Top 10 Best Things To Do In Missouri

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A Midwestern state between Kansas and Kentucky, Missouri is covered in grassy plains that stretch for miles that contrast against the high peaks of the Ozark ... read more...

  1. Sight & Sound Theaters (Branson) ranks first on the list of the best things to do in Missouri. The city of Branson in the southwest of the state is a fantastic place to enjoy a show and is often referred to as a "family-friendly Las Vegas." The brilliant Sight & Sound Theatres is one of the biggest and best venues in town, bringing action-packed, yet heartfelt, Biblical stories to life in an utterly entertaining and unforgettable way.

    At the state-of-the-art theater, guests can enjoy an amazing immersive experience as a huge cast of actors and live animals put on a phenomenal performance with the intricately designed set and stage surrounding them on three sides. Whether you are a believer or not, the company’s epic productions of shows such as JESUS, Noah – The Musical and the Miracle of Christmas are not to be missed. Their vast sets, special effects and lovely orchestral music make for such spellbinding spectacles.

    Google rating: 4.9/5.0

    Address: 1001 Shepherd of the Hills Expy, Branson, MO 65616

    Phone: +1 800-377-1277


  2. The Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium, the world's largest immersive wildlife attraction of its kind, is located in the heart of Springfield. You can walk through galleries full of elaborate dioramas depicting natural habitats and animals from all over the world before seeing shimmering shoals of fish, scary sharks, and slow sloths in its large enclosures.

    Despite the fact that it only opened in 2017, it is now one of the top tourist attractions in the state due to its numerous and massive exhibits. In addition to seeing taxidermied elephants, grizzlies, and crocodiles in dramatic poses in their natural habitats, visitors can learn all about them through the museum's many artifacts, artworks, and short film clips. The highlight, however, has to be its excellent aquarium, which has numerous themed sections to explore, including a Louisiana Swamp and an Ozark forest, and over 35,000 fish, reptiles, amphibians, and birds.

    Google rating: 4.8/5.0

    Address: 500 W Sunshine St, Springfield, MO 65807

    Phone: +1 888-222-6060

  3. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park ranks 3rd on the list of the best things to do in Missouri. Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, located just minutes from Columbia, allows visitors to scramble, hike, and bicycle through a scenic environment while also getting a glimpse into Missouri's underworld. The park contains some of the state's most popular hiking trails and also provides solitude while hiking in the Gans Creek Wild Area. At the Devil's Icebox, visitors can also see a large cave system with a rock bridge, sinkholes, a spring, and an underground stream. For a taste of the underground world, explore Connor's Cave in the light of the opening.

    The wild and rugged Rock Bridge Memorial State Park just outside of Columbia is not to be outdone in terms of scenic splendor and outstanding outdoor activities. It is known for its impressive karst landforms and has a large cave system with sinkholes, a spring, and an underground stream. It is located in the heart of the state and includes not only lush forests and craggy rock formations, but also a bubbling creek, with its natural rock bridge being one of the park's standout features. Aside from exploring its cool caves, visitors can hike along its winding boardwalk, photograph the lush foliage, and cycle or horseback ride along the idyllic trails that wind their way around the Gans Creek Wild Area.

    Google rating: 4.8/5.0
    Address: 5901 South Highway 163, Columbia, MO 65203
    Phone: +1 573-449-7402
  4. Missouri's seat of government, located in the heart of Jefferson City, is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful capitol buildings in the country. It is located on the banks of the Missouri River and has an eye-catching facade with elegant ionic columns, intricate reliefs, and exquisite sculptures, all topped by a massive and grandiose dome.

    The remarkable Roman Renaissance building, the sixth such structure to stand on the same site, was completed in 1917 and is surrounded by lush grounds and gardens. While its massive exterior is already awe-inspiring, its interior is equally as impressive. Its marble-clad walls are adorned with numerous statues, stained glass windows, and colorful friezes. The structure is built on a limestone bluff on the Missouri River's south bank. At its widest point, it is 437 feet long and 300 feet wide. The dome's spire rises 262 feet above the basement floor. The 3 acre building with 500,000 square feet of floor space is literally a museum of public art, notable not only for its quality and abundance, but also for its faithful reflection of Missouri's themes, events, and people.

    Google rating: 4.7/5.0
    Address: 201 W Capitol Ave, Jefferson City, MO 65101
    Phone: +1 573-751-2854
  5. The Missouri State Penitentiary (Jefferson City) ranks 5th on the list of the best things to do in Missouri. The Missouri State Penitentiary was a prison in Jefferson City, Missouri, that operated from 1836 to 2004. Part of the Missouri Department of Corrections, it served as the state of Missouri's primary maximum security institution. Before it closed, it was the oldest operating penal facility west of the Mississippi River. It was replaced by the Jefferson City Correctional Center, which opened on September 15, 2004. Another of Jefferson City's top tourist attractions is the Missouri State Penitentiary, which is just down the road from its charming state capitol building. Visitors to the imposing prison complex can learn about its notorious inmates, explore its artifact and exhibit-filled museum, and tour its creepy cell blocks, gas chamber, and courtyards.

    Missouri's main maximum security institution, a century older than Alcatraz, operated from 1836 to 2004, with thousands of hardened convicts passing through over the years. You'll learn about exciting escape attempts, chaotic riots, and the dozens of Death Row prisoners who were executed at the facility during informative and entertaining tours. The penitentiary, once known as the "bloodiest 47 acres in America" due to the hundreds of serious assaults that occurred in its cells, is now popular with keen photographers, ghosthunters, and history buffs.

    Google rating: 4.7/5.0
    Address: 115 Lafayette St, Jefferson City, MO 65101
    Phone: +1 866-998-6998
  6. Meramec Caverns (Stanton) ranks 6th on the list of the best things to do in Missouri. The massive and majestic Meramec Caverns stretch 4.6 miles beneath the Ozarks and are an absolutely incredible place to explore. The massive cave system, located alongside the historic Route 66, has simply stunning stalactites and stalagmites to ogle at, with beautiful rock formations on display everywhere you look. It was formed over hundreds of millions of years as large limestone deposits slowly eroded, and it now has more than forty connecting caves for visitors to explore.

    The 'Wine Room' and 'Mirror Room' are among the most popular and photographed, with the 'Greatest Show Under the Earth' also drawing a lot of attention. Apart from simply admiring the softly lit subterranean world and learning about its history, visitors can also hike and bike through the scenic state park that lies above the cave complex, just outside Stanton.

    Google rating: 4.6/5.0
    Address: 1135 Hwy W, Sullivan, MO 63080
    Phone: +1 573-468-2283
  7. The Mark Twain Boyhood Home is undoubtedly Hannibal's most notable attraction, packed with interesting exhibits, personal artifacts, and memorabilia related to the iconic author. It is now a National Historic Landmark, and it provides an intriguing look at the remarkable life and legacy of Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain.

    He lived in the small two-story house between the ages of seven and eighteen, and is now one of America's best-loved authors. He found inspiration for some of his greatest novels, such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in Hannibal in the 1840s and 1850s, with the white picket fence next to his childhood house appearing famously in the former. After having ambled about the well-preserved property, make sure to visit the adjoining museum for its interactive exhibits on Mark Twain, its numerous personal items and first edition copies of many of his books.

    Google rating: 4.6/5.0

    Address: 120 N Main St, Hannibal, MO 63401

    Phone: +1 573-221-9010

  8. The famous 'Swinging Bridges of Brumley,' an architectural and engineering marvel, can be found at the eastern end of Lake of the Ozarks and the lovely state park of the same name. Although the pair of old suspension bridges are located in a remote and rural area, they are well worth a detour for their unique appearance and the beautiful countryside scenery. To cross a swinging bridge that, unlike its counterpart in Yosemite Valley, actually swings. You don't need much imagination to put your Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom skills to the test here. You can also swim in the river, which is the main draw for most visitors.

    They are only about a thousand feet apart and were both built in the early 1920s, with the Grand Auglaize being 500 feet long and Mill Creek being only 135. Although rarely used and deemed 'functionally obsolete,' the narrow, swaying structures are fun if a little freaky to drive over, with some fantastic photos and views of both the bridges and their surroundings.

    Google rating: 4.5/5.0
    Address: 701 The Escort Way, Orange NSW 2800
    Phone: 0447 416 295
  9. Silver Dollar City's thrilling rides, roller coasters, and spectacular live shows are great fun for the whole family and can be found just outside Branson in the southwest corner of the state. There are nearly a dozen different districts to explore at the 1880s-themed amusement park, with plenty of shops, restaurants, saloons, and theaters to go along with all of its other exciting attractions.

    It has consistently been ranked as one of the best theme parks in the United States since its inception in 1960. Visitors can now stroll through lively yet relaxed areas like Homestead Ridge, Rivertown, and Wilson's Farm. Before stopping for a bite to eat or riding a thrilling roller coaster, observe woodcarvers, blacksmiths, and glassblowers. In addition to seeing a show or shopping for souvenirs, you can learn about the area's history, attend one of the park's many festivals, or explore the magnificent Marvel Cave.

    Google rating: 4.4/5.0
    Address: 399 Silver Dollar City Pkwy | Branson, MO 65616
    Phone: 417.336.7100
  10. Founded in 1859, the Missouri Botanical Garden is the nation's oldest botanical garden in continuous operation and a National Historic Landmark. The Garden is a center for botanical research and science education, as well as an oasis in the city of St. Louis. The Garden offers 79 acres of beautiful horticultural display, including a 14-acre Japanese strolling garden, historic architecture, and one of the world's largest collections of rare and endangered flora.

    For over 158 years, the Garden has been an oasis in the city, a place of beauty and family fun—and also a center for education, science, and conservation. Aside from the Biblical, Ottoman, and Japanese gardens, there is also a beautiful geodesic dome conservatory with stunning statues and sculptures dotted throughout. While the garden's exquisite horticultural displays are a treat for the senses, it also hosts cultural events, festivals, and concerts throughout the year.

    Google rating: 4.4/5.0

    Address: 15050 Faust ParkChesterfield, MO 63017

    Phone: (314) 577-0888


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