Branson is a one-of-a-kind family vacation destination nestled in the lakeside beauty of the Ozark Mountains with dozens of live performance theaters, three pristine lakes, championship golf courses, an international award-winning theme park, family attractions and museums, a Historic Downtown district, shopping galore and more.
Here’s some of what visitors can see and do in Branson this year:
Presley’s 50th Anniversary
The Presley Family opened Branson’s first music theater June 30, 1967. In 2017 they will celebrate their 50th Anniversary in their original location. This is a truly amazing accomplishment in the entertainment industry, especially to be in the same location.
Two original members of the show, Gary and Steve Presley, still perform nightly in the show. There are now fourth generation Presleys performing in the show.
The family originally performed in caves in the Ozarks before building their theater on Highway 76.
Andy Williams Performing Arts Center’s 25th Anniversary
Andy Williams’ Moon River Theatre opened its doors May 1, 1992. Andy was the first non-country music performer to open a theatre in Branson.
The theatre’s design reflects the beauty and environmental integrity of the surrounding Ozark Mountains. The 48,000-square-foot structure is set among 16 acres landscaped with rock formations, waterfalls and a stream. It is the only theatre ever to be featured in Architectural Digest.
For the interior, it was Andy’s idea to create a beautiful auditorium for live performances along with a lobby area that had a museum-like atmosphere so that he could display pieces of art from his personal collection.
Since Williams’ passing, his friend Jimmy Osmond has taken over the theatre as a promise to his mentor to keep the legacy alive.
Andy Williams memorabilia is displayed throughout the theatre and a wide variety of entertainers grace the stage throughout the year, just as he envisioned.
Titanic Museum Attraction
Titanic Museum Attraction, honoring James Cameron’s “Titanic,” in celebration of the iconic movie’s 20th anniversary, has a limited engagement new gallery to showcase many, never-before-seen elements from the movie — costumes, set pieces, props, signed scripts and more. The display will be set up from March 12 to June 13. Titanic Branson looks forward to the “Titanic” re-release in 2017 and to honoring its 20-year anniversary.
Showboat Branson Belle
Showboat Branson Belle gears up for an even bigger 2017 aboard the 700-passenger paddle-wheeler. An all-new show “Country on the Lake” adds a different genre of music as the noon complement to the popular evening variety show “Celebrate.”
Designed as a concert cruise — featuring multi-talented rising country stars performing No. 1 hits from yesterday’s classic rock to country favorites of today, backed by a live band — it includes tributes to country stars of the ’90s with songs by Garth Brooks and Faith Hill, plus many classic, memorable songs.
The Runaway Mountain Coaster
The Runaway Mountain Coaster is a thrill ride that uses the natural topography of the area to have an exciting user-controlled trip for an experience few will ever forget.
Riders are seated in individual carts engineered to exacting safety standards. The carts are pulled to the top via a chain, similar to roller coasters. At the top of the mountain, carts are released to travel down the hill, winding in and out and around the hills for a fun and unique experience.
Raiding the Country Vault
Raiding the Country Vault opens mid-March at The Starlite Theatre. It brings chart-topping Nashville stars together with musicians who have played with country music’s most iconic acts, performing a set list featuring the biggest hits of America’s most beloved music genre. The producers are planning to bring “Raiding the Rock Vault,” from Las Vegas, for select summer dates.
Fritz’s Adventure is a dynamic family attraction that brings the excitement and challenges of outdoor adventure into a multi-dimensional indoor environment. Experience three stories and 80,000 square feet where you can enjoy elements of the world around you that, anywhere else, would be prohibited or discouraged. All ages are encouraged to explore the family adventure together.
Bigfoot on the Strip is the fifth attraction investment in Branson for the owners of Branson Zipline Canopy Tours, Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline, Parakeet Pete’s Steampunk Balloon and Fast Shot Shooting Gallery.
The centerpiece of this $10 million attraction is a 200-foot free-fall tower. Two of the rides are extreme rides for serious thrill seekers, while the third is a calmer ride offering more of an Ozarks viewing experience.
Johnny Morris’ New Golf Course
Bass Pro Shops founder and noted conservationist Johnny Morris has teamed up with golf icon Gary Player to create a world-class short course that will deliver an unparalleled experience for golfers. Winding through breathtaking rock formations and showcasing some of the most dramatic views in the Ozarks, Big Cedar Lodge will unveil its newest golf experience in the spring of 2017.
History of Fishing Museum
The History of Fishing Museum is the largest collection of antique fishing lures, rods, reels, boats and motors entirely collected by one man and his wife. It is valued at more than $4 million. The first lure was bought when Karl White was eight years old. The lure is still in the collection today — almost 70 years later!
The Sky Deck
A ride on Parakeet Pete’s Waterfront Zipline at Branson Landing takes you to The Sky Deck on Mt. Branson with spectacular views of Lake Taneycomo, the entire Branson Landing and Historic Downtown. You can “Zip and Sip” or plan your own private party with live music, catering and cocktails.
Christmas Tree Tour
Who doesn’t love a beautiful Christmas tree, radiant day and night with the warmth and joy of the season? Now the already amazing holiday season in Branson is even better as the community strives to become “America’s Christmas Tree Town” like no other.
Many cities have a single iconic Christmas tree each year. Branson has the largest variety of the most wonderful and unique Christmas trees found anywhere!
Discover over 100 dazzling trees — in addition to the music shows, shopping and festive family fun — making Branson an even more tree-mendous holiday destination than ever before!
CAF Airpower History Tour
The B-29/B-24 Squadron of the Commemorative Air Force will bring to Branson the aircraft, pilots and crews from over 70 CAF units across the United States to create the AirPower Squadron — an ever-changing assortment of military aircraft touring together to bring the sights, sounds and smells of World War II aviation history to audiences across the nation.
The AirPower Squadron always includes at least one of the two rarest World War II bombers in the world —FIFI, the most famous, flying Boeing and B-29 Superfortress and Diamond Lil, an equally rare B-24 Liberator. Aircraft accompanying the B-29 or B-24 will include other World War II aircraft such as the P-51 Mustang, the B-17 Flying Fortress and the B-25 Mitchell, along with an assortment of fighters, trainers and liaison aircraft. September 14-17 at the Branson Airport (BKG).
Branson Forward is a dream of a bigger, brighter, more amazing Branson experience than ever before with spacious walkways, landscaping, park benches, interesting landmarks, and amazing spaces for visitors to explore and enjoy.
Over the next seven years, Branson plans to invest more than $100 million and transform five miles of Highway 76 into a more vibrant, dynamic, fun, attractive and interactive entertainment corridor certain to delight and amaze the next generation of Branson visitors.
All this is being implemented with absolute minimum disruption to the non-stop fun and entertainment opportunities jam-packed along our city’s famous corridor.
Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud
Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Feud is coming to the entertainment district in Branson for 2018.
Become part of the longest-running feud in history and help the Hatfields and McCoys try to settle their differences in a hilarious dance and comedy revue mountain style while enjoying a full southern homestyle feast.
For help in planning a trip to Branson, call 1-877-BRANSON or go to http://www.explorebranson.com.