Why Is Forbes Calling Branson a Top Holiday Destination?

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(Newswire.net — December 17, 2021) — Forbes and other media outlets have been putting Branson, Missouri, at the top of their news stories about the best travel destinations right now. 

Most recently, Forbes described it as one of the best holiday destinations. 

Below, we’ll talk more about why Branson is in the news and what appeals about it to travelers, particularly during the holiday season. 

A Branson Overview

Branson is in the Ozark Mountains. The small Missouri community has become known as one of the country’s most popular travel destinations, particularly for families, but also for anyone who loves nature, tourist attractions, and live entertainment. 

The residential population of Branson is under 12,000, so it has a small-town, very charming feel despite being a world-renowned destination for tourists. 

Branson is known as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World.” 

Year-round, there are various musical shows you can catch in pretty much every genre. During the holidays, the theaters located along Branson’s main strip tend to shift toward a Christmas theme. The same is true of the live shows at the Silver Dollar City theme park. 

According to representatives from the Branson Convention & Visitors Bureau, there are around 100 shows and 40 theaters. 

While Branson is always busy and popular among travelers, it really stands out in November and December. 

Along with Forbes describing Branson as the perfect holiday destination, the media outlet also recently named it one of the best places to travel in America to avoid the pandemic.

This was in May, but to create the list, Forbes overlaid maps and criteria like the CDC COVID Data Tracker and the Harvard-Brown COVID Risk Level Map. Branson fared extremely well, particularly thanks to activities like golfing, popular in the area, outdoors, and often inherently socially distanced. 

USA Today also described Branson as being worth a visit during the holiday season recently. 

USA Today cited the fact that the town pulls out all the stops at Christmas. Starting in the first week in November, the entire town is decorated. There are drive-through lighting displays and more than 1,500 decorated trees. At Silver Dollar City, there are millions of lights. 

Besides the friendliness of a small town and Christmas charm, Branson also tends to be reasonably affordable. It’s within a day’s drive for around one-third of the population of the U.S. too. 

Below we’ll talk more about the current appeal of Branson, particularly during the holidays. 

The Christmas Trees

Branson has several nicknames, one of which is “America’s Christmas Tree City.” As mentioned, there are more than 1,500 trees to be found throughout Branson during the holiday season. One of the showpieces is the giant tree at Branson Landing, which has lights set to music. 

The Branson Community Tree, which is located next to the Ferris wheel, has around 10,000 cut crystals that are taken from the 16-foot chandelier of a former theater. 

At Silver Dollar City, there’s an eight-story tree with animated lights and a music show. 

Christmas Shows

With the nickname of the country’s entertainment capital, it’s not surprising the Christmas shows in Branson are nothing short of amazing. Most of the theaters have special holiday productions during this time of year. For example, The Hughes Brothers Christmas Show is a popular option. The Presleys Country Jubilee is popular during the holidays, as is the Baldknobbers Jamboree Show. 

Dolly Parton’s Stampede dinner show has a holiday theme, and there’s the show Jesus at the Sight and Sound Theater, which is an epic-style musical.

Places to Stay

The hotels and accommodation venues in Branson get into the holiday spirit as much as the rest of the town. 

Branson has hotels and accommodations for every budget, and many have stunning holiday decorations. For example, at the well-known Chateau on the Lake, perched above Table Rock Lake, there’s a nativity scene and a gingerbread village. 

Big Cedar Lodge features two million holiday lights, its own drive-through lights display, and an outdoor rink for skating. 

You can make ornaments, enjoy storytime with Mrs. Claus and take the family to visit Santa himself. 

Adoration Parade

The Adoration Parade already passed for this year, which was its 72nd year, but if you’re thinking ahead to next year, it’s a big event in Branson. The parade is typically the first Sunday in December. It begins with the lighting of the nativity scene, which is 28-feet tall and is the biggest in the area. 

The Adoration Parade is a classic-style holiday parade, with floats sponsored by area churches and organizations. It moves through downtown Branson. 

If you miss the parade, the Adoration Nativity scene stays on a bluff above Branson Landing and Lake Taneycomo through the season. 


While you might not get a lot of actual snow or ice during a trip to Branson, you can pretend when you visit the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink, which is at Big Cedar Lodge. There’s also Ice Skating at the Wheel, which is beside both the Community Christmas Trees and the Branson Ferris Wheel. 

Another option is tubing at Wolfe Mountain on a synthetic run. 

Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City is a popular theme park based on an Ozark town from the 1880s. 

Every year the park hosts “An Old Time Christmas.” There are 6.5 million lights in the park, and there’s also “A Christmas Carol,” retelling every year. 

Drive-Through Displays

There are a few different options if you’d like to stay in your car but enjoy the magic of the season. 

First is The Trail of Lights, which is at Shepherd of the Hills. The Trail of Lights has been operational for over three decades, and it covers 160 acres. 

There’s also Lights of Joy, which runs for 1.5 miles. 

Let There Be Lights is the display set up at the Promised Land Zoo. Let There Be Lights includes a combination of religious and secular displays. 

Finally, if you’re in Branson, take a ride on the Polar Express. You leave from downtown Branson on the Branson Scenic Railway. The book is read, while you enjoy snacks and hot chocolate.