By Adam J. Mohney
Branson
Missouri
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Like Las Vegas in its show culture, but unlike it in that it has more water, fewer people and less sin, Branson, Missouri is one of Southern and Midwestern America's premier vacation destinations. Offering big city-caliber shows while maintaining a population of around 6,000 people and a low-stress vibe, Branson offers EscapeWizard.com travelers a laid back vacation in the Ozark Mountains while not sacrificing perennial entertainment.

While perhaps the most ideal way to arrive in Branson is by car, as the town has limited public transportation, there are still options for the air traveler who does not want to rent a car. Area airports include Branson Airport (BKG), which opened in 2009 and is the United States' biggest private airport. Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF) is located 50 miles to the northwest of Branson, however several shuttle services offer express trips into town.

There are also many rental car services available at the airports and in town. Other methods of transportation include a hand full of taxi cabs and a variety of shuttle companies that will commute visitors around town for pleasingly low fees. EscapeWizard.com travelers can book their Branson flights and cars easily and worry less about their transportation when they arrive by clicking the following link (www.escapewizard.com/flight.php).

EscapeWizard.com travelers will also find a variety of lodging options on their trip to Branson, Missouri. Affordable ideas are abound with a variety of simplistic bed and breakfasts, small inns and motels, which are the most ideal way to experience the small-town feel of Branson. Travelers looking for chain hotels with a brand attached to them are also in luck, as several of these options populate the Highway 76 strip.

While the strip is probably the ideal lodging location, guests may find more affordable rates on the outskirts of town. Because of Branson's small size, this is an easy way to save money, especially for those with access to a vehicle. No matter your ideal Branson hotel, you can find it on EscapeWizard.com by clicking the following link (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).

Of course, once your flight lands and you settle into your room, it is time to investigate the array of wonderful attractions that have made Branson, Missouri a popular destination for the past 100 years. Perhaps the town's biggest draw is its strip district, located along the legendary Highway 76.

Whether you enjoy the Southern twangs of country music or are looking for a heavy metal show, Branson has something to offer you, having hosted several of the world's most popular performers over the past six decades. Many of Branson's most popular shows are country and western themed and include famous acts such as Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, Jim Stafford and the Oak Ridge Boys. That said, there are also unique shows from a variety of cultures, such as Chinese acrobat shows and kung-fu productions.

While a few shows should certainly be on your itinerary, Branson has much more to offer travelers. EscapeWizard.com visitors should definitely venture into Marvel Cave, the town's oldest attraction, which is easily accessible,  and includes electricity and stairs. Square dances are often hosted in the cave, as well, a great way to involve yourself in the Southern culture.

Silver Dollar City is also a can't miss Branson favorite. This recreation of a frontier town includes five old style shops and a church. Open from March until December, Silver Dollar City also hosts six annual festivals.

Other popular EscapeWizard.com attractions for Branson, Missouri include a showboat cruise on Branson Belle, which offers comedy and music cruises in classic Southern style, as you wind down Lake Taneycomo and onto Table Rock Lake. Travelers should also check out Guests may also be interested in the Hollywood Wax Museum, White Water amusement park, the Titanic Museum and other interesting draws Branson has to offer.

While you are in Branson, you will also have the opportunity to eat some delicious American dishes at some prominent restaurants. Branson is definitely a town for the hungry, as it features several steakhouses and buffets. EscapeWizard.com recommends Andy Williams' Moon River Grill, which offers a variety of juicy steaks, barbecue dishes and other cuisine affiliated with Southern and Midwestern cuisine. Buffet enthusiasts can eat until they burst at Balbknobbers Country Restaurant, while steakhouse frequenters can enjoy the menu at B.T. Bones Steakhouse. While independent American restaurants are most popular, Branson also offers a variety of national favorites and cuisine from all over the world.

Although Branson is not much of a drinking town, it still offers a variety of options to of-age travelers. EscapeWizard.com recommends Charlie's Steak, Ribs and Ale, which is Branson's one and only brew pub. Here, patrons can enjoy a variety of juicy steaks, finger licking barbecue ribs and Charlie's own brews. Other popular night spots include Hillbilly Inn and Lounge, which offers a hometown feel to travelers from across the globe.

A legendary strip full of legendary stage shows makes the small town of Branson, Missouri a big destination for travelers looking to see the United States in new ways. With a variety of attractions and a laid back atmosphere, Branson is an ideal vacation spot for travelers looking for top notch entertainment without the hustle and bustle affiliated with American cities. Come see a few shows, venture through one of America's most famous caves and enjoy small town life in a way you never thought possible.
Hotels in Branson
By Sarah Hay
Hilton Branson Convention Center
200 East Main Street, Branson, MO
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The best of Branson, Missouri, awaits you in one perfect location: the Hilton Branson Convention Center. Found in the heart of downtown Branson, the AAA Four Diamond hotel is situated next to Branson Landing, and is connected to the Branson Convention Center. Local attractions such as the scenic Lake Taneycomo, the Titanic Museum and Silver Dollar City are all nearby, and 50 live theaters are all minutes away, as are fantastic shopping, dining, and cultural attractions.

The 294 guest rooms and suites at the Hilton Branson offer guests a variety of amenities to help in relaxing, including 32” LCD flat screen televisions, work desks, wired and wireless high speed Internet access (for a fee), mini refrigerators, and dual line phones with data ports. Self- and valet parking are both available, for a fee, and pets are also allowed, for a fee. Check-in time is 3 p.m., and check-out is 12 p.m.

The hotel has a heated outdoor pool on site, along with a complete fitness center, and even nearby fishing is available. There is a snack shop at the Hilton, as well as a valet and laundry service, and children get their own menu as well as cribs and high chairs, should you request. There is a pool bar, Level 2 Steakhouse restaurant and a Clear cocktail lounge at the Hilton, all of which specialize in sumptuous offerings.

Business guests will find a total business center on site, offering copying, videoconferencing, fax, and notary public services, as well as audio/visual equipment rentals. For your next conference, the connected Branson Convention Center offers 220,000 square feet of flexible exhibit or event space, including a 23,000 square foot ballroom. So, plan you next trip to Branson right, and stay at the Hilton Branson Convention Center. For the best rates here, turn to the professionals at EscapeWizard.com, and click on this link: (www.escapewizard.com/hotels.php?flag=htl).