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Branson’s live music entertainment industry turns 50

May 21, 2017 GMT

Near the geographical center of the United States is Branson, Missouri, which has grown to be one of the premier tourism destinations in the country.

Located in the beautiful Ozark Mountains in an area with three beautiful lakes close by, it is a destination focused on entertainment.

We have so many requests from people wanting to go to Branson, that I thought I should experience it myself. And it is the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the live music entertainment industry in the small town of about 11,000, where the Presley family opened the first live music theater on “The Strip” in 1967.

Many people have a bucket list and at the top of my mother’s list was a visit to Branson. So for her birthday and Mother’s Day, which were only a couple of days apart, we rendezvoused at the Springfield, Missouri, airport. We rented a car and made the 45-minute drive through the Ozark Mountains, which are stunning this time of year.

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We arrived at Branson for our three-night stay in one of the city’s many grand hotels, which are located in close proximity to the theaters and other entertainment.

We took the scenic and historic train ride going south into Arkansas. Then it was on to the Country Jamboree. We rode on the Duck, an amphibious vehicle, and had a delicious lunch aboard the Branson Belle, along with great entertainment and a fun cruise on a nearby lake.

Many famous singers and musicians entertain much of the year in one of the 49 theaters there.

Our favorite show was, without a doubt, “Patsy Cline and Friends,” a tribute to the late country singer legend.

Of course, the big attractions in Branson are the entertainment shows along The Strip. From old favorites to some of the brightest new stars, they can all be seen in Branson.

You might come for the music, but you’ll want to stay for all the other fun things that you’ll find.

Branson is a family destination with not only great entertainment but also several theme parks for the kids, and adults who feel like kids.

Branson Landing is a popular shopping and dining center. And you don’t want to miss Silver Dollar City, a craft village and theme park.

There’s also golf, fishing and hiking, or you can just relax in Branson and the surrounding area.

So if you’ve ever wondered if it’s worth the trip to go to the southern part of Missouri and visit the Ozarks and Branson, I can tell you it is going to be a memorable experience. It’s family-oriented entertainment at very reasonable prices.