Tourism, Dining, Shopping, and Travel Information in Branson, MO
With over 7 million visitors each year, Branson is an irresistible lure because of its Ozark mountain location with a wide array of recreational activities. It's more famously known as the "Live Country Music Capitol of the World" with its Las Vegas/Broadway style entertainment presented in more than 80 live shows per day, and one of the nations largest amusement parks - Silver Dollar City.
Branson General Info:
- Land Area: 16.3 miles
- Elevation: 947 feet
- Number of radio stations: 1 AM, 4 FM
- Number of television stations: 5
- Transportation: Springfield/Branson Regional Airport
Branson Safety Phone # and Major Hospitals:
- Police/Fire/Ambulance: 911
- Skaggs Community Health Center (Hwy. 65 & Skaggs Rd.)
Branson Top Tourism Draws and Seasons:
- Season: March - December
- Silver Dollar City
- White Water Park
- Dixie Stampede Dinner & Show
- Jim Stafford Theater
- Shoji Tabuchi
- Yakov Smirnoff Theatre
- Kirby VanBurch
- Table Rock Lake Recreation Area
- Branson Scenic Railroad
- Showboat Branson Belle
- Recreational activities (golfing, fishing, camping, boating, etc.)
Branson Major Shopping Areas:
- Grand Country Square
- Grand Village
- Engler Block
- Factory Merchants Outlet
- The Shoppes at Branson Meadows
- Tanger Outlet Center
- Branson Mall
- Coffelt Country Crossroads
Branson Major Dining Areas:
- Green Mountain Drive
- Gretna Road
- Highway 165
- Highway 76
- Kimberling City/Branson West
- Shepherd of the Hills Expressway
Branson Famous Landmarks & Historic Places:
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Home & Museum
- American Presidential Museum
- Bonniebrook Historical Society
- Ralph Foster Museum
- Roy Rogers-Dale Evans Museum
- Veterans Memorial Museum
Branson Famous Natives and Residents:
- Laura Ingalls Wilder ("Little House on the Prairie" author)
Notable Moments in Branson History:
- 1907: Harold Bell Wright published the novel Shepherd of the Hills, which tells about the Ozark area and its settlers such as the Ross family.
- 1912: Branson is incorporated with 1,200 residents.
- 1930's: Lake Taneycomo becomes a popular and inexpensive vacation spot.
- 1940's: Hugo Herschend and his family relocated from Chicago and leased Marvel Cave from the Lynch daughters.
- 1959: Table Rock Dam was completed.
- 1959: The now famous "Baldknobbers" (formerly known as the "Mabes" held their show in the basement of Branson City Hall. Their "mock" theater held 50 guests.
- 1960: Silver Dollar City opened as a "crafts show" for the local women artisans. It offered a single street of shops and a stagecoach ride.
- 1970's: A 2-lane highway with alternating third passing law was completed to accommodate the large and ever increasing number of visitors to Branson.
Interesting Facts about Branson:
- Attracts over 7 million visitors per year.
- Boasts the #1 theme park in the world...Silver Dollar City.
- Has over 40 music theatres, 300 hotels, and 200 restaurants.
- Has more theatre seats than Broadway and Las Vegas combined.
- The legendary Roy Clark was the first of the national country stars to recognize the potential here, giving his name to theatre.
- Silver Dollar City was created by those who could not go into the depths of Marvel Cave. Making crafts while waiting outside allowed them to pass the time.
- Branson felt it could draw in tourists because it had a commercial ice plant, a soft drink bottling plant, a candy factory, and an ice cream factory — all next to the waterfront.
- Shepherd of the Hills is based upon the Harold Bell Wright novel about the Ozark area and it's settlers — including the Ross Family whom Mr. Bell lives with while he had tuberculosis (known as "consumption" in the early 1900's). The novel is created for encouraging tourists to want to come to Branson in the 1930's.
- It took 5 years to build Table Rock Dam.
- The Presley's were the first to erect a simple metal building on the road west of Branson and waited each night for guests to show up. 10-year old Steve would tape bumper stickers on to cars in the parking lot during intermission.
Branson Population and Demographics:
- Population — 6,050
- White — 94.5%
- All other races — less than 5.5%
- Population 18 and under — 22.7%
- 65 and over — 20.2%
- Median age — 43 years
- Average household size — 2.21
- Median family income - $43,145
Branson Colleges and Universities:
- College of the Ozarks
Branson Economy & Business — Notable Employers and Industries:
- Tourism industry is #1 employer and industry
Branson Hispanic Community Media and Churches: