Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum. Top of the Rock also features the “End of the Trail” All-American Wine Cellar, three restaurants, a Golf Pro Shop, and the spectacular Chapel of the Ozarks and Civil War era cabin. As you can see, Top of the Rock is not just for golfers. It is for everyone of all ages to enjoy.
10 MILES SOUTH OF BRANSON
As you drive south from Branson down Highway 65, you will notice these giant rock formations up on a hill on the west side of the road. We drove by this for several years wondering what was being built as we spent vacations in Branson. Do not drive by and just wonder what it is. Turn in, and the first thing you find is a massive entry gatehouse where a guard will tell you is there is a $10 entry fee if you are not staying at Big Cedar Lodge. The entry fee goes toward any purchase you make inside the grounds. My first thought was What? $10 just to drive through? I should have known better. Even if you don’t take them on the offer of full credit toward any purchase, the entry fee was worth every penny.
Driving past the gate the beauty of the perfectly manicured landscape makes your jaw drop. We haven’t even made it to the parking lot yet, and you are pulling out your camera to capture the view. The best way to describe it is Johnny Morris creates the clean and picture perfect “Disney World” type experience with natural landscape and the beauty of the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake. Every detail at the Top of the Rock pays homage to the Ozarks history. Artisans have seamlessly blended natural formations with man-made structures.
We quickly park the car at the Welcome Center which shows you some of the fun at awaits ahead. We then ride the shuttle bus up to the main buildings. There you will find most of the attractions.
TOP OF THE ROCK SUNSET CEREMONY – free
The Sunset Ceremony was my personal favorite. Looking out over the beauty of Table Rock Lake and the backdrop of the Ozarks from the peak of Top of the Rock will leave you knowing there must be a God. Johnny Morris and his team took this backdrop and made it easily accessible to enjoy the closing moments of the day in spectacular fashion. They call it the Sunset Ceremony. Gather your family and friends together and listen to a traditional Scottish bagpiper as you enjoy the splendor of the sunset over Table Rock Lake. Then, just as the sun shows its final glistening light, you will hear a civil war cannon erupt as you raise your glass for a toast – concluding a moment that you will be able to look back on for years to come. The end to a perfect day.
CHAPEL OF THE OZARKS – free
Do you want to plan a fairytale wedding? At least bring your camera and pretend you are a princess. There is no over venue like the Chapel of the Ozarks. This enchanting, three-story chapel boasts incredible floor-to-ceiling views of Table Rock Lake through arched windows, native limestone detailing and a steeple with a bell tower. Beyond the antique pine wood entry doors, the chapel opens to soaring 23-foot vaulted ceilings and broad bay windows that perfectly frame the overlook of Table Rock Lake. You can rent the chapel and get married there. Right next to the chapel is the civil war cannon pictures below. It is a part of the sunset ceremony.
RESTAURANTS AT TOP OF THE ROCK IN BRANSON, MO
While visiting the Top Of The Rock, we saw and walked through each one of these restaurants. The food looked fabulous on everyone’s plate. It is pricey but it looks like it would be well worth it. Eating at Top Of The Rock is definitely something I am looking forward to do.
The Osage Restaurant is the premier dining experience at Top of the Rock. It features American cuisine in a stunning dining room with sweeping Ozark Mountain Views. Decorate with custom artwork and native artifacts; the entire design is a stunningly elegant atmosphere.
Located on the lower level of Osage Restaurant is Buffalo Bar offering a casual menu. Some of the dishes include wood-fired pizzas and open-air dining. There is a banquet space with glass doors that open to an infinity pool with a massive bronze sculpture.
Unique in both design and cuisine, Arnie’s Barn is a 150-year-old wooden barn that was brought from Arnold Palmer’s hometown in Latrobe, Pennsylvania. It was reconstructed at Top of the Rock by a local Amish family. This magnificent structure features soaring, vaulted ceilings and two lofts. It is home to the Pro Shop and a Mexican restaurant.
TOP OF THE ROCK GOLF COURSE – Additional fee
High on a bluff top overlooking Table Rock Lake, you will find the Jack Nicholas Signature designed Top of the Rock Golf Course. It is the first-ever Par-3 course to be in a professional championship. Here you will find a place where golf and peaceful waterfalls, wandering creeks, bass-filled ponds and pristine lakes all co-exist. Other amenities include an Arnold Palmer-designed practice range, with 18 target greens. You will also find a 70,000 square-foot “Himalayan” putting course, designed by Tom Watson.
LOST CANYON CAVE AND NATURE TRAIL – Additional fee
Enjoy a 2 and 1/2 mile long golf cart riding tour showcasing some of the area’s natural beauty. This includes many table rock formations. Enjoy Lost Canyon Cave and the beautiful waterfalls. You can purchase a discounted Adventure Pass to enjoy both the Lost Canyon and Ancient Ozarks Museum.
ANCIENT OZARKS NATURAL HISTORY MUSEUM – Additional fee
Learn and explore the rich history of the area at the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum. You will enjoy the vast collection of American Indian artifacts on display. Other galleries and exhibits focus on prehistoric animals that roamed the Ozarks and the American Civil War. You can purchase a discounted Adventure Pass to enjoy both the Lost Canyon and Ancient Ozarks Museum.
OTHER BRANSON REVIEWS
Roark Family Favorite Branson Shows
- SILVER DOLLAR CITY THEME PARK
- SILVER DOLLAR CITY CULINARY CLASSES
- Sight & Sound Theater
- 90,000 sq ft Of The Best Classic Cars
- Crafts & Cowboy Festival Silver Dollar City
- Dogwood Canyon Pictures Review Pt 1
- Missouri Nature Park at Dogwood Canyon
- The Haygoods
- Dixie Stampede
- IT show
- The Branson Belle
- Rent A Boat Table Rock Lake State Park
Roark Family Favorite Branson Restaurants
- College of the Ozarks – Best Dinner and Sunday Brunch Branson
- Danna’s BBQ – Best BBQ
- Billy Gail’s – Best Breakfast
- Billy Bob’s – Best Hamburgers
- Freddy’s – Best Patty Melts, fries, and Sundaes
- Hook and Ladder Pizza
- Mel’s Hardluck diner – Great Singing Wait Staff
This is strictly my opinion of great places to visit in Branson, Missouri.
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