Branson City Guide
Branson, Missouri started as a center for lumber shipment, but began to develop a market for tourism in the 1930s. Today, Branson bills itself as the "Live Music Show Capital of the World." Striving for an image as a family-friendly Las Vegas with a country-western flair, the city has built an entire industry around its numerous shows and attractions. Branson was named for Rueben Branson, who was the postmaster and operated a general store in the area sometime in the 1880s.
Silver Dollar City, a theme park opened on the site of Marvel Cave, features live shows, rides, and a craft village based on life in the 19th century. Its sister park, Celebration City, picks up in the 20th century, with attractions based on Route 66, Small Town America, and a 1920s beachside boardwalk. Many celebrities have opened their own theaters in Branson and perform shows there regularly. The Andy Williams Moon River Theater is a popular destination, as is Jimmy Osmond's American Jukebox Theatre. The live outdoor performance of Harold Bell Wright's The Shepherd of the Hills has been a Branson tradition since the 1950s.