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Go Away With ... Barry Williams

Tribune Content Agency logoTribune Content Agency 2015-02-03 Jae-Ha Kim, Tribune Content Agency
WILLIAMS: Former “Brady Bunch” star Barry Williams says that living in Branson, Missouri, now allows him to explore many Midwestern destinations during his time off. © Great American Country Former “Brady Bunch” star Barry Williams says that living in Branson, Missouri, now allows him to explore many Midwestern destinations during his time off.

Best known for playing Greg Brady on "The Brady Bunch," Barry Williams is back on television with "A Very Barry Branson." In the new Great American Country series, Williams welcomes viewers into his home life in Branson, Missouri, and to tag along as he puts together his '70s-style musical variety show.

"Branson is located in southwest Missouri in the beautiful Ozark Mountains," says Williams, 60. "As a resort destination, it offers everything with a distinct outdoors feel: hiking, biking, riding, fishing, water-skiing, cliff jumping, mini golf, go carts, laser tag and amusement parks. And, of course, lots and lots of entertainment with nearly 100 live music shows -- and not all of them are country!"

For more information on Williams, check out his website (http://70smusiccelebration.com/). He also recently created a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/mrbarrywilliams), where fans may stay in touch.

Q. You were born and raised in California. Do you miss it?

A. Sometimes! Los Angeles was a great place to grow up with so many things to see, do and appreciate. Most everyone talks about the weather there, and for good reason. For me, the Pacific is the great drawing card. I spent many years living on the ocean from Santa Monica to Malibu, and it is simply spectacular.

Q. What is your favorite vacation destination?

A. I have been fortunate to travel most of the world and have crisscrossed the United States multiple times. When I want to get away, enjoy, relax, chill and be happy, (I go to) Maui, Hawaii, buy a Mai Tai and hit the beach. Hawaii offers a diverse number of activities to enjoy and one of them is just taking it easy. Too often I have gone on a vacation only to discover when I return that I need time to recover from my vacation! The only thing I have been longer in my life than a "Brady" is a surfer. So, when visiting the islands, my activities are, surf, beach, rest, sleep and eat.

Q. What was the first trip you took as a child?

A. It was a family vacation to Lake Arrowhead not far from Los Angeles. I loved everything about it. Being with my family, the ride up the mountain, the friends we knew there, the smell of the many, many pine trees, feeding the squirrels from the porch. Plus, I learned to water ski in that lake, something I continue to enjoy to this day, only now I ski in my Branson backyard known as Table Rock Lake.

Q. Where have you recently visited?

A. New York. I loved the culture, museums, theatre, food and rich ethnic diversity. To me, it truly represents the melting pot and I enjoy interacting with the locals. There are a million places to discover, and every time I go, I find one or two more. Recently, I took the Staten Island Ferry from Battery Park. It's beautiful going out where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic, cruise past Lady Liberty and Ellis Island, turn around and come back.

Q. What's the most important thing you've learned from your travels?

A. Research where you are going and what you anticipate doing and seeing. Pack lightly, be early, don't rush, do not plan too many things to do, have your travel documents with you and up to date and don't leave anything in your hotel room when you check out.

Q. Where are your favorite weekend getaways?

A. I like to get off the beaten path and find small towns that I can drive to. There are a bunch of them in the Midwest that I have discovered for the weekends. One of them is a little art town just south of Branson called Eureka Springs in Arkansas, lots of colorful people, good artisan shopping and food. It has a rich history.

Q. Where would you like to go that you have never been to before?

A. United Arab Emirates. I don't know too much about it, but from the photos I have seen and the people I know who have been there, it looks like a place (I want) to visit.

Q. When you go away, what are some of your must-have items?

A. Toothbrush, swimsuit and workout clothes.

Q. What would be your dream trip?

A. I would love to cruise the Mediterranean for a month in a large yacht during the springtime, stopping and visiting small islands and countries along the way.

(Jae-Ha Kim is a New York Times bestselling author and travel writer. You can respond to this column by visiting her website at www.jaehakim.com. You may also follow "Go Away With..." on Twitter at @GoAwayWithJae where Jae-Ha Kim welcomes your questions and comments.)

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