Branson’s Silver Dollar City has been voted America’s Best Theme Park and Springfield’s Wonders of Wildlife has been voted America’s Best Aquarium by USA TODAY’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Awards following a national poll of USA Today readers and fans of each attraction.
“We recognize the importance of this type of recognition from our visiting guests from across the United States,” said Brad Thomas, president of Silver Dollar City Attractions. “Having the distinction of being the No. 1 theme park and Wonders of Wildlife as the No. 1 aquarium speaks to the quality of experiences each attraction offers our guests.”
“We are truly humbled by this distinction and so grateful to every guest, member and fan for their votes and support,” said Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops and Wonders of Wildlife.
“Wonders of Wildlife represents the collective efforts of countless individuals and organizations who share a great passion for conservation. Together we hope that the awareness generated by this recognition, for both Silver Dollar City and Wonders of Wildlife, will encourage more people to visit the Ozarks and be inspired to enjoy and protect the great outdoors.”
The two southwestern Missouri family businesses have entertained millions of guests and celebrated the beauty and heritage of the Ozarks. Silver Dollar City offers world-class roller coasters, seasonal festivals and demonstrations by skilled craftsmen. Wonders of Wildlife provides experiences that foster a love of the outdoors and wildlife conservation. Both are popular family destinations that appeal to all ages.
“Missouri is full of incredible attractions for all types of travelers,” said Stephen Foutes, Director of the Missouri Division of Tourism. “Silver Dollar City and Wonders of Wildlife’s highest ranking is a testament to the fantastic experiences tourists can expect while visiting the state.”
Governor Mike Parson recognized this achievement with a proclamation issued on May 5, 2023.
Silver Dollar City and Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium were nominated by a panel of museum, aquarium, attraction and theme park experts comprised of USA TODAY editors, 10Best.com editors and additional high-profile influencers from across the country.
About the Missouri Division of Tourism
The Missouri Division of Tourism works to showcase Missouri experiences through compelling storytelling to inspire travel, support healthy communities, and strengthen the state’s economy. In fiscal year 2022, Missouri welcomed 40 million visitors and saw $16 billion in tourism-related spending.
About Missouri Outdoor Communicators:
Since 1994, Missouri Outdoor Communicators has been telling stories and promoting the outdoors. MOC is a group of professional journalists, authors, bloggers, photographers, videographers, biologists, naturalists, businesses, and communities intent on celebrating the plethora of outdoor adventures that can be enjoyed in the great state of Missouri and throughout the Middle West.