Missouri Quick Facts
What to do in Missouri
Uniquely Missouri: Hannibal, the childhood home of Mark Twain
Must-See: Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Most Unusual: Elephant Rocks State Park
Highest Point: Taum Sauk, 1,772 feet
Food to Try: Ozark Pudding
What to Do in Missouri:
1 Visit the historic Jesse James Home
2 Explore all of the fun and historic attractions in St. Louis
3 Learn about the unique and fascinating history of the Ozarks
4 Drive Route 66 in Missouri, stop in Rolla along the Route
5 Visit Jamesport, and learn about its large Amish community
Off The Beaten Path | Missouri
Missouri is certainly not lacking in interesting and exciting destinations and attractions. Visitors can enjoy outdoor activities and recreation in some truly beautiful spots. Throughout a trip to Missouri, visitors will find plenty of excitement and interest. Here are just a few of the amazing destinations and attractions that Missouri has to offer.
Known as the Silver Dollar City, Branson is a fabulous destination for live entertainment. Visitors will find more than 50 live entertainment venues. Some of the shows include music, including country, gospel and rock n' roll, as well as comedy shows, dinner shows and even magicians. Branson's downtown area has plenty of shopping for visitors to enjoy. The area also has three fabulous lakes with opportunities for fishing. Golfers will also enjoy a visit to Branson, as they can test their skills on the twelve golf courses in the area.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways was the first National Park area created to protect a river system, it is made up of two spring-fed rivers. At Ozarks National Scenic Riverways has many stunning caves and springs that visitors can enjoy, as well as mills and even a waterfall. Some notable spots include Round Spring and Cave, Alley Spring and Mill, Blue Spring, Rocky Falls and Welch Spring and Hospital. The ruins of Welch Hospital is located over the opening to welch cave. Blue Spring is one of the most beautiful springs in Missouri, it is named for its bright blue color and it is also 310 feet deep, making it a very unique spot within the park. Visitors can also enjoy tours of Round Spring Cave during the summer months, as well as ranger programs teaching traditional skills, more cave tours and nature hikes.
St. Louis if full of things to do. Visitors to St. Louis have to take the time to stop at the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. The Memorial is home to the Gateway Arch, which at 630 feet is the tallest man-made monument. Visitors to the Gateway Arch can even take a tram to the top of the arch to enjoy the views of the city. In addition to lots of entertainment and dining, St. Louis is also home to the Museum of Westward Expansion, and the National Museum of Transportation, which has a carefully reconstructed piece of the Coral Court Hotel. Another great attraction in St. Louis is Forest Park, at 1,300 acres is one of the largest urban parks in the United States. At the park, people enjoy biking, jogging, skating at the rink and much more.
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
This destination is the site of the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi. Visitors to the Battlefield can learn all about the history of the battle. The Battlefield remains much the same today, except for some vegetation, and is in near pristine condition. Visitors to the battlefield can take a self-guided auto tour, which has eight stops and five walking trails, to learn all about the history of the battle. Each year the anniversary of the battle, on August 10, is observed with a ceremony and special program. In addition, the Living History Programs allow visitors to learn about the life of Civil War soldiers, and have musket and artillery firing demonstrations. Visitors can also stop at The Ray House, which served as a temporary field hospital, and they can visit the Wilson's Creek Civil War Museum, to see the great collection of artifacts from the Civil War west of the Mississippi.
The Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House, Chesterfield
Located within Faust Park, the Butterfly House is a division of the Missouri Botanical Garden and is a unique treasure within the state. It is home to more than 1,000 live tropical butterflies, which visitors can see flying around in the glass conservatory. Native and migratory species of butterfly's can be found in the Butterfly Garden. For butterfly lovers there are plenty of classes on differing subjects and designed for all different ages.
St. Joseph is an American city filled to the brim with unique American history. The city located on the river bluffs of the Missouri, is the site where the Pony Express was founded, and it is also the location where Jesse James met his end. On top of these unique historical facts, St. Joseph has also preserved a great deal of its historical architecture. Visitors won't want to miss the Patee House Museum, which was both a hotel and the headquarters of the Pony Express. The Pony Express National Museum is a great spot to learn all about the historic mail service. St. Joseph also has the Jesse James Home and Museum, which is the home where Jesse James was killed in 1882. Visitors may also want to stop at the St. Joseph Museum to learn about the history of the whole city.
Elephant Rocks State Park
This State Park not only has some stunning geological features, but it is also has the first state park trail in Missouri designed for visitors with physical and visual disabilities. Elephant Rocks is named for the gigantic red granite rocks standing end-to-end, reminiscent of a train of circus elephants. These boulders were formed over billions of years, approximately 1.5 billion years ago magma was pushed to the surface and cooled into a red granite tor. When the Ozark Plateau was formed about 250 million years ago the joints in the tor became more pronounced which started the process of weathering creating the red granite boulders that visitors can see today. Visitors can see these unique boulders along the Braille Trail, which is designed to accommodate visitors with visual and physical disabilities. The one mile trail is paved and has signs written in both braille and regular text. Visitors can explore different areas of the park from several alternate paths. One path takes visitors to an overlook to see an old quarry site. Another path leads to the top of an outcrop where visitors can explore a maze of the stunning boulders.
Missouri | Fun and Funky Things to Do
Missouri is a state filled with culture, from St. Louis to Kansas City. Visitors to the state will have all sorts of fun exploring all of the different destinations and attractions. Here are a few of the state's funky, fun and otherwise not to be missed destinations.
Arabia Steamboat Museum
This museum is dedicated to the Steamboat Arabia, which was at one time an important part of transportation on the Missouri River. The Steamboat Arabia sunk in the muddy waters of the Missouri and many years later it was raised. Today, visitors to this museum can learn all about the Steamboat, its purpose and influence while on the river, as well as the process of excavation that brought it back to the surface.
Encounters Aquarium & Herpetarium
The Encounters Aquarium & Herpetarium is one of the few places where you can see bull sharks, as well as feed the live bull sharks. In addition, there are many other types of fascinating sea life, as well as snakes, frogs, lizards and more at the Aquarium and Herpetarium.
A great destination for families, the Meramec Caverns are filled with fun attractions as well as the excellent caverns. In addition to cave tours with unique formations, Meramec Caverns laos has riverboat rides, canoe floats, panning for gold and much more.
Mount Rushmore with Fake Celebrity Heads
Branson, Missouri is home to many interesting Missouri attractions, but the Mount Rushmore with Fake Celebrity Heads is a site worth seeing. Carved into the stone there are four heads resembling famous celebrities.
Talking Rocks Cavern
Located right in the Ozarks, this beautiful set of caves is filled with living crystal formations. Visitors can take tours through these amazing caves and can even enjoy activities on the surface before and after the tour.