Ask anyone who has ever been here: Branson is notorious for traffic jams. But most of that traffic is concentrated on West Highway 76 (also known as the “Strip” and “76 Country Boulevard”), simply because that’s where most of Branson’s theaters, hotels, restaurants, museums and other attractions are located. On the plus side, Branson has undertaken a $75-million beautification project along 5 miles of Hwy 76 to add walkways, benches, landscaping and landmarks in an effort to make it more pedestrian-friendly
To alleviate congestion, Branson has built a number of relief roads that parallel the Strip, color coded for your convenience, that connect with Highway 76 at various locations. Green Mountain Drive/Wildwood/Fall Creek, to the south, is yellow; Shepherd of the Hills Expressway to the north is red; and Gretna/Roark Valley roads are blue. Other useful roads you’ll want to become familiar with include James Epp Road and Rosalee Street.
You’ll most certainly want to visit downtown Branson, quaint and lined with specialty shops (Dick’s 5 & 10 is a must), antique stores and cafes. Parking is free for 2 hours on the main streets; there are also public parking lots at both ends of Branson Landing. After parking, your best bet for getting around downtown and the Landing are your own two feet or the free downtown trolley.
In any case, I wouldn’t avoid driving down Highway 76 altogether. In the off season there’s little traffic during the day. And in peak season there’s something about inching along the Strip with everyone else that makes you feel part of the action if you aren’t in a hurry. But this is what I like best: Branson drivers are also notoriously friendly, and part of the reason traffic snakes along is that entering cars are good-naturedly waved in.