Branson was named for Rueben Branson, postmaster and operator of a general store in the area in the 1880s. The population was 10,520 at the 2010 census. The Branson Micropolitan Statistical Area embraces Stone County and Taney County, both in Missouri.
Today it is sometimes referred to as a "family-friendly Las Vegas" because of the many shows and attractions, the flashy building decorations, and the neon lights. The "strip", as it has been named, draws people from far and wide.
If shows are not your thing then check out one of the three lakes Branson has to offer. Lake Taneycomo's clear cold waters provide some of the finest trout fishing available anywhere in the world. Table Rock Lake and Bull Shoals Lake offer a variety of recreational activities including hiking, sightseeing, hunting, skin diving, fishing, and water sports such as swimming, boating, and water skiing.
Maybe it is golfing that swings your attention. Branson has an array of golf courses sure to please the newest beginner to the most professional golfer.
- M. Graham Clark - Taney County Airport, for private plane traffic, is located adjacent to Branson in Point Lookout, Missouri, next to the College of the Ozarks.
- Branson Airport, 8 miles (13 km) south of Branson, is Branson's major carrier local airport. Frontier Airlines has seasonal nonstop service to Denver, Dallas, and Chicago..
- Springfield-Branson Regional Airport is about 50 miles (80 km) from Branson, serving the following air travel providers:
- Allegiant Air - nonstop service to/from Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Orlando-Sanford, Phoenix-Mesa, and St. Petersburg-Clearwater.
- American Eagle - nonstop service to Dallas/Fort Worth.
- Delta Connection - nonstop service to Atlanta and Memphis.
- United Express - nonstop service to Chicago-O'Hare and Denver.
- Boone County Regional Airport in Harrison, Arkansas, is closer (31 miles/50 km), but has only one carrier, Southern Airways Express, with service to Memphis and Dallas.
Other options include NW Arkansas Regional Airport in Bentonville, 97 miles (160 km) or about a 2-hour drive away though the Mark Twain National Forest (includes some steep curves over hilly terrain—this is the only airport whose land route is through the forest). The nearest major airports are Tulsa 216 miles, Kansas City 233 miles, and St. Louis (Lambert) 255 miles. St. Louis has some international flights, as well as some major tourist attractions of its own to see.
From most locations, take I-44 to Springfield, then south on US 65 (exit 82A). From the west, use the US 60/160 connector just before entering Springfield (exit 69).
In-spite of the mind-numbing number of activities here, and occasional bumper-to-bumper traffic, Branson should not be mistaken for a larger city, as it does not have a regular bus system. With this being said, one who is savvy could get around without their own vehicle.
During the week, the congestion isn't that bad on Highway 76, and could be especially clear in the afternoons. After all, most shows are in the evening. When driving in weekend or evening traffic, be extra vigilant (lights could be distracting, and thus cause a wreck), consider alternate routes, and allow several minutes of leeway with schedules. Branson has special "colored" routes to make driving easier. Knowledge of these can make driving less stressful, and faster.
One could ride the Branson Scenic Train around to out-of-town attractions, which runs on an hourly basis.
- 1 Branson Scenic Railway, 206 E Main St Branson, MO 65616 (Close to intersection of Branson Landing), ☏ . 9:30AM-4PM Mon-Sat. Scenic excursions to attractions just outside of town
There are several taxis available, and many different types. On another note, limos may be seen around town as well, although taxis, usually yellow cabs, are the best bet, and are cheaper.
- The Branson Scenic Railroad operates from the historic Branson Train Depot located downtown. The railroad takes you on a 40-mile (55 km) roundtrip ride through the beautiful Ozark countryside using vintage train engines and cars from the 1930s through 1960s. It also offers nightly dinner trips and a Polar Express tour during November and December.
- The Shepherd of the Hills Outdoor Drama is one of the longest-running local attractions. See the events of Harold Bell Wrights classic novel reenacted by a huge cast of actors and stuntmen. During the day you can also visit a recreation of Old Matt's cabin and travel to the top of Inspiration Tower where you can see all the way into Arkansas on a clear day.
- Branson has over 50 live entertainment theaters, and the largest Titanic museum in the world. Shows range from singing (Andy Williams for example) to Chinese acrobats. One of the better and more popular shows is Six, 6 (now only five) brothers who do a variety show including accompanying their songs with the sounds of musical instruments produced by the voices of the brothers.
- 1 Hollywood Wax Museum, 3030 West 76 Country Blvd., ☏ . The Hollywood Wax Museum is the only wax museum in the country devoted entirely to celebrity figures. Get close to some of the most famous people in show business and step right into the spotlight with icons of the silver screen, recreated faithfully. The Hollywood Wax Museum houses tons of uncanny replicas, from Hollywood stars to television personalities to characters from popular movies.
Table Rock LakeEdit
A beautiful stretch of crystal clear blue water, spanning around 50,000 acres (20,000 ha), Table Rock Lake is a reservoir that winds through the Ozark Mountains of northwestern Arkansas and southwestern Missouri. A favorite vacation spot for outdoor lovers of all types of activities, it has become a major tourist attraction of Branson. People from all over the United States come to the area in order to camp, boat, and fish. You can enjoy all sorts of water sports activities, including jet skiing, tubing, scuba diving, and swimming.
Impounded by the Table Rock Dam, which was constructed on the White River by the U.S. Corps of Engineers in 1954 to 1958, the original purpose of the reservoir was to control flooding on the White River, which also flows through Missouri and Arkansas. It had already been established as a prime ground for fishing and recreation as early as the 1930s. However, flooding from the White River had constantly devastated the area. Following the Flood Control Act of 1943, the dam was constructed and the overflow of water from the White River filled the man-made lake now known as Table Rock Lake. The overflow from this reservoir spills downstream into Lake Taneycomo, the cold water of the reservoir creating a trout fishing environment for the lake.
As Table Rock Lake is a big fishing area, a lot of fishermen are attracted to the place. Moreover, the lake boasts a wide variety of fish in abundant supply. Some of these fish include bass, catfish, white bass, crappie, and bluegill. An aggressive fish management program has also been implemented in the area, seeing a resurgence of smallmouth, Kentucky, and largemouth bass of exceptionally large size. This has led to even more fishermen flocking to this site, both professional and recreational fishermen.
Surrounding the lake are lands for public use, which draw many people who enjoy nature and hunting. The scenery is exquisite, and portions of the Mark Twain National Forest are located on these lands. Table Rock State Park also borders the shoreline of Table Rock Lake.
- 1 College of the Ozarks, Point Lookout, ☏ . Visit this unique liberal arts college that has a variety of on site historical attractions. Sights to see are all student-run facilities: the Keeter Center, Williams Memorial Chapel, the Ralph Foster Museum, Fruitcake and Jelly Kitchen, and Edwards Mill.
- Cedar Mountain Stables, 612 Devil's Pool Rd, ☏ . Located at Big Cedar on Table Rock Lake, this stable offers a variety of activities and events including: pony rides, horseback rides, carriage rides, campfire wagon tours & holiday light tours.
- Top of the Rock Golf Course, 612 Devil's Pool Rd, ☏ . Part of Big Cedar, this Jack Nicklaus signature golf course is located at Table Rock Lake, just outside of Branson. The Par 3 course is also part of the Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary Program.
- Big Cedar Spa, 612 Devil’s Pool Rd, ☏ . This spa near Branson offers a variety of services including luxury spa treatments, nail service, certified personal trainers. Treatments for guests under 15 years old are also available.
- Stone Hill Winery, 601 State Highway 165, ☏ . Located on highway 165. Take the free tour of the winery and enjoy free samples of their locally produced wines and grape juice for the kids.
- 2 Silver Dollar City, 399 Silver Dollar City Parkway, ☏ . The most popular attraction in Branson, Silver Dollar City is a family theme park similar to "Dollywood" in Tennessee. The park has a consistent "1800s America" theme. While the main focus of the park is on food, souvenirs and live performances, the park has many rides and play areas for children, and a few high-quality roller coasters for thrill seekers, such as Outlaw Run, one of the world’s steepest and most daring wooden roller coaster, and Time Traveler, the world's fastest, tallest, and steepest spinning coaster. The number one feature of the park is a giant, sparkling cave that takes hourly tours named Marvel Cave. Quite a lot of money would be spent if one wants to experience the wide variety of food and products at the park, and will most likely need to spend more than one day there to experience everything.
- The Branson Belle is a river boat that was built next to Table Rock Lake and has lunch and dinner cruises with entertainment.
- Riding the Ducks is also very popular. They are World War II amphibious vehicles that take you around town and then into the lake for a short cruise.,
- 3 Vigilante Extreme ZipRider. - located in Branson
- Branson Landing (in downtown Branson on Lake Tanneycomo). Anchored by Bass Pro Shops and Belk, it has 100 stores and several restaurants. Check out the huge waterfront fountain in the central square where every 30 minutes you can see choreographed fire, water, and light shows set to music. Also nearby is the Branson Hilton and Convention Center. Check out Bass Pro's huge indoor aquarium stocked with native fish species.
- Dick's 5 and 10. Located in downtown Branson. Take a step back in time and visit Dick's 5 and 10. Lots of hard to find old-timey trinkets and collectibles.
- Gifts of Distinction. Located at the Branson Landing
- Peter Engler Designs, 2800 W 76Country Blv Suite 205, ☏ . Daily 9:30am-6:00pm. Peter Engler has had a woodcarving shop in Branson since 1962, representing over 150 artists spanning folk art to fine art, woodcarving to pottery.
There are 3 outlet malls with over 200 stores.
- Vintage Paris Wine/Coffee Shop, ☏ . An adorable little coffee and wine shop where you can sip, shop and even sit and enjoy a latte or glass of wine on the inviting leather couch.
- Legends In Concert, 1600 W. Hwy. 76, ☏ . Tue-Thu 3PM and 8PM. Having entertained audiences around the globe for the past 28 years, Legends In Concert brings glitz, glamour, exciting choreography and high energy to the stage with tribute performances by Michael Jackson, Bette Midler, Alan Jackson, The Temptations, George Strait, Dolly Parton, the Blues Brothers, and Elvis Presley!
- 1 Tanger Outlets Branson, 300 Tanger Blvd, ☏ . 9AM-9PM Mon-Sat, 10AM-7PM Sun. Outlet Mall with various mid-range price stores such as Banana Republic and Nike.
- Danna's Bar-B-Que, 963 St. Hwy 165, ☏ . Su-Th 10:30AM-8PM; F-Sa 10:30AM-9PM. Excellent pulled pork sandwiches and burgers. Burgers $4-8; barbecue plates $12-29.
- Sonic Drive-In, 3250 Falls Parkway, ☏ .
- Grand Country Buffet. A wide selection of well prepared food. Total cost for 2 is around $14.
- La Veracrusana, 158 Pointe Royale Dr (Across from Welk's Theatre), ☏ .
- Buzzard Bar, 612 Devils Pool Rd, ☏ . Located at Big Cedar, this bar near Branson features live entertainment, specialty drinks, comfortable indoor/outdoor seating and a great selection of sandwiches and salads.
- Devil’s Pool Restaurant, 612 Devil’s Pool Rd, ☏ . This casual dining restaurant, located at Big Cider, features southern home-style fare in a comfortable, rustic setting. Breakfast buffet and Champagne Sunday Brunch available. Sunday Brunch (10AM-2PM), Breakfast (7-11AM), Lunch (11AM-2PM), Dinner (5-9:30PM), Breakfast Buffet (Saturday/Sunday only)
- Fall Creek Steak & Catfish House, 997 Missouri 165, ☏ . "Home of the Tossed Rolls". Full service dinner options: hand-cut steaks, hand breaded catfish, beef brisket, ribs.
- Rocky's Italian Restaurant, 120 North Sycamore St, ☏ . Family-owned and -operated Italian restaurant within walking distance of Branson Landing. Some of the best Italian food in town. They also have very affordable lunch specials.
- The Rowdy Beaver Restaurant & Tavern, 1810 West 76 Country Blvd, ☏ . Typical sports bar restaurant.
- The Shack Cafe, 108 South Commercial St, ☏ . Located downtown. A local favorite for years, famous for their fried chicken and rotating daily specials.
- Truman Smokehouse, 612 Devil's Pool Rd, ☏ . A specialty shop at Big Cedar offering freshly baked pastries, sandwiches and sides. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner throughout the summer. Wireless internet available.
- Worman House, 612 Devil's Pool Rd, ☏ . This Missouri steakhouse at Big Cedar features USDA prime steak, freshwater fish and seafood and extensive wine list. Rooms available for small celebrations or family gatherings.
- Candlestick Inn, 127 Taney St, ☏ . Located on the hill above Branson Landing. Fine dining overlooking Taneycomo and downtown Branson.
- Cantina Laredo, ☏ . Upscale Mexican restaurant located at Branson Landing. Try the fresh guacamole made tableside.
- Charley's Grilled Subs, ☏ . Located at Branson Landing. Excellent cheesteaks.
- Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede Dinner and Show, toll-free: . Dixie Stampede provides dinner and live entertainment including wild west riding with excellent food and beverages.
- [formerly dead link] Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar and Grille, 505 Branson Landing Boulevard, ☏ . Closed Su-Tu. Dueling Piano Show W-Sa 7:00PM-1:30AM. Piano show begins at 8PM. Reservations must be in seats by 7:45PM. Non-smoking, 21-and-up facility.
- Garfield's Restaurant & Pub, ☏ .
- Joe's Crab Shack, ☏ . Located at Branson Landing. Very affordable happy hour specials.
- Landry's Seafood House, 2900 West 76 Country Blvd, ☏ .
- Shogun Japanese Steakhouse, 150 Terrace Rd, ☏ . Shogun Steakhouse prepares your food right at the table. Shogun steakhouse is a favorite among Branson restaurants, and one of Branson’s unique dining experiences.
- Top of the Rock Restaurant, 612 Devil's Pool Rd, ☏ . Located on the Top of the Rock Golf Course at Big Cedar, this restaurant features homemade pastas, Signature Rotisserie Chicken and grilled steaks and seafood.
- Waxy O'Shea's Irish Pub, ☏ . Located at Branson Landing. Authentic Irish pub with live music on the weekends.
- White River Fish House, 5 Bass Pro Dr, ☏ . Located at Branson Landing.
- St. James Winery, 405 State Hwy 165, ☏ .
- 1000 Hills Stay a few nights in comfortable Thousand Hills cabins in Branson
- Branson has a plethora of condos. You can get a nice condo for $100/night or less. There are also many motel rooms generally for $25–40/night during the winter season.
- Branson Garden Inn, 1420 West Highway 76. Located across from Dixie Stampede & Dick Clark’s American Bandstand Theater.
- The Brick House Hotel, 2651 Shepherd of the Hills Expy, ☏ . Offers pet friendly and spacious discount lodging accommodations near attractions and the Strip.
- Classic Motor Inn, 2384 Shepherd of the Hills Expy, toll-free: . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Family owned and operated motel offers a deluxe continental breakfast, free evening snacks, an outdoor pool, free Wi-Fi, a friendly and helpful staff, and clean and comfortable rooms. $40-65 per night.
- Deer Run Motel, 982 Indian Point Rd, ☏ . Located near Branson Theme park, Silver Dollar City, it also provides easy access to Branson's Music Strip.
- The Suites at Fall Creek, 1 Fall Creek Dr, ☏ , toll-free: . The Suites at Fall Creek offer fully equipped lakeside accommodations surrounded by the Ozark Mountains and the picturesque lakes of the White River Basin. Fully furnished rooms, studios, 1 bedroom and 2 bedroom condos. $$.
- Honeysuckle Inn & Conference Center, 3598 Shepherd of the Hills Expy, toll-free: . 210 rooms featuring king, queen & double beds, jacuzzi suites, indoor and outdoor pool, hot tub & spa, all you can eat breakfast buffet, complementary continental breakfast, conference facilities, ticket services, in-room coffee, remote cable television, high speed WiFi, free local calls, guest laundry. Located between the IMAX Complex and the RFD-TV Theater, only a block off the Strip. AAA and AARP discounts, children under 11 stay free.
- Westgate Branson Woods Resort and Cabins, 2201 Roark Valley Rd. Traditional resort hotel lodging and accommodations to lodging cabins on 145 wooded acres offering a variety of amenities and access to many activities.
- Westgate Branson Lakes at Emerald Pointe, 750 Emerald Pointe Drive Hollister. Lodging accommodations with a fully equipped kitchen, spacious dining and family room, and a washer/dryer. Some suite villas offer whirlpool tubs and private decks facing Table Rock.
- Anchor Inn on the Lake Bed and Breakfast, 100 Hurtville Ln, toll-free: . Bed and breakfast on Table Rock Lake.
- Ramada Limited Branson, 2316 Shepherd of the Hills Expy, ☏ .
- Vickery Resort, toll-free: . Located on Table Rock Lake near State Park Marina and the Show Boat Banson Belle. 1-3 bedroom condos, swimming pool, boat slips and boat rentals.
- Outback Roadhouse Motel & Suites, 1910 W Hwy 76., ☏ , toll-free: . standard rooms and suites, heated pool, hot tub, sauna, party pavilion with grills.
- 1 Rock Lane Resort and Marina, 611 Rock Lane Rd, ☏ , toll-free: , ✉ email@example.com. Rock Lane Resort and Marina is a family vacation destination with an island attitude. Lakeside on Table Rock Lake, families can rent boats, kayaks and SUPs (stand up paddleboards) from the public full service marina. Other options include lake cruises, scuba diving, fishing, and outdoor swimming pools. Charlie’s Steak, Ribs and Ale is a full service family dining restaurant with an outstanding lake view. The outdoor tiki bar also has food, drinks, and live entertainment on weekend nights. There is a courtesy boat dock for lakeside dining guests. $59.
- 2 Sunset Nightly Rentals, 301 W. Pacific St, Suite F Branson, MO 65616, toll-free: . Sunset Nightly Rentals provides 1-6 bedroom vacation rentals in the Branson area. Rental types include condos, cabins, villas, private homes, & lake houses.
- Big Cedar, 612 Devil's Pool Rd, toll-free: . A family-friendly resort on Table Rock Lake. The resort offers a variety of accommodation options including lodges and private cabins. Featured on-site activities include fishing, golf, horseback riding and hiking.
Branson Missouri is in the (417) area code and the 65616 postal zip code.
And then there are local radio stations to consider listening to.
- Eureka Springs— About 1 hour southeast of Branson, an Arkansas Victorian mountain village. With art, music, fine dining, lodging from rustic to luxurious, night spots, distinctive attractions and worlds of outdoor activities, you'll never have a dull moment.
- St. Louis—
- Springfield (Missouri)—
- Kansas City—
- St. Joseph—
- Jefferson City—
|Routes through Branson|
|Sedalia ← Springfield ←||N S||→ Hollister → Little Rock|