Branson, Missouri for a winter break?

Branson, Missouri for a winter break is not all that crazy.  Albeit there are no palm trees and tropical breezes, however, the weather is good with an average high of 50 during late December through January.  This is about 30 degrees warmer than St. Paul during the same time.  Also we popped a couple of 62 degree days while here..  It felt great!

Related image

There are still shows that are open including Dolly Parton’s Stampede (7 days a week 4 shows a day, 365 days per year).  We saw her show and it was very entertaining with excellent food.  The dinner and show that takes about 2.5 hours.  You will not leave hungry unless you try.  Many shows shut down from 12/28-3/1 according to signs we saw.  There is no shortage of things to do even with some the shows not being open.

Related image

Also the Titanic Museum is quite good.  You will be given a passenger identity as you start your tour and at the end you will find out if you made it to safety or not.

Rypley’s Believe It Or Not always has business.  Haven’t been there yet but will be.

Image result for free branson missouri pictures

We also went to the Veterans War Museum and I will highly recommend this one.  They had artifacts that I have never seen before in a war museum including a German WWII helmet with a .30 caliber bullet hole through it, multiple uniforms and weapons used.  The museum covers WWI through the Gulf Wars.  You may even shed a tear or two.

We haven’t talked restaurants yet.  If you want food there is no shortage of food opportunities here.  You want a certain kind of food you will most likely find here.  I don’t think it is possible to go to every restaurant, if you went twice a day, in a year.  We like trying the local non-chain restaurants to get local flavors that we can’t get back home.  If you like the chains because you know what you are getting you are covered too.  BBQ, Seafood and Steaks are well represented in Branson but so are ethnic favorites as well.

Related image

My guess is that the mountains around Branson are amazing and ablaze in color during the fall.  According to what I read, Branson’s peak tourist time is May through September with a mini peak in the fall to see the leaves and during the Holiday Season.  The roads were quite busy around here until Jan. 2 when it looked like a ghost town by comparison.  Love it, nice and quiet but still open.

Did I mention that Branson is only 11 hours from Minneapolis-St. Paul.  Easy one day drive.

Don’t forget the world class bass fishing in Table Rock Lake!  Lakes don’t freeze over down here.

Image result for free branson missouri golf pictures

Some of the most interesting and beautiful golf courses that I have ever seen.  They are open year around too.

Next time you are thinking winter get away maybe think not so far south and give Branson, Missouri a try.  We are glad we did!

25563 Forest Boulevard Lane, Wyoming, MN

25563 Forest Boulevard Lane, Wyoming, MN

For Sale

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 1 Baths
1 full BATHROOMS | 1650 SqFt

Rare detached town home! Wonderful area, quiet street and near elementary school. Clean comfortable home with large yard and association green space. Huge family room with sliding glass doors to patio. Large garage for those cold winter nights that are coming.

 

25563 Forest Boulevard Lane, Wyoming, MN – Just Listed

25563 Forest Boulevard Lane, Wyoming, MN

Just Listed

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 2 Baths
1 full, 1 half BATHROOMS | 1650 SqFt

Rare detached town home! Wonderful area, quiet street and near elementary school. Clean comfortable home with large yard and association green space. Huge family room with sliding glass doors to patio. Large garage for those cold winter nights that are coming.

 

1294 Ripley Avenue, Maplewood, MN

1294 Ripley Avenue, Maplewood, MN

Just Listed

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 1 Baths
1 full BATHROOMS | 1321 SqFt

Comfortable home in a great area! Awesome convenient location on bus line. Large private yard with plenty of room to play. Dining Room and 3 bedrooms/2 baths, large porch. This home has it all for you!

 

1294 Ripley Avenue, Maplewood, MN – Just Listed

1294 Ripley Avenue, Maplewood, MN

Just Listed

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 2 Baths
1 full, 1 half BATHROOMS | 1321 SqFt

Comfortable home in a great area! Awesome convenient location on bus line. Large private yard with plenty of room to play. Dining Room and 3 bedrooms/2 baths, large porch. This home has it all for you!

 

2018 Fall in Minnesota

The 2018 Fall in Minnesota has been a bit different from a normal fall.  According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources we have had the coldest waterfowl season on average since they started tracking 50+ years ago.

I like to follow the waterfowl migration each year and have found that this year we are 2-3 weeks ahead of a normal year migration.  Meaning the peak of waterfowl came through Minnesota 2-3 weeks earlier than normal.  Here is a prime example from the MN DNR report posted on October 25, 2018:  Rice Lake, NWR near McGregor had 732,000 ducks on the lake in 2017 for this date and 5600 ducks this year.  Huge difference!  We are seeing the migration sample throughout the state with similar results except in the southern part of the state.

Image result for bufflehead duck

The hopeful person that I am, I decided to check the Ducks Unlimited migration report for October 18 and found statements from their reporters of, “season is over and the ducks are gone for this year.  We have freeze up.”  Throughout Canada the provinces had early freeze outs of all but the largest lakes sending migrating waterfowl south.  Seems they passed right through Minnesota as we did not have good weather either.

Now the bright spot!  The new DU reports out of the Canadian Provinces are that there were still lots of ducks and geese that are now moving into the area.  The doom and gloom from the early reports seem to be changing.  Most reports did say that season ending freeze up was emanate however up there in the next week or two.

As we traveled through from Forest Lake to Middle River, Minnesota and back, we saw a lot of  swans which typically bring up the rear for the waterfowl migration each year along with goldeneye, mergansers, and bufflehead ducks.  We saw plenty of goldeneyes and mergansers but no bufflehead.

Related image

Very strange fall in Minnesota as now the new reports in Canada are saying they are seeing large flocks of mallards and scaup.  Both are hardy and not early migrants but unexpected after the reports of early freeze up in Canada.  Who knows this year maybe the wood ducks and blue wing teal didn’t actually leave in September and early October like normal.  At this point what is normal?

Strange fall in Minnesota!  Anyway get out and enjoy our wonderful fall season and watch for the migrating waterfowl.  They can be spectacular to see if you time it right.

Image result for coot duck

One fact that most don’t seem to know is that coot migrate at night.  Have you ever seen a flock of coot (coot are not ducks but are related to grouse) migrating?  I know I haven’t and the information I read stated that they migrate at night.  I guess they don’t like how they look flying so they go when know one can see them.  They are so vain!

1304 Island Drive, Forest Lake, MN

1304 Island Drive, Forest Lake, MN

For Sale

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 2 (2 full ) BATHROOMS | 1986 SQUARE FEET

RARE 4 bed/2 bath TH in private community in the heart of Forest Lake! Located on a quiet, no outlet street in Island Estates. Owner’s suite on main w/ensuite bath. 3 bedrooms on one level, plus additional full bath on upper. Each bedroom has it’s own walk in closet! Enjoy your morning coffee from the private patio overlooking wooded wetland. Blocks from shopping and restaurants, 5 minutes to Clear Lake public boat landing. Easy freeway access. QUICK POSSESSION/CLOSING POSSIBLE!

 

4888 384th Trail, North Branch, MN

4888 384th Trail, North Branch, MN

For Sale

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 3 (2 full, 1 half ) BATHROOMS | 2640 SQUARE FEET

Elegant home in an exclusive upscale area. Magnificent decor throughout, hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen, open concept: Perfect for entertaining on either level. Very nice private, professionally landscaped lot. Very hard to find home with main-level living.

 

4888 384th Trail, North Branch, MN – Just Listed

4888 384th Trail, North Branch, MN

Just Listed

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 3 (2 full, 1 half ) BATHROOMS | 2640 SQUARE FEET

Elegant home in an exclusive upscale area. Magnificent decor throughout, hardwood floors, gourmet kitchen, open concept: Perfect for entertaining on either level. Very nice private, professionally landscaped lot. Very hard to find home with main-level living.

 

4979 207th Street N, Forest Lake, Minnesota

4979 207th Street N, Forest Lake, Minnesota

For Sale

$ Click for current price
3 BEDROOMS | 2 (1 full, 1 half ) BATHROOMS | 1523 SQUARE FEET

Lovingly maintained end unit with open floor plan and high ceilings, 3 BRs on same level, kitchen with center island, beautifully landscaped yard, all in a centrally located neighborhood full of amenities (e.g. parks, trails, and more).