7 Awesome Things You Have to Do When Visiting Missouri

Branson, the beauty of the Ozarks, the historic Gateway Arch, and more are all well-known pillars in the Midwest state of Missouri. For those who are heading to this state on vacation, knowing where to go and what to see is a must. Find out some must-see destinations in the Show-Me state, and avoid missing out on all the fun.

1. Missouri Wine Tours

Many people don’t realize how many wine events occur in the state of Missouri. However, this is one experience visitors don’t want to miss. The welcoming atmospheres, picturesque views, and award-winning wines are just the start.

There are countless wine tours and events to take part in, ensuring everyone can find the ideal experience for their tastes and preferences. No trip to Missouri is complete without sampling some amazing wines from this region.

2. The Lake of the Ozarks

The largest lake in Missouri has over 1,150 miles of shoreline and almost as many ways to get out on the water and enjoy it. This lake was formed in 1931 when the Bagnell Dam was completed. Since that time, Bagnell Dam Boulevard, called “the Strip,” has now evolved into an amazing tourist attraction featuring souvenir shops, old-time photo studios, fudge shops, and more.

While this is true, the lake itself is still the most appealing attraction, and the fishing alone is worth the trip. A great way to see all that Lake of the Ozarks offers is by hiring a guide who can point out all the best spots. There are also over 50 full-service marinas that provide boat rentals to get out on the lake quickly.

3. St. Louis’ Forest Park

This park is larger than the well-known Central Park in New York. It’s also full of activities throughout the 1,293 acres that are free and very affordable. Visitors can tour the park by Segway, walking, bicycle, or even a paddleboat, providing more than a few options for fun and physical activity. 

Once in the park, take some time to visit the Missouri History Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum, or the Saint Louis Science Center. Those who are interested in visiting this area can also learn more about the activities and attractions in the park by visiting the Forest Park website. Spending time in the fresh air is something everyone can enjoy, and Missouri has plenty to spare.

4. The Entertainment at Branson

Many visitors to Branson enjoy all the water activities at Table Rock Lake, but there’s plenty to do on land, too. The night sky of Branson is lit up by neon marquees where visitors can find over 50 theaters with fun and exciting family-friendly shows. One of the most appealing draws of the strip is the Shoji Tabuchi Show.

Other family-friendly experiences include the Branson Landing fire-and-water shows that occur each hour or a visit to The Titanic Museum Attraction. If a person doesn’t mind driving 10 to 30 minutes outside of the city, they can find other attractions like Silver Dollar City with rides and crafts. Other activities in Branson (or nearby) include Top of the Rock and Zipline and Canopy Tours.

5. Mark Twain in Hannibal

Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) grew up in this town, and it’s where the tales of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn fist began. There are several ways to explore the history of this area and Clemens.

The first is to visit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum. Here visitors can explore the childhood of Clemens. Another place to explore is the Mark Twain Cave Complex. During a visit here, visitors can climb through all the underground passages. This is where Clemens spent his time playing as a boy, and the places were immortalized many years later in his well-known books.

Other destinations include the Mark Twain Riverboat and the Planters Barn Theater. Each of these provides a unique look at Twain’s amazing life.

6. Meramec State Park

During the summer months, thousands of visitors canoe out on the Meramec River near the Mark Twain Forest. While this is true, most visitors to this area never realize they have entered one of the most diverse river ecosystems in all the Midwest.

Here, there are over 45 types of freshwater muscles. Besides the canoe rentals, the Park has a nice nature center, cabins, and guided cave tours can be scheduled. The Park can be found just 70 miles to the southwest of St. Louis.

7. The Renewed Energy of Springfield

Just an hour to the north of Branson, Springfield, which is home to Missouri State University, is being rebuilt and reinvigorated with new businesses. One of these businesses is the Hotel Vandivort, which offers upscale accommodations to the former Masonic temple downtown.

Another popular business is Scotch and Soda, where visitors can sip craft cocktails and enjoy gourmet bar fare in a setting reminiscent of the Prohibition era. After lunch, pay a visit to Askinosie Chocolate, where treats made of cocoa beans and pure sugar direct from farmers are used. The latest addition to Springfield is the Golden Girl Rum Club, which offers the best mixology in the area.

Some attractions in the Springfield area include the Springfield Art Museum that has a 10,000-piece collection or Fantastic Caverns where trams take visitors through curtains of stone, ponds, and lit caverns. Another popular attraction is the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, which was created in a joint effort with the sister city of Springfield, Isesaki, Japan.

Visiting Missouri: Don’t Miss Out on These Favorite Attractions

If there are plans to visit the state of Missouri soon, it’s a good idea to put each of these attractions on a must-visit list. This offers many options that will ensure the best sites and events the state has to offer are seen and experienced.

Remember, don’t try to pack too much into a single day. If too many attractions are visited, it won’t be possible to experience all the location has to offer, which will wind up disappointing visitors. Knowing what’s out there is the best way to ensure everything the state has to offer is explored and experienced.