The College of the Ozarks is a short 10 minute drive south of Branson and a wonderful way to escape the hustle and bustle of the strip. Spend a relaxing day touring the beautiful campus, exploring artifacts at the Ralph Foster Museum, picking up sweets at the Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen or grab a delicious, home cooked meal from Dobyns Dining Room.
There’s something fun for the whole family at College of the Ozarks, so plan a day trip to campus next time you’re in Branson and check out some of these exciting sights.
The Keeter Center
This beautiful lodge sits right at the entrance of C of O’s campus and features beautifully rustic suites and upscale dining at Dobyn’s Dining Room or a more casual dining experience on the patio. The Keeter Center hosts small or large events throughout the year and is also the home of Nettie Marie’s Homemade Ice Cream, where the students themselves make deliciously creamy ice cream creations from the fresh dairy on campus.
Ralph Foster Museum
Learn all about the history of the Ozarks with thousands of artifacts that each have a story to tell. Known as the “Smithsonian of the Ozarks” you’ll be lucky to make it halfway through this large museum in one day! Hours of operation are Monday-Saturday 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and ages 18 and under are admitted free. For admission prices and more information about exhibits, click here.
See this 12-foot water wheel up close as the waters of Lake Honor feed the mill. Inside, you can watch as students grind whole-grain meal and flour, also available for purchase. Upstairs you’ll discover the weaving studio where studios handcraft rugs, shawls, placemats and more and downstairs students are busy hand-weaving baskets.
Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen
Introduce your tastebuds to one of C of O’s famous fruitcakes and you’re guaranteed to come back for more each time you’re in town. Students and supervisors bake more than 25,000 cakes per year and you can tour the kitchen to just watch or pick up some of the sweet-tasting jellies and apple butters sold there. Kitchen tours are available Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information or product listings, click here.
Williams Memorial Chapel
Admire the neo-Gothic architecture of this 150-foot long and 80-foot wide structure. Make sure to bring your camera so you can snap photos of the impressive 80-foot-high vaulted ceilings, the Hyer Bell Tower and the beautiful stained glass windows. The chapel is open for Sunday services at 11 a.m. and they are open to the public.
The C of O Greenhouses
Enjoy the natural beauty of the Clint McDade orchid collection which encompasses more than 7,000 plants. Individual orchids and house plants are available for purchase or you can just browse and soak up the sun alongside the plants.
A variety of community events are held on the campus as well, so make sure you stop by the Keeter Center for information about events going on during your visit. The College of the Ozarks is located at 100 Opportunity Ave., Point Lookout, MO, just off Highway 65.