Author Harold Bell Wright began visiting the area in 1898 and used it for the setting in his book The Shepherd of the Hills. Following publication in 1907 of The Shepherd of the Hills, locals began to see the first tourists arriving to experience the scenic Ozarks as Harold Bell Wright had. In the late 1950s the first two country music shows, The Baldknobbers and Presleys Country Jubilee, appeared along Branson's main thoroughfare, Highway 76. In the early 1960s the Hershend family opened Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-themed craft village on the site of Marvel Cave. Over the years Branson has grown to include over 100 live shows in nearly 50 theaters. Other tourist attractions include museums, pristine lakes, championship golf courses, an IMAX Theater, year-round festivals and events, nearby mountains, and wilderness areas.
Other local attractions include Silver Dollar City, Dixie Stampede, White Water Branson, Showboat Branson Belle, The Shepherd of the Hills, Ride The Ducks, The Branson Landing, The Tracks, Splash Country, and Thousand Hills Golf Resort.
Famous celebrities in Branson have included Glen Campbell, Roy Clark, Wayne Newton, Mel Tillis, Ray Stevens, Jim Stafford, Yakov Smirnoff, Johnny Cash, Boxcar Willie, Andy Williams, Bobby Vinton, Charlie Pride, Tony Orlando, and The Osmonds. In the spring of 2006, the surviving members of the original Bill Haley & His Comets began a long-term residency at Dick Clark's American Bandstand Theater.
Newly opened for the 2006 season, the Titanic Museum includes artifacts from the actual wreck. Also on display are models of the ship, a full scale replica of the grand staircase and recreations of various rooms of the ship, in addition to eye-witness accounts of the events thatoccurred.
Branson Landing opened in the summer of 2006 on the Lake Taneycomo waterfront in downtown Branson. The $420 million lakefront project includes retail space with Bass Pro Shops and Hudson Belk as anchors in an outdoor shopping mall of 100+ stores and restaurants. "The Landing" as it is affectionately called also contains a boardwalk as well as a multi-million dollar fountain that performs hydrotechnic shows every 15 minutes. Also, every hour on the hour, the National Anthem is played. In addition the site also offers condominiums located above the retail space, as well as the Hilton hotel and convention center.
Branson, Missouri, continues to expand its accommodation options for visitors including multiple hotels and motels as well as nightly condominium rentals.