"10 great places to put a spin on the Christmas spirit"
Silver Dollar City
Christmas gets a razzle-dazzle makeover at this theme park with 4 million lights and 1,000 decorated trees, including one that's five stories tall and wired for special effects. Mays particularly likes the Christmas parade that runs twice every evening. "It's just awesome. They go all out," she says. "You can't overdo Christmas."
Branson's Own - Silver Dollar City!
Voted #1 theme park in the world by the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions!
Voted “Friendliest Theme Park” in the world by trade publication - Amusement Today
One of the World's Top Holiday Destinations! - CNN.com
One of the top 5 Holiday Events in the Country! - Good Morning America
Did You Know...
Branson has more than 8.4 million visitors a year.
Branson was voted the #1 weekend getaway destination by Midwest Living.
Branson is rated in the top 5 in U.S. destinations for family vacations.
Branson has 53 live performance theaters with more than 59,000 seats — more seats than Broadway and Las Vegas combined!
Branson offers over 100 breakfast shows, matinee and evening performances — that's entertainment all day!
With so many different activities offered to all types of people and ages, Branson has become known as the ultimate family-friendly environment.
Did you know? Lake Taneycomo is stocked annually with approximately 750,000 10-12 inch rainbow trout, making it a world-class trout fishing lake. And since the lakes never freeze, trout fishing is available year-round.
Branson, MO is home to eight championship golf courses, including John Daly's Murder Rock and Branson Creek, which GOLF Magazine and Golf Digest named one of the Top 10 New Courses in US.
Branson has more shopping available than any other place! It's home to three outlet shopping malls with more than 215 stores. Visitors can find anything they need, from contemporary clothing, gift items and housewares, to designer shoes, luggage and various other treasures and collectibles, at reduced prices throughout the year.
Branson just keeps gettin' better!
Branson Chamber of Commerce
The family-friendly vacation destination Branson, Missouri has recently been honored as a “Top Pick” among lakeside spots by Midwest Living® in the recent article 24 Best Family Reunion Spots. Midwest Living is a popular bimonthly publication that provides 3.8 million readers with trusted information on topics such as home, family, travel, and food.
The article addresses the growing trend
of family travel. The idea to publish a travel article focused solely on family reunions spurred directly from readers’ interests, which came to Midwest Living in the form of questions much different from traditional travel inquiries, according to Senior Travel Editor Barbara Morrow. “People want to reconnect … and travel with their families,” she says.
Branson was visited by Midwest Living last June, and scored an outstanding 5 out of 5 stars in 3 factors rating appeal, lodging choices, and planning help. Branson’s
3-star rating in the location factor was also the top rating given among lakeside spots. These ratings earned Branson the “Top Pick” for the lakeside spots category. Table Rock Lake, Silver Dollar City, and the Branson Chamber of Commerce were mentioned as key aspects of Branson’s award-winning experience.
Vacation Homes in Branson • For Reservations call 913-206-1620
Branson ranked as the No. 1 destination spot for the first half of 2008 on the domestic travel planning Web site Vacationfun.com, based on requests for tourist information.
"Branson's location and reputation as a value destination pushed it to the top of the list," said John Hudak, publisher of Vacationfun.com, which is currently ranked in the top 10 percent of U.S. travel Web sites by the independent tracking firm Hitwise.
"Branson fits the bill perfectly for what travelers need," said Hudak.
Source: Travel Channel
The Most Christmasy Places in America
When You Need a Little Christmas, Right This Very Minute
by Erica Walsh
Are you looking to jazz up the most wonderful time of the year?
Visit this American locale that takes the Christmas spirit to new levels.
Ozark Mountain Christmas
The city of Branson is nestled in the Ozark Mountains about 60 miles from the gateway to the West, St. Louis, Missouri. Once a dying lumber town, Branson is now the country's live entertainment capital. It is home to scores of theaters and resort hotels that appeal to tourists year-round. And during that most wonderful time of the year, the hotels, theaters and townspeople all come together to produce the Ozark Mountain Festival of Lights.
The festival starts November 1, and lasts six weeks, drawing about a million and a half visitors. This year marks the festival's 60th Annual Adoration Parade -- a big, old-fashioned Christmas parade with over 50 bands and floats passing through the streets of historic downtown Branson. Something you won't see in any other Christmas parade is the Christmas cattle drive, where the cowboys of Branson's Great American Wild West show deck out their longhorns in the spirit of the season.
In addition to the parade and Christmas musicals put on by local theaters, the whole town is literally aglow with the Christmas spirit. The centerpiece of Branson's more than 8 million Christmas lights is the Winter Wonder Landing, featuring the world's only fountain that shoots fire as well as water. The fountain's display is choreographed to Christmas music and goes off every half an hour.
Perhaps the most beautiful way to take in the spirit of Branson is by taking a horse and buggy ride through snow-covered hills. The buggy ride ends with a breathtaking Christmas vista of the town below. You can even climb the 200-foot inspiration tower and enhance your view of this spectacular Christmas Wonderland.
The American Bus Association, representing more than 1,000 Motorcoach and Tour companies in the United States and Canada, has recognized Branson, Missouri’s Ozark Mountain Christmas season as 1 of the Top 100 Events in North America.
#1 U.S. City With The Best Value For The Money Spent - Destinations Magazine
3rd Best U.S. Destination With The Most To Offer Groups - Destinations Magazine
The American Society of Travel Agents
recently asked its travel agent members what they saw as the most budget-friendly destinations for travel in the United States in 2009. Not surprisingly, perennial favorites Las Vegas and Orlando/Disney World were ranked first and second, respectively, with Branson, Mo., New Orleans and Los Angeles rounding out the top five.
Missouri can officially boast the top three parks in the Midwest. Missouri state parks took the first, second and third place awards for Best State Park in AAA Midwest Traveler magazine.
This spring, the publication invited readers to vote for their favorite places to visit, eat, shop and more. Table Rock State Park near Branson won best state park by almost a two-to-one margin according to AAA.
In first place, Table Rock State Park is one of the busiest parks in the state. It boasts a marina, hiking trails, picnic areas and a myriad of camping facilities. Visitors return year after year for the scenic views, lake access, quiet trails and clean facilities.
Branson has also been voted the best small city for a weekend getaway by AAA members.
Branson Named a Top 25 U.S. Destination by TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site, has named Branson to the list of Top 25 U.S. destinations in its 2012 Travelers’ Choice Destinations awards.
Branson was ranked 16th among all travel destinations in the United States, which also includes New York, Las Vegas, Orlando, Honolulu and other top-tier vacation spots.
The Travelers’ Choice Destinations awards honor top travel spots worldwide based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from TripAdvisor travelers. Award winners were determined based on the popularity of destinations, taking into account travelers’ favorites and most highly rated places.
Silver Dollar City Named to More ‘Top 10’ Lists for Holiday Lights
The Yahoo Travel website describes the theme park as offering “the most gleeful glitz,” and MSN features Silver Dollar City as one of the nation’s top 10 “eye-popping” holiday light displays. Mainstreet.com describes the park as “truly an amazing sight after dark. Noted are the park’s high tech 5-Story Special Effects Christmas Tree which blazes in synchronization to the musical movements of Christmas songs, along with an encompassing sound-and-light show on the Square; a parade with lighted floats; 1,000 decorated trees and 4 million lights throughout the park.
An Old Time Christmas has been previously profiled as one of the nation’s top holiday celebrations by USA Today, CNN Travel, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America and AOL Travel. The park was described by The Travel Channel as the most illuminated amusement park on earth,” and by AOL Travel as “a dazzling holiday wonderland.”
In addition to the lights and light shows, the festival features the Broadway-style production A Dickens’ Christmas Carol, theinteractive kids’ show Frosty, a musical Living Nativity, and holiday foods.
Silver Dollar City is in good company, as the list also includes Rockefeller Center in New York and Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
It's not the only Branson attraction mentioned either -- the site also gives a nod to the Trail of Lights and the Branson Area Festival of Lights Drive-Through.
Silver Dollar City – A Top Place for Christmas!
It'’s no surprise to the people of Ozark Mountain Country, but just to make sure the rest of the world knows Yahoo Travel and USA Today have both recognized Silver Dollar City as one of THE places to visit for Christmas. An Old Time Christmas festival was named to USA Today'’s “10 Great Places to Put a Spin on Christmas Spirit”, and Yahoo Travel recognized it among “America'’s Best Places for Holiday Lights.” The festival has become one of the country’'s most recognized events for spectacular lighting and world-class entertainment, profiled as one of the nation'’s top holiday celebrations by CNN Travel, The Travel Channel, Good Morning America, AOL Travel, and MSN.com.
Fans Launch Silver Dollar City to "Top of List"
in National Online 10Best.com Awards
The loyal guests of Silver Dollar City are responsible for launching the Branson 1800s theme park to the top of the list of the best theme parks in America through www.10Best.com, officially announced today. The popular travel site hosted an online competition from January through mid-February, encouraging website visitors to vote for the "10 Best" in many travel categories.
"Our friends and guests voted, and we thank each and every one of them," said Brad Thomas, General Manager of Silver Dollar City. "We are honored to be in company with other top-notch attractions such as Walt Disney World, Universal Studios Hollywood and Cedar Point."
This honor joins the list of significant awards granted to Silver Dollar City for theming, rides, entertainment and world-class festivals, most significantly, the coveted international Applause Award, the THEA Classic for theming, and The Golden Ticket for Friendliness.
From the site www.10best.com: "Branson has a well-established reputation as one of the premier family-friendly destinations in the Midwest, and in large part this is thanks to Silver Dollar City, one of the country's most unique (and fun!) theme parks...The park achieves a one-of-a-kind synthesis of history and excitement."
10Best.com provides its users with original, unbiased, and experiential travel content on top attractions, things to do, and restaurants for top destinations in the U.S. and around the world, claiming it advises 40 million travelers a year.
The Friendliest and Unfriendliest Cities in the U.S.
10. Branson, Missouri
“A throwback to gentler times,” Branson, Missouri, is a popular destination for visitors looking for a Southern twist on “great family entertainment for all ages.”
Newcomers to Branson also find themselves falling for the “good folk” who call the city home. “The people are terrific, the shows are fun, and the area is peaceful and beautiful,” says one fan of the area, which plays host to dozens of theaters, wineries, and tourist-friendly attractions. “Fun is at every turn.”