Located within the scenic Ozarks in Southwest Missouri, Branson is a top tourist destination in The Show-Me-State. While not as flashy as its big-city cousins of Kansas City, St. Louis, and Springfield, Branson is known as a great spot to visit because of its fun attractions, outdoor adventures, and spectacular scenery that makes it the perfect place to visit all-year-round.
Whether you’re a history buff, an outdoor enthusiast, or are simply looking for a unique getaway away from the bright lights of the big city—Branson’s historic, charming downtown and plethora of attractions offer an adventure around every corner.
Getting Around Branson
While Branson can be easily explored on foot, there is a free downtown trolley that makes it a snap to travel throughout the area. Free rides through the downtown area and down to Branson Landing run from March through December from 9 AM-6 PM daily, except on major holidays; the schedule is limited throughout January and February. Find out more about the trolley (aka Sparky) and its routes here.
Explore Branson’s Historic Charming Downtown Area
Downtown Branson is continuously growing—and with plenty of dining and shopping options and a number of other fun attractions, this historic area is as welcoming as it is charming.
- Check out the Branson Centennial Museum, a free museum that highlights the history of Branson
- Take a ride on the Branson Scenic Railway, which departs from the historic 1905 depot downtown. This one-hour, 45-minute trip takes passengers through the foothills of the Ozarks—along the way, enjoy the panoramic views and learn about the region’s history. There's even a Polar Express tour during the holiday season. Tickets for daily roundtrip: Children 3-12 $18.50; Adults $29.00; Veterans $14.50
- See the murals of Branson, including the Star-Spangled Banner Mural and the Branson Mural
- Head to the Branson Boardgame Cafe and choose from their library of over 600 board games—the perfect family-friendly activity
- Check out Liberty Plaza, a lovely outdoor area home to many local events and live music performances—bring a lunch and have a picnic or while admiring the lovely downtown area
Bright Lights, Big Stage
Branson is known for its incredible live entertainment—a staple of any visit to the city. Known as the ‘Live Entertainment Capital of the World,’ visitors have their pick of over 100 shows at any given time—from comedy shows to dinner theatre; family-friendly events, and even shows on boats—whatever you’re looking for, Branson’s got it.
- The Americana Theatre is one of Branson’s most historic theatres. Home of live music performances since 1973, the theatre has recently been renovated and looks as good as new
- Home to around 1,000 performances a year, Grand Country Music Hall hosts a variety of shows—and it’s also a resort with fun activities for the entire family
- The Majestic Theater is home to a variety of shows—most notably the city’s Christmas shows and Murder Mystery Dinner Show
- Enjoy live entertainment on the water on the Showboat Branson Belle—a 700-passenger paddlewheel that cruises Table Rock Lake
- Finding dinner and a show in Branson is super-easy—though no one does it quite like Jackie B. Goode’s Uptown Café. A true 50s experience including a soda fountain and banana splits, Jackie B. Goode’s is also known for its famous Tribute to George Strait Dinner Show
Grab A Bite In Branson
There are restaurants a-plenty in Branson—with options to suit every palate, the city has its share of everything from family-style options to high-end cuisine.
- Branson is known for its plethora of buffet options—and Starvin’ Marvins knows how to do it right, serving up ‘Seafood with a Cajun Attitude’ for 34 years
- Hungry for a juicy Midwest steak? Then head to Fall Creek Steak & Catfish House, ‘Home of the Tossed Rolls’ and country favorites for the entire family
- Some say BBQ in the Ozarks rivals that of Kansas City and Memphis—and a great place to try it is at Gettin’ Basted. Be sure to try their famous St. Louis Cut Spareribs and Chicken Waffle & Waffles
- Handcrafted cocktails and casual American fare are on the menu at Black Oak Grill—come for the food, stay for the welcoming atmosphere and friendly staff
- Want to try something different? Then head to Smith Creek Moonshine, one of Branson’s most popular distilleries. Sample all the12 moonshine flavors that pair perfectly with Hog Wings and a Bacon Jalapeño Cheddar Burger
Where To Stay In Branson
From luxe resorts to comfy hotels; cozy bed and breakfasts to cool cabins—there is a myriad of diverse lodging options in Branson with something for everyone.
- A lakeside resort with a view and luxe amenities like an amazing spa; a marina for cool watersports; world-class dining options; and a great location close to all Branson’s attractions, Chateau on the Lake is an all-in-one accommodation option. Rates $145 and up/night
- The Branson King Resort & Suites is home to both regular and themed rooms—such as the Elvis Suite and the John Wayne Room—perfect for a stay in the Live Entertainment Capital of the World. Rates $60 and up/night
- Lodging in Historic Downtown puts you in the center of the action—and The Branson Hotel is the perfect choice. With a café and wine bar on site and themed, elegant rooms, The Branson has some of the best accommodations around. Rates $199 and up/night
- Looking for some peace and quiet with a side of lakeside vibes? Then Rock View Resort is the best choice for a room with a view. Rates $76 and up/night
- There are so many cabins to choose from in Branson, but this Bear Mountain Cabin from Vrbo is just minutes away from downtown, yet isolated enough to feel like you’re in a treehouse in the woods. Rates from $124/night
Branson may not be as large as its big city brothers—but what it lacks in size, it makes up for in diverse entertainment and dining options; fun attractions; and a historic and charming downtown that’s perfect for anyone looking for a fun-filled vacation with Midwestern flair in the heart of the scenic Ozarks.