A side trip from Historic U.S. Route 66 to Branson, Missouri

Route 66 Side Trip to Branson, Missouri

Greetings from Branson, Missouri

Many travelers want to know ... does Route 66 go through Branson, Missouri?

The answer is "No", but it passes through Springfield, Missouri, only about 45 miles to the north of Branson.

"The Mother Road" was established on November 11, 1926, and ultimately stretched 2,448 miles from Chicago to Los Angeles.

Route 66 across Missouri stretched 317 miles and connected a variety of large cities and small towns, traversing rolling hills and valleys. Heading westbound the route traveled through these cites and towns in Missouri: St. Louis, Cuba, Rolla, Lebanon, Springfield, Carthage and Joplin.

While some Route 66 travelers enjoy the experience of staying only on the Mother Road itself, others take the opportunity to make a fun side trip to visit Branson, less than an hour drive south, via U.S. Highway 65.

Scenic U.S Highway 65, a north-south highway, is the main route to Branson with over 70% of motorists coming from the north through Springfield.

Spend a day, or more, and enjoy the excitement of Branson before returning to Route 66!

Map showing the directions from Historic Route 66 in Springfield to Branson, Missouri
Map showing the directions from Historic Route 66 in Springfield, Missouri to the City of Branson

About Branson

The City of Branson is located in southwest Missouri, 45 miles south of Springfield in the heart of the Ozark Hills. Branson has a year-round population of over 10,000 residents, with millions of visitors annually.

Branson offers visitors a number of attractions, ranging from scenic natural beauty to the variety of live entertainment options and family oriented entertainment offerings. Also popular is an international award-winning theme park (Silver Dollar City), dozens museums, a Historic Downtown district, a Town Center-style shopping complex named Branson Landing, a full range of dining options, and a host of hotels, motels, resorts, RV parks, and campgrounds.

The fall colors are spectacular in Branson, Missouri
The fall colors are spectacular in Branson!

Branson is home to over 40 music theaters with over 50,000 seats. The variety of music includes country, pop, gospel, bluegrass, western, rock ‘n roll, classical jazz, and Broadway. There’s also comedy, magic, and variety to provide visitors a wide array of entertainment choices.

The Branson / Lakes Area is home to three scenic lakes offering fishing, boating, parasailing, jet skiing, and swimming. While the lakes all offer great fishing for novice and professional anglers, each has its specialty. Table Rock Lake offers world-class bass fishing. Lake Taneycomo, with its cold waters, offers superb trout fishing. Bull Shoals Lake is also an anglers’ paradise, especially for tournament bass fishing.

More Things to See, Do and Experience

  • Titanic Museum
  • Live Shows such as Nashville Roadhouse Live Concert, Down Home Country Show and the Little Opry Theater
  • Boat Tours & Cruises
  • Veterans Memorial Museum
  • Aquarium at the Boardwalk
  • Historic Downtown Branson
  • Branson Tourism Center
  • Silver Dollar City
  • Branson Landing
  • Shepherd of the Hills Fish Hatchery
  • The Butterfly Palace
  • Branson's Promised Land Zoo
  • Showboat Branson Belle and Jet Boats
  • Branson Landing Fountain Show
  • Table Rock Dam and State Park
  • Hollywood Wax Museum
  • Dewey Short Visitors Center

Shopping in Branson

Visitors consistently rank shopping among the most popular activities of the area. Branson Landing is a $420 million, 95 acre development along Lake Taneycomo blending more than 100 retail shops with dining, luxury lodging, river walk, town square, marinas, and nightlife into a dynamic waterfront setting.

Branson is home to two outlet shopping malls as well as the Grand Village and other unique shopping areas. Visitors can find contemporary clothing, Ozarks crafts, gift items, housewares, designer shoes, luggage, and a myriad of other treasures throughout the year.

Historic Downtown Branson is also a shopper and diner’s delight. Dick’s Old Fashioned 5 and 10, several boutiques, and dozens of specialty stores combined with quaint eateries make the downtown area truly special.

Scenes in Branson

Branson Landing
Branson Landing in Branson, Missouri
Bass Pro Shops White River Outpost
Bass Pro Shops White River Outpost in Branson, Missouri
The Titanic
The Titanic Exhibit in Branson, Missouri
Branson Aquarium
Branson, Missouri Aquarium
Golfing in Branson
One of the many golf courses in Branson, Missouri
Veterans Memorial Museum
Veterans Memorial Museum in Branson, Missouri



Scenes Around Area Lakes

Dam near Branson Missouri Quiet early morning lake scene near Branson Missouri Lake cruises near Branson Missouri


Lodging Options in Branson

As one of the most popular destinations in the Central United States, Branson has developed an expansive infrastructure of lodging options, from upscale resorts to lakefront cabins to B&Bs.

More than 20,000 rooms are available in Branson motels, hotels, resorts, bed and breakfast inns, and condominiums. Visitors have an endless variety of restaurants and food establishments from which to choose. There are over 125 restaurants with over 30,000 seats.

With a variety of lodging options, including luxury resorts, high-end hotels, B&Bs, budget-friendly condos, campgrounds and cozy cabins, rest assured you'll find the perfect place to stay in Branson.

Branson has hundreds of hotels, resorts, motels, timeshares, private residences, and bed-and-breakfasts.

Branson Travel Guide at TripAdvisor

Branson, Missouri Travel Guide

Hotels and lodging in Branson, MIssouri

Branson, Missouri Hotel Directory, Traveler Reviews and Reservations

Vacation rentals in Branson

Branson, Missouri Restaurants

Branson Attractions and Things to Do

Big Cedar Lodge: A Popular Long-standing Branson Area Tradition

Big Cedar Lodge is a remote haven of natural beauty spread out over 4,600 acres where rustic luxury is tucked into the rugged landscape of the Missouri Ozark Mountains, overlooking sparkling Table Rock Lake.

Inspired by a commitment to conservation, Johnny Morris, noted conservationist and founder of Bass Pro Shops, created Big Cedar Lodge as a destination for families and friends to connect in the great outdoors. The Lodge features a wide array of inviting accommodations, spectacular restaurants, two full-service marinas, five golf courses, a 50,000-square-foot activity center, breathtaking spa, unparalleled fishing and countless outdoor adventures.

Today, Big Cedar Lodge, overlooking the 43,000-acre Table Rock Lake, remains a popular destination and is rated as the “#1 Resort in the Midwest” according to Travel + Leisure.

Read more at the website of Big Cedar Lodge

Entrance area at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Missouri Registration area at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Missouri
Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Missouri Christmas scene at Big Cedar Lodge near Branson, Missouri


Map of Branson, Missouri

More Information and Resources about Branson

Route 66 Visitor Center in Springfield

Route 66 Association of Missouri

VisitMissouri: Route 66


City of Branson



Silver Dollar City

Branson Landing

Branson Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce

Big Cedar Lodge

Table Rock State Park


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