Thursday, May 22, 2008

Spring Travel Part Eighteen: Branson, Missouri

Continuing our series on some of my favorite Spring travel destinations in the South, no list of great Southern places would be complete without including Branson, Missouri.

Called the "live country music capital of the universe" by the CBS program 60 Minutes, Branson is indeed that and more. A major family resort area, it is home to more live performances than either New York or Las Vegas, amusement parks, museums and a variety of other attractions.

Branson also has a rich history. The town received its first recognition as a tourist destination following the publication of the phenomenal book The Shepherd of the Hills. The first American novel to sell more than 1,000,000 copies, the book was based on the lives of people living in the Ozarks around Branson.

This was also the home of the infamous "Bald Knobbers." So named because they assembled on moonlit nights on the mountain "balds" surrounding the Branson area, these outlaw gangs originated as guerilla bands during the Civil War but continued their predatory ways after the war had ended.

Branson also offers a wide variety of other historic sites and is a center for preservation of Southern music and culture.

To learn more, please visit

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