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21 Towns Like Branson, MO

Here's a roundup of small lake towns similar to Branson, Missouri that boast historic attractions, spectacular views, and beautiful nature where you can enjoy leisure activities and watersports.

Stone church with scenic view in Branson, Missouri.

Branson is one of those towns that take their Ozark hospitality very seriously. These residents pride themselves on offering a holiday experience that the family will never forget in summer and winter.

Branson, Missouri, is a small town in the United States with a historic downtown and a passion for watersports and leisure activities such as fishing. It has a strong feeling of community and a bright future for both inhabitants and visitors. Lexington, Nebraska, Houghton, Michigan, Spencer, Iowa, Wahpeton, and North Dakota are similar towns.

Towns like Branson take great pride in offering a unique and wonderful Christmas experience. If you pop over in the summertime, you’ll be welcomed by a warm community, and you can take in natural beauty on plenty of walks. Or you can get that adrenaline pumping and take on the adventure routes in Branson, the town that has it all. Let’s explore 21 towns that are similar to Branson, Missouri.

Big Bear Lake, California

Big Bear Lake in California with stones covered in snow.

Big Bear Lake is a beautiful little town in the southern regions of California. This little lake town nestled on the banks of Big Bear Lake is ideally located around 65 miles from Los Angeles. Big Bear Lake is the ideal vacation spot for families searching for nonstop adventure and year-round sunshine.

Big Bear Lake has seen a slight growth in its population that is currently estimated to be around 5 400 residents who earn a median income of $41 100 per annum. With a lake filled with an abundant supply of fish that will keep the table filled throughout the year, the area is a hot commodity for vacationers and permanent residents. The average house is priced at $443 400.

Click here for the official tourism website of Big Bear Lake in California to learn more about the things to do and see.

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

Champagne's Cajun Swamp Boat Tours in Lake Martin.

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana, is also commonly referred to as the “Crawfish Capital of the World.” If that doesn’t have you packing your bags and booking your ticket, perhaps the spectacular views and superb weather all year round will tickle your fancy. Walking the streets of Breaux Bridge, you can feel a deep sense of community.

As you make your way to the vibrant and historic downtown, you’ll have a dining experience that will keep the family full all summer long.

Despite Breux Bridge being a bit out of the way for some travelers, it has seen a positive growth in its population, which is at the current estimate of 8 100 residents. The town has a lot of potentials and a forgiving cost of living. The average house is priced at $130 500 as the median resident earns $35 700 per annum.

Click here for the official tourism website of Big Bear Lake in California to learn more about the things to do and see.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado

People swimming in Colorado hot springs pool.

Glenwood Springs, Colorado, is the perfect location if you want to kick back with your fishing rod and just breathe in the sweet American air. If you’re going to get a bit more active, rock-climbing in this town absolutely rocks. If you want to go even more chilled, the internationally renowned springs will cleanse your tough times, leaving you fresh with a new sense of peace.

Glenwood Springs has a population of 10,300 people and is expanding slowly, with an unemployment rate far below the national average. With a median income of $54 400 and an average home price of $608 600, the cost of living in such a charming town is greater than the national average.

Click here for the official tourism website of Glenwood Springs in Colorado to learn more about the things to do and see.

Grand Canyon Village, Arizona

Tourist visiting  Grand Canyon National Park with old watch tower.

Aside from the fact that the Grand Canyon is one of the most popular tourist destinations globally, just 50 miles south of the National Park in Arizona, lies the delightful town called Grand Canyon Village. Don’t let the terrain fool you; the region has lovely weather all year round with humidity at a low in the summertime, and winters are pleasant.

Grand Canyon Village has seen very promising growth in its population over the past few years. The current estimated population is 1 500 residents who earn a median income of $33 900 per annum. Even though the unemployment rate is above the country’s average, it has maintained a modest cost of living, with the median home priced at $53 000.

Click here for the official tourism website of Grand Canyon Village in Arizona to learn more about the things to do and see.

Greenwood, South Carolina

Heart Shaped Island on Lake Greenwood in South Carolina.

Greenwood, South Carolina, is one of the larger towns found on this list. Still, when you see its spectacular bodies of water, you will agree to its rightful position. It shares love with Branson for fishing all year round.

If you don’t want to get your feet wet, take a ride and enjoy the beautiful golfing experience Greenwood has to offer.

Greenwood’s population has seen healthy growth in the past few years as its currently estimated at 23 400 residents. The town has an unemployment rate below the nation’s average, with the median income being $24 800 per annum and houses costing $128 500.

Click here for the official tourism website of Greenwood in South Carolina to learn more about the things to do and see.

Houghton, Michigan

Aerial view of Houghton and It's Lift Bridge in Michigan.

Houghton, Michigan, is considered one of the best small towns one could live in the States. What’s the icing on the cake? It’s super affordable! Houghton has impressive lakes for family fun in summer and golf courses that make you itchy for adventure. In the wintertime, there are over 22 different trails that will keep you busy, if that’s snowboarding or just taking a stroll in the park with a hot cup of cocoa.

Houghton’s population has seen promising growth in the last few years. The current estimate is 7 600 residents who earn a median income of $28 900 per annum. The town has also maintained an unemployment rate and cost of living below the national average, with the median household priced at $182 200.

Click here for the official tourism website of Houghton in Michigan to learn more about the things to do and see.

Laconia, New Hampshire

Historic buildings along the Winnipesaukee River in Laconia, New Hampshire.

Nestled between Lake Winnisquam and Lake Winnipesaukee in New Hampshire lies Laconia, a quaint and beautiful little town. Like Branson, it has an immaculate fishing culture and spectacular winters. With multiple lakeside beaches and an extensive boardwalk with tons of summertime entertainment, visitors will never run out of great things to do

Laconia has had a stable population for the last few years, currently estimated at 16 700 residents. The unemployment rate is notably lower than the country’s median. The average house is priced at $281 500 with residents earning around $50 000 per annum.

Click here for the unofficial website of Laconia in New Hampshire to learn more about the things to do and see.

Lexington, Nebraska

Migrating Snow Geese covering the blue sky in Lexingon, Nebraska.

In the southern regions of Nebraska along the Platte River is the quaint and humble little town, Lexington. The town is only 9 miles from Johnson Lake, which offers a plethora of summer vacation activities that will keep the family occupied. If adventure doesn’t tickle your fancy, take lovely wine tours in the beautiful scenic country that surrounds this fantastic little town.

Lexington has been an attractive town for permanent residents for its beautiful sceneries and forgiving cost of living. The town’s population has remained steady at 10 110 people, with a typical annual income of $45 000. It has maintained an impressively low unemployment rate, slightly more than half the nation’s average, with the median house priced at $129 000.

Click here for the official tourism website of Lexington in Nebraska to learn more about the things to do and see.

Lincoln, Illinois

Lincoln Park during twilight in Chicago, Illinois.

Named after Abraham Lincoln, who had practiced law in this little town, Lincoln, Illinois, is a particular gem rich with American history. Iconically located on the infamous Route 66, plenty of diners and attractions offer visitors an authentic North American experience.

Lincoln has seen a slight dip in its population that is currently estimated to be 13 400 residents. The cost of living and unemployment rate is below the national average. The median income for residents is $48 820 per annum, and the average house is priced at $87 800.

Click here for the official tourism website of Lincoln in Illinois to learn more about the things to do and see.

Los Alamos, New Mexico

White Rock Visitor Center Complex in Los Alamos, New Mexico.

When it comes to small towns that have embraced their deep-rooted history and turned into that unique edge to its vibes, Los Alamos in New Mexico really shows how to get it done. There are plenty of National Parks to catch fresh air and plenty of restaurants with diverse cuisine that will you begging for more.

Los Alamos has had a stable and consistent population of an estimated 13 130 residents over the past few years. It also has an impressively low unemployment rate, nearly half of the nation’s average, as the median income is $107 000 per annum. All its beautiful attractions and amenities still have a decent cost of living as the average house is priced at $337 300.

Click here for the official tourism website of Los Alamos in New Mexico to learn more about the things to do and see.

Maryville, Missouri

Entrance to Maryville University in St. Louis Missouri with brick wall and large signage.

Maryville, Missouri, is the perfect little town if you and your family prioritize education and academic opportunities for your families above all. Fortunately, the town is beautiful and affordable, making it a desirable location for families to relocate and live the American dream.

There is a deep sense of a family-oriented community in Maryville, which has seen steady growth in its population, estimated to be around 11 540 residents. The town has maintained an impressively low unemployment rate, nearly half the country’s average. The median income is $26 600 per annum, with the average house priced at $163 000.

Click here for the official tourism website of Maryville in Missouri to learn more about the things to do and see.

Minocqua, Wisconsin

Breathtaking sunset view on Lake Minocqua in Wisconsin.

Minocqua, Wisconsin, known as the “Island City,” is a small town that will never disappoint tourists. It’s maintained an authentic local experience for vacationers in the summer and winter with plenty of things to keep you entertained every minute. A part of the town is on an island in Lake Minocqua, which can be reached via the highway bridge, making it one of the best fishing towns in the United States.

Minocqua’s population has taken a slight dip in recent years. The estimated population is 4 400 residents who earn a median income of $41 600 per annum. The cost of living in such a lovely place is reasonable, with the average household costing $272 500.

Click here for the official tourism website of Minocqua in Wisconsin to learn more about the things to do and see.

Mountain Home, Arkansas

Shopping center in downtown of Mountain Home, Arkansas.

Mountain Home, Arkansas, as the name suggests, is a small town tucked away in the southern regions of the Ozark mountains. The town is surrounded by warm-water lakes like the Bull Shoals and the Norfork and the Norfork Rivers, making it a watersport and fishing hub enjoyed by American families all year round.

Mountain Home has a steady population of 12 600 residents who earn a median income of $32 900 per annum. The town is immaculate with its views and year-round activities. Its unemployment rate has been far below the national average. The low cost of living has made this little town appealing to many families, with the average property costing under $150,000.

Click here for the official website of Mountain Home in Arkansas to learn more about the things to do and see.

New Ulm, Minnesota

German Park with beautiful garden in New Ulm, Minnesota.

New Ulm is a populous little town for many reasons. One of them is residing here on vacation or permanently is incredibly affordable without feeling that one compromises services and amenities. This town has a special knack for offering authentic winter holiday experiences and ensuring you always have a crispy beer in your hand.

Its population has seen a slight dip in the past few years and is currently sitting at an estimated 13 100 residents who earn a median income of $46 000 per annum. The unemployment rate is notably below the nation’s average, with the median house priced at $180 000.

Click here for the official tourism website of New Ulm in Minnesota to learn more about the things to do and see.

Salmon, Idaho

Man fishing on Salmon River in Idaho.

Salmon, Idaho, is one of the smallest towns on this list, but the adventures that await in Salmon Valley earn it rightful spot. Much like Branson, the fishing community in Salmon is strong and devoted. The town is intersected by the Salmon River, a hotspot for water sports like white river rafting. It’s a great spot to kick off summer or have an action-packed winter.

As mentioned before, Salmon is one of the smallest towns on this list. It has seen a slight decrease in residents over the past few years as it’s currently estimated at 3 100 residents. Salmon’s forgiving cost of living makes it a desirable place to be, especially for permanent residents. The average home is priced at $254 400 with the median income of residents being $25 700.

Click here for the official website of Salmon in Idaho to learn more about the things to do and see.

Sandpoint, Idaho

Schweitzer mountain and trees in Sandpoint Idaho covered in snow.

If you’re looking for a winter vacation hub that will keep your adrenaline pumping with adventure on nearly every slow, well, Sandpoint in Idaho might be the perfect destination this winter. With the 8 000 ft Selkirk Mountains in the backyard, you can enjoy the snow either on a pair of skis or with a nice beer.

The beer scene in Sandpoint is a proud one, so don’t think you’re top dog till you visit the Laughing Dog Brewery. Much like Branson, Sandpoint is blessed with the beautiful surroundings of lakes for that perfect fishing trip in the summer.

Sandpoint is becoming more noticed as a perfect destination, and as a result, its population is booming. Its population has seen healthy growth in the last few years, with its residents currently sitting at an estimated 9 300 residents. The town has maintained an unemployment rate slightly below the national average. The median income is $33 600, and the average house is priced at $395 600.

Click here for the official tourism website of Sandpoint in Idaho to learn more about the things to do and see.

Seneca Falls, New York

Man walking on a fishing dock on Seneca Lake in New York during autumn.

Seneca Falls in New York is a little town with a big history. We love to play each year, from inspiring Christmas Carols to the first women’s rights convention in the United States. This town takes Christmas exceptionally seriously, so if you want to get the complete home experience with your family, make sure to book ahead of time since this beautiful winter paradise is a hot commodity.

Seneca Falls has seen a slight dip in its population in recent years. The town’s population is at an estimated 8 600 residents, with an unemployment rate just above the national average. As beautiful as this town is, it remains reasonably affordable to live or vacate in the area. The median income earned is $45 800 per annum as the average house is priced at $114 000.

Click here for the unofficial tourism website of Seneca Falls in New York to learn more about the things to do and see.

Spencer, Iowa

Menards building against the blue sky in Spencer, Iowa.

Spencer, Iowa, is one of those unique towns where everyone meets and has the best time. Not only do people around the world come and enjoy the spectacularly preserved art décor architecture from the 1930s, but the town was also formed on the confluence of two rivers; the Little Sioux and the Ocheyedan rover.

Spencer might want to be considered for the next summer vacation with the family with its incredible summers.

Spencer is adored for its broad spectrum of activities and its affordable lifestyle that many can enjoy. The population has been stable over the past few years. The current estimate is 10 900 residents who earn a median income of $44 500 per annum. With the median house costing $135,000, the unemployment rate is cheaper than the national average.

Click here for the official tourism website of Spencer in Iowa to learn more about the things to do and see.

Traverse City, Michigan

Aerial view of Marina and park in Traverse City, Michigan.

Like Branson, Traverse City, Michigan is one of the most significant little towns to live in because of the laid-back lifestyle it provides. Traverse City is an excellent area to raise a family and an even better place to live for individuals searching for towns that value an outdoor culture, with pleasant summers and the country’s largest producer of the Tart Cherry.

Traverse City has a population of 15 800 people that is continuously increasing at a steady rate and has an unemployment rate lower than the national average. The median household income for these residents is $48 700, with the average household costing $330 800 dollars.

Click here for the official tourism website of Traverse City in Michigan to learn more about the things to do and see.

Wahpeton, North Dakota

Aerial view of downtown Wahpeton, North Dakota during summer.

Wahpeton, North Dakota, is another one of those towns formed on the confluence of two rivers, creating a unique destination everyone should consider visiting in the next holiday season, winter or summer. It’s nestled in the southeastern regions of North Dakota alongside the confluence of the Otter Tail River and the Bois de Sioux River.

Wahpeton is a lovely little town with a cheap cost of living, making it possible for families from all walks of life to live in a charming town without breaking the bank. The population has been steady as its currently estimated to be 7 700 residents who earn a median income of $50 000 per annum. The unemployment rate of Wahpeton is impressively low as the average house is priced at $178 900.

Click here for the official tourism website of Wahpeton in North Dakota to learn more about the things to do and see.

Wapakoneta, Ohio

Close-up of carved stone in Wapakoneta, Ohio.

With places like the Ohio Historical Society’s Armstrong Air & Space Museum, there is a lot of historical significance and pride that oozes out of the streets of Wapakoneta, Ohio. With fantastic summers and warm winters, Wapakoneta is an affordable getaway for the family or for the couple looking for a unique getaway experience.

Wapakoneta has seen a slight dip in its population that is currently estimated to be around 9 600 residents. The town has a super impressively low unemployment rate and an affordable cost of living that has many families locking eyes as potential permanent residents address. The average house is priced at $159 400 with the median income clocking in at $44 600 per annum.

Click here for the official website of Wapakoneta in Ohio to learn more about the things to do and see.

References:

BestPlaces: Branson, Missouri

Big Bear Lake, CA

Breaux Bridge, Louisiana

CNBC: The 15 best affordable places to visit in the US

Country Living Magazine: The 25 Best Small Lake Towns in America

Explore Branson

Yahoo! Finance: These Are the Most Affordable Small Towns in the U.S.

Illinois Route 66 Scenic Byway: LINCOLN, IL

Minocqua.org

New Mexico Tourism & Travel: LOS ALAMOS VISITOR CENTER

North Dakota Tourism

New Hampshire Mountain Inn: 3 Best Things To Do In Laconia NH When Visiting The Lakes Region

Visit New Ulm, Minnesota: Things to Do

Town of Seneca Falls

Travel Iowa: Spencer

Traverse City: Things To Do In Traverse City

Visit Arizona: GRAND CANYON VILLAGE

Visit Greenwood, SC

Visit Houghton, MI

Visit Maryville, MO

Visit Nebraska: LEXINGTON

Visit Sandpoint, Idaho