Select Tour on Conference Registration / Tours are limited
Branson Scenic Railway Tour 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Join ESP members from around the nation for lunch aboard a vintage passenger train! Enjoy an unforgettable experience aboard the Branson Scenic Railway and their classic collection of unique passenger cars. Relive America's bygone era of travel and style as you wind through the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. This 1 hour 45-minute trip departs from Branson Landing (directly across the street from our conference venue) and takes passengers through tunnels, over trestles, and through the southwest Missouri or northwest Arkansas wilderness. Go back in time to long-ago communities and ghost town ruins now named only on railroad maps. Enjoy wildlife and change of season as you roll in style! Box lunch included onboard along with restroom facilities and refreshment car.
Train boards across the street from the host hotel at 11:15 am, departs at 11:30 am and returns at 1:30 pm
Dogwood Canyon Tour 7:30 AM - 2:00 PM
There’s no better place to experience the world-famous Ozarks than with an adventure through Dogwood Canyon! Come see why Treehouse Masters built an epic tree fort here and why millions of visitors from around the world flock to this pristine preserve of nature at its best amongst some of the planet’s oldest mountains and scenery.
This tour is limited to 45 attendees and will fill up fast! It is one of the best ways to truly experience the beauty of Branson. You’ll depart early Monday morning from the convention center aboard the ESP Coach and experience the majestic landscape and lakes of the Ozarks on your way to Dogwood Canyon. Once you arrive you’ll want to be sure your camera is ready to take in the beauty of sparkling springs, waterfalls, lakes, caves, caverns and more! The tour begins at a working mill as you then hop on a tram for a guided tour of the park and wildlife. You’ll wind through a 3-mile tour taking you through Missouri and even into Arkansas as you see buffalo, elk, deer, and even get to feed the trout at a waterfall lake. This is an outdoor dreamland filled with amazing sites and sounds.
On the return trip ESP members will get to enjoy lunch at the chuckwagon site before returning to explore the nature center and museum. Explore the grounds, shop at the general store and enjoy tasty treats before returning to the landing.
Depart hotel at 7:30 am and return to hotel at 2:00 pm
Maximum 45 participants
College of the Ozarks Tour 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Experience an innovative model of higher education where students work for education instead of paying for it! ESP members have the opportunity to spend the day at College of the Ozarks, nicknamed Hard Work U. This college’s unique model allows students to leave college debt free by working 15 hours a week at a campus job tied to their curriculum and career aspirations. This celebrated institution is turning heads in the academic space for not only its approach to education, but for the results and success students are gaining.
Gain a better understanding of the campus while being guided by a student through the campus. On this tour, you will visit a variety of different scenic locations across the campus including: Hoge Greenhouse, hydroponic gardens, water wheel grain mill, weaving studio, farm, and kitchen.
Following the campus visit, the tour will enjoy a catered lunch at the Keeter Center, home of some of the Ozarks’ finest dining. Hard Work U students staff the Keeter Center, and the chef includes meats and produce sourced from the College of Ozark farm. The tour will include time to enjoy the bake shop, the creamery, and the gift store.
Lunch includes - BBQ Chicken Breast and Brisket Duet
House-smoked brisket and grilled chicken breast with apple butter barbecue sauce and grilled pineapple relish, campus green beans, and red Lyonnaise potatoes. Served with house-made rolls, whipped butter, coffee, iced tea and water. Dessert is the famous College of Ozarks Fruitcake garnished with whipped cream and caramel crème anglaise.
***Note: There will be short walks on this tour as well as getting on and off the bus multiple times. Wear comfortable shoes.***
Depart hotel at 8:30 am and return to hotel by 4:00 pm
Maximum 50 participants