Best Places to Go in Missouri > A Comprehensive Travel Guide

Discover the wonders of Missouri, a captivating destination renowned for its rich wealth of fun attractions and experiences. From the iconic landmarks of St. Louis to the hidden treasures nestled within charming small towns and picturesque landscapes, Missouri offers a wealth of adventures waiting to be explored. Join us as we reveal the best places to go in Missouri, the Show Me State, promising an extraordinary travel experience.

Prepare for your journey through Missouri. Each region offers a distinct blend of experiences, from dynamic urban landscapes to serene rural hideaways. Whether you’re drawn to city life’s bustling energy or small towns’ tranquil charm, the Show Me State promises abundant exploration.

Taking a weekend getaway to Hermann is one of the best places to go in Missouri!

This comprehensive travel guide to Missouri begins with an exploration of its major cities and notable attractions, featuring iconic destinations like St. Louis and Kansas City. We’ll uncover their unique cultural heritage, renowned landmarks, and thriving cultural scenes. Afterward, our focus turns to the enchanting small towns that embody the essence of Missouri and a few other surprisingly wonderful sites.

Branson: Entertainment Capital of the Ozarks

Surrounded by the picturesque Ozark Mountains, Branson, Missouri, offers a captivating blend of entertainment, natural beauty, and family-friendly attractions. Recognized as the “Live Music Show Capital of the World,” Branson presents an extensive array of live performances, theme parks, and outdoor adventures for visitors of all ages to enjoy—it’s easily one of the best places to go in Missouri!

Branson’s theaters showcase a diverse range of live shows, including country music revues and magic acts, catering to various tastes. Silver Dollar City, a renowned theme park, boasts thrilling rides and live entertainment. Table Rock Lake provides ample opportunities for boating, fishing, and water sports amidst breathtaking scenery.

Branson is renowned for its rolling hills, vibrant live entertainment, stunning natural beauty, and family-friendly attractions.

For those seeking a peaceful retreat, the Ozark Mountains offer scenic hiking trails, off-road adventure tours, and breathtaking overlooks. Ha Ha Tonka State Park features intriguing rock formations and the ruins of a 20th-century castle. Downtown Branson invites exploration with its charming boutiques, cafes, and family-owned restaurants.

Visitors can partake in popular tours such as live show extravaganzas, Silver Dollar City adventures, and scenic lake cruises, which showcase Branson’s Americana entertainment scene, outdoor activities, and natural splendor. Branson’s unique blend of attractions makes it a premier destination in the heart of the Ozarks. Check out all of these fun outdoor activities including the Mountain Alpine Coaster, Jet Boat Adventure Tours, and more! 👇

🏞️ Fun Brason Outdoor Activities > Check it Out!

Must-See Shows and Tours
  • 👨‍🎤👩‍🎤🎤 The Haygoods: Experience the high-energy performance of “The Haygoods,” a talented family of musicians and entertainers known for their dynamic stage presence and impressive musical abilities. This show features a blend of music genres, including pop, rock, and country, along with spectacular visual effects and choreography.
  • 🚢 Titanic Museum: Explore the Titanic Museum Branson in Missouri, featuring a detailed replica of the ship’s interiors, including the Grand Staircase. Discover artifacts and experience the ship’s history firsthand.
  • 🤘 Legends in Concert: Enjoy a captivating tribute show where talented impersonators bring iconic performers to life on stage. From Elvis Presley to Aretha Franklin, experience the music and magic of legendary artists through live performances capturing their essence.
  • 🔪🍝 Murder Mystery Dinner and Show: Attend the Branson Murder Mystery Show in Missouri for an interactive evening of original comedy and an all-you-can-eat buffet.
  • 🎩🐇 Reza Edge of Illusion Show: Witness mind-bending illusions and cutting-edge production at the Reza Edge of Illusion Show in Branson, Missouri. Secure your tickets to marvel at interactive moments and grand illusions firsthand.

Amidst scenic surroundings, Branson offers unforgettable entertainment, ideal for visitors seeking memorable shows and performances.

Springfield Spotlight: Route 66 Heritage, Culture, and Adventure

Located centrally in Missouri, Springfield allures travelers with its rich history, culture, and an array of attractions. Known as the birthplace of Route 66 and the Queen City of the Ozarks, Springfield offers an unforgettable experience for visitors.

Springfield and its surroundings boast countless things to do and iconic destinations like Bass Pro Shops, offering the world’s largest hunting and fishing store. Explore Fantastic Caverns, witness Civil War history at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, and discover North American wildlife at the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium.

Springfield boasts diverse dining, iconic landmarks like Pythian Castle, and cultural gems, making it a vibrant destination.

Experience classic cars at the Route 66 Car Museum and enjoy outdoor activities at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. These attractions highlight Springfield’s cultural, historical, and natural charm.

Also, Springfield features a thriving arts and entertainment scene. The Springfield Art Museum showcases works by regional and national artists, while the Juanita K. Hammons Hall for the Performing Arts hosts various concerts, plays, and musicals throughout the year. History enthusiasts will appreciate exploring the city’s historic sites and museums, such as the Springfield History Museum and the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame.

Must-Do Tours
  • 🛣️🚦 Historic Route 66 Tour: Discover the iconic Mother Road with a guided tour of Springfield’s Route 66 landmarks. From the Route 66 Car Museum to the Birthplace of Route 66 Roadside Park, this tour offers a nostalgic journey along America’s most famous highway.
  • 🏰 History Tour of Pythian Castle: Tour Pythian Castle to discover history, including a dungeon, POW cells, and tales of famous ghosts.
  • 🍺 Craft Brewery Experience: Dive into Springfield’s craft beer scene with a guided brewery tour. Visit local breweries like Springfield Brewing Company and Mother’s Brewing Company to sample a variety of handcrafted beers and learn about the brewing process from expert guides.

St. Louis: Gateway to the Show Me State

Inviting tourists with its iconic Gateway Arch, St. Louis, one of the best places to go in Missouri, offers sweeping views of the city and the Mississippi River. Explore Forest Park, a vast urban retreat housing the St. Louis Zoo and the Missouri History Museum. Discover The Hill neighborhood’s Italian heritage, indulging in authentic cuisine along quaint historic streets.

From the summit of the St. Louis Arch, you can behold the entire cityscape, including the arch’s impressive shadow.

Experience the City Museum, an interactive playground featuring art, architecture, and a rooftop Ferris wheel. Wander the lively Delmar Loop, featuring an array of shops, eateries, and live music venues. Tour the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, learning about the brewing process and sampling a variety of beers. St. Louis promises a diverse blend of culture, history, and entertainment for all visitors to enjoy.

Must-Do Tours
  • 🔭 Gateway Arch Tram Ride Tour: Ascend the St. Louis Arch for stunning city views. Explore Gateway Arch National Park, then enjoy a riverboat cruise. Drive by historic landmarks including the Basilica of Saint Louis and other notable attractions.
  • 🛴 Forest Park Segway Tour: Discover Forest Park’s highlights like the St. Louis Zoo and Missouri History Museum on a Segway.
  • 😋 Exclusive BBQ Culinary Adventure: Join Wayne on a tour of St. Louis’s food and drink scene, exploring local breweries and enjoying beer and barbecue pairings.
  • 👻 Haunted Neighborhood Tour: Experience St. Louis’s haunted side. Led by a paranormal investigator, this walking tour takes place in the haunted Lemp neighborhood.
  • 🚃 Narrated Trolley Ride: Start your St. Louis trip with this 23-mile trolley tour for insights into its history and ideas for further exploration.

Discover St. Louis from its iconic Arch to its haunted neighborhoods, and indulge in its culinary delights. Then, embark on a narrated trolley ride to deepen your understanding of the city’s rich history and diverse culture.

Kansas City: Where Barbecue Meets Culture

In the heart of the Midwest, Kansas City beckons travelers with its rich culture, interesting history, and numerous attractions. Renowned for its legendary barbecue, thriving arts scene, and iconic landmarks, this city offers a dynamic and unforgettable experience for visitors.

Kansas City’s culinary scene is a major draw for tourists, especially barbecue enthusiasts. The city’s barbecue joints, such as Arthur Bryant’s and Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, serve up mouthwatering ribs, brisket, and burnt ends, attracting food lovers from near and far—just its BBQ alone makes it one of the best places to go in Missouri.

Known for its barbecue and jazz heritage, this city boasts diverse arts and cultural attractions, including the historic Country Club Plaza.

Beyond its culinary delights, Kansas City boasts a thriving arts scene. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a highlight, with its extensive collection spanning thousands of years and diverse cultures. The city’s performing arts venues, including the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts and the Starlight Theatre, offer a variety of big-name concerts, Broadway shows, and performances throughout the year.

Noteworthy Museums

History buffs will find plenty to explore in Kansas City as well. The National World War I Museum and Memorial commemorates the Great War through immersive exhibits and artifacts, while the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum celebrates the history of African American baseball players and their contributions to the sport.

Country Club Plaza

Known for its Spanish-inspired architecture, beautiful fountains, and upscale boutiques, Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza is a premier shopping, dining, and entertainment district. Lined with cobblestone streets and adorned with intricate tilework, it offers a unique atmosphere for visitors to enjoy. The plaza boasts a wide range of shops, restaurants, and art galleries, making it a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Now, let’s delve into the three most popular tours in Kansas City:

Must-Do Tours
  • 🥃 Tom’s Town Distillery Tour and Tasting Experience: Explore Tom’s on this guided tour. Discover the art deco-inspired facility, learn about distilling, and enjoy a tasting.
  • 🛴 Segway Art and Glide Tour: Explore Kansas City’s landmarks on a 1.5-hour Segway tour of the Country Club Plaza area.
  • ⚾ Walking Tour in Kauffman Stadium:  Scout out Kauffman Stadium, home to the Kansas City Royals, on an exclusive All-Star Tour, discovering its history and hidden areas.

Lake of the Ozarks: Nature’s Playground

Situated in central Missouri, Lake of the Ozarks is a beloved reservoir, cherished for its natural allure and diverse activities. Ranked as one of the best places to go in Missouri, this man-made lake sprawls across four counties. With its vast 1,150-mile shoreline, outdoor enthusiasts are treated to an abundance of opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming.

Margaritaville Lake Resort on Lake of the Ozarks offers tropical-themed lodging, dining, spa services, and various water activities.

Accommodations range from lovely lakeside resorts to lakeside fishing cabins and family-friendly campgrounds, catering to varied preferences and budgets. Marinas, golf courses, and attractions are plentiful, ensuring entertainment for all.

For those seeking adventure, the Osage 8 Zipline Canopy Tour provides an exhilarating experience, soaring through the treetops and offering stunning aerial views of the surrounding landscape. Whether cruising the lake, planning a bachelor or bachelorette party, exploring nature trails, or going on a zipline adventure, Lake of the Ozarks offers something for everyone to enjoy.

Jefferson City: Capital Charm and Natural Beauty

Set alongside the Missouri River, Jefferson City beckons with its rich history, charming neighborhoods, and scenic landscapes. As Missouri’s capital, the city blends historic landmarks, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures for a unique experience.

Jefferson City’s Capitol Building is one of the best places to go in Missouri. Furthermore, it’s a symbol of the state’s history and government. Also, there are tours showcasing its majestic architecture and insights into Missouri’s legislative process. Nearby, the Missouri State Museum explains the state’s past through interactive exhibits and artifacts.

Situated along the Missouri River, Jefferson City boasts historic sites and scenic views, making it an ideal destination for a weekend getaway.

Nature lovers can explore Binder Lake and Runge Nature Center for hiking, biking, and wildlife viewing. The Katy Trail, passing through the city, offers picturesque views of the Missouri River and countryside.

Cultural experiences abound in Jefferson City’s vibrant arts scene, with galleries, theaters, and live music venues. Downtown’s charm shines with quaint shops, cozy cafes, and historic buildings.

Discover Jefferson City through its top tours:

Must-Do Tours
  • 🏛️ Capitol Building Tour: Explore Missouri’s historic Capitol, learning about legislative processes and admiring stunning architecture.
  • 📜 Missouri State Museum Visit: Learn about the state’s interesting history with interactive exhibits and artifacts.
  • 🏞 Nature Exploration at Binder Lake: Enjoy outdoor activities like hiking and wildlife viewing amidst scenic surroundings.

These tours offer unique glimpses into Jefferson City’s history, culture, and natural beauty, making it a must-visit destination in Missouri.

Charming Small Towns: Hidden Gems of Missouri

Experience the quaint charm and rich history of Missouri’s small towns, each offering a unique blend of hospitality and heritage. Explore Hermann, Weston, and St. Charles, where you’ll find picturesque landscapes, historic districts, and a variety of activities to enjoy.

Hermann

Escape to Hermann, Missouri, for a romantic weekend getaway amidst rolling vineyards and charming accommodations. Sample award-winning wines at local vineyards including Stone Hill Winery, take strolls along historic streets, and savor intimate dinners at cozy restaurants. With its picturesque setting and charming atmosphere, Hermann offers the perfect backdrop for creating unforgettable memories with your loved one.

Set amidst rolling hills and vineyards, Hermann offers historic charm and renowned wineries, perfect for a romantic escape.

Furthermore, Hermann boasts a rich German heritage, evident in its architecture, festivals, and culinary offerings. Renowned for its German-style bratwurst, the town’s traditional recipes and artisanal techniques produce some of the finest sausages outside of Germany. Visitors can savor authentic flavors while immersing themselves in the town’s cultural heritage.

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Weston
With its charming streets, rich heritage, and scenic surroundings, Weston offers a delightful escape from urban hustle.

Renowned for its historic downtown district, Weston is a haven for craft beer enthusiasts, and wine and spirit lovers. Take a Weston Brewing Company Tour, where you can learn about the brewing process. Also, you’ll be able to sample a variety of brews crafted with local ingredients.

🏨 Fairfield Inn & Suites Leavenworth > Check Availability

St. Charles

With its cobblestone streets and riverside ambiance, St. Charles is steeped in 19th-century charm. Explore the historic district on the Historic Main Street Walking Tour. It’s guided by locals who share fascinating stories and anecdotes along the way.

St Charles, a quaint riverside town known for cobblestone streets, historic charm, and scenic riverfront, blending heritage with modern amenities.

Explore charming towns offering wine tasting, brewery tours, and historic strolls. St. Charles’ rich history and culture will provide a memorable experience.

🏨 Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, St. Charles > Check Availability

Missouri’s allure extends beyond its major cities, offering a rich array of attractions and experiences. From the iconic landmarks of St. Louis to the hidden treasures nestled within charming small towns and picturesque landscapes, Missouri invites travelers to enjoy a journey filled with adventure and discovery. Join us as we reveal the premier destinations to visit in the Show Me State, ensuring an extraordinary travel experience.

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