Known as the Live Music Show Capital of the World, Branson, Missouri, has been a favorite destination for groups, families and fun lovers for decades.
No wonder. With more than 50 live performance theaters offering more seats than Broadway, three lakes, 12 golf courses, an international award-winning theme park, and a historic downtown district, Branson has built itself up as one of the most attractive tourism towns in the Midwest.
Take the stage
Branson’s theaters have some notable new shows coming in 2014, including “Jonah” at Sight and Sound Theatres. Those familiar with any of the productions at Sight and Sound know that the experience inside is always jaw-dropping, and “Jonah” is no exception. That Bible story places the audience at the center of Jonah’s adventures, which include a terrible storm and his encounter with the famed fish.
“You literally sit in the belly of the whale,” said Lynn Berry, director of public relations for the Branson/Lakes Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.
“The Adventures of Marco Polo” at the White House Theatre features an international cast of 66 in more than 300 costumes and 2,000 square feet of LED screens.
In the production, which features original orchestration, dance and acrobatics, “you witness what Marco Polo saw on his amazing adventures,” said Berry.
In addition, a new gallery at Titanic: The World’s Largest Museum Attraction features the eight musicians who were aboard that fated ship; it is the first tribute gallery dedicated to those brave men. The Branson Auto Museum, located on the city’s 76 Strip, features 100 classic and very cool cars and trucks.
“They are completely spit-shined and gorgeous,” Berry said.
Take a Ride
Branson’s award-winning theme park Silver Dollar City is in the heart of the Ozark Mountains.
“Silver Dollar City is 100 gorgeous acres, especially in the fall,” said Berry. “If they cut down a tree, they plant three. And amidst all this beauty are 30 thrill rides, dining that ranges from home-style deliciousness to healthy grills, 100 top-notch craftspeople, over 40 live shows and festivals throughout the year.”
Groups can enjoy a cruise on a luxury dinner yacht, the Lady Liberty, and take in the views of Table Rock Lake in style. The custom-built vessel welcomes up to 45 guests and is available for group events. The cruise departs from the Big Cedar Marina. If you enjoy those water views, don’t miss the Dewey Short Regional Visitors Center, nicknamed the “crown jewel of Table Rock Lake,” where exhibits on nature, the local Native-American culture and more are on display in this glass-enclosed structure.
“But the best is ahead,” said Berry. “This is where you catch the tour to the nearby dam. You are privy to the bowels of the facility and learn about the inner workings of the hydroelectric process, those incredible turbines and the story of our heritage with the water.”