Is Branson Safe? Crime Rates & Safety Report

Updated On March 5, 2023
Branson, United States
Safety Index:
* Based on Research & Crime Data

Branson, Missouri, is known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”

This family-friendly destination in southwest Missouri competes with places like Las Vegas, Pigeon Forge (Tennessee), and Walt Disney World for tourists.

There are more than 100 live shows performed every day, featuring a variety of music genres, from country and rock to gospel and blues.

Branson also has theme parks with seasonal attractions on top of the already robust number of things to do.

Silver Dollar City is a popular amusement park that offers thrilling rides, live shows, and demonstrations of old-time crafts like glassblowing and blacksmithing.

White Water is another summer icon, offering water slides, wave pools, and lazy rivers for a fun day in the sun and a break from the Missouri humidity.

For those who love the outdoors, Branson has plenty of natural beauty to explore.

Table Rock Lake is a popular destination for boating, fishing, and swimming.

There are also many hiking and biking trails throughout the Ozark Mountains, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

When it comes to dining, Branson has something for every taste and budget.

From world-class steakhouses to quaint cafes, there are plenty of options to choose from.

I actually had to pick between colleges in Missouri, and I chose Springfield, so I could be close to all the fun of Branson, Missouri.

The town keeps growing, expanding to Branson West and beyond, offering more activities as each year goes by.

Warnings & Dangers in Branson

Overall Risk


We'll talk about crime data in this article, but it's really moot since more than seven million people visit the city each year. That renders the crime crunch of the population (12,600) vs raw crime data to equal crimes per 100,000 somewhat useless. With large crowds, heavy traffic, and a lot of distractions, it's wise to treat the city with a medium risk to stay alert, but the risk is low across the board.

Transport & Taxis Risk


I'm baffled that Branson hasn't figured out how to manage a public transportation system, especially given the heavy flow of traffic. The roads can rival the Las Vegas Strip on any weekend night, but you do have plenty of paid shuttles, taxis, rideshares, and rental car options to choose from. The risks are low, but always give yourself extra time to get to a destination. Downtown Branson does have a trolley system named Sparky that runs year-round, but that is just one small section of a rather large area of options.

Pickpockets Risk


The city averages about 13 pickpockets a year, looking at 10-year crime trends. The potential is all around you, so it's important to carry only what you need, keep your purse or wallet as concealed as possible, and watch your back when walking in large crowds.

Natural Disasters Risk


This part of the country can get four seasons of wicked weather. Spring brings tornado season, with severe thunderstorms being common through late fall. Winter can bring snow, ice, sleet, and high winds. Flooding and flash flooding are also risks, as well as extreme temperatures in winter and summer. This is a place where you need to stay weather aware before you plan any daily activities.

Mugging Risk


This is a low risk, with no more than 16 robberies in a year since 2016. Petty theft or car break-ins are more likely. The risk is especially low in the tourism corridor, where there are a lot of security and surveillance cameras.

Terrorism Risk


Branson would be one of the top potential targets in America, given its popular tourism base. That risk comes with a lot of extra security. Visitors should always stay aware of suspicious activity and report anything that doesn't seem right to the local police, even if it doesn't seem like that big of a deal. Even an abandoned bag could be a terror tool.

Scams Risk


Treat this as a medium risk, and don't buy tickets through third-party vendors or from scalpers on the street. Contact the Chamber of Commerce to find rental homes, so you don't fall victim to a rental home scam. Follow the basic principle that if it seems too good to be true, it usually is.

Women Travelers Risk


As a family-friend destination rooted in the heart of a conservative Christian country, there's a low risk overall. Again, we ask that you treat it with a medium risk just to be safe.

Tap Water Risk


As a tourism hub, the water here will be under strict testing regulations throughout the year. The 2021 Water Quality Report shows no violations and full compliance. As a guest, you'll want to be more focused on any water issues throughout the year due to stormwater, flooding, or water main breaks. Your hotel should keep you informed, but the city's social media sites will post those updates as well.

Safest Places to Visit in Branson

A place as popular as Branson will have a slew of tourism websites, but you can rest assured that is the only official tourism site backed by the convention and visitors bureau and the state tourism board. is the Chamber of Commerce website.

The tourism website has an elaborate virtual tour using drone technology, so you can see all the places you want to explore and get specific information.

While it’s hard to summarize everything there is to do in Branson, we’ll highlight some of the main groups of activities.

Live Music Shows

You have more than 100 shows to choose from, and the costs can add up quickly.

Set a budget and stick to it, but do your research first.

Some shows come with dinner, while others are short and sweet.

The options run the gamut from kid-focused performances to showboats to daredevil acts to big names in the music industry.

Christmas brings a whole new vibe to each show.

New shows in 2023 include Once Upon a Fairytale, a storybook-themed show covering many Disney classics, and Queen Ester, “a captivating tale of beauty and bravery set in the Persian Empire.”


Whether you want to hop aboard the Titanic, see a wax museum, learn the history of the Ozarks, or take a trip back in time to the pioneer days, there’s a museum for everyone.

There are also several dinosaur and prehistoric-themed museums.

The Butterfly Forest & Rainforest Adventure is an immersive sensory experience for the whole family.

The Branson Scenic Railway is like a moving museum, with scenic rides and dinner trains offered throughout the year.

Christmas brings the Polar Express train for the kids and parents.

Theme Parks

Silver Dollar City holds a special place in my heart as an annual pilgrimage I took with my family.

The 1880s-themed park is filled with people in costumes living live pioneers and showing the arts and crafts of a bygone era but also includes huge roller coasters and shows.

Many upgrades are available, from a pricey VIP tour to a cave tour to a guaranteed spot at the shows.

White Water at Silver Dollar City isn’t *at Silver Dollar City.

It’s about five miles away, so factor that into your plans.

The park is open in the summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Saturday nights, the park is open with fireworks capping off the night swimming.


One of my favorite stops, as an avid shopper, is the Tanger Outlets Branson, right in the heart of the city.

The downtown historic district has a lot of unique shops and boutiques.

You’ll find classic candy shops and locally crafted jewelry mixed in with ice cream stands and antique stores.

Branson also has a Bass Pro shop, and there are several in the region, as the company was founded in nearby Springfield, Missouri.

Extreme Sports/Activities

If you live for the adrenaline surge, Branson has you covered.

Zip lines, rollercoasters, rides that shoot you up/down/all around, and ATV adventures are just a few of the possibilities.

Always check the height and weight restrictions before booking.

In general, weight limits are around 250–275 pounds, but some go up to 450 pounds.


Table Rock Lake is the focal point of outdoor activities here, and it’s shaped much like the cracks of a windshield, meaning it’s not just a large, circular lake.

It branches out into different areas offering more shoreline and a slithering snake pattern that stretches all the way to Arkansas.

Camping, boating, paddling, fishing, and wildlife viewing options are endless.

Table Rock Lake State Park is a great starting point to get a lay of the land (and it is closest to Branson).

Places to Avoid in Branson

Branson doesn’t have bad neighborhoods or dangerous parts of town, but you should stay in the tourist areas.

Trying to find a shortcut around traffic is fruitless, and many roads either dead-end, turn to dirt roads or take you away from the city.

If you can, plan your trip to avoid high traffic times.

This means trying to avoid arriving on a Friday night when you’ll face the brunt of the traffic or leaving on Sunday afternoon.

Try to get there as early as possible or in the middle of the week.

During holiday weekends, the winter holidays, or anytime in the summer, book your rooms and shows as soon as possible.

Shows can easily sell out.

There isn’t a bad show in Branson, and they rival the performances in Las Vegas, so don’t assume you’re getting some second-rate shows here.

Wayne Newton used to have a theater here, and years later, I met him when I lived in Las Vegas.

I told him how I loved the show and the extra bonus of the reindeer he hosted outside during the holidays.

He told me that the performers love Branson since the friendly crowds and laid-back atmosphere make it feel more like performing in front of family.

Safety Tips for Traveling to Branson

  1. Branson does have its own police department, and the city of Branson West also has its own department. All social media sites for BPD have the handle @bransonpolice. The Missouri State Highway Patrol handles law enforcement around the lake.
  2. BPD has online crime and accident reporting, making it easy to report a petty crime or fender benders for insurance without having to wait for an officer. That’s provided nobody is hurt, and there wasn’t alcohol involved in the crash.
  3. If you are on the lake and have an emergency, call 1-800-525-5555 or dial *55 on a mobile device to get the fastest response time.
  4. For boaters, you are required to have a boating safety card obtained only by taking a designated boating safety class. The waters are highly patrolled, so don’t take the risk. Look for classes at the Missouri State Highway Patrol Water Patrol Division website. You can get a DUI for operating a boat under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
  5. Adhere to all no-wake zones on the lake. You’ll be amazed at how crowded the lake can get, and not every guest is using smart swimming or paddling skills. Don’t risk an accident by being in a rush.
  6. Report any criminal activity or suspicious events to the CATCH Hotline by calling (417)334-1085. You can also submit a tip online by going to the city of Branson website.
  7. Much like in Las Vegas, too many tourists overestimate their ability to walk the main road. From downtown to the west end of Country Boulevard is five miles. Especially in the sweltering summer heat, walking that far can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke. This is also a hilly region, so you’ll go up and down some inclines along the way.
  8. The BPD YouTube Channel and Facebook page post “Chats with the Chief” throughout the year, offering first-hand insight into the safety and crime trends of the region. This is also a great way to interact with the police department if you have specific questions.
  9. If you’re worried about Branson on a budget, the costs can be intimidating. One of the things I loved most, as a college kid visiting Branson, was that the people watching alone was entertaining. There are also miniature golf courses and arcades mixed in with the massive attractions, offering relief from the high ticket options nearby.
  10. Sign up for Branson Alerts through the Emergency Management Division website to get updated weather information during your visit. Since this area can get anything from tornado warnings to ice storm warnings, you need to stay updated. The Facebook page for the city, @BransonCity, will update road closures or other safety guidance connected to weather events.

So... How Safe Is Branson Really?

Branson has grown so much since I lived in the region, but it has retained a safe environment for families in the middle of the Bible Belt.

Even if you take the crime data at face value, the violent crime risk is lower than in many other Missouri cities, and that’s before you factor in the seven million people who visit each year.

Theft remains the biggest risk, with 37% of thefts being shoplifting and 20% of thefts being car break-ins.

You have to protect your property at every turn.

Use the safe in your hotel room.

Lock your car and roll up the windows while taking all valuables out of the interior.

Keep your hand on top of a zipped purse to make it harder for someone to steal your wallet.

Put your carried wallet in your front pants pocket or inside a jacket pocket.

The growing drug problem in America hasn’t spared Branson, and that desperate and altered mental state is feeding property crime rates.

The Branson Police Chief explains it this way: “Finding ways to provide for (drug users) habit, so most of those are theft and stealing and not much of house or business break-ins,” Chief Matthews said.

You might run across some internet rumors about the escalated dangers of Branson.

That’s another topic the chief addressed head-on.

“There have been many virtual discussions about Branson crime throughout social media,” Chief Jeff Matthews says.

“There was a news article that said Branson was experiencing crime increases similar to many other cities across the nation.

As your police chief, I’m here to tell you that’s not the true-crime picture.”

In fact, violent crime in Branson has been fairly steady going back to 2014.

Property crime is actually down 60% since 2014.

Violent crime against strangers lingers at around 20%.

The weather risks here are numerous, but it’s not a safety risk that should keep you away.

The real risk comes from the people who ignore storms and end up being a victim of the winds, storms, or poor road conditions.

Branson should definitely be on your bucket list, but treat it with the same safety steps as you would in Las Vegas, Disney World, or Pigeon Forge.

How Does Branson Compare?

CitySafety Index
Washington DC56
New York City67
San Diego67
Buenos Aires (Argentina)60
Vancouver (Canada)82
Cordoba (Argentina)61
Toronto (Canada)81
Melbourne (Australia)80
Montreal (Canada)81

Useful Information



International guests will need a U.S Visa and passport to get through Customs at the airport. Since many guests here will be using a tourism visa, you'll need to start that process early. Look to see if your country is one of those eligible for a Visa Waiver.



Only the U.S. Dollar can be used here. We advise using only credit cards for purchases to protect against fraud, overcharging, cancelations, and other bank-protected problems associated with travel.



Bring comfortable shoes throughout the year as there's a lot of walking to do. Don't wear new shoes here because breaking them in can cause blisters and soreness. Be casual and comfortable. The shows here don't require fancy dresses or suits and ties. You'll see a lot of people in cowboy hats or boots, and you *can dress as fancy as you'd like. It's just not expected.



Branson, Missouri, is served by two commercial airports: Branson Airport (BKG) and Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF). BKG is located just minutes from the Branson entertainment district, while SGF is about an hour's drive away.

Travel Insurance

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is an important part of a trip to such a big destination. Some of the rentals will provide travel insurance options, so check each policy to avoid paying double through your own policy and the rental policy. Get your rental car covered for accidents because roads are congested, and drivers can be aggressive or impatient.

Click here to get an offer for travel insurance

Branson Weather Averages (Temperatures)

Jan 1° C
Feb 3° C
Mar 9° C
Apr 14° C
May 19° C
Jun 23° C
Jul 26° C
Aug 25° C
Sep 21° C
Oct 15° C
Nov 8° C
Dec 3° C
Choose Temperature Unit

Average High/Low Temperature

Temperature / MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec

Missouri - Safety by City

CitySafety Index
Blue Springs82
Cape Girardeau72
Creve Coeur78
Jefferson City75
Kansas City39
Lee’s Summit78
Maryland Heights79
New Madrid84
Poplar Bluff57
St. Charles79
St. Joseph47
St. Louis58
Ste. Genevieve83

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