Although there were settlers in this neck of the woods in the early 1800s, Branson itself wasn’t incorporated until 1912. Its historic downtown still preserves some of its yesteryear characteristics and old buildings, making it a very different place from Highway 76 Country Boulevard.
In addition to its 1906 train depot now offering scenic train rides and historic accommodations like the Branson Hotel, built in 1903, downtown Branson has old-timey cafes and more than 80 “mom and pop” stores, including the quirky Dick’s 5 & 10 dime store, antique stores and gift shops. Shaded brick sidewalks, benches, and free parking are invitations to stop and rest awhile.
Downtown is also the stage for several annual festivities, including the Autumn Daze arts and crafts festival in September, the Veterans Day Parade in November and the December Adoration Parade which features the area’s largest nativity scene.
Although you can walk from one end of downtown to the other in five minutes, a free trolley threads through downtown and connects it to nearby Branson Landing with its many restaurants, shops and free concerts. Or, if you want to spend more than just an hour here, check out my Branson Downtown Walking Tour itinerary.