If you’re looking for a thriving nightlife scene, Branson, Missouri probably isn’t going to be the travel destination for you. Branson is known for entertainment, dining, and tourist attractions, but they’re typically more family-friendly.
There is, however, one bar venue in Branson that also happens to have one of the best views in the area.
The Buffalo Bar at Top of the Rock is the best place to see the sunset in Branson. The Buffalo Bar and Top of the Rock are part of the Big Cedar Lodge.
We’ll let you know everything about this venue below.
The Buffalo Bar is on the lower level of the Osage Restaurant at Top of the Rock. The Buffalo Bar overlooks the Ozark Mountains as well as Table Rock Lake.
Top of the Rock is just 10 minutes south of Branson proper, and many of the area’s top dining and attractions are here.
Below you, when you’re on the stone patio of The Buffalo Bar, is a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.
If you want to have dinner after drinks at sunset, there’s Osage Restaurant. Osage is a fine-dining restaurant, also with views of Table Rock Lake.
The Buffalo Bar is adjacent to the End of the Trail All-American Wine Cellar, where you can try whiskey and cognac, as well as sampling cigars.
The Top of the Rock, before it was a travel destination, was the home of Dr. Graham Clark. Dr. Clark was the president of the College of the Ozarks. One of Dr. Clark’s closest friends went on to buy the property in 2005 and then opened the Top of the Rock Restaurant and Golf Course.
After a kitchen fire in 2005, the owner decided to transform the land into a unique destination as he’d always envisioned it to be.
All of the amenities are meant to highlight the history and natural beauty of the Ozarks.
When the property reopened, it also included Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail, the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum, and the Chapel of the Ozarks. The natural landscape was the guide of the design of everything at Top of the Rock.
Big Cedar Lodge was created by Johnny Morris, who was the close friend of Dr. Clark mentioned above. Along with creating Top of the Rock, Morris is also the founder of Bass Pro Shops and Big Cedar Lodge. Morris is also known for being the founder of Tracker Boats.
Big Cedar Lodge is located on 2,200 acres on Table Rock Lake in the Ozarks.
The resort is a family destination but it’s also perfect for anyone who likes the outdoors and being active or simply relaxing.
All of Top of the Rock and Big Cedar Lodge reflects the love for the outdoors and especially the Ozarks that Morris has.
Adjacent to the resort property is Dogwood Nature Canyon. You can take a private jeep ride or a tram tour to see the wildlife including elk, door, and long-horn cattle.
There are archery and fly-fishing schools at the resort, plus you can quickly get to Branson for the live music and entertainment.
If you decide you’re going to stay at Big Cedar, rather than just getting drinks at the Buffalo Bar, you can opt for one of more than 200 guestrooms, which are in six different settings. There are log and rustic cabins in the woods and feature fireplaces and hot tubs as well as an outdoor grill.
The lodge has rooms more like a traditional hotel with the availability of suites and kitchenettes.
Many of the cabins and rooms have a lake view, but the ones that don’t have a serene, wooded view.
There’s also a new addition to the resort, which are luxury camping sites. You can opt for a glamping unit, a camping cabin, or a camping hut.
One of the reasons so many people opt to stay at Big Cedar is because there is an abundance of activities to participate in.
Water sports are big at the resort, given its location on Table Rock. You can rent canoes, kayaks, fishing boats, speedboats, or pontoons.
You can rent or buy rods and reels, but to fish you’ll also need to buy a Missouri state fishing license for a small fee.
An onsite marina includes bait and everything else you might need.
Lessons for watersports are available, and there’s a scuba school.
Land-based activities are seemingly never-ending as well. Golf is a big one, as Big Cedar Lodge has some of the premier courses in the Midwest. One golf course option is Mountain Top, a 13-hole par three.
There’s also Ozarks National and Buffalo Ridge, which is an 18-hole rolling course in the mountains. Finally, there’s Payne’s Valley, the first public course from Tiger Woods.
If you’re in the Branson area and you’d like to explore another rooftop aside from what’s available at Big Cedar, there’s Captain’s Quarters.
Captain’s Quarter is on the 10th floor of the newest resort in Branson, which is The Tower By Lifetime Destinations.
This rooftop bar and eater features indoor and outdoor seating and views of Table Rock Lake.
The Tower is a Cape Cod-inspired resort located between the theater and entertainment district of Branson and Table Rock Lake.
Along with the high-rise restaurant, the other amenities available at The Tower include two outdoor pools, children’s programs, and a movie theater.
While they aren’t rooftop, there are also a number of other bars and restaurants directly on the water, including The Paddlewheel and Area71 Bar and Patio.
Branson isn’t the place to go for raucous nightlife if you’re planning a trip, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be things to entertain you while you’re there. Most of the best venues involve a stunning view of Table Rock Lake and center around the area's natural beauty.