Branson is a welcoming family-friendly meetings destination

Having been to Branson once previously for a family summer vacation at a very young age, I was excited to get another chance to check out the city and see if I actually remembered anything while traveling to the area for the latest Meetings Today Live! event from July 28-30.

While I wasn't able to visit Silver Dollar City, a local theme park and the only real attraction I remembered from my time there, I was surprised at the number of new additions the southern Missouri destination has to offer for meeting planners, especially those who are looking to bring family along for the ride.

The Hilton Branson Convention Center Hotel served as the home base for Meetings Today Live! and with 220,000 square feet of meeting space, there was more than enough room for our smaller sized group. The hotel itself has a modern lobby, with hanging light fixtures, which provided the welcoming feel associated with Branson as a whole (Branson was recently voted 10th friendliest city in the U.S. by Conde Nast Traveler).

Directly across the street from the Hilton Branson Convention Center is the Branson River Landing, a newer shopping district full of interesting little stores (as well as some typical chain ones). Really the highlight of this area is walking along the river pathwaysee view of river belowand checking out the fountains at the center of the landing.

We also were able to explore the Radisson Hotel Branson as well as Chateau on the Lake Resort, Spa & Convention Center, which are two other heavy-hitters for meetings and events. Radisson was situated in an easy to access location not far from all the entertainment district and attractions in the area. Chateau was a little further away from town, and our bus had to navigate some hilly terrain to reach the hotel, but it was worth it for the view alone, overlooking the waters of Table Rock Lake.

After all of this was done, we visited the somewhat famous Titanic The Museum Attraction (everything in Branson is an attraction it seems!). The tour, led by some elegantly dressed maids/guides, was interesting the whole way through and is worth checking out if you’re in the area. Note: Normally this is a self-guided tour and keep in mind no photos are allowed in the museum due to copyright.

I wasn't able to visit any of the music or entertainment venues Branson is known for, but there are plenty to choose from in the area from quirky to classy, in a city whose claim to fame is live music (particularly country music). You don’t have to walk far to see the locals strolling around in cowboy boots and hats. The older part of town also features some interesting shops, ranging from a classy wine and spirits establishment to older antique and thrift stores, including the iconic Dick's Old Time 5&10 convenience store.

In addition to its many attractions, Branson has a surprising amount of outdoor entertainment options, from boat tours, to fishing and zip-lining, there is plenty of potential for some thrilling group excursions.

Branson may not be the right spot for every type of meeting (and it doesn't try to be), but if you’re looking for a family-friendly destination with some Midwestern/Southern charm, it’s certainly worth checking out!

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