50+ Places To Visit and Fantastic Things to Do in Missouri (From a Local)

Last updated on April 5th, 2024 at 10:29 am.

Missouri is a state with a rich history and culture, and there is something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you are a local looking to explore more of what your state has to offer, a visitor planning a vacation, or a student doing research for a project, this guide will provide you with a comprehensive overview of the many things to do in Missouri.

As a resident of Kansas City for over 3 years, I have had the opportunity to experience many of the things that Missouri has to offer. I have spent weekends exploring different towns, attending local events and festivals, and learning about the state’s wild west history. I am passionate about sharing my love of Missouri with others, and I hope that this guide will help you to plan a memorable trip or simply learn more about this beautiful state.

Alley Spring & Mill
Photo Credit: Aaron Fuhrman

This guide is divided into several sections, each of which focuses on a different type of activity or attraction as well as the most popular cities to visit. Whether you are interested in history, culture, nature, or food and drink, you will find something to pique your interest.

No matter what your interests are, I am confident that you will find something to love in Missouri. I encourage you to use this guide as a starting point for planning your trip or simply learning more about this amazing state.

Some of the fun Missouri activities you can do are going to thrilling amusement parks, exploring stunning nature locations, and even visiting the tallest monument in the United States.

The Best Adventures & Tours in Missouri

Viator, a Tripadvisor company, is the world’s largest experiences marketplace, connecting travelers with tours and activities that they will remember for a lifetime. Viator offers more than 200+ experiences in Missouri from Kansas City to St. Louis and Branson and beyond including zip lining, brewery tours, wine tastings, walking tours, cooking classes, Branson tickets, passes to popular landmarks, bus tours and day trips.


Missouri’s Hidden Getaways

Last updated on August 28th, 2023 at 07:33 am.

Getaway has recently added “two camps” in Missouri; in Osceola (2 hours from Kansas City) and Bloomsdale (45 minutes from St. Louis). Even the most avid Missouri adventurist might not know these locations…, but they are purposely in the middle of no where.

Table of Contents

Best Things To Do In Missouri

Nature lovers will enjoy hitting the mountains and rivers for hiking, climbing, camping, floating trips and kayaking.

History buffs might be interested in the many museums and landmarks associated with President Harry S. Truman, Mark Twain, wild west outlaw Jesse James and the Civil War Era.

Located on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers, the state was an important hub of transportation and commerce in early America and a key state in the infamous Route 66.

So start planning your trip with this list of the best things to do in Missouri.

1. Drive The Missouri Route 66

Route 66 in Missouri
Photo Credit: Aaron Fuhrman

Route 66 in Missouri runs from downtown St. Louis at the Mississippi River to the Kansas state line west of Joplin. Some of the best stops on Route 66 in Missouri are Gateway Arch, St Louis, the Route 66 Drive-In Theatre in Carthage, the Route 66 Mural City in Cuba, the Route 66 Red Rocker in Fanning, and the Route 66 Museum in Lebanon.

2. Visit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum is located in Hannibal on the west bank of the Mississippi River. The Mark Twain Boyhood Home is a National Historic Landmark and is open year-round and is one of the most iconic places to visit in Missouri.

It was the home of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain who was the author of Tom Sawyer and the Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. He is considered one of the most important American Authors and the first stand-up comedian.

Address: 120 N Main St, Hannibal, MO 63401

3. Tour the Jesse James Museum

Jesse James House in Kearney, Missouri

The wild west outlaw Jesse James was born and lived his life in Missouri. You can visit the home where he was born in Kearney which is now a museum and historic landmark.

The Jesse James Home Museum is divided into three parts for visitors to learn about Jesse, his older brother Frank and their parents. This includes a 20-minute movie, three museum galleries and the James House. The museum has the world’s largest collection of James family artifacts including the boots Jesse was wearing when he was murdered, the bullet that killed Jesse, and Frank’s surrender letter.

You can also visit the house where he was assassinated in St, Joseph and much many more James Gang locations. We have even created a 3-Day Jesse James Roadtrip!

Address: 21216 Jesse James Farm Rd, Kearney, MO 64060

Fun Fact: Missouri is known as “the Show Me State,” "the Cave State" and “Mother of the West.”

4. Visit the George Washington Carver National Monument in Diamond

Carver discovered more than 300 uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes. Nature and nurture ultimately influenced George in his quest for education to become a renowned agricultural scientist, educator, and humanitarian.

He was born about 1864 (exact year unknown) to Moses Carver on a farm near Diamond, Missouri.

Address: 5646 Carver Rd, Diamond, MO 64840

5. Tour the Missouri State Capitol Building

The Missouri State Captial offers free guided tours of the Capitol year-round and are a very popular thing to do in Missouri. Tours of the circa-1826 government building are about 45 minutes and highlight the history of the state through the artworks and architecture of the building.

The Missouri Capital is a grand building, full of artwork and history. Highlights include the Thomas Hart Benton mural " A Social History of the State of Missouri” in the House Lounge, the hall of busts of famous Missourians including Walt Disney, Stan Musial, and Emmett Kelly as well as visiting the Senate and House Chambers.

Standing atop the Missouri State Capitol is the historic bronze statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture.

Reservations made at least 24 hours in advance are required.

Address: 201 W Capitol Ave, Jefferson City, MO 65101

6. Visit the Walt Disney Museum

Walt Disney Hometown Museum

The Walt Disney Hometown Museum is located in the restored Santa Fe Railway Depot in Marceline, Missouri. Opened in 2001, the museum houses a collection of memorabilia from the Disney family's farm in Marceline where they lived from 1905 to 1909 along with Walt Disney's return to the town in 1946.

The Walt Disney Hometown Museum is open from March through mid-December.

 Address: 120 E Santa Fe Ave, Marceline, MO 64658

7. Stay in a Treehouse Overnight

The Spring Lake Ranch Tree House
Photo Courtesy of Airbnb

Missouri is filled with beautiful forests perfect for hiking, mountain biking, and picnicking. But another way to experience the stunning trees of Missouri is to rent a treehouse to stay in overnight as a standard hotel alternative and get a memorable vacation rental experience.

Throughout Missouri, you can find authentic treehouses and unique treehouse-like structures for rent and our favorite place for the best rentals is Vrbo.

8. Visit Hermann Wine Country

Stone Hill Winery in Hermann, MO
Photo Credit: Stone Hill Winery

The Hermann area is known as the Missouri Rhineland and is located on the Missouri River.

The area is named after the Rhineland region in central Europe, a wine-growing area around the Rhine river, by German-Americans who noticed similarities in the two regions' soil and topography.

There are nine area wineries, five distilleries, and two breweries within a 15-mile radius of Hermann including Missouri’s oldest winery, Stone Hill Winery which has been making award-winning wines since 1847. There is also a Hermann Wine Trail that focuses on a group of seven family-owned wineries.

9. Visit a Covered Bridge from the 1800's

While an estimated 30 covered bridges spanned Missouri's rivers and creeks from the 1820s to the end of the century, today there are four still standing. They are filled with history and well worth including on a day trip.

The four bridges are Burfordville Covered Bridge, which is the oldest remaining covered bridge in Missouri. The other three are Locust Creek Covered Bridge in Laclede, Sandy Creek Covered Bridge in Hillsboro, and Union Covered Bridge in Paris.

Best Things to do In St. Louis

riverboat cruise in St. Louis

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is a monument to Missouri’s role as the “Gateway to the West.” St. Louis, Missouri, is home to Anheuser-Busch, the maker of Budweiser beer, and boasts the largest beer-producing plant in the country.

Famous as the 'Gateway to the West', The heart of St. Louis city is the iconic Gateway Arch, but St. Louis has some amazing BBQ, the Cardinals Baseball franchise, a great blues music scene and so much more.

10. Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch is a national historic landmark and the tallest monument in the U.S. at 630 feet in height. It is the perfect place to begin any St. Louis adventure. It's also one of the most popular things to do in the Missouri as a whole.

The Gateway Arch reflects St. Louis' role in the Westward Expansion of the United States during the nineteenth century. The park is about 91 acres and is a memorial to Thomas Jefferson's role in opening the West, to the pioneers who helped shape its history, and to Dred Scott who sued for his freedom in the Old Courthouse.

Of course, the most iconic thing to do is rake the tram to the top of the arch! Each tram consists of eight capsules (aka tram cars) that have clear doors on the front.

11. Missouri Botanical Garden

Also known as Shaw's Garden, the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the nation's oldest botanical gardens in continuous operation and a National Historic Landmark. Founded in 1859, the geodesic-dome greenhouse has 1,200 species of plants that are grown under computer-controlled conditions simulating a rainforest. The 79-acre (32-hectare) garden also has the largest traditional Japanese garden in North America.

Address: 4344 Shaw Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63110

12. Saint Louis Art Museum

The St. Louis Art Museum is located in Forest Park and is known for its collection of paintings, sculptures, cultural objects, and ancient masterpieces from all corners of the world. The art changes often, so there are always new exhibits to explore. Plan for two-three hours to see all the collections.

Address: 1 Fine Arts Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110

13. Saint Louis Zoo

The Saint Louis Zoo, officially known as the Saint Louis Zoological Park, is also located in Forest Park. If you want to see most of the zoo and many of the special talks, you should plan for 5-7 hours to see the zoo.

Some of the most popular exhibits of the zoo are the River's Edge sections with elephants, cheetahs, and hippos, the Wild section with penguins, bears, and great apes as well as the Red Rocks section with big cats, giraffes, and zebras. Of course, that is really one scratching the surface of what can be seen at the St. Louis Zoo.

Address: 1 Government Dr, St. Louis, MO 63110

14. Saint Louis Science Center

The Saint Louis Science Center offers 700+ interactive experiences, the GROW agricultural pavilion, a four-story IMAX Dome theater, and McDonnell Planetarium, one of the world's largest planetariums.

Lots of hand on activities and most are geared more for children than older kids. That being said, if your older kids are into science, they'll most likely still have a fun time.

General admission is always free, but special exhibits and the IMAX theater have fees.

Address: 5050 Oakland Ave, St. Louis, MO 63110

15. Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum in another Forest Park museum and it's free. It is operated by the Missouri Historical Society, which was founded in 1866. The museum looks at the history of the St. Louis region from the Mississippian people to the present day.

Visitors can discover the city’s baseball history from the Browns to the Cardinals, see “The Spirit of St. Louis” — sister plane to Lindbergh’s, explore life on the Mississippi River, learn about the magnitude of the 1904 World’s Fair, and understand more about Missouri during the Civil Rights movement.

Two fun facts about the Missouri History Museum

  • The Museum’s historic building was the first national monument to Thomas Jefferson, and opened to the public in 1913.
  • The Museum is located on the site of the entrance to the 1904 World’s Fair. 

Address: 5700 Lindell Blvd, St. Louis, MO 63112

16. Civil War Museum

St. Louis was home to many Civil Rights leaders whose efforts made a difference in our nation's civil rights story, from women's suffrage and the abolishment of slavery to the struggle for African-American equality.

Located at Jefferson Barracks, is the state’s premier Civil War Museum dedicated to honor the thousands of men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice. Through the weapons, equipment, items, and uniforms of those who lived during our nation’s defining moment in history, we aim to tell their story in an unbiased interpretation.

Address: 222 Worth Rd, St. Louis, MO 63125

17. Griot Museum of Black History

A very interesting museum with unique exhibits that are a mix of entertaining and moving. The Josephine Baker exhibit is beautiful. While the exhibit about the slave trade and the middle passage is heart-wrenching and thought-provoking. Definitely one of the more unique attractions of St Louis.

Address: 2505 St Louis Ave, St. Louis, MO 63106

18. Take a Tour of the Anheuser-Busch Brewery

Anheuser-Busch and the Home of Budweiser

St. Louis is home to the largest and oldest Anheuser-Busch Brewery site. Enjouing a beer in the Biergarten is always fun, but we suggest taking a Beermaster Tour.

The tour lasts about 45 minutes and you walk all over the grounds, visit the famous Clydesdale horse stables, see the aging tanks and the brewing building all while getting a short course in beer brewing. The best part? Trying a sample of the freshest beer you'll ever taste, poured directly from the finishing tank plus a hat and commemorative glass.

Address: 1200 Lynch St, St. Louis, MO 63118

19. Eat Gooey Butter Cake

There are many origin stories of gooey butter cake, with one common denominator—like toasted ravioli, it's purported to be a mistake of huge proportions. The most agreed upon story dates back to the 1930's when a new baker at a German bakery mixed up batter proportions for coffee cake instead of regular cake and it became an instant hit.

One of the most iconic places to try the sweet treat is Park Avenue Coffee where they make the cake from scratch daily. They have seven locations throughout St. Louis.

Best Things to do In Branson

Some of the best places for outdoor beauty can be found in Branson and the Ozark Mountains. Branson may be famous for its live entertainment, with shows covering just about every genre of music, but it's also a great vacation for XXX

20. Silver Dollar City

Silver Dollar City rollercoaster at sunset

Silver Dollar City is an 1800s-themed, 61-acre amusement park with rides, live music, a water park and craftsmen showcasing old-time crafts.

 40 rides & attractions, a demonstrating crafts colony 100 artisans strong and hosts 10 world-class festivals/special events. 

The theme park is scheduled to open this year on March 11, 2023, and the water park is scheduled to open on May 27, 2023.

Address: 399 Silver Dollar City Pkwy, Branson, MO 65616

21. Marvel Cave

Marvel Cave at Silver Dollar City

Marvel Cave, a Registered Natural Landmark, opened for tours in 1894. The cave, which lies beneath Silver Dollar City theme park, was the first attraction to bring tourists to the Branson area. One of the deepest caves in Missouri, it has one of the largest subterranean entry-rooms in the United States. Traditional guided cave tours are included with standard admission to Silver Dollar City.

22. Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede

Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede is the world's most visited dinner attraction. The theater is 35,000 sq ft and more an arena than theater! This is a high-spirited adventure experience with live entertainment, thrilling horse-riding stunts, spectacular special effects, musical productions, and a delicious four-course feast.

Address: 1525 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616

23. Titanic Museum

Titanic Museum in Branson

Each guest entering the ship will receive a boarding pass of an actual Titanic passenger or crew. Then, as “passengers”, you'll experience what it was like to walk the hallways, parlors, cabins and Grand Staircase of the Titanic while surrounded by more than 400 artifacts directly from the ship and its passengers.

Discover the stories of the passengers and crew who sailed Titanic, as the crew and interactive galleries bring them to life.

Address: 3235 W 76 Country Blvd, Branson, MO 65616

24. Visit Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Missouri's largest state park has 89 miles of shoreline and features marinas, boat-launching areas, two swimming beaches, and an aquatic trail.

On shore, hikers, backpackers, equestrians, and bicyclists can wind through open woodlands, sunny glades, small springs, and streams to blufftop views of the Lake of the Ozarks.

25. Zip Line at Wolfe Mountain

Wolfe Mountain suspension bridge
Photo Credit: Wolfe Mountain

Trek across swinging suspension bridges, cross walkways covered in the canopy and literally soar into an adventure along numerous ziplines for a one-of-a-kind outdoor adventure in the heart of the Ozarks!

The tour features 7 ziplines, 10 sky bridges, and lasts between 1-2 hours.

Wolfe Mountain is 7 miles North of Branson.

Address: 2339 US Hwy 65 Walnut Shade, MO 65771

Best Things to do In Kansas City

City Market

Kansas City sits on Missouri's western edge just a few miles from the Kansas border.

The best Kansas City activities and attractions include tailgating, chowing down on BBQ, visiting the many art museums, taking a photo with the giant shuttlecocks, and listening to lots of jazz.

26. National WWI Museum and Memorial

WW1 Museum display

The WWI Museum and Memorial of the United States is located in downtown Kansas City. If you have a curiosity about the role the United States played in WWI, this museum offers an abundance of ways to learn about the war.

Opened to the public as the Liberty Memorial museum in 1926, it was designated in 2004 by the United States Congress as America’s official museum dedicated to World War 1 and is home to the most comprehensive collection of WWI objects in the world.

Address: 2 Memorial Dr, Kansas City, MO 64108

27. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, with giant shuttlecocks out front, houses nearly 40,000 works of art, from ancient to contemporary collections. Beyond the museum collection, there is also a beautiful sculpture garden that surrounds the museum grounds.

The museum is open Thursday–Monday and there is always free admission.

Address: 4525 Oak St, Kansas City, MO 64111

28. Take a Fountain Tour

Kansas City, Missouri has more fountains than any city in the world except Rome. Kansas City is known as the “City of Fountains” with more than 200 fountains scattered throughout the metro area. These showpieces are located in courtyards, parks and tree-lined boulevards.

One of the city's most recognizable landmarks is the centerpiece of Mill Creek Park, situated near the iconic Country Club Plaza; it was dedicated as the J.C Nichols Memorial Fountain in 1960.

If you want to learn about the history, fun, quirky facts, and have the opportunity to take some great fountain shots a fountain tour is your best bet!

29. Worlds of Fun Amusement Park & Water Park

Worlds of Fun is the largest amusement park and water park in the Midwest. It's located on 235 acres and there are 64 fun and wild rides.

World’s of Fun amusement park is that it’s not just about coasters. There are plenty of options for kids of all ages, and next door you can enjoy the Oceans of Fun water park during the warmer months. Plus, World’s of Fun offers seasonal events such as Worlds of Fun Halloween Haunt and Worlds of Fun Winterfest for Christmas.

Address: 4545 Worlds of Fun Ave, Kansas City, MO 64161

30. Eat Kansas City BBQ


Kansas City, a city renowned for its barbeque, has more barbeque restaurants per capita than any other U.S. city. Traditional Kansas City barbecue is seasoned with a dry rub, slow-smoked over a variety of woods and served with a thick tomato-based barbecue sauce.

Look for burnt ends on the menu for a true KC BBQ experience. There are more than 100 barbecue restaurants in the Kansas City metro area, and our two personal favorites are Q39 in midtown and Chef J BBQ in the West Bottoms.

31. Visit a Craft Brewery


There is somewhere around 50 breweries in Kansas City and there is a wide range of beer styles to choose from. Many of the breweries offer tours, several have beer gardens or outdoor spaces, and several offer live music. Boulevard is the largest; founded in 1989, it is also the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest.

One of the most popular breweries is KC Bier Co. which specializes in authentic, German-style lagers and ales and has a great beer garden.

A personal favorite brewery of Todd's is Crane Brewery in Raytown (near the stadium where the Chiefs play).

32. River Market & City Market

The River Market neighborhood is a great place to start a KCMO adventure. City Market is the largest farmers market in the Midwest and the epicenter of this neighborhood.

In the City Market square, beyond the produce stalls, there are many shops to explore as well as the Arabia Steamboat Museum, which showcases 200 tons of sunken treasure dating back to 1856. 

Adjacent to the market is a beautiful, shaded park with lots of grass areas, benches and spots to take in some great views of the downtown skyline. 

33. Union Station

Built in 1914, Union Station was designed in the beaux-arts architectural style popular in the United States and France in the late 1800s and early 1900s. 

The train station, like Missouri itselt has roots in wild west history. It was the scene of the Kansas City massacre involving “Pretty Boy” Floyd, who was in the process of being returned to the U.S. Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas.

Today, the train depot still operates as a major train station hub but also houses Science City, a Model Railroad Experience, Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, permanent and temporary art and photography exhibits, and restaurants and shops.

34. Ride the KC Streetcar

KC Street Car

The KC Streetcar is a free trolley with a 2-mile route from Union Station to River Market and through the heart of downtown.

35. Visit a Jazz Club

There are not quite as many jazz clubs today as there were in the 1930s but there are more than 40 venues around the city that feature regular live jazz.

The Green Lady Lounge is a great option! The iconic jazz club offers live music every night amid a retro vibe, scarlet walls and a marble bar and features Kansas City Jazz musicians and only their original compositions.

In fact, if jazz is your thing, the American Jazz Museum (1616 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108) should also be on your list as well!

36. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Negro league baseball in America. It is the world's only national institution dedicated to preserving the rich history of black baseball and its impact on America.

If you are a baseball and history fan, you can't go wrong with this museum. Start your visit off with movie and then explore the exhibits that are full of pictures, newspaper clippings, stories and movie clips.

Address: 1616 E 18th St, Kansas City, MO 64108

37. Explore Country Club Plaza

Country Club Plaza is an upscale area filled with shops, restaurants, bars and gorgeous architecture. It opened in 1923, and was the first planned suburban shopping center and the first regional shopping center planned to accommodate shoppers arriving by car.

If you visit between Thanksgiving and the end of January, make sure to visit at nigh to see the Plaza Lights.

Location: between Ward Parkway, JC Nichols Road, 46th Street and Jefferson Street.

38. Visit Loose Park

Loose Park is the third largest park in Kansas City, Missouri, located at 51st Street and Wornall Road. It has a lake, fountains, picnic areas and a rose garden as well as Civil War markers.

The park has two walking trails, a small loop that is 1.04 miles and a large loop that is 1.16 miles.

The park is also the location of the largest stage of the Battle of Westport which took place on October 23, 1864. During this battle, soldiers fought along a mile front that included modern-day Loose Park. The Union outnumbered their invading enemy 2:1 with 20,000 troops compared to the Confederates' 10,000 troops.

Address: 5200 Wornall Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112

Best Things Independence

Below are a few of my favorite things to do in Independence, but you could easily spend two exploring this town just 20 minutes from Kansas City.

Historic Truman Depot in Independence sign

39. Harry S. Truman Presidential Library

The Harry s. Truman library includes sections devoted to all parts of Truman’s life, marriage, presidency, and beyond. There are a wide array of TV clips, movies, headlines, and more media that share world events, presidential speeches and so much more.

The museum has a replica of Truman’s White House Oval Office as well as Truman's actual office that he used after he left the White House.

Address: 500 W. U.S. Highway 24. Independence, Missouri 64050

40. Bess & Harry Truman Home

Truman’s Home in Independence at 219 North Delaware Street

You can also visit the Truman home where he lived from the time he married Bess until his passing (besides his time at the White House). The beautiful Victorian home in Independence is preserved as a national historic site. Free ranger-guided tours are available.

We have even created a Harry Truman Trail & Roadtrip!

Address: 216 N Delaware St, Independence, MO 64050

41. 1859 Independence Missouri Jail Museum

Also in Independence is the 1859 Independence Missouri Jail Museum where Confederate guerrilla leader William Quantrill and the outlaw Frank James were incarcerated.

The jail was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970. The museum is a self-guided tour of the marshal’s home as well as the jail and a small museum along with a courtyard and tiny schoolhouse.

Address: 217 N Main St in Independence, MO 64050

42. Vaille House (It's Haunted!)

The Vaile Manion tour is both a history tour as well as a glimpse into living in Missouri in the 1880s and also why this victorian home is so important.

Built in 1881 for businessman Harvey M. Vaile, it is a significant example of Second Empire architecture. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1969.

Beyond it's architecture, there are many ghostly tales of the Vaile Mansion and guides are more than happy to share the stories!

Address: 1500 N. Liberty St. Independence, MO 64050

43. Eat at Dixons

Dixons Chili

Dixon's restaurant has been around since 1919 serving up it's famous chili that President Truman says was his favorite restaurant. Entree's include the a plate of chili, a chili dog, a chili cheeseburger..... we'll you probably get the picture!

Diners at Dixon’s should be prepared to pay a 15-cent fine if they ask for ketchup—a tradition descending from the founder’s fastidiousness about his chili recipe.

Address: 9105 E US Hwy 40, Independence, MO 64055

44. Visit Civil War Sites

There is an Independence Civil War driving tour that includes five stops for the First Battle of Independence, one of the first urban battles of the Civil War on August 11, 1862. Ten stops for the Second Battle of Independence, the Battle of the Little Blue on October 21 – 22, 1864 — a battle between 15,000 Union and Confederate forces.

45. Sante Fe Trail

Covering approximately 800 miles, the Santa Fe Trail extends from Independence, Missouri to present-day Santa Fe, New Mexico. To see the trail head marker, head to East Old Lexington Road just west of North Blue Mills Road. It will be on the left when traveling west.

Best Outdoor Fun in Missouri

46. Visit a State or National Park

Missouri has a wealth of national parks worth exploring. Visit one of 92 Missouri State Parks or one of the seven National State Parks in Missouri.

You probably already know about Gateway Arch National Park, but did know there are six more, including the homes of two U.S. presidents?

47. Elephant Rocks State Park

Elephant Rocks main formation with Dumbo

Elephant Rocks State Park is located in Arcadia Valley in the part of the Ozarks known as the St. Francois Mountains and is one of the most visited Missouri State Parks.

The park is home to one of Missouri’s most unusual geological formations and is very easy to access. There is a loop trail that takes you to an Engine House Ruin Elephant Rock formation and other boulders you can climb as well as an old quarry.

Address: 7406 Hwy 21, Belleview, MO 63623

48. Ha Ha Tonka State Park

The park is a geologic wonderland featuring sinkholes, caves, a huge natural bridge, sheer bluffs, more than 15 miles of trails and Missouri's 12th-largest spring.

Located on the Lake of the Ozarks, the park features the stone ruins of a turn-of-the-20th-century castle high atop a bluff.

Address: 1491 Missouri D, Camdenton, MO 65020

49. Johnson's Shut Ins

Johnson Shut In swimming area

Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is a hiking trail with hundreds of small swimming holes and natural waterslides with deep, clear water. The Missouri state park is located on the East Fork Black River in the Francois Mountains region of the Missouri Ozarks on the southeastern edge of the Mark Twain National Forest.

Address: 148 Taum Sauk Trail Middle Brook, MO 63656, United States

50. Fantastic Caverns

Fantastic Caverns, America’s Ride-Thru Cave, lies beneath the rolling Ozarks hills just north of Springfield, Missouri. Approximately five miles off Historic Route 66 and about an hour north of Branson, Missouri, this North American cavern offers a completely ride-through cave experience.

51. Meramec Caverns

meramec cave path during tour

The Meramec Caverns are the most well-known cave in Missouri, drawing in upwards of 150,000 visitors annually, thanks mainly to the fifty or so billboards advertising the site as a tourist destination along Interstate 44. The limestone cave, discovered in 1722, was opened to the public in the mid-1930s by Lester B.

52. Go Skiing, Snowboarding, or Sledding

Missouri has two ski resorts that offer skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing. Snow Creek is a lovely ski resort located just 40 minutes from Kansas City in the town of Weston. Hidden Valley Ski Resort is located in Wildwood, Missouri, and just 30 minutes from St. Louis.

53. Explore the Katy Trail

The Katy Trail is a 237-mile trail across a good portion of the state of Missouri. It is the nation's longest rails-to-trails project, stretching from Machens to Clinton. Over half the trail's length follows Lewis and Clark's path, which is an extra bonus for history buffs!

There are 26 trailheads along on the Katy Trail, many offering modern restrooms and clean drinking water. There are also many historic and cute towns along the way, making it a great trail to walk, bike or ride by horseback and turn into a real adventure in Missouri.

Hope you found these hidden gems that the great state of Missouri has to offer exciting!

Believe it or not, this really only just scratches the surface of the many things you can do in Missouri. If you are looking for a good time in the Midwest, we highly encourage you to visit Missouri!

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