Thrilling amusement parks. Historical museums. Picturesque landscapes. Beautiful towns. You can find all these things in 10 best places to visit in Missouri.
There is an unofficial slogan which the permanent inhabitants usually says about Missouri.
It is “The Show Me State”.
When a local Missouri person says that “I’m from Missouri”, this means “I’m skeptical of the matter and not easily convinced”.
Missouri, a state in the Midwestern United States, is located between Missouri River and Mississippi river. This is a state of laughs and happiness. A summer vacation in Missouri will be beyond all your expectations.
There are many attractive things in Missouri waiting for you. Keep scrolling down and note the must-visit destinations mentioned below. Make sure that your trip to Missouri this summer will be unforgettable memories!
Columbia is not only a famous college city but also an ideal tourist destination.
It is well-known for high-quality schools, renowned colleges and universities, and excellent educational centers.
There are many cultural and art events as well as places in Columbia which attracts flocks of visitors each year.
If you want to find out more information about the deep history of Columbia and Missouri, Museum of Art and Archaeology is a great recommendation.
If you are interested in art and want to contemplate the famous modern art, you can opt for spending all day in the Columbia Art League.
At the Shryocks Callaway Farms, you will have a chance to explore the massive fields of corn.
Do not forget to visit D&D Animal Sanctuary. The handsome tigers there will make a strong impression on you from the first sights.
And Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area is an ideal place to catch a whole view of this city. You will not take your eyes off the marvelous picture of Columbia.
As I said, Columbia is the home of many famous colleges, so paying a visit to the University of Missouri is also a considering idea.
Grant’s Farm is an old-fashioned farm and is located in Grantwood Village, St. Louis, Missouri.
Grant’s Farm is named after the original owner – Ulysses S. Grant. Later, the Busch family bought and changed it into an animal reserve as well as a famous tourist attraction in Missouri.
In 2004, the U.S. Family Travel Guide Zagat Survey® ranked Grant’s Farm as a top attraction nationwide.
When going to Grant’s Farm, you will enjoy the fresh air, the green meadow, the beautiful scenery and the peaceful life of everybody here. More importantly, you can see and play with the cute kangaroos, elephants, buffaloes, goats, donkeys, camels, peacocks and many different animals.
Moreover, Grant’s Farm provides tram tours around the deer park, which help tourists can take a closer look at the famous Budweiser Clydesdales.
There is a four-room, two-story cabin named Hardscrabble in the Grant’s Farm. It was the product of Ulysses S. Grant in 1856. Originally, this cabin was located in another property. But, in 1907, August Busch Sr. purchased and moved it back to Grant’s Farm.
Carthage is one of the best towns to visit in Missouri.
Local people in Carthage, Missouri are always proud of their small town. It is a fascinating place of history, culture, architecture, and bravery.
During the American Civil War, Carthage was burned to the ground. Time flies like an arrow. From an empty town, now Carthage changed into one of the most popular tourist destinations in Missouri.
If you have a chance to visit Carthage, do not miss Route 66. It is an important national highway which stretches from west of Carthage to Joplin.
You can see many famous tourist attractions of Carthage when driving along this road. Visitors will have different experiences in Carthage Civil War Museum, Kellogg Lake, Jasper County Courthouse, Memorial Hall, White Rose Winery, the Historic Carthage Square, Kiddieland, the Boots Motel, Red Oak II, Powers Museum, Carthage Municipal Park, Jasper County Records Center, and so on.
And it does not stop there:
If you want to enjoy a peaceful place and leisure time, Precious Moments Chapel and Gardens is a perfect idea for you.
You can spend your all day in Gift Shoppe or Royal Delights Café. Another suggestion is exploring manicured gardens decorated with bronze statues and fountains here.
And do not forget to join in a daily free tour of The Precious Moments Chapel.
Elephant Rocks State Park
Located in the Saint Francois Mountains, Elephant Rocks State Park is a famous geologic reserve in Missouri.
What makes this park become unusual are the elephant-shaped boulders. You will think about a train of circus elephants when contemplating these rocks. The giant granite boulders are recorded by the camera of many photographers and visitors.
According to scientists, the elephant rocks is about 1.5 billion years old.
Elephant Rocks State Park has a great value in science to geologists. Many history lovers go to this park to find out more information about quarrying in the past.
The most ideal way to visit throughout the park is the Braille Trail. It was specially designed for travelers to catch a magnificent view of geologic formations.
In addition, Elephant Rocks State Park is also a common hiking area. Visitors can enjoy their picnics in picnic areas. The park provides tables and benches in the shade of the trees to help tourists take memorable experiences.
Springfield, the third largest city in Missouri, is a powerful and modern city.
During the Civil War, it was the field of some fierce battles. Until today, the locals in Springfield still say about the famous shootout between Davis Tutt and Wild Bill Hickok. There is a marked brass plaque located on Park Central Square to memorize this event.
The Discovery Center of Springfield attracts thousands of visitors annually.
Through discovery and exploration, you can experience many interesting and interactive things. Tourists will have chances to ride a new HighWire bike, learn about the process of making bricks, or bring back a sample of their own DNA as a souvenir.
If you want to contemplate the stunning landscapes of Springfield, Fantastic Caverns is for you.
It is one of the best places to visit in Missouri during the summer.
Located in the northwest of Springfield, a vast underground cave and its beauty makes a strong impression on visitors. You will feel admirable because of what the Creator gives this area.
There are many guided tours which are held every day. During 55 minutes, visitors will sit in a Jeep-drawn tram and explore the whole Fantastic Caverns.
Lake of the Ozarks
Located in central Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks is a huge reservoir. In the northern part of the Ozarks, the Osage River is impounded. This is the main reason for the appearance of this lake.
Its turns and twists resemble a dragon, so another name of Lake of the Ozarks is the Magic Dragon.
There is a wide variety of recreational activities which are provided all visitors with any points of interest.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, you can opt for world-class fishing, hiking, boating, golf, and so on.
To help tourist have the best summer vacation in Missouri, the businesses around Lake of the Ozarks offers all the services you need. Whether you want to live in luxury restaurants or beautiful homestays, you can find all there.
You will take great pleasure in wandering the well-decorated shops or the romantic café. Spending your time recording the glorious scenery by your camera is also an ideal plan.
Hannibal is well-known for the childhood hometown of a famous author Mark Twain (his real name is Samuel Langhorne Clemens).
To many visitors, when exploring Hannibal, they feel like stepping into “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”. Several storybooks of Mark Twain used this beautiful downtown as backgrounds.
The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum is a must-visit Missouri destination.
There is a huge collection of fascinating exhibitions about Mark Twain. You will know more about his life, from the first difficult steps to become one of the most renowned authors of America. It is an inspirational story.
The summer days are the best time to go to Mark Twain Cave and Cameron Cave! Your children will be attracted to the interesting adventures of Tom Sawyer here.
And do not forget to visit Rockcliffe Mansion. This museum home is restored carefully, you will see the original decoration and furnishings of Mark’s home.
Before you finish your trip in Hannibal, if you want to take a souvenir home, The Big River Train Town Museum and Shop with different types of model accessories and trains is a good idea.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park
On the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks, Ha Ha Tonka State Park is built as a public recreation area.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is the place where history and nature come together.
With breathtaking landscapes, Ha Ha Tonka is always in the top list the best places to visit in Missouri of photographers.
A highlight you should not skip in this park is a huge natural bridge. With 70-feet wide, 60-feet span and over 100-feet height, many visitors must cross thousands of kilometers to admire this natural magic.
The beautiful underground caves, the dangerous sheer bluffs and Missouri’s 12th largest spring are found in this land. Ha Ha Tonka State Park is considered the heaven to geologists and nature lovers.
From the top of old stone castle, you can catch a farther view of Ha Ha Tonka Spring and the Lake of the Ozarks.
The park provides trails and boardwalks for visitors throughout from the natural wonders to historic castles.
Ste. Genevieve is an attractive city which is designed for history buffs.
It is selected as one of the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations.
Besides, the local inhabitants in Ste. Genevieve are proud of a large number of French Colonial buildings here. There are over 150 buildings are built during three centuries.
In other words, Ste. Genevieve is considered a public historic and architecture museum about French Creole colonial constructions.
For example, Felix Valle House State Historic Site is a great inspiration for architects.
Like other cities of Missouri, you can participate in mountain biking, camping, orienteering, hiking, geocaching, skiing, and different types of outdoor activity in Ste. Genevieve. Hawn State Park is an ideal place for not only these entertainments but also the outstanding landscape.
If you and your family wish to explore the incredible wildfire or contemplate the rare animals and plants, I highly recommend Pickle Springs Natural Area. The magnificent waterfalls and canyons will make your trip to Missouri become more remarkable.
Another suggestion is the Bolduc House Museum. It is a wonderful chance for you to learn more about the deep and rich history of this beautiful city.
The last place to visit in Missouri I want to mention is Meramec Caverns.
Meramec Caverns is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Missouri. Through millions of years, water eroded the limestone rocks and created a superb cavern system in the Ozark Mountains.
There are 7 levels in the cavern system. To have the best experiences in Meramec Caverns, you should explore with a well-trained guide tour.
Until today, the rooms of this cavern system are still used for public events. For instance, you can join in the Easter services, arts and crafts shows in the largest one.
Another famous attraction is the Mirror Room where visitors will see cavern’s ceiling through deep stream of water.
In Meramec Caverns, there are many natural wonders which you should visit at least once in your life. You will not take your eyes off the precious gifts of the Creator there.
To Sum Up
Missouri has many tourist attractions for people who want to seek the pure beauty of America’s nature and people.
Come here and make a trip to these amazing destinations in this article. See the green mountains, the crystal lakes, and the splendid caves. Wander around the picturesque towns and contemplate the century-old architectures. Participate in the cultural events and meet the friendly local people.
It is time to enjoy your summer vacation in beautiful Missouri!