Nestled in the heart of the Ozarks, Branson, Missouri, is a vibrant family vacation destination known for its stunning natural beauty, thrilling theme parks, and world-class live entertainment. However, the city also boasts a wealth of fascinating museums catering to various interests. From history buffs to toys, car enthusiasts, and more, there’s something for everyone. Let’s explore some of Branson’s museums and the breadth of what they offer.
The Beck Museums of Branson
The Beck Museums of Branson is a seven-museum complex of fun, nostalgia, learning and excitement. The complex is home to the Harold Bell Wright Museum, National BB Gun Museum, Stearnsy Bear Museum, World of Checkers Museum, the Paul Harvey Jr. Museum, and features the World’s Largest Toy Museum. The complex’s museums and toy shops have over a million toys running the gamut of today’s current toys back to the toys of the 1800s. We feature quite a few interactive exhibits such as a Hot Wheels track, Lincoln Logs, checkers and various coin operated rides. Factor in touring the entire museum and you have a great way to spend a day in Branson.
Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks
A protector of the rich history of the Ozarks, The Ralph Foster Museum at the College of the Ozarks is a treasure trove of regional artifacts and exhibits. The museum features an extensive collection of Native American artifacts, antique firearms, musical instruments, and Ozark crafts. Highlights of the museum include a restored 1904 World’s Fair log cabin, the original Beverly Hillbillies truck, and a fascinating taxidermy collection. Explore the Ozarks’ unique heritage and culture at this exceptional museum.
Branson Centennial Museum
The Branson Centennial Museum, in Historic Downtown Branson, is a must-see destination for anyone interested in the rich history of Branson and the Ozarks region. Housed in a historic building that was once the “Reish Shoe Store,” the museum is a treasure trove of artifacts, memorabilia and exhibits that bring the past to life. Established in 2006, the museum’s mission is to preserve and showcase the history of Branson and the Ozarks, and it does so with a fascinating collection of objects, photographs and interactive exhibits that tell the story of the region’s people, culture and traditions. It’s worth the visit just to view its continually running movie, “The History of Branson.” Whether you’re a history buff, a music lover, or simply curious about the past, the Branson Centennial Museum offers a unique and engaging experience that is not to be missed.
The Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum
The Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum, at the Top of the Rock, a few miles south of Branson in Ridgedale, Missouri, showcases the natural history of the Ozarks and surrounding areas, including the plants, geology and human history. It’s interactive and engaging, making it an excellent destination for families and anyone interested in the very early history of the Ozarks.
There are a variety of exhibits depicting the region's geological history, including the formation of the Ozarks, its flora, fauna and local plants. One of the most intriguing exhibits is the Native American exhibit illustrating the rich cultural history of the Ozarks and containing artifacts from various Native American tribes that once occupied the region.
Titanic Museum Attraction
One of Branson’s most popular museums, the Titanic Museum Attraction, is a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts. This interactive, immersive experience takes visitors on a journey through the ill-fated ocean liner’s history, featuring over 400 genuine Titanic artifacts and full-scale room recreations. Guests receive a boarding pass with the name of an actual passenger or crew member and can learn their fate at the end of the tour. Take advantage of the opportunity to touch an iceberg, feel the freezing water temperatures, and walk the Grand Staircase within this remarkable museum.
Veterans Memorial Museum
The Veterans Memorial Museum in Branson is a poignant tribute to the brave men and women who have served America in the Armed Forces. This museum features ten halls covering conflicts from World War I to today, showcasing thousands of artifacts, including uniforms, weapons, medals and personal items. The museum’s centerpiece is the world’s largest war memorial bronze sculpture, an emotional tribute to the fallen soldiers of the 20th century. A visit to the Veterans Memorial Museum is a powerful and moving experience that honors the sacrifices made by our nation’s heroes.
Hollywood Wax Museum
Experience your favorite celebrities “up close and personal” at the Hollywood Wax Museum in Branson. This fun and interactive museum features incredibly lifelike wax figures of famous actors, musicians and other notable personalities. Pose for photos with stars like Marilyn Monroe, Johnny Depp and Elvis Presley, and explore the museum’s themed exhibits, such as the Horror Chamber and the Tribute to the Stars. The Hollywood Wax Museum is a must-visit for movie buffs and pop culture fans of all ages.
Branson Dinosaur Museum
The Branson Dinosaur Museum is a thrilling and educational attraction that transports visitors to a time when these colossal creatures roamed the Earth. This family-friendly destination showcases life-sized dinosaur replicas meticulously crafted to show these prehistoric giants accurately. The impressive exhibits, from the large fearsome T-Rex to the diminutive, four-winged, one-foot tall microrapters, will capture the imaginations of both young and old. Alongside these awe-inspiring displays, the museum offers informative plaques and interactive features, ensuring an engaging experience for all ages. A visit to the Branson Dinosaur Museum is an unforgettable adventure that entertains and sparks curiosity and a deeper appreciation for the fascinating world of dinosaurs and the Earth’s ancient history.
Branson Auto Museum
The Branson Auto Museum, also known as the Celebrity Car Museum, is a must-see attraction for automobile enthusiasts and movie buffs. This captivating museum features an impressive collection of classic, rare and celebrity-owned cars, showcasing the evolution of automotive design and engineering. Visitors can marvel at an array of iconic vehicles that have graced the silver screen, such as the Batmobile, the DeLorean from “Back to the Future,” and the “Ghostbusters” Ecto-1. Besides movie cars, the museum displays a variety of vintage and custom automobiles, each with its unique story and significance. A visit to the Branson Auto Museum offers a fascinating journey through automotive history, celebrating the beauty and innovation of these remarkable machines that have captured our imagination for generations.
Branson Auto & Farm Museum
Branson Auto & Farm Museum is a one-of-a-kind attraction that combines the captivating world of automobiles with the fascinating history of the Ozarks’ agricultural roots. This distinctive 90,000-square-foot-plus museum features a diverse, constantly changing collection of classic, vintage and custom cars, some of which are available for purchase. Each showcases the automotive industry’s artistic design, innovation and engineering prowess throughout the decades. The museum also features an impressive array of well-preserved farm equipment, ranging from tractors and plows to other essential agricultural tools, offering visitors a chance to appreciate the dynamic spirit of the region’s early settlers. The Branson Auto & Farm Museum delivers an engaging and educational experience for all ages, honoring the importance of agriculture in the area’s history and celebrating the timeless appeal of iconic automobiles.