The Branson Strip - A Traffic Jam
The main reason the 76 strip is always backed up is because of the shows getting out. Around 8 p.m. is when most of them are done, and once the people are out, you can't drive the strip. You must let people in the lane. (The strip is a three lane road: 2 driving lanes, and one turning.)
What I suggest you do to avoid this traffic is take the colored roads. They have set up the blue, red, and yellow routes, which are just back roads to get you to someplace on the strip without actually being on the strip. (Go here for more info: http://branson.com/map/ )
Unique Suggestions: If you don't want to take any shortcuts, people watching is always fun. Or you could just admire the signs in front of the music shows. (Jim Stafford's is really nice.) But roll down your window, because you never know when someone will be singing or playing music. They have lots of live entertainment along the strip, so if you're just driving by, listen up and sing along.
Fun Alternatives: Just park your car and walk. You get a workout and save gas. But crossing the street might be a problem, so just wait until you're all clear and RUN!
Fairfield - The Vacation Club Scam
Fairfield is a scam. Don't buy into their vacation shares. You have to pay maintenance fees of $400 per month--even if you don't use the facilities! Big scam, so look out!
Also, we had gone down there to check into our room around 3 PM and they said it wasn't ready. So we came back about two hours later, and it was ready, so we open the door, and it's too small of a room. So we went up to the front desk and asked if our room could be changed and they said probably not because of it being Friday...etc. Needless to say, my mother was very upset; it was her birthday and all she wanted was for everything to go smoothly, but Fairfield, being the losers they are, ruined our stay. It only took them two more hours to find us an appropriate room. Then to cheer us up, they sent over a saleswoman to talk to us about buying another week. Well, we refused that service and got our tickets to Jim Stafford, which was amazing. But Fairfield will never get our business again!
Unique Suggestions: Don't agree to talk with them for two hours just to get Jim Stafford tickets. The lady that spoke with us was very shifty and had no morals.
Fun Alternatives: Only buy into a vacation club if you think you'll get full use out of it.
Do you go on vacation every year? If so, look into one, but please, do your research and choose someone other than Fairfield.
The free show tickets for...
The free show tickets for going and listening to a realtor is a waste of time.You get your tickets alright, but you have to get talked down to about buying Branson property for about two hours. It's just not worth it.
Silver Dollar City
Before I get into things, let me say that there was a funhouse there that was actually pretty entertaining. BUT, *shudder*, what a scary, scary place. And I don't just mean touristy. We were exploring a gift shop in this "family fun center" and stumbled across a store selling knives, whips, and Confederate flags. Needless to say, we made a swift exit. If you end up in Silver Dollar City for whatever reason, at least go to Marvel Cave (see Must-See Attractions).
This is one of the many...
This is one of the many companies in the Branson area selling time shares. I don't want to say bad things about this particular company. They did pay for much of our trip as part of their promotion. All I want to tell you is that the time share people will say to you that the presentation will last for 90 minutes. It is more like two hours and it would have been longer if I had not insisted we were not buying what they were selling. Taking advantage of time share sales promotions is a good way to get inexpensive vacation trip to Branson. Just be prepared to listen to a very smooth sales pitch if you go there.
If you like traffic jams,...
If you like traffic jams, crowds at every turn, cheesy souvenier shops, wall-to-wall fast food restaurants and watching over-the-hill performers, BRANSON IS JUST THE PLACE FOR YOU.
Fun Alternatives: If on the other hand, you would like to experience authentic Ozark culture in a relaxed setting, I recommend Mountain View, Arkansas, as a desirable alternative to Branson. It's hard to get to, but well worth the effort. See my Mountain View page.
The town of Branson is one big...
The town of Branson is one big tourist trap. Worse than the stretch from Kissimmee, Florida to Disney World! I guess it is fine for older folks who want to go to the theaters and see formerly famous entertainers, but all the fast food restaurants, gift shops, and other touristy businesses is overwhelming, as are the crowds!