How to drive like a Branson local
When you’re on vacation you’re looking to have fun. The last thing you want to do is spend hours stuck in traffic—or worse, get lost in an unfamiliar place. This is unfortunately a frequent issue for a lot of vacationers who visit popular cities on their time off. But the city of Branson, Missouri, famous for its live music shows and lots of entertainment options, has made it easier for you to find your way around without getting caught in traffic.
How to drive like a local while vacationing in Branson
Here’s a quick guide to navigating Branson like a local, so you can spend less time stuck in your car and more time enjoying your vacation.
Branson: The basic layout – The main route in Branson is the stretch along famous Highway 76 known for its many live shows as well as shopping, dining, and other entertainment destinations. The Strip, as it’s known locally, runs west through the city, and is around five miles from historic downtown Branson to the popular Silver Dollar City theme park.
Highway 76, along with the other major routes through Branson, is a two-way, two-lane road with a center turning lane. While this setup allows traffic to flow much of the time, it can get bumper-to-bumper during Branson’s peak seasons — Spring break, Summer, and the Winter holidays.
Fortunately, the city has a number of alternate routes that let you get to your destination faster when the main thoroughfare is clogged with traffic.
Driving by color in Branson – Branson has created a color-coded system to mark alternate routes for visitors, so you can navigate the city even when traffic on the Strip is congested. There are four colors in the system, each with clear signage to mark the routes.
Green Route: This main route runs from Interstate 65, the way most visitors arrive in Branson, through the Strip and toward Silver Dollar City. It’s best to avoid traveling directly on the Green Route during peak seasons in Branson, especially before and after live shows—most show times are 10 a.m., 2 p.m., and 8 p.m., running for around two hours.
Red Route: The “fast track” through Branson, this route runs approximately parallel to the Strip along the north. Most of the Red Route is on State Highway 248, which is also called the Shepherd of the Hills Expressway within the city limits.
Yellow Route: Running parallel to the strip along the south, this route takes visitors along Green Mountain Drive, Wildwood Drive, and Fall Creek Road. There are also several Branson condos and motels located along the Yellow Route, as well as restaurants and attractions that are off the main drag, and may be less crowded.
Blue Route: The least straightforward of Branson’s color-coded routes (but still clearly labeled), the Blue Route starts and ends on the Strip, and runs east to west between the Red and Green Routes. If you’re headed for a particular point on the Strip, but traffic is heavy, the Blue Route is the way to go—there are several cross streets that connect it with the Strip.
You can find more information about Branson’s color-coded road system please visit our Branson maps and directions page. Enjoy your Branson vacation, and happy driving!
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