Branson’s transformation into a tourist destination began around the time that Marble Cave got a new name.
The cave had attracted enough attention to move one enterprising gentleman to purchase it and charge fees for tours. Though the initial explorers had been mistaken – there had never been any marble in Marble Cave – the Herschend family saw another kind of valuable resource there. They leased it for 99 years and recreated a frontier town on its surface. Today, Silver Dollar City attracts visitors from all over the country. The 1880s-themed amusement park still offers tours of a rebranded Marvel Cave, as well as rides and shows.
Silver Dollar City has done a great deal to make Branson what it is. But it wasn’t alone – far from it. The list of performers, theaters, and tourist attractions is much too long to exhaust in one trip, or even in many.
To name just one: Sight & Sound Theatres brings to the stage the stories told in scripture. The stage surrounds the audience on three sides, and live animals round out the cast. Sight & Sound has told the stories of Moses, Noah, Jonah, and more, all with original music and special effects.
Branson takes pride in its status as a family-friendly entertainment destination, a sort of counterpoint to Las Vegas. At places like Silver Dollar City, Dolly Parton’s Stampede, and Sight & Sound Theatres, you’ll see visitors of all ages, because these attractions have taken care to appeal to them all.
Worth Checking Out
- Silver Dollar City
- Sight & Sound Theatres
- Dolly Parton’s Stampede
- Branson Landing
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