Branson’s West Highway 76 was just a lonely stretch of road when the Presley family opened their country music variety show here in 1968. Hard to imagine that today. From its intersection with US Highway 65 in the east to Shepherd of the Hills Expressway in the west, Branson’s Highway 76–also nicknamed the “Strip” and “76 Country Boulevard”–is one long stretch of entertainment. This where you’ll find most of Branson’s theaters for live shows, hotels, restaurants, museums and attractions from mini-golf to go-Karts.
In summer, it can be bumper to bumper down the Strip, but I consider joining the parade of cars part of a Branson experience. It’s basically a two-lane road with a turn lane in the middle. Drivers in Branson are friendly, so don’t be surprised if you’re waved on through.
That being said, there are a number of color-coded relief roads for when you want to get someplace fast. In any case, Highway 76 isn’t nearly as congested as it used to be. What’s more, the city has launched Branson Forward, a $100-million project along five miles of the highway that will bury overhead lines and add walkways, landscaping, interesting landmarks and benches in an effort to make it more pedestrian-friendly. One of the most eye-catching landmarks is the Veterans Memorial Garden at the intersection of Highway 76 and Roark Valley Road.