Missouri in the Midwest boasts plenty of wide-open plains and untamed regions to explore, as well as the bustling metropolises of St. Louis and Kansas City. The ‘Show-Me State,’ with its spectacular scenery, sceneries, and environment, is rewarding to travel about with its perfect combination of metropolitan cities and quaint small communities.
It is named on the winding river that divides the state in half and is part of the Great Plains region of the USA. While the majority of the state is low-lying, the Ozarks still has some lovely natural areas, with the picturesque Lake of the Ozarks and Table Rock Lake being two of the most popular. Many visitors come to explore some of the state’s 7,000 or so caves, in addition to hiking and bicycling through its woods and rolling slopes.
A list of things to do in Missouri is to explore the state’s rich history and culture, which includes outstanding museums and centuries-old historic homes, as well as thriving theaters and family-friendly theme parks. And, of course, the Gateway Arch, the city’s most recognizable emblem and sight is there to greet you. Also read Best Things to Do in Curacao.
1: Gateway Arch – St. Louis
The magnificent Gateway Arch dominates and defines St. Louis’ skyline as both a city and a state landmark. The emblematic, stainless steel building, known as the ‘Gateway to the West,’ stands 623 feet tall with amazing views from its soaring pinnacle.
The iconic arch, the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, was completed in 1963 to honor and celebrate the United States’ westward expansion. Guests can take a thrilling tram trip to the top and gaze out in awe at the city and state far below, in addition to learning about its history and the different individuals who built the region and country.
2: National WWI Museum and Memorial – Kansas City
The spectacular National WWI Museum in Kansas City, the country’s only museum of its sort, gives a fascinating look at practically every element of the struggle. It has the world’s most comprehensive collection of war-related artifacts and documents. Along with weaponry and uniforms, tanks, and planes, the museum takes you on an epic adventure with images, personal anecdotes, and film clips.
It was founded in 1926 with a huge memorial tower on the same site, dedicated to remembering, interpreting, and comprehending the Great War and its ongoing consequences. After learning about the reasons of the war, the 1918 armistice, and other significant events, climb at the top of the tower for breathtaking views of the city and the museum’s verdant gardens.
3: Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium – Springfield
The Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium, the world’s largest interactive wildlife attraction, is located in the heart of Springfield. You can go through galleries full of exquisite dioramas showing natural ecosystems and species from all around the world before viewing sparkling shoals of fish, terrifying sharks, and lethargic sloths in its vast enclosures.
It only opened in 2017, it has quickly become one of the state’s most popular tourist destinations due to its numerous and massive exhibits. Visitors can learn all about elephants, grizzlies, and crocodiles through the museum’s various artifacts, artworks, and short film clips, in addition to witnessing taxidermist elephants, grizzlies, and crocodiles arranged in dramatic stances in their natural surroundings. Also read Best Things to Do in Las Vegas.
4: City Museum – St. Louis
St. Louis’ entertaining and family-friendly City Museum is crammed with fantastic obstacle courses, mazes, slides, and tunnels, and is sure to be unlike any other museum you’ve ever visited. Its five levels comprise not just a circus school and skate park, but also a full cave system, Ferris wheel, and outdoor climbing area, making it a huge playground for both young and elderly.
While the museum’s halls are jam-packed with one-of-a-kind objects and artworks, such as the ‘World’s Largest Underwear,’ it also features more serious natural history and architecture sections.
5: Missouri State Capitol
Missouri’s seat of government is located in the heart of Jefferson City and is widely regarded as one of the most magnificent capitol buildings in the country. It has an eye-catching exterior flanked by magnificent ionic columns, detailed reliefs, and fine sculptures, all crowned by a colossal and spectacular dome. It is on the banks of the Missouri River.
The spectacular Roman Renaissance building, which was completed in 1917 and is surrounded by lush lawns and gardens, is the sixth such construction to exist in the same location. While its massive façade is already awe-inspiring, the interior is equally remarkable. Its marble walls are adorned with several statues, stained glass windows, and colorful friezes.
6: Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
The wild and rocky Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, located outside of Columbia, is not to be equaled in terms of scenic grandeur and superb outdoor activities. It has a vast cave system with sinkholes, a spring, and an underground stream, and is known for its stunning karst features.
It comprises not just lush forests and jagged rock formations, but also a bubbling creek, with its natural rock bridge being one of the park’s most notable attractions.
7: Table Rock Lake
Table Rock Lake is a popular area to rest and unwind, with beautiful lakefront scenery and crystal-clear waters that provide a variety of exciting watersports. It boasts a variety of good marinas and resorts to check out, and it is close to both Branson and Silver Dollar City. Hiking, biking, and camping are all available in the state park of the same name.
The massive artificial lake, which was created in 1958 after the White River was dammed, offers an almost limitless number of tranquil coves, attractive natural sites, and fantastic perspectives to find, with virgin trees lining its long shoreline. While the enormous lake is well known for its bass fishing, it also offers excellent swimming, boating, and scuba diving opportunities. Also. read Best Things to do in Anchorage.
8: Lake of the Ozarks
It’s no wonder that the magnificent Lake of the Ozarks is one of the Midwest’s most popular lake resort and recreation locations, with over 1,150 miles of scenic shoreline and a plethora of outdoor activities and waterspouts. Its long and indented coastline, which is actually a gigantic man-made reservoir, is home to picturesque coves and creeks with many of lakefront hotels, campgrounds, and restaurants.
The lake was formed in 1931 by damming the massive Osage River, is affectionately known as ‘Puff The Magic Dragon’ due to its stunning serpentine appearance. In addition to swimming, fishing, and sailing in the region’s tranquil seas, visitors can play golf, visit water parks, or hike and cycle through the region’s several state parks. While some hidden areas of the lake are quite quiet and serene, others are loud and active, with commercial strips located close to pounding nightclubs.
9: Swinging Bridge
The famous ‘Swinging Bridges of Brumley,’ an architectural and engineering marvel, may be located at the eastern end of the Ozarks Lake, as well as the picturesque state park of the same name. Despite their isolated location and rural setting, the pair of antique suspension bridges are well worth a trip for their unusual appearance and beautiful countryside views.
They were both constructed in the early 1920s and are just approximately a thousand feet apart, with the Grand Auglaize stretching 500 feet and Mill Creek reaching only 135. The thin, swaying arches are still intact, despite being rarely used and judged “functionally outdated,” and provide some wonderful images and vistas of both the bridges and their environs.
10: Meramec Caverns – Stanton
The huge and spectacular Meramec Caverns, which run 4.6 miles beneath the Ozarks, are an incredibly fantastic destination to visit. The massive cave system features incredibly amazing stalactites and stalagmites to gaze at, with beautiful rock formations on display wherever you turn, and is considered one of the key attractions located alongside the historic Route 66.
It was formed more than hundreds of millions of years as enormous limestone deposits slowly eroded, and it today includes over forty interconnected caves for visitors to explore. The ‘Wine Room’ and ‘Mirror Room,’ as well as the ‘Greatest Show Under the Earth,’ are among the most popular and photographed areas.