Nestled in the heart of the United States, Missouri is a state that often surprises visitors with its diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture. From the rolling hills of the Ozarks to the bustling streets of St. Louis, the “Show-Me State” has something to offer everyone. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, history buff, sports fan, or foodie, Missouri has many attractions and activities to satisfy your interests. Continue reading to discover the best things to see and do in this hidden gem of the United States.
Catch a Baseball, Football, or Hockey Game
Missourians are passionate about sports, particularly baseball, football, and hockey. Baseball fans can head to the 45,000-capacity Busch Stadium, the home ballpark of the St. Louis Cardinals, or to the Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals.
Missouri is where you find one of the best NFL teams: the Kansas City Chiefs. Thanks to an all-star roster, the Chiefs are favorites to win the coveted Super Bowl with Missouri online sports betting sites. The Chiefs won the Super Bowl in 2019 and 2022 and are the team to beat going into the 2023 campaign.
Gateway Arch in St. Louis
Discover more about Missouri by visiting the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis. This stunning 630-foot-tall stainless steel monument is an architectural marvel and a symbol of westward expansion. You can take a tram ride to the top for panoramic views of the city and the Mississippi River. The nearby Museum at the Gateway Arch offers an immersive experience, showcasing the history of St. Louis and the Lewis and Clark expedition.
The Gateway Arch is a popular tourist attraction, welcoming more than two million visitors annually.
Explore the Missouri Botanical Garden
Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by immersing yourself in the tranquility of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Located in St. Louis, this lush oasis spans 79 acres and features various gardens, including the Japanese Garden, the Climatron Conservatory, and the Victorian District. It’s a perfect place to unwind and connect with nature.
Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the United States and is considered a National Historic Landmark.
Discover the Ozarks
Missouri’s Ozark Mountains are a natural wonder, offering outdoor enthusiasts a plethora of activities. Hike through the Mark Twain National Forest, go caving in the fascinating Meramec Caverns, or explore the rugged terrain of the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. The area is a haven for camping, canoeing, and fishing, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers. Fancy a challenge? Climb to Buffalo Lookout, the Ozarks’ highest point, at 2,561 feet.
Explore the Wine Country
Missouri has several charming wineries, especially in the picturesque Missouri Rhineland region. The area is named after the Rhineland region in central Europe, which produces wine. The town of Hermann, for instance, is known for its wineries, historic buildings, and scenic vineyards.
The area between the towns of Defiance and Mathasville along Route 94 is crammed full of wineries, so take a wine tour, sample local wines, and savor the delightful ambiance of this wine country.
Visit the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum
Head to Independence, Missouri, and explore the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum for a dose of history. Delve into the life and times of the 33rd President of the United States, who played a pivotal role in the post-World War II era. The museum is the resting place of Truman, his wife, and his daughter.
The museum showcases artifacts, documents, and exhibits that provide a fascinating glimpse into American history. You can also feast your eyes on the Thomas Hart Benton mural Independence and the Opening of the West, which took Benton three years to complete.
Enjoy the Music Scene in Kansas City
Kansas City, Missouri, is renowned for its vibrant jazz and blues music scene. Be sure to visit the 18th and Vine District, home to the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Catch live performances at the local jazz clubs and savor some of the best barbecues in the country while you’re at it.
Discover the Beauty of the Lake of the Ozarks
The Lake of the Ozarks is a vast reservoir in central Missouri offering various recreational activities. Whether you’re into boating, water sports, or fishing, this area has everything. The Lake of the Ozarks State Park features hiking trails and campgrounds for those who prefer to stay on land. Don’t miss the chance to visit Ha Ha Tonka State Park, known for its unique geological formations and castle ruins.
Explore the Unique City Museum in St. Louis
The City Museum in St. Louis is unlike any other museum you’ve ever seen. This creative wonderland is part playground, art installation, and architectural marvel. It’s an interactive experience where you can climb through caves, ride a Ferris wheel on the roof, and marvel at the eclectic displays of art and found objects. If you have children, this is the place to head to because there is so much to keep them entertained.
Witness the Wonder of Fantastic Caverns
Fantastic Caverns, located in Springfield, Missouri, is one of the few caves in the world that can be explored by tram. Descend into the underground wonderland and be awed by the stunning limestone formations. The guided tram tour provides fascinating insights into the geology and history of the cave.
Experience the History of the Oregon Trail
Independence, Missouri, holds a unique place in American history as the starting point of the Oregon Trail. Visit the National Frontier Trails Museum to learn about the pioneers who embarked on this challenging journey in the 19th century. The museum offers exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays that transport you back in time.
Attend a Show at the Fabulous Fox Theatre
The Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis is a historic gem that hosts a variety of Broadway shows, concerts, and performances throughout the year. Step inside to admire the opulent decor of this 1929 theater and catch a world-class show for an unforgettable evening.
Missouri, often underestimated as a tourist destination, is a state full of hidden gems and diverse attractions. From the soaring Gateway Arch in St. Louis to the natural beauty of the Ozarks and the rich history found in Independence, there’s something for everyone in the Show-Me State.