Home to the Wild West mythos, the stunning Ozark Mountains, and the beautiful town of Branson, Missouri has a flavor of its own for tourists and travelers from all over the US, and even outside it. So, without further delay, let’s look at five spots in the state which everyone who travels to the state must visit.
Columbia is a popular place for lovers of modern public art and the best place in the college town to see that art is the Museum of Art and Archaeology and the Columbia Art League. There are also the cornfield mazes of Shryocks Callaway Farms to get lost in for some old-fashioned fun. Other attractions in the area include kayaking on the Finger Lakes State Park and getting a superb view from Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. We haven’t even mentioned the D&D Animal Sanctuary yet and the list is already looking quite impressive.
There is no shortage of things to do in Branson for couples or families, and that’s why the city is the number one tourist spot in the whole state. The place is inherently beautiful, being located right in the Ozark Mountains, but the local attractions give it so much more added value from a visitor’s point of view. Go see a show at the Silver Dollar City, wander inside the Marvel Caves, or just relax and taste some quality wine at the Mount Pleasant Winery; the choice is yours!
Elephant Rocks State Park
Located in the Saint Francois Mountains, the Elephant Rock State Park is an excellent hiking trail, as well as a geological reserve. It gets its name from the local 1.5 billion-year-old granite boulders that have naturally been arranged in a way that it reminds one of walking elephants. If you want an adventure, follow the Braille Trail to the old engine house, which has long been abandoned. Aside from the hiking trails, it’s also a great place to go on a picnic with friends and family.
In case you have had enough of the tourist attractions and you are simply looking to find a nice quiet place with beautiful scenery and great wine, you need to spend a night or two in Hermann. The small town has a very prominent German feel with its multiple German taverns, German wineries, and the 19th Century German-styled, colorful brick buildings. The Showboat Theatre is famous for churning out excellent plays and you can spend an afternoon paying a visit to the Deutschheim State Historic Site.
The Meramec cave system is over 4.6-miles in length and it is located near the city of Stanton. Exploring the limestone caves in the Ozark Mountains is an adventure on its own, but you will always be under the guidance of experienced rangers, so safety or getting lost is not an issue. If you do visit the Meramec Caverns, don’t miss the Greatest Show Under the Earth, performed right inside.
While these are some of the best attractions in Missouri, they are not the only ones. Honorable mentions that did not make it onto the list include the river port of St Louis, Hannibal, and the Ha Ha Tonka State Park. In other words, you will never be able to see everything in Missouri on a single trip.