Mark Twain National Forest
One place that definitely counts as a top 10 Missouri destination is the Mark Twain National Forest. This forest has two amazing natural sites that are worth checking out. The most well-known site is Spafford ’N’ Hot Springs, a natural pool that was formed nearly a million years ago by volcanic activity and erosion.
This is a beautiful spot that can be enjoyed by anyone. The other site that is noteworthy is Lake Waukomis. This lake is a great spot to have all of your questions about Missouri answered. Contact a local boating retailer for information on how to rent a boat or even book one of their pontoon boat tours.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Branson, Missouri is one of the country’s best entertainment bargains, featuring miles of water attractions in a beautiful Ozark Mountain setting. The eighth largest city in the state with a population of 15,000, Branson’s clear blue skies and high altitude provide superior views to hiking and mountain climbing.
Elevation here averages over 5,000 feet, making Branson an ideal destination for winter travelers of all ages. The Branson, Branson Hills, and Belle Of The Ozarks regions, which together make up the Branson, MO area, offer a variety of attractions and activities for visitors of all stripes.
Many of these attractions complement each other beautifully and make Branson a natural fit for almost any kind of vacation experience.
The perfect venue for a family vacation…or a couples getaway is Silver Dollar City, which provides free parking, and unlimited rides for young squids and their parents.
If the waterslides at Silver Dollar City aren’t enough to keep everyone entertained, they offer a variety of other shared rides and razzle-dazzle attractions for all ages.
Silver Dollar City stays open year-round, and offers heated indoor facilities during winter months. It is the perfect destination for families, with a variety of activities, free parking, and four playgrounds.
Meramec State Park
In Richmond, Missouri.
Usually if we see you're some fly fly distance from the ocean, we don't care whether you're near the ocean.
But in this instance, we absolutely do. Meramec State Park in Richmond, Missouri is located close to the Meramec River. Missouri's largest river, the Meramec is the source of the Mississippi.
In the park, you’ll find the only natural sand beach in Missouri, a dog swimming area, hiking trails, 2 stocked lakes, sandy beaches, camping, and a lot more.
For swimming, there are 3,500 acres of open water.
You can reel in some big fish here. The largest fish caught in Missouri was at this lake. This monster weighed 104 pounds. The lake has also seen some big-time catches which include basses weighing nearly 20 pounds and a few catfish which weighed in around 10 pounds.
Meramec offers a wide variety of other activities including:
- · Swimming
- · Kayaking
- · Sailing
- · Fishing
- · Picnicking
- · Small craft
- · Hiking
- · Wildlife viewing
- · Camping
Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Approximately 280 miles of river and trail meander through the Ozark National Scenic Riverways in southern Missouri. The river itself looks like it formed naturally, and the terrain itself is a product of ice and wind erosion. Four different sections of the river are designated as Wild and Scenic.
Perched on a hill overlooking the confluence of three rivers is Garden of the Gods State Park. Here, you can find native sandstone outcroppings covered with natural mosses. A popular gathering spot for individuals of all ages, the park contains a number of tourable caves and gorges. Hiking, kayaking, and camping are popular activities along the park’s 12 miles of trails.
One of the most recognized trails in the park is a twelve-mile hike from Seligman to Table Rock State Park. Be sure to bring your camera and wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be taking in a breathtaking vista of Table Rock.
Three trailheads offer a wheelchair-accessible route down to the gorge, allowing you enjoy the amenities at the park without causing damage to the sensitive ecosystem.
Hannibal Cave is a unique cave system located in northwest Missouri. It is home to a wide array of cave creatures as well as being nationally recognized as a haven for both science and recreation. It is known for its colorful varieties of fish, loose limestone and the unique ecosystem that it maintains. The cave also serves as a habitat for many bats, as well as several species of salamanders. It is considered unspoiled, but has been affected by modern diversions into the cave, including the destruction of the cave’s breeding lake by the Weyerhaeuser Paper Company.
Lake of the Ozarks
The Lake of the Ozarks is the largest man-made lake in the state of Missouri, and ranks eighth largest man-made lake in the United States. It is located approximately 25 miles northwest of the City of Springfield.
The lake was created by Johnson’s Creek Dam, which was constructed between 1933 and 1943 with the primary purpose of supplying power to the city of Joplin. In the years since the dam was constructed, the lake has become a popular spot for vacationers and residents of the area.
Fishing is a popular activity on Lake of the Ozarks, and a variety of species can be found in the waters. Lake trout are the most sought after, along with walleye, bass, catfish, perch, and crappie.
Sports fishing tournaments and records are held on the lake every year.
Highlight: Famous architecture and sports. St. Louis is most known for its architectural heritage dating back to the city’s founding in 1764. Buildings from the Italianate, Greek Revival, Chicago, Beaux Arts, and Romanesque styles and are so important to the city that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch calls this city the “City of Style.”
It’s no wonder that there are many historic styles of homes in this city. The Cliff Dwelling of Indian Hill is one of many examples. It’s a set of four tiny dwellings built into a cliff overlooking the Mississippi River.
Visit Whiskey Row for history lesson and foodie, and check out the Majestic Theatre for a whirlwind tour of the city’s architectural history. If you have a passion for sports, see a game at the Edward Jones Dome. It’s home to the NFL’s St. Louis Rams and NHL’s St. Louis Blues.