Located in Taney County in the southernmost portion of the state, Branson is one of the most popular cities in Missouri, and for the surrounding region. Branson is a complex city in its own right, despite its relatively small size and tiny population, and in many ways it is considered the family-friendly version of Las Vegas, and has been termed the second version of Nashville over the years due to the wide variety of country-western performers who have set up shop. And while the strip itself offers a wide variety of theaters, shows, and entertainment venues, Branson is located in the middle of the Taneycomo, Table Rock, and Bull Shoals Lakes, offering visitors a wide variety of hiking, hunting, diving, fishing, camping, and water sports above and beyond the bright lights of the city.
For many years Branson was simply a place where locals could come and experience the heritage of the Ozark Mountains. From touring Marvel Cave to experiencing Silver Dollar City, a theme park that hosts a series of recreated frontier events, as well as various rides and entertainment venues, there has always been something going on. By 1983 the strip began to transform into a major tourist attraction, with artists like Dolly Parton, Wayne Newton, Boxcar Willie, Andy Williams, Jim Stafford, Mel Tillis, Johnny Cash, and various other artists setting up either permanent shows or passing through for seasonal gigs.
These days, Branson exists as a series of museums, resorts, entertainment venues, lakes, theme parks, and local history. Situated in the middle of one of the most beautiful sections of Missouri, the surrounding countryside is rolling hills and lush forests interspersed with lakes and rivers, making for the perfect camping venue if you choose to get away from the strip. However, the areas quite humid, and the peak summer months can create some fairly muggy conditions, so if you can’t tolerate swimming in the atmosphere, plan your trip in the cooler months.