Best of 417 2013

Our annual rundown of your very favorite people, places, foods and things about living in 417-land.

DISCLAIMER: The information in this article was fact checked and accurate at press time, but 417 Magazine cannot guarantee its accuracy indefinitely.

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Best Place to be Seen
First Friday Art Walk

Downtown Springfield
Metropolitan Grill

Best Farmers’ Market
Farmers Market of the Ozarks 

Greater Ozarks Farmers’ Market 
C-Street Market 

Best Charity Event
Sertoma Chili Cookoff

Springfield Little Theatre Big Party
Springfield Black Tie Affair

Branson’s Best Attraction
Silver Dollar City

Titanic Museum Attraction
Ride the Ducks

Branson’s Best Show

Haygoods Family Show
Buckets N Boards

Best Place to Take a Visitor
Bass Pro Shops

Downtown Springfield
Springfield Cardinals game

Best Place for a Belly Laugh
Skinny Improv

Buckets N Boards
Ernie Biggs Piano Bar

Best Place to Learn to Dance
Dance with Me at The Savoy

Take the Lead Dance Studio
Ann’s Performing Arts Centre

Best Day Trip
Eureka Springs, Arkansas

St. Louis
Crystal Bridges Museum in
Fayetteville, Arkansas

Best Place for an Overnight Stay in Branson
Big Cedar Lodge

Chateau on the Lake
The Hiltons of Branson

Best Place for a Kid’s Birthday Party
Discovery Center of Springfield

Firehouse Pottery
Buckets N Boards

Best Outdoor Adventure
Float trips on Missouri Rivers

Springfield Nature Center
Branson ZipLine

Best Tingling Anticipation

Waiting for Outlaw Run

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! The anticipation we feel for our chance to ride Outlaw Run (Silver Dollar City’s newest 2013 attraction and the world’s steepest and craziest wooden roller coaster, pictured above) is almost unbearable. When you see some adults pushing kids aside and shouting, “Me next! Me next!” as they speed toward the line at Outlaw Run… well… that might be us. This is the only wooden roller coaster in the world that twists upside down. This monster cost $10 million to build, runs for more than half a mile, has a 16-story drop at an 81-degree angle and includes three inversions including a 720-degree barrel roll. At 68 miles per hour, it’s the second-fastest wooden coaster in the world.


Best Staycation


Sky Harbor Resort

One of the hidden gems at Table Rock Lake is Sky Harbor Resort ( in Lampe. The recently remodeled rooms are right on the lake, which makes for a super-relaxing getaway that offers tons of extras to keep you and the family busy. Walk down to the dock to paddle around in one of the spot’s kayaks. Or grab the fishing equipment and drop a line into the water for a lazy afternoon. Then you can trek back up the hill and play a little outdoor shuffleboard before you duck under the pavilion to grill your supper.


Best Outdoor Adult Fun


Copper Run Distillery

On lazy Saturday nights, tourists and locals alike saddle up to the tasting room bar at Copper Run Distillery (1901 Day Road, Walnut Shade, 417-587-3456, to sip some of the spirits that are made in-house. With a cocktail menu boasting a selection of whiskey, moonshine, rum and vodka, live music makes this spot a toe-tapping hot spot on Saturday and Sunday nights.

Best Movie Date Night

Marquee Suites at the B&B Theatres

Even though the Marquee Suites is located at the B&B Theatre in Ozark, it really is a theater all its own. You enter through a snazzy private door that leads into the Marquee Suites Lounge. If you purchased tickets in advance (which we’d recommend, because you get to pick your seats!), you grab your tickets at the bar, along with an adult bevvy if you’d like. You can hang out in the lounge or mosey on into the theatre. The drink service continues once you are inside (it’s a 21-and-older experience), so you might as well get comfy. Every seat is an oversized leather recliner with tray table and personal waitress. All you have to do is light up your call button, and over they come. You can get basic movie munchies like popcorn and candy, but they have a full dinner menu, too. Think burgers, nachos, pizza and wraps. The only thing that would make it better would be an intermission for a bathroom break!

Rob Kelsey and his daughter, Ireland, feed graham crackers to one of the Dickerson Park Zoo’s several giraffes.


We love Coffee Ethic (124 Park Central Square, Springfield 417-866-6645) for a lot of reasons, not least of which is the crazy-tasty cappuccino. But one thing we always notice when we pop in for a cup of joe: This spot is always full of super-focused regulars on laptops, toiling the day away. And why not? It smells like yummy coffee, it sells snacks, it has a nice view of Park Central Square, the Park Central Branch of the Springfield Greene County Library is two steps away, and it even serves beer (for when the clock strikes 5, and you can clock out). It makes a great spot to pull out your porto-office and get cracking.

If you ever find yourself spending a night out downtown and there’s a bit of thunder and lightening in the forecast, park on top of Heers Car Park (located just east of Hollywood Theater at the southeast corner of Campbell Avenue and Olive Street). This garage is at the edge of downtown, giving you a high-up, clear view of gray clouds, rain, thunder and lightening moving in on the city. The best part: you can enjoy the stormy show for free, and from the comfort of your very own car.

The Dwarf Conifer Garden at Nathanael Greene Close Memorial Park (2400 S. Scenic Ave., Springfield) is a little gem inside a big, beautiful park. It’s so charming! And so tiny. You could walk right past it. Don’t do that, though. Instead, seek it out by heading to the southeast end of the park. The little garden has a petite wooden bridge, a pond and waterfall, some gravel paths and lots of well-manicured and darling little conifers in a range of colors and shapes—150 varieties, in fact. Because the garden is pretty new, everything is still so tiny that it makes you feel like a giant. Stomp, stomp, stomp! On the paths only, of course.


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