In the state of Missouri there are numerous sights and great tourist attractions to marvel at. The wild scenic beauty sends out an incomprehensible charm especially for nature lovers. With rugged and jagged cliffs, deep forests and vast river landscapes, variety is guaranteed. Two famous rivers, the Missouri River and the Mississippi, flow through the state.
The cities are teeming with cultural and artistic highlights. In Kansas City, Missouri’s largest city, there are almost as many fountains as in Rome. In the following paragraphs, we’ve put together a colorful mix of cities and national parks for 16 fascinating places that shouldn’t be missed when visiting Missouri.
Missouri’s third largest city is located in the southwestern part of the state. There are many attractions to marvel at in the birthplace of Route 66. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World offers a unique shopping experience for many hours. There’s plenty to do in the huge space with large aquariums, waterfalls, stuffed animals and an incredible selection of outdoor gear.
A tour of Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, named “America’s best attraction” by several newspapers, is a must. More than 35,000 animals from all regions around the globe provide fascinating impressions. From tropical regions it goes across all climate zones to the northern lights with arctic tundra.
With the only drivable cave in North America, Springfield has another brilliant attraction to offer. For children, the Discovery Center offers numerous interactive ways to learn through play. The more than 32-acre Springfield Conservation Nature Center is a wonderful place to relax in natural settings.
15. Mark Twain National Forest
The Mark Twain National Forest is an ideal place to see wildlife. The national park is very large and offers excellent opportunities along the river for all water enthusiasts. Great opportunities are available to explore the area around the Mark Twain National Forest by kayak or various other boats.
The scenic rivers and lakes in the popular mountain area offer individual and idyllic fishing spots. Hikes through the pristine forests with numerous springs and rivers will make you forget the stress of everyday life in the city or on the job. The park, divided into six districts, offers two trail systems for motorcycles or bicycles.
14. Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is known for breathtaking views of castle ruins and lakes. Countless hiking trails make the heart of hikers and bikers beat faster. The varied and diverse environment offers countless opportunities to enjoy the surroundings in the great outdoors. Ha Ha Tonka State Park is also suitable for people with physical disabilities.
For example, part of the 40-kilometer trail offers paved paths along the banks of the Ozarks. In addition to mills, the park is particularly impressive for the variety of aquatic life that lives undisturbed in the wild. Muskrats, otters, ducks, turtles, frogs and toads are just a few examples in the park’s impressive wildlife. Along a boardwalk, another wheelchair-accessible trail leads to a water tower with a stunning view!
Located in the scenic Ozark Mountains, this southern Missouri city offers many attractions and activities. Thanks to its excellent access and location in the middle of the U.S., all of the state’s central locations are quick and easy to reach. In Silver Dollar City, unique rides line up with individual craft stores and good options for fantastic food. With an 1880s design, the theme park is authentic with great attention to detail.
The Titanic Museum Attraction is a replica of the Titanic and a museum with unique items from the world famous steamer. The city also has many nationally known golf courses and a wide range of outdoor activities. Thanks to its location between two large lakes, boating, hiking, biking and stand-up paddling are just a few of the activities available in and around Branson.
12. St. Charles
In St. Charles a very individual and special atmosphere opens up on the federal state of Missouri. In this town with a great history, time seems to have stopped. The “Lewis & Clark Boat House and Nature Center” offers fascinating perspectives on the Native Americans.
Along Main Street are more than 100 individual stores, bars and restaurants in beautifully renovated 19th century buildings. The South Maine neighborhood is considered one of the oldest in the entire state.
With over 70 festivals, plays, concerts and other cultural events each year, the city offers an impressive cultural scene. For night owls, clubs, bars and numerous casinos are ideal opportunities for a grandiose end to the day. Historic Missouri Wine Country and the surrounding area has been designated as the first nationally recognized “American Viticultural Area.” In this region with unique soils and an exquisite microclimate, wine grows on picturesque terraces.
The student city of Columbia captivates with diversity and extravagance. The 110,000 residents enjoy the great things to do in the city, as do numerous tourists. With hip bars and cafes, good restaurants, record stores, bookstores, museums, galleries and the surrounding nature, there is something for everyone.
For all fans of art, the Columbia Art League is a fabulous option. Almost every day the gallery opens for art with a wide range of art classes. As the host of the Art in the Park Festival, Columbia welcomes art lovers from across the country each year.
Booches Billiard Hall offers a very special classic.
Spark-price hamburgers and an unparalleled atmosphere provide plenty of variety and fun.
Thanks to the University of Missouri, many students live in the city. The cityscape is characterized by numerous opportunities for students such as cool bars and clubs in the evening. For relaxation, Finger Lakes State Park and Grindstone Nature Area offer the perfect opportunities.
10. St. Louis
The big city impresses with its location on the Mississippi River and great architecture. You can learn a lot about the city’s history in the “Old Courthouse” and the “Missouri History Museum”. The Gateway Arch, the city’s landmark, offers a magnificent view of the city.
For music fans, the world-famous Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra is a fascinating and historic building on the schedule. The city of St. Louis and music have been closely intertwined for many decades. Thanks in part to rapper Nelly, the city is a global center for rap and hip hop.
Forest Park has extraordinary options with several tennis courts, a golf course, an ice skating rink and boats for rent. Nature lovers will get their money’s worth at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
Furthermore, the incomprehensibly wide range of interests and opportunities in the city is demonstrated by the St. Louis Art Museum. As one of the most important museums for art in the USA, it offers more than 30,000 exhibits. For children, The Magic House, St. Louis Children’s Museum is known as one of the greatest children’s museums in the United States.
9. Jefferson City
Jefferson City is the capital of the state of Missouri. Lincoln University was founded in the city back in 1866. In the great American city, the Missouri State Capitol with a brilliant architecture is one of the many attractions. The campus of Lincoln University of Missouri with various monuments and the excellent location on the river is another top destination in Jefferson City. Also providing relaxation is the Runge Nature Center. The park is the city’s green lung and extremely popular with locals and tourists alike. For culture lovers, Jefferson City has numerous attractions to offer. The following museums are worth seeing:
- the Missouri State Penitentiary Museum
- Governor’s Mansion
- Museum of Missouri Military History
- Missouri State Museum
- Cole Country Historical Museum
- Veterinary Medical Foundation Museum
8. Meramec State Park
Located about 60 kilometers from St. Louis, Meramec State Park is known for its variety of caves. More than 40 caves are located in the great park with a diverse nature. The hiking trails in Meramec State Park offer excellent views of the river. For water sports enthusiasts, a raft ride on the river is an option for a different perspective.
Most famous in Meramec State Park is Fisher Cave. On the Meramec River it is possible to go fishing or exploring by boat. In a visitor center there is a lot of interesting information about the history and the park. Worth seeing are the houses in the park in rustic style.
7. Ozark National Scenic Riverways
The Ozark National Scenic Riverways give an incredible insight into the wonderful nature of the Ozarks. Unique trails through the piney woods provide the perfect break from the great cities of Missouri. Pure relaxation is guaranteed with the natural features. The numerous rivers are excellent for water sports. The water is clear and very clean.
Along the Ozark National Scenic Riverways are a variety of historic sites such as the Alley Mill. The most famous rivers are The Current and the Jack Fork River. There is an impressive flora and fauna on approximately 325 square kilometers. Particularly worth seeing is the Buttin Rock School. A single-room school building dating back to 1913, the building offers a variety of glimpses into the past.
The picturesque town of Hannibal on the Missouri River is a perfect destination for all fans of Mark Twain. The famous writer spent his childhood in the town. For all fans of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn, the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in town is well worth a visit. Located directly on the west bank of the Mississippi River, Mark Twain also offers boat tours.
Here you can enjoy a spectacular view of the Mississippi. Worthwhile is the historic center of Hannbial. The town center combines art, culture, history, wineries and excellent restaurants. Another highlight is the home of Mark Twain. Today the house is open to the public.
5. Lake of the Ozarks
The reservoir is diverse and offers great opportunities for all water enthusiasts. Numerous hiking trails are available around the lake and showcase the lake’s natural surroundings. The open wooded areas are ideal for hikers, bikers and backpackers! Two sandy beaches invite excellent swimming in sunny weather.
Boat rentals at various locations around the lake provide water sports and an excellent view of the natural surroundings around the lake. Golf and mini golf facilities in close proximity to Lake of the Ozarks also provide variety. The Bagnell Dam on the lake is an impressive structure. There is much to learn about the history of Lake of the Ozarks during a visit.
4. Kansas City
Kansas City is the largest city in the state of Missouri. When visiting Missouri, a visit to Kansas City is a must! Kansas City has everything the heart of America fans desires. Great shopping opportunities are a given in the city. For music fans, the largest city offers a variety of options, especially jazz is a big one in the center of the city. In the “Power and Light District” you can find the typical picture of America. Tall skyscrapers, restaurants and stores, as well as various entertainment facilities provide an incredible range of activities.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is nationally known for its unique exhibits. In addition to European and American works of art, the collection is also famous for outstanding works from China. In the city of fountains, a stroll through the city is worthwhile. Only in Rome there are more fountains. Swope Park is the green lung of the city. On seven square kilometers you can do sports in the fresh air or just relax. The Kansas City Zoo is one of the best zoos in America.
Joplin has an impressive art scene. The murals on the buildings on Main Street make for a fascinating sight when visiting the city. There is something for everyone in the downtown area. A particularly picturesque neighborhood is the Sunshine Lamp District. There are wonderful historic buildings to see here. The street lamps in retro style provide the appropriate flair.
Hip bars and clubs are great for night owls! The Joplin Museum Complex provides deep insights into the city’s metropolitan area and mining industry. This provided great growth in the region in the past. The special relationship between the city and the mining industry is impressively displayed at the Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum. The display of various minerals is a rarity even for mining experts.
2. Lee’s Summit
With a population of approximately 100,000, Lee’s Summit offers a variety of attractions. In this affluent community, the population is growing very rapidly due to its attractiveness. The city is considered one of the fastest growing cities in the United States.
For history buffs, the Missouri Town 1855 house is a very special attraction.
The historical museum gives a grandiose insight into life in the 19th century. The border wars between Missouri and Kansas are depicted in great detail at Lee’s Summit History Museum. The town breweries offer great tours and tastings. For water rats, Summit Wave is a welcome change of pace. For puzzle fans, the Exit Room in Lee’s Summit is a good place to go.
1. Onondaga Cave
Onondaga Cave is located about 5 miles south of the town of Leasburg. As an absolute hiking highlight, the cave is the center for many tourists. There are impressive lakes and scenery in the cave. With a guided tour, there are many interesting facts to learn during a tour of the cave in two hours. The cave offers a variety of different formations and species to admire.
The colors in Onondaga Cave are impressive and unique. Of particular note is the focus on nature and the minimalist commercialism of the cave. Around Onondaga Cave, the natural forest offers a variety of tours for nature lovers. The well-marked trails offer great views of nature and the small lakes in the area.