Discovering Branson is a perfect way to kick start your vacation, you will, however, need to hire a car to do so as there is no actual public transportation available other than private taxi cabs which are hired on a necessary basis. But, there are plenty of car rental agencies in the area, parking in Branson Mo itself is simple and effortless, and there is minimal traffic too. In this accommodation guide, we’ll take a look at the best places to stay in Branson Mo.
Best Area to Stay in Branson Mo
- Table Rock
- Downtown Branson
- Branson Theatre District/ Shepherd of the Hills Expressway
- Bull Shoals Lake
The Branson area has a rich and interesting history that dates back to as early as the 1800s being named after general store and post office owner Reuben Bronson, and soon after becoming a destination spot after a novel written about the area, The Ozarks, the adventures, and the hillsides became popular and eventually making it to a cinema and theatre version.
Another great spectacle in Branson Mo is the man-made, artificial reservoir Table Rock Lake which is impounded by Table Rock Dam, and since its construction has become one of the top spots for cold water fishing.
Live music, country music artist shows, and theatre sensations are all part of the journey through Branson Mo, along with the entertainment is the natural beauty that is the hills and forests filled with Elm trees, Hickory, and Oak.
What you want to consider is where to stay in Branson Mo that will best suit your traveling party, your group’s age and demographics, activity interests, and most importantly, your budget. There are different areas to stay in which make sightseeing easier, and although not everything is in one place or within walking distance, with a vehicle it is more than easy enough to do.
We have broken it down into categories and neighborhoods perfectly suited for tourists (Table Rock, Downtown Branson, Branson Theatre District/ Shepherd of the Hills Expressway, and Bull Shoals Lake), and with these details, you will be able to make a great decision whether it is your first time around the Ozarks or you are back for more adventure.
If you want to know where is the best place to stay in Branson Mo then Table Rock Lake needs to be at the top of your list, known famously for its gorgeous clear waters and beautiful vistas, this is a fisherman’s heaven for catching bass, bluegills and catfish.
Table Rock Lake also has some of the best scuba dividing spots and the 800-mile-long man-made shoreline is the ideal setting to spend the day enjoying water sports, going out on a boat, or swimming.
This neighborhood is the best choice for your first visit to the area and makes for great sightseeing, with plenty of activities and entertainment around you will be immersed in the Branson Mo culture in no time.
Accommodation: Rated by location and highest star rating.
- Palace View Resort by Spinnaker (4 stars, 9.0) – The best of Branson Mo and where luxury meets comfort for the ultimate vacation home away from home. Only a 10-minute drive to the lake and a 5-minute drive to the water park you can be sure the kids will be entertained without a fuss, and for days out in nature, the surrounding hills and mountain trails are perfect for hikes and getting away from the city. Staying on the property is just as luxurious with both indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs and answers the question of where to stay in Branson Mo with a pool.
- French Quarter Resort (4 stars, 8.7) – Rated the top holiday home for a location for activities and excursions. The private villa property offers an onsite swimming pool for lazy days in the sun, but knowing that the Titanic Museum, Zoo, and Aquarium are within a few minutes’ drive from the property allows the option for something new for the family.
Attractions: Top things to do for the whole family to enjoy.
- Silver Dollar City – If the kids are looking for screaming rollercoasters, and stomach-turning drop rides then this number one visited theme park is the place to visit with more than 40 thrilling rides to jump on.
- Dogwood Canyon Nature Park – A waterfall-decorated outdoor recreational spot that will inform the kids of the great history of the area and immerse them in the arts and culture of the locals. Get hands-on with fishing, horse riding, and seeing the wildlife run free on the beautifully landscaped hills and grasslands.
Sightseeing: For day trips where the excursion is more focused on than the price tag.
- Guided Ozarks Off-road Adventure Tour – Discover the 1100-acre family-owned and run a cattle ranch in an open-air 4×4. Get up close and personal with nature and drive through the trails, valleys, and ridges that make up the Ozark scenery on the property. Great for the entire group.
- Ozark Craft Beverage – Wine & Shine Tour – More so for the adults and a great way to see the handmade local beverages and winemaking. Hotel pick-up and drop-off and location stop to enjoy and sample the wines or beers for purchase or simple enjoyment. A fun way to enjoy adult company or some quality time with your loved one.
Historic Downtown Branson
This small town is just that, a cinema version of the small-town feeling of nostalgia from old times and filled with history and culture, and in Downtown Branson, with delicious food restaurants and cafes to discover and try too.
A quaint little town that still offers a traditional farmers market in season and riding the trolley is a fun way to get around, with stops at the top locations.
Accommodation: Rated by star rating, value for money, and review rated.
- Best Western Plus Landing View Inn & Suites – Staying in the center, in the heart of Branson doesn’t get closer than this, and the hotel is fully equipped with all the amenities you could need. The property has a 24-hour indoor heated swimming pool to enjoy even in the winter. Plenty of attractions surround the hotel and are within a 5 – 10 minute car drive.
- The Branson Hotel – With quirky room signage this unique hotel is filled with history and stories from the past which you can see in photos throughout the property. Easily accessible to offsite excursions and day trips, and a great location to be close to everything.
Attractions: Selected by Travelers choice awards 2021 and participation.
- The butterfly palace – A tropical paradise with exotic plants and birds and over 100 species of butterflies in all colors of the rainbow. The family and more importantly the children have a chance to touch, see, and smell nature in all its glory, and the venue is superb for those rare photo opportunities as the butterflies land on the kids in curiosity.
- Branson Scavenger Hunt – Not your typical day trip but one which is packed with fun and laughter. Explore the city on foot while searching and discovering key clues and points along the route via an app, and all the while working your way up the rankings with great poses and task completion.
Sightseeing – Based on history and culture
- Branson Scenic Railway – Enjoy the Ozark Mountains on this 40-mile-long heritage railroad trip. You have the chance to sit and relax in the vintage train cars while enjoying the views of the mountain hills, and forest, and going through picturesque tunnels.
- Shipwrecked treasure museum – Authentic artifacts from shipwrecks from around the world. You can not only learn the tales behind the 500 artifacts but watch documentaries about the rich history and events.
Branson Theatre District
This tourist sought-after destination, also known as The Strip, is a buzzing entertainment hub of restaurants, and sports bars, and raved about extravagant shows with tributes and stunts. There has been a non-stop vibe of live music and shows for over 50 years with world-class acts, the ultimate in shopping, and great places to stay in the heart of it all.
Accommodation: Listed by top picks and ratings.
- Lodge of the Ozarks – (Where to stay in Branson Mo where you can walk to) A superb, within walking distance base to all the attractions to complete your trip and is located on The Strip in downtown Branson. Fully fitted rooms, an indoor pool on the property, and a day excursion is just a 15-minutes drive to the famous Silver Dollar Theme Park.
- Grandview Inn and suites – (Where to stay in Branson Mo for a young couple) Perfectly located across from the Tanger Outlet Center for all-day shopping for the ladies while the men enjoy the bars and restaurants within walking distance from the property. There is something for everyone just a stone’s throw away and makes it a great stop on your vacation adventure to be close to it all.
Attractions: Based on popularity and must-do attractions.
- Branson Hot Hits Theatre – The ultimate experience of tribute acts and shows, and a must-do stop on the attractions to-do list for downtown Branson. Enjoy performances of all the greatest singers and groups, and visit the gift shop on the way out for a souvenir to remember the magic.
- Historic Owen Theatre House – One of the oldest, and still operational, theatres that began in 1936. It offers educational workshops which are great for company team-building excursions and community theatre performances. Enjoy the performing arts in an iconic building and location.
Sightseeing: For unique experiences and trips.
- Branson Centennial Museum – Learn about the culture of the area and how the community began to grow with its first arrivals and inhabitants in 1839. It pays tribute to the novel which put Branson on the map, The Shepherd of the Hills, and dives into the fishing and nature of the area that makes it so popular for tourists.
- Downtown Branson Murals – A perfect social media photo opportunity you would not expect in a little town, but downtown Branson is home to some of the most iconic art murals which make for perfect backdrops for family pictures and posting on your social media accounts.
Bull Shoals Lake
A man-made lake, a reservoir in Southern Missouri in the Ozark Mountains that has coves and lake arms for hundreds of miles. Because of the endless beauty along the shoreline, there have been nineteen park developments created for camping, marinas, boat launches, and excellent swimming spots.
The Bull Shoals Dam was originally created to impound the White River and at its inception was the 5th largest in the world. Since then the lake section has become increasingly popular with fishing and is home to many species such as large and smallmouth bass, crappie, and walleye.
- The dam processes 10 million gallons of water per minute with its eight generators.
- The Bull Shoals Lake is the largest body of water in the Arkansas state with over 1000 miles of shoreline.
- It has some of the best fishing in North America because of the 70,000 acres of fishable waters.
Accommodation: For location and quality of the property
- Fisherman-Friendly Bull Shoals Escape on Lakefront – If you are looking for heaven on earth next to a lake this is it, a few steps from the water makes this the ultimate location to rest, relax, and unwind for a chilled vacation. Close to the marina, fishing spots, and beaches this property is surrounded by nothing but trees and water.
- Family-Friendly Lake View Home – (Where to stay in Branson Mo with a large family) Traveling in a large group can get claustrophobic quickly, but not here. This luxurious and spacious property gives you the freedom to move and enjoy the area for what it is, beautiful and natural. A private yard means the children can run free in the safety of the boundaries and you can put your feet up while the men attend to the BBQ.
Attractions: Top activities.
- Bull Shoals Caverns – Take a walkthrough (by guided tour or on your own) of the living limestone caves that were created 350 million years ago and which take you back to the Ordovician Period. A good place for great photography all the while seeing the various formations and shapes that have grown over the years.
- Papa Bill’s White River Trout Guide Service – A hands-on fishing experience that the whole family can get involved with. There is nothing more relaxing than sitting on the waters of the lake and enjoying a bit of fishing while listening to stories and tales of adventures that have happened in the area and on the water.
Sightseeing: History and culture.
- James A. Gaston Visitor Centre – A scenic and beautiful lookout point to see the expanse of the White River to its fullest. Find out all about the river history and the fish species in the area and waters, and take home a memorable souvenir keepsake from the gift shop.
- Bull Shoals Theatre of Arts – Experience the local talented musicians at the theatre with a short private show. You get to enjoy and sit back in the fully fitted theatre and relax to the sounds of beautiful, professionally played music on multiple instruments. Even the kids will be clapping along to the songs and having a good time.
Why visit Branson Mo or Get Recommendations on Where to Stay in Branson Mo?
Other than being world-famous for its live music and entertainment culture and community that brings millions of tourists annually, Branson Mo has activities and attractions that are varied and many and you will undoubtedly find something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
The area is a sight to see in its own right with natural beauty that spans the land and is home to rolling hills and forests decorated with colors and diverse tree varieties. There are great outdoor excursions for all ages, and range in suitability for families or something to be enjoyed as a couple, and combined with the choice of rental properties or hotels and villas, finding a great location won’t be difficult.
Whether you are looking for full immersion or simply a taste of the culture, it is recommended that an average of 2 -3 days will give you enough time to enjoy all the aspects of these quaint and history-filled areas, and a longer stay will be a bonus.
A final thought.
Branson Mo and the surrounding areas are unlike any other, and for good reason too, a rich history that dates back to the 1900s, a man-made lake and dam that is a marvel of engineering, and a talent of entertainment that matches big cities without blinking an eye.
Be sure to check out a live concert or theatre show while in town, tuck into the local cuisine with world-famous sushi combinations and grills, or sip on locally crafted beers and wines at the cafes and restaurants for a holiday you will not forget.
And, if time allows, soak up the sun on the shoreline of an iconic lake while the children splash and swim in the clear waters.