Whether you visit Branson, Missouri for the shows, the outlets, exclusive shops, or to take in a little water play on Table Rock Lake, when it comes time to call it a day, I recommend finding a spot out of the hub of Branson.
Nearby Cape Fair offers that tranquility. Cape Fair, Missouri is nicknamed the "Bass Fishing Capital of the World". Cape Fair sits on the north/east finger, the James River Arm, of Table Rock Lake. "The quiet side of the lake", says, Roger Kelly, local businessman and president of the Fraternal Order of Eagles 4278.
Cape Fair is a friendly little town on the outskirts of Branson yet near enough to commute to Branson, Kimberling City and Branson West.
You will find many quaint little towns, like Cape Fair off to the sidelines. Reed Springs, for one, is an old town and offers an interesting history.
The best reason to choose Cape Fair is its proximity to the lake.
So, where to stay in Cape Fair?
To my knowledge Cape Fair offers three resort type lodgings. Shadrack Resort (877) 773-2211 has 11 cabins and caters to families. They have barbeque grills, a pool and a play area. It is located next to the Corp of Engineer Park and Marina. Shadrack Resort is owned by Deerdra and Roger Kelly. Bridgeport Resort (417) 538-2500 has both cottages and motel accommodations, they have a nice playground, a marina and a pavilion. My favorite, in the list of three, is The Cottages of Fair Haven Cove (417) 538-0838.
Why? You might ask.
The owners of "The Cottages", Dave and Susan Johnson, are relatively new to resort life. They go out of their way every day to make sure their guests are comfortable and have everything they need. Each cottage has a view of the lake and they are close to the two boat docks offered on the property. It is a small resort of only six cottages.
A few other amenities are a pool, playground, books in every cottage, a DVD player in every cottage with free to borrow movies available in the office, DSL internet, laundry facilities (also at no extra charge), full kitchens stocked with everything you need except food and the owners themselves Dave and Susan.
Have you decided to make margarita's? Just let Susan know and she'll lend you her blender.
Though they prefer you do not bring your pets, our two small Yorkies were welcomed with open arms. Both Dave and Susan are pet lovers and have a huge cat, a Ragdoll Breed, named Cooper.
Is there anything to do in Cape Fair?
Doesn't every little town offer Bingo Night? Friday night is Bingo Night at the Eagles Lodge. Even if you do not get rich winning at Bingo, there is a wonderful sense of community there. There is a full grill with amazingly low priced menu options. So, you can have a burger and a variety of drinks while you play. If soda, water, tea or coffee isn't your idea of a beverage, there is a connecting bar for a cocktail you can bring back to your Bingo table.
I love to shop in unusual places. The Yard Sale Store, located at 8374 W. State Hwy 76, owned by Oddny Hall offers me that adventure. Oddny is an interesting woman and her prices are often surprising. You never know what you might find at this unusual store. The inventory is an amazing flea market type conglomerate of items. I cannot imagine going into The Yard Sale Store and walking out empty handed. There is something for everyone and you walk out with the feeling that you have just found a special prize.
The Community Center is available to rent for events such as family reunions. For information about renting the Community Center, you would call our own, Susan Johnson, owner of The Cottages Resort at (417) 538-0838. The Community Center is utilized by a variety of local clubs offering fun for the community and its visitors. We enjoyed many dinners offered by these local clubs at the Community Center. Most were at a cost of a donation and benefited the needy of the community including scholarships for upcoming graduates of the local school.
Nan's Flowers and Other Gifts at 8936 W. State Hwy 76, (417) 538-0139 is owned by Mary Ann Broomfield. When Mary Ann retired from her job as an educator, it was her goal to do something with her children that would benefit the community of Cape Fair. After a little research she, her three daughters and her son decided on a Floral Shop. She had never worked in retail before. "Joe Wolven of Reed Springs, taught me the business", she shared with me. She was quick to point out that her daughters are the better designers, while she prefers working with the greenery. She wanted her prices to be affordable to a whole range of clients. If a customer only has five dollars for a gift, they can find one in this beautiful shop of unique choices. In addition to the flowers, you can find such things as framed art, wind chimes and other garden décor or order a specialized gift basket. As I left her lovely shop, she gifted me a packet of special brew coffee that they carry. Of all the wonderful items Nan's carries, "My favorite thing to see go out the door are the floral arrangements," Mary Ann said. She is very proud of her daughter's talents.
Maple Hill Restaurant, located on Hwy 76, offers a wonderful menu at more than reasonable prices. Every meal we ate at Maple Hill Restaurant was both delicious and moderately priced. A friendly server delivered each meal to our table hot. The restaurant is another place to get a sense of community. Local residents are friendly and will talk across the restaurant with other local residents or introduce themselves to you. Unlike other communities, around tourist area's, residents of Cape Fair don't act like they are afraid you might stay. Instead, they welcome you with open arms, friendly banter and advice to enhance your stay.
Cape Fair Bait and Tackle, located on Hwy 76 in Cape Fair has everything you need to meet your fishing needs, even your fishing license. They are open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily.
Fishing: As I mentioned early in this article, Cape Fair is the Bass Fishing Capital of the World. But, with a stop at the Eagles Lodge 4278 one will quickly gather many tales of all types of fishing. True to it's nickname there are many bass fishing tournaments in Cape fair. The Eagles hold a tournament annually. This year's tournament is scheduled May 10, 2008. The tournament is open to the public and will benefit the Missouri's Foundation for Child Abuse Prevention. You can get more info on their website www.FOE.com/4278. The first person I spoke to about fishing in Cape Fair was Tammy Ogden. She enjoyed telling me about the Spoonbill fishing, "We hold the state record for a Spoonbill, weighing 139.25 pounds". Spoonbill season runs from March 15 to April 30, according to FOE 4278 President Roger Kelly. The White Bass start running around May and then again, in November, the Large Mouth Bass run in April and May. An animated gent by the name of George Hammontree had many things to tell me, but his most important advice, he said, was to only believe a fish tale from a one armed man.
Cape Fair Campground, (417) 538-4163 offers 82 campsites. Other amenities include a boat launch ramp, dump station, a group shelter, a playground, public marina, hot showers and a beach.
Worship: There are four churches to serve you in Cape Fair; The Church of Christ located on Hwy 76, The Christian Church on Hwy 76, Edgewater Chapel on Edgewater Village Dr. and First Baptist Church on Hwy 76.
I met a man born and raised in Cape Fair, Bobby Roberts. I told him I was writing an article about Cape Fair. I cannot tell you his age, but I think he might fit the category, "old timer". He gave me these words of wisdom. "Cape Fair? It's not a town, it's not a city, it's just a little place called Ditty Wah Ditty." I couldn't imagine what he meant by that until I told Susan Johnson what he'd said, "That's right," she told me, "we have no government here. We are only a place in the county." What a fascinating "place" Cape Fair is.