Best Of Branson MO: Fun, Shows, New Thrills With A Wholesome Spin — But Will You Miss Gaming?

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BRANSON, MO– Singers Kathy, Janet, Mimi, and Deedee of The Lennon Sisters. (Photo: Jason Squires/Getty Images)

On my last trip to Branson I met the Lennon sisters: wholesome, nostalgia-inducing — not exactly household names anymore. And yet, a charming alternative to the Kardashian-infused present of no-talent celebs.
That pretty much sums up Branson, the family vacation destination in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains usually compared with Vegas as a homey, straight-laced alternative. (Thanks to Missouri laws, the nearest casinos are two hours west, just over the Oklahoma state line.)
Branson may not have Las Vegas dazzle or adrenaline rush, but does offer dozens of live performance theaters, three lakes, championship golf courses, an international award-winning theme park, family attractions and museums, shopping galore, a full range of dining options, and hotels, motels, resorts, RV parks, campgrounds and meeting and convention facilities.

Plus, it’s less than a day’s drive for one-third of U.S. residents with flights to the Branson Airport (BKG) and nearby Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF). You might even get there with a tank of gas.
The trendiest entertainers won’t be playing Branson, but it does offer day-into-night live shows: from Broadway songs to country music, Rock  to magic and comedy. National touring acts scheduled to appear this year lean toward country and nostalgia: The Oak Ridge Boys, Neal McCoy, Dailey & Vincent, Home Free, Dennis Quaid and The Sharks, Trace Adkins, Billy “Crash” Craddock, Herman’s Hermits starring Peter Noone, Charley Pride, Marty Haggard and Georgette Jones, Janie Fricke, Jeannie Seely and Moore & Moore, Moe Bandy, Lee Greenwood, Vicki Lawrence & Mama.

And there are the outdoor pleasures: three Ozark mountain lakes for fishing and boating, as well as golf, hiking and horseback riding. Branson has an array of specialty stores, boutiques and galleries at Branson Landing and a Historic Downtown …

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