GrandCountryInn2While planning a recent vacation to the Live Music Show Capital of the World (aka: Branson, Missouri), my husband and I couldn’t make up our minds on where to stay. He’s more of a “off the beaten path” and “non-popular” type of guy when it comes to accommodations. While I’m more of a “spa/relaxation/bottle of wine in the fridge” and a “big, plush, king size bed” kind of gal. To settle our debate, we bent down and asked our toddler, “Christopher, where do you want to stay when we go to Branson?” His reply: “wa-wa” (aka: water). So we threw our hands up in the air and decided to stay at three resorts.

The kid’s favorite (husband included):
Grand Country Inn located right on the famous Hwy 76 main strip in the middle of all the entertainment is literally a total vacation experience! It has everything – some with extra cost and others included in your hotel stay. For instance, for extra cost, guests can enjoy three live showGrandCountrySlides daily, a 36-hole indoor putt-putt, a family amusement center complete with arcade games, bumper cars, black light mini-golf, and SO much more. Best part – if you stay at the Grand Country Inn you get to play at the 20,000 sq. ft interactive indoor (and outdoor water park(s)) which is free for guests! And don’t let me forget that the Grand Country holds the record for the World’s Largest Banjo – an attraction in itself! While we were there, we got the chance to hear the story behind Grand Country, “Cousin Jimmy”, and his torrent of geysers and pools he named “Splash Country”, and you can too if you decide to stay there. Since it was off-season, the outdoor pool and waterpark were closed but we definitely had our time at the Indoor Waterpark. Especially the three-level treehouse complete with tube slides, water guns, and a 1,000-gallon tipping bucket that dumps every eight minutes. To warn the guests that it’s getting ready to dump a loud bell sounds. My toddler quickly learned to run away when he heard the bell. Splash Country also features a 2,000 square ft toddler pool complete with jumping water, bungee swings, a frog slide, an Ozark Trout slide, and rocking toads. Obviously this was where we spent most of our time while the bigger boys played at the treehouse and the lazy river. After a long evening at the waterpark we walked down the strip, grabbed some Subway, and headed back to the room to eat and get a good night’s rest. My children have never slept so well!
This is only a drip in the bucket of what Grand Country Inn and Splash Country have to offer. Check out their website for more information.

OffCooperCreek the beaten path and a fisherman’s dream:
In addition to the great live shows, year round events, the 1880’s family friendly theme park, and other area attractions, Branson is also surrounded by the beautiful Ozark Mountains as well as three large well-known lakes: Table Rock Lake, Lake Taneycomo, and Bull Shoals, where lake recreation and fishing dominate. Located on the shores of Lake Taneycomo is a quiet, peaceful, and shady campground complete with 14 wooded acres of campsites and cabins. Cooper Creek Resort and Campground is famous for trout fishing but that’s not the only thing they offer. Cooper Creek has 22 individual one, two, and three bedroom cabins to rent (all non-smoking), with fully equipped kitchens including microwaves and drip coffee makers. Dishes, silverware, and pots and pans are ready for your cooking needs and unlike other cabins … they also supply your towels and linens – saving extra space in the trunk. WCooperCreek2e felt so comfortable and at home in our quiet little cabin complete with A/C or heat (if it’s cold out), cable TV, and our own deck complete with a charcoal bar-b-que grill – which helped save money from eating out. And during downtime, my boys loved going down to the dock to watch the ducks and fish as well as the nearby playground where they could run wild and get their wiggles out. After a long day in Branson, it was nice to come “home” to a peaceful, wooded, lakeside setting, ready for relaxing.
If you’re a tenter or if you’re brave enough to haul a camper through the Ozark Mountains, Cooper Creek also offers 75 full hook-up campground sites surrounded by Lake Taneycomo and beautiful large shade trees. Check out their website for more information and rates. Did I mention trout fishing?
Bonus Points:My toddler left his bee-bee (blankie) at the resort that turned into a nightmare first night back home. But thanks to the thoughtful staff at Cooper Creek – they sent the package home priority and my little sweetie slept peacefully the next night!

Whether you’re wanting a complete vacation experience without leaving your resort property, or you’re wanting a little R&R while on vacation with the toddler … you can’t go wrong staying at either of these places. The staff is very friendly, the amenities were just right, the showers were warm, and the beds were comfy. What more could you ask for?

For a Home away from Home accommodation, make sure to check out the third place we were fortunate enough to experience, the Westgate Branson Woods Resort. A swanky paradise located in the middle of the Ozarks.

Disclaimer: My family was provided a one-night stay at both the Grand Country Inn and Cooper Creek Resort. All opinions expressed in this article are my own and I was not compensated for this post.

Photo Credit: Grand Country Inn and Cooper Creek. Some pictures are my own as well as the kids in the pictures … sometimes.

Amanda is a freelance writer and blog owner of “The Procrastinating Mommy” – a PR friendly family blog. You can also follow her on Twitter at: @Amanda_aka_Mom or on Facebook at: The Procrastinating Mommy.