Missouri Travel Guide
Missouri tourist attractions run the gamut from world class entertainment in Branson to the Gateway Arch in St. Louis to the beautiful Ozark Mountains that lay along the border with Arkansas.
The ‘heart of America’ is also known as Kansas City and was founded back in 1850. Here your Missouri vacation can take you to Worlds of Fun, an amusement park that is home to Mamba, one of the tallest and fastest roller coasters in the country. The kids will love the kid-sized rides in their own area and the whole family will love getting wet at the attached water park, called Oceans of Fun.
For history buffs, Kansas City is home to the National World War I Museum that has an amazing collection of artifacts to go along with the living history lesson that marks the experience of the war through displays as told by those who were part of it.
Kansas City is also home to over forty fountains of all styles and descriptions, causing some to refer to the city as the City of Fountains. There are maps of their locations at several places around town so you can plan your own walking tour to see your favorites, or catch them on guided tours of the city.
Not far from Kansas City is the city of Independence, the home of Harry S Truman and also home to his library and museum complex. As a great Missouri tourist attraction, the complex allows visitors to learn all about the man who would be president, though the turbulent times, the good times and the historic times as well.
Independence also has some interesting places to visit, like Leila’s Hair Museum, which if you haven’t guessed by the name is a museum devoted to all things hair, including jewelry, pictures and crafts, not to mention wreaths that are antiques and made with 100% human hair.
No Missouri vacation would be complete without a trip to the old west and Independence can deliver, with the Pioneer Tails Adventures where you take to a stage coach and tour different historic sights like the Santa Fe Trail, Civil War battlefields, Canon Hill or an 1827 log cabin courthouse.
The famous Gateway Arch is synonymous with St. Louis and indeed Missouri itself. As the gateway to the west, this arch is a popular Missouri tourist attraction not only to see it from afar, but to also travel up inside it to the top observation windows which offer fantastic views of the city.
St. Louis is the home of Anheuser Busch and visitors can take in the brewery, the packing plant and the Clydesdales’ stables as part of the tour. Take in the history, architecture and ambiance surrounding the King of Beers and pour your own sample to finish the day.
Forest Park was the site of the 1904 World’s Fair and today offers the Missouri vacationer a chance to take in parkland, a free zoo, science center, planetarium, Art Museum and History Museum as well as restaurants and sculptures on the grounds. If you like sculptures, you can’t miss the Laumeier Sculpture Park with its modern pieces that intermingle with the trees and pathways in this lovely place to stroll.
No Missouri travel guide would be complete without reference to the underground world that awaits tourists to the state. Stanton is home to the Meramec Caverns, the largest commercial cave in all of Missouri with limestone formations like the ‘Wine Table’ and an underground mansion. This underground jewel has guided tours in the lit caverns with easy to navigate pathways making it an excellent attraction for people of all abilities.
Springfield is home to the Fantastic Caverns, the only ride-through cave system in the state. This old underground riverbed is now the road as you enjoy the sights from the tram that stops periodically for picture opportunities.
For those wanting to re-live their youth, Springfield is home to 1984, a place where one low price gets you playing all of your favorite arcade games again while listening to the top tunes of the 80’s.
The Ozark Mountains offer recreational opportunities for the whole family on a Missouri vacation. The Lake of the Ozarks is a large reservoir that holds the runoff from several rivers while nearby Lake Ozark houses the Willmore Lodge, with a museum of the history of the region, the lake and the dam system. Here visitors can walk to the lake, take in the water sports, parasail or take a hike amid the gorgeous scenery.
The Ozarks are a major Missouri tourist attraction in themselves as visitors can take float trips down the pristine Black River, go fishing, biking or hiking or go on tours of the historic towns that dot the landscape. The area also has several parks like the Elephant Rocks State Park where pink granite boulders are lined up which look like a line of elephants climbing the mountain, or Taum Sauk Mountain State Park where visitors can climb up the mountain to enjoy the breathtaking views.
Branson is a world leader in the entertainment industry with many shows going year round. It is also home to Silver Dollar City, an amusement park that takes a step back in time with not only rides, but artisans, food and costumed employees. The Titanic Museum, The Hollywood Wax Museum, Dinosaur Museum and a Ripley’s Believe It or Not Museum can also be part of your Branson vacation.
Missouri vacations offer something for everyone. Natural beauty and world class entertainment await you in this beautiful southeastern state.