The folks at TripAdvisor are all about compiling lists of the best and the biggest, the latest and the greatest.

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This week, TripAdvisor, under the heading Best of the Best 2022, released a list of the Top Ten Trending Tourist Destinations in the U.S.

Guess which southwest Missouri tourist magnet is number three on that list, and the only Midwest entry?

Right behind the big island of Hawaii and Charleston, South Carolina is none other than the Live Music Capital of the World, Branson, Missouri.

In the TripAdvisor story, they say Branson, "has limitless possibilities for a memorable vacation." They cite all the live shows, Silver Dollar City, the Ozarks and the three huge lakes, golf, museums, etc., etc.

If you know me, you know how I feel about Branson. If you want me to pick up where TripAdvisor left off, my only question is how much time you got?

The attraction to the Branson area began with the recreational lakes - Taneycomo, Table Rock and Bull Shoals a little over a hundred years ago. Then came the author Harold Bell Wright and his book The Shepherd of the Hills. It wasn't until the late 50s that live shows became a thing. Branson was already a pretty popular place when they were featured on 60 Minutes in 1991. After that, as one Branson city official told me, tourists, entertainers and real estate developers started calling, and haven't stopped since.

The rest of the TripAdvisor top ten U.S. tourist destination list:

4. Moab, Utah

5. Fort Myers Beach, Florida

6. Clearwater, Florida

7.Mount Desert Island, Maine

8. Talkeetna, Alaska

9. Naples, Florida

10. Asheville, North Carolina.

You can see the article here.

Jesse James Farm in Kearney, Missouri

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