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Pigeon Forge, Tennessee vs. Branson, Missouri - which is better? They both have a lot in common, with their many theme park attractions, all-American shows, and the famous Dolly Parton Stampede. While Pigeon Forge is the gateway to the stunning Great Smoky Mountains, Branson is the gateway to the majestic Ozark Mountains. Both are family-friendly destinations.

Perhaps the best one to visit depends more on how close one is or if one would like to visit the Ozarks or the Smoky Mountains. While both towns offer similar entertainment, they are still far from being the same. One of the greatest attractions near Branson is Big Cedar Lodge and its many outdoor attractions.

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Branson - The Gateway To The Ozarks

Branson, Missouri, has been a tourist destination for over 100 years. It is stunningly beautiful being in the Ozarks and is famous for hospitality and welcoming people. It is located on the southern border of Missouri, not far from Arkansas.

  • Gateway To: The Ozarks
  • Famous For: Live Music And All-American Shows

Branson has shopping, dining, and entertainment basically everywhere, and it is known as the Live Music Show Capital of the world. There are more than 150 productions for people to choose from in Branson. Comedy shows, gospel, family bands, and magic are just a few things people can choose from.

One of the main attractions in Branson is Silver Dollar City - it is a theme park based in the 1880s with plenty of thrilling roller coasters for the whole family.

  • Major Attraction: Silver Dollar City

Branson is a destination that markets itself as a family-friendly destination. It is particularly famous for its many shows. If one would like to watch live music and entertainment shows, then go to Branson.

Related: Branson, Missouri: What To See, Do, And Eat In This Historic Missouri Town

Pigeon Forge - The Gateway To The Great Smoky Mountains

Pigeon Forge is the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains and is the home of Dollywood. It is set in the mountains of eastern Tennessee and includes luxury resorts like Dollywood's DreamMore Resort and Spa.

  • Gateway: To The Smoky Mountains
  • Famous For: Amusement Parks And Entertainment

Dollywood is a theme park owned by both Dolly Parton and Herschend Family Entertainment. It is one of the region's star attractions hosting almost 3 million guests every season. It is the largest ticketed tourist attraction in Tennessee, with more than just amusement park thrill rides.

  • Major Attraction: Dollywood

What Pigeon Forge may lack in shows, it makes up for in being the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park - the most popular national park in the United States.

Branson Vs. Pigeon Forge - Similar Shows And Attractions

Silver Dollar City & Dollywood Are The Same Company

Branson's Silver Dollar City and Pigeon Forge's Dollywood are both owned (or partly owned) by Herschend Family Entertainment. They both feature world-class amusement park thrill rides and much more. They are both thrilling family entertainment centers.

  • Herschend Family Entertainment: Runs Similar Attractions In Both Places

They also run water parks in the two locations. In Pigeon Forge, they run Dollywood's Splash Country, while in Branson, they have White Water Branson.

Related: The Only Guide You Need For The Best Breakfast In Branson

Tale Of The Two Titanics

Both Branson, Missouri, and Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, have massive Titanic replicas and museums - both owned by John Joslyn, who headed a 1987 expedition to the real-life Titanic. The Pigeon Forge Titanic is the largest permanent Titanic museum in the world.

  • Branson Titanic: Hold 400 pre-discovery Titanic Artifacts
  • Pigeon Forge Titanic: Also Holds 400 pre-discovery Artifacts

As people visit these attractions, they are given a passenger boarding ticket with the name of an actual Titanic passenger. They are given tours around the replica, and then at the end of the tour, they are told if their ticket holder survived or not. The experience of visiting is similar in both attractions.

Dolly Parton's Stampede

Dolly Parton's Stampede is one of the most over-the-top dinners shows one will ever see. Watch cowboys and other entertainers show off over an all-American dinner in a massive arena. This is the most entertaining dinner one will ever have.

  • What: Live Cowboy Entertainment Over Dinner

There are only two Dolly Parton's Stampedes in the world, and predictably they are in Branson and Pigeon Forge.

So which is better - Branson or Pigeon Forge? That may depend on if one prefers the Smoky Mountains of the Ozarks. Better to visit one, one year, and the other the next.