White River Lodge
Innkeeper(s): Becky and Bill Babler
The Great Ozark Outdoors from White River Lodge 30 May 2013, 4:45 pm
White River Lodge overlooks Table Rock Lake two miles off 86 highway on the south side of the lake a mile after crossing Long Creek Bridge (UU to Ozark Hollow Road). Many of our guests enjoy all the outdoor activities during these spring, summer, and fall months.
I'm often asked, "do you have a swimming pool?" No, BUT I have a lake--with the re-opening of Old 86 Corp. of Eng. park a swim in beautiful, clean Table Rock Lake is only a mile away. Borrow chairs, beach towels, and swim noodles from us and go have some economical fun in the sun ($4 per car park fee). For sand underfoot and probably a few more people, there's Moonshine Beach between Chateau on the Lake and the dam. For faster fun, bring your own boat/jet ski or rent one from a nearby marina--Bass Pro's Long Creek Marina is nearest us and they are also in the process of building an eating place. DiMonaco's Resort on the other side of the bridge has opened the Boardwalk Cafe which can be accessed by water or land.
Take a scenic 10 mile car drive to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a White River Lodge guest favorite (pictured above). This wonderful park has multiple ways for all ages to enjoy the park--walk or bike the paved path or take guided tram, segway, jeep, or horseback tours. They also are building some new facilities that will include a mill and restaurant but enjoy the outdoor cafe until then. A mile further west on 86 is the turn-off for the Kanakuk Christian sports camps and Persimmon Hill Berry Farm. Follow the "bear" signs to enjoy blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, and more. Pick them yourself or buy already picked fresh, frozen, or made into something yummy products (also used for breakfast at WRL). Persimmon Hill now has an air-conditioned area to purchase and enjoy muffins, pancakes, lunch, drinks and desserts.
Ziplines made an appearance in Branson a few years ago and now there are several to choose from--the newest goes across Taneycomo to the Branson Landing. Speaking of Taneycomo--this cold water lake that looks more like a river has excellent trout fishing. Husband and fishing guide, Bill Babler, takes folks fly or spin-cast fishing from his Phoenix Bass Boat. If your a bass fisherman, he'll take you out on Table Rock Lake instead. Stay at White River Lodge and get $25 off your fishing trip.
If you're in the area for several day or come here often, you may wish to take a day trip to Eureka Springs, Harrison, Low Gap, or Bentonville, AR. White River Lodge will be happy to share information, dining spots, and directions to help you enjoy your Ozarks outdoor vacation.
BBIM Celebrates 25 years with a bonus for Bed and Breakfast fans! 6 May 2013, 8:39 amAbout 10 years ago Bill and I joined the Bed and Breakfast Inns of Missouri (BBIM) as aspiring innkeepers. While we had already started the process of building a lodge B&B, we found BBIM's professional guidance very helpful. Then in May of 2004, we attended an aspiring innkeeper's workshop in Springfield, MO on "Bed and Breakfast Inns and Outs". Gary Blankenship of Walnut Street Inn started out the workshop with what it takes to be an innkeeper and then sessions followed on planning and zoning requirements, safety, advertising, legal issures, food preparation, financing, budgets and taxes--I still have that notebook (the three ring binder type). A year from that workshop we opened White River Lodge and a month later after having met the requirements and having our BBIM official inspection and overnight stay, we became full members and joined around 100 other professional BBIM properties whose innkeepers welcomed and supported us by sharing their experiences, wisdom, and recommending us for lodging, too.
A lot has changed in those ten years mostly due to the internet but BBIM has kept up with those changes while continuing to promote its members as a "Better Way to Stay". Now be our guests and get a 25% bonus when you use a BBIM gift certificate at a member inn before April 2014. For procedures and requirements on obtaining a bonus voucher on a BBIM gift certificate or purchasing a new one, go to the BBIM website--you won't even have to listen to a sales presentation. And all member inns love to redeem BBIM gift certificates--no commissions.
Are you green when you travel? 12 Apr 2013, 7:23 pm
Earth Day is April 22 but we should take care of our beautiful earth everyday. Lately, I've been receiving emails from directories wondering if we are a "green" business (and of course would you like to take our survey and be promoted as such, etc.) Our log lodge is very green with its building material being dead standing beetle-killed timber, harvested and cut into D-logs, flooring, and beams. They're naturally energy efficient as well. Inside, our kitchen cabinets are made from recycled warehouse roofing and interior doors from barn rafters. We also have Missouri cedar log (renewable resource) bedroom furniture. Of course, we chose these things to fit our design but the "green" aspects are nice too. Building the B&B from scratch, we were able to choose energy efficient windows, HVAC, appliances and water saving toilets and fixtures. But what about my guests, they're on vacation--should they be green too? Though certainly not a requirement, we have found most of our guests care at home so also care on vacation. They reuse towels and sheets, turn off lights, TV when leaving, and recycle cans and plastic bottles or bring their own re-useable bottles just like at home. I have found if it's a habit, it's easier to do all the time. During the hot dry summer, I got started emptying the leftover ice water from glasses at breakfast into a bucket in my sink so we could use it to water plants outside. Now, I automatically look for the bucket. I still have plenty of bad habits but we all can change some to good. Enjoy Earth Day--there's plenty of ways to renew and save. My new Reservation Key booking program has been saving me time and if you stay at White River Lodge for two or more nights from April 21-30, enter promo-code "Earth" and it will take $25 off your online reservation.
Spring Break at White River Lodge and Branson Lake Area 12 Mar 2013, 10:04 am
|March Sunrise at White River Lodge|
Take those winter boots off and put some spring in your step! Here's some note worthy possibilities for your spring fling in the Ozarks:
- Trout or Bass fishing. For guide service White River Outfitters
- Dogwood Canyon Nature Park only 10 miles from the lodge--check out their specials
- Silver Dollar City has a new huge fast wooden roller coaster.
- Ziplines, Caves, Track Parks, Trails, Dewey Short Visitor Center, Mini Golf, Shopping
- Wineries, Copper Run Distillery, Macadoodles, Restaurants with live music
- High rated Golf Courses: Branson Creek, Murder Rock, Payne Stewart
- 30+ Branson Live Shows--some with meals
- Branson Scenic Railway, Duck and Dam Tours, Museums, Lake Cruises
- In Arkansas--Eureka Springs shops, Tiger Sanctuary, War Eagle Mill, Low Gap Cafe, Crystal Bridges Museum.
Here at White River Lodge wake up to a beautiful sunrise over Table Rock Lake. Your coffee is ready to take to the deck and a homemade hot breakfast is not far behind! For added attractions--There's birds at the feeders (new arrivals daily), squirrels (you can have one), new Lazy Boy Spa (58 jets), outside wood fireplace (smores), picnic table, fitness room with sauna, pool table, ping pong, darts. WRL has Spring rates and an extra 10% off a three or four night stay to save you some green. Check out our new reservation system to choose your room and any add-ons to complete your trip under the Special Discounts tab. For those that can only get away for two nights, from March 24 to April 14 "Book" two nights in the room of your choice then enter "Fling25" into the Promo Code box for an extra $25 off your 2 night stay.
Fine Dining near Branson and White River Lodge 4 Feb 2013, 12:38 pm
Need a good restaurant to celebrate a special occasion...here's a list of Branson area fine dining establishments that are open in February 2013 for your enjoyment. Dress-up or casual, many of these restaurants have menus and specials posted on their websites. Most suggest you make a reservation especially on holidays and weekends.
Less than 10 minutes from White River Lodge is Big Cedar's Worman House. They are open for dinner daily from 5-9:30. It has a great view (you can even see our lodge) and there's live music. They are also opening Top of the Rock for just Valentines Day (2/14) for a special dinner-must make reservations. 417-335-2777
College of the Ozarks' Keeter Center, 14miles from the lodge off Hwy 65, is open 4-8pm M-Sat. It's beautiful log building and elegant dining room offers live music provided by the students. They offer a quality menu but there are no alcoholic drinks.
Level 2 Steak House is open at the Branson Convention Center (16 miles from WRL). They're open 5-10 on Valentine's Day and 5-11pm on the weekends. 417-243-3433
Rocky's Italian Restaurant located near the Branson Landing is open 11-9pm and for Valentine's Day and that weekend, they're offering their Prime Rib dinner for two $29.95. 417-335-4765. Another local Italian restaurant off of Green Mountain Drive is Florentina's open 11-8:30pm 417-337-9882
One of Branson's newest restaurants is the Cosmopolitan Bistro and Wine Bar. Open until 10:30pm on Friday and 12am on Saturdays. Live Music. 417-335-6035
Back on Table Rock Lake near the dam is the 4 starred, Chateau Grille. 417-334-1161
Now, if you need fine lodging, please consider our Table Rock Lake log lodge just 15 miles SW of Branson. White River Lodge prepares and serves a "fine" hot breakfast each morning and breakfast, drinks, snacks, desserts and our well-appointed common areas are complimentary with your stay. Get even more for less with our special winter rates.
Winter Fun--Branson Style 5 Dec 2012, 7:22 am
As the end of the year and beginning of winter approaches, why not consider a getaway to White River Lodge and Branson area attractions. Here's a list for ponder or check the Explore Branson site:
- Silver Dollar City (ends Dec. 30)
- Christmas Light Tours or drive throughs
- Live Shows of all kinds
- Showboat Branson Belle
- Dogwood Canyon, ziplines, hiking, fishing, golfing
- IMAX, theater productions
- Museums, Wineries
- shopping and dining
- pingpong, billiards, games, puzzels
- unwind in the sauna or outside hot tub
- sit in front of a wood burning fireplace
- watch sports or a movie in the theater room
- read a good book or magazine, WIFI, naps
- drink some hot cocoa, tea, or bring your favorite drink
- cookies and snacks, plan your dinner out or warm leftovers
- bird watching with a Table Rock Lake view.
- share some tall or short tales.
- eat a hot breakfast--there's fresh ground coffee too.
Fall Fun Continues around White River Lodge and Branson 23 Oct 2012, 3:59 pm
Today we took a scenic fall drive over to Reeds Spring to pick up some White River Lodge hand-made pottery cups. We headed west on 86 over to 13 north across Table Rock Lake through Kimberling City and on to Reeds Spring. The drive was pretty but it was lunch time so we stopped at a very good pizza place, Reeds Spring Pizza Co which is open M-Sat. 11am-9pm. Then it was on to Omega Pottery Shop where Mark had our hand-made cups waiting but of course we had to take a look at some of his other pieces for sale, too. Also found out about the Stone County Art Studio Tour which will be Oct. 27 10am-5pm. We then decided to head back east to 65 hwy and go by Copper Run Distillery which a guest had been to and I'd researched on their website. Of course with Bill driving getting there is part of the adventure so we also go by a rustic looking place that says "Cat Sanctuary" which I know must be the National Tiger Sanctuary that some of our B&B guest have enjoyed. It's open for tours Wed.-Sun. 10am, 1pm and 3 pm. Admission is $15. Now on to Copper Run--which is not on the east side of 65 where Walnut Shade is located but on the west side off of 176--it's an easy fix thanks to Bill's i-phone and we arrive. It's open Mon.-Sat. 10am-7pm and Sunday 11am-7pm. There's free tastings of their moon shine, whiskey, and rum and tours of the distillery every 30 min. Also, order one of their mixed drinks or brews from their bar. There is live music to enjoy on Sat. and Sun. afternoons. We head back to 65 south pass the Branson Zip Lines, another guest fun spot, through Branson, make a stop at Harter House Grocery and on home sweet lodge again. It's time to set out some snacks for the guests and maybe we'll have time to sit on the deck with a little mixed drink made with local whiskey of course.
Arkansas Places from White River Lodge 26 Sep 2012, 5:02 pmBeing only 6 miles from the MO/AR line we often take a trip down south to Eureka Springs, Harrison, Green Forest but here's a couple of new gems thanks to features in our rural electric magazine, Arkansas Living:
One hot Saturday afternoon, Bill and I headed south to have a late lunch at the Low Gap Cafe, located between Jasper and Ponca, AR. The writer had given a rave review about the delicious cuisine at Low Gap and we do love a good meal. The 75 minute drive in our well air-conditioned Avalanche was scenic with opportunities for critter sitings as well as interesting shops. Our route took us south and west out of Harrison along 7 hwy to 74 to Low Gap Cafe. It was rustic in a comfortable way with a great menu written on a large chalk board. Bill had the rib eye steak with garlic mash potatoes and I had the pan-seared salmon--both were delicious and then we shared a slice of one of the best chocolate cakes ever! We're looking forward to going back again this fall.
In the April Arkansas Living, I saw the article about Crystal Bridges, a world class museum built by Alice Walton in Bentonville, AR. And then had some guests that were coming or going to it from the lodge--So when my sister was in town a couple of weeks ago, we drove the 1 1/2 hours along 86W to Roaring River State Park and then south into Bentonville--home of Walmart, who sponsors this fine facility and wonderful grounds and trails. It was easy and free to park and we enjoyed the rooms of fine art, the restaurant with the great view, and the walking trails with sculptures and they even label many of the trees and plants along the way. Take a look at their website -- this would be a great trip in any season.
SUMMER ON TABLE ROCK LAKE AND WHITE RIVER LODGE 11 May 2012, 7:24 am
Spring has been great but summer is coming and beautiful Table Rock Lake is calling your name. The new ten million dollar Dewey Short Visitor Center at Table Rock Dam has the history of how it all began as well as other information and beautiful grounds. You may arrive by car or boat. It is free and open daily from 9-5. There are also tours of the dam for $14.50 per adult and don’t forget the paved walking trail along the shore through Table Rock State Park and over to the marina—sounds like a picnic opportunity to me.
State Park Marina also has lots of ways to enjoy Table Rock Lake. They have boat rentals, scuba diving, para-sailing, and the Spirit of America Catamaran excursions. The Showboat Branson Belle which is docked between the dam and State Park Marina has dinner cruises with entertainment—sometimes we even see it cruising near White River Lodge. Yes, we do have our summer lodging special running that will save you 10%-20% on multiple night stays and it’s good over the summer holidays too. White River Lodge is located across the lake from Big Cedar Lodge and we can see their fireworks display over Fourth of July, Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends. The picture above is from last year’s Fourth of July celebration—it’s fun to watch the boats gather too. Table Rock Lake also has bass fishing—be prepared to go VERY early, or below the dam on Taneycomo, there is trout fishing. If you’re staying at White River Lodge, you can get $25 off fishing guide service with Bill (White River Outfitters).
In addition to State Park for boat rentals there is one at Long Creek near the bridge, and just across the AR line is Cricket Creek Marina. We have room to park your boat at the lodge or if you wish to keep it on the water, Cricket Creek does have nightly rental on boat slips. Area Corp. of Engineers parks do have boat launches and/or other amenities that can be used for a $4 fee or with your yearly pass. The park closest to the Lodge, Old 86 Campground is closed for repairs from the 2011 flood but the one at Long Creek is open. Most of the parks have access to lake swimming and don’t forget the “famous” Moonshine Beach between the dam and Chateau on the Lake.
We’d love to see you “on the lake” this summer!
Spring Break Getaway to Branson and Table Rock Lake 4 Mar 2012, 8:18 amWhite River Lodge...15 miles SW of Branson, MO on beautiful Table Rock Lake. The birds are singing (and eating), trees are blooming (Ahhhh--choo), the sun is shining (today), your college team is on the big screen winning (maybe), fish are biting (save $25 on guide service), and we've got gasoline (cheap --er than Chicago). Branson turns 100 in 2012 and has plans to celebrate--visit Branson100.org for more. The new Branson Travel Planner is out. We've put copies in our guest rooms and you may get your own free copy at the Branson chamber. Many shows and attractions start their new season in March--SIX, Dixie Stampede, Acrobats of China, Ziplines, SDC. The rest follow in April or early May--Branson Bell, Liverpool Legend, Shoji. Check out ExploreBranson.com/spring for more and the "What's New in Branson" tab, too. The opening of the Dewey Short Visitor Center is set for April, the group Sawyer Brown on April 20, and "Joseph" at the Sight and Sound Theater, are a few that caught my eye. To make planning your time easier when you're here, we're adding a "What's Happening Today in Branson" widget on our Area Info page. You can also find links and google maps to some of White River Lodge guest's favorite things to do and places to visit like Silver Dollar City, Dogwood Canyon, Branson Landing, and Eureka Springs, AR.
Need a "home base" to relax and reconnect? White River Lodge would like to offer you added value with our Spring Getaway special running through May 10. Enjoy the Table Rock Lake view and the signs of Spring from our decks or flagstone patio with outside fireplace and gas grill, Marquis Spa, exercise/game room, theater room, and choose from 5 well-appointed lake view guest rooms that include a homemade breakfast each morning and save an extra $60-$160, on multiple nights by calling 800-544-0257 or using our on line "Webervations" system. Put some spring back in your step!