Missouri, draped by magnificent caves, mountains, lakes, and the gorgeous Mississippi rivers, is often known as the ‘Show Me State’. It has a lot to offer to tourists in the form of natural beauty, outdoor adventure activities, and ancient cities with interesting museums. With the rich history binding the city to the past, the modern wonders too have made its mark. You can delve deeper into the natural splendors of canyons & rivers and spend days in the soothing ambiance. This paradise on earth is a Midwestern state in the United States that has umpteen places to cover. So, here is a list of the top places to visit in Missouri that you must explore on your vacation.

Top 8 Places To Visit In Missouri

Being a ‘Show Me State’, you will find a long list of places to discover in Missouri. Among all the places, we have selected the best ones and listed them below.

1. Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

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Positioned on the Lake of the Ozarks, Ha Ha Tonka State Park is America’s top places to visit in Missouri. This can be accredited to the castle ruins that are located here. The place is situated about 5 miles away from Camdenton, Missouri and has been recreated entirely into a 3,700-acre public park that hosts ruins of a 16th century stone castle, which sits high atop a bluff. Having numerous geographical features, this park is breathtakingly beautiful. You will find a 60 feet long natural bridge that is 100 feet high and 70 feet wide. Apart from this, there is a sinkhole that is named as colosseum and a whispering dell sink basin that is 150 feet deep and has two caves. The Ha Ha Tonka spring flows through a gorge 250 foot high and discharges about 50 million gallons of water every day. The stone remains of the castle are high up on the bluff. The park has more than 15 miles of well-maintained trails, passing by natural sinkholes, caves, bridges joining a beautiful, blue, clear lake.

How to reach: Metrobus and metro links from the international airport at St. Louis connects all neighboring places of Missouri with other districts.

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2. Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Gateway Arch

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There is no doubt in the fact that St. Louis is the largest metropolitan area in the state that is full of adventure activities and tourist attractions. It is home to several ancient gardens, museums, parks, breweries and needless to mention, the gateway arch- the world’s tallest artificial monument. In this metropolitan section is an open mall that leads to the courthouse, which faces the gateway arch. In this historic courthouse, the Dred Scott decision took place. For tourists to explore, there are amazing brews at the Anheuser Busch brewery, the St Louis zoo and the Forest Park. The best place to try out St. Louis barbeque food is in the Soulard district. Places like the Museum of westward expansion, St Louis cathedral, cardinals hall of fame and museum and the magic house should not be missed. If you are visiting St Louis, in the spring season, don’t miss the Missouri botanical garden. This botanical garden was inaugurated in the Victorian era by philanthropist Henry Shaw and is the earliest of its kind in America. This garden spans across 79 acres of land and has a varied collection of shrubs, plants, and trees. The geodesic dome called Cilmatton houses more than 14000 species of plants like Banana, cocoa, coffee, orchids, etc.

How to reach: In Missouri, Metrobus and Metrolink are easily accessible and connect the neighboring districts. These stretches begin from the St. Louis Lambert International Airport and go through Missouri and Illinois.

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3. Onondaga Cave State Park, Leasburg

Onondaga Cave State Park

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You discover a land of wonders that include magnificent stalagmites and stalactites, flowstone, soda straws, etc when you go into the depths of Onondaga cave state park. This natural landmark amply justifies why Missouri is called the cave state. To explore the underground parts of the cave, tourists need to take guided tours. Above the cave is a park, names vilander bluff natural area that offers scenic beauty of the Meramec River. People can take part in water activities like canoeing and fishing. The camping ground is beside the main access road, so it remains mostly quiet. The basic requirements of a camp exist- fire pits, playground, posts for lanterns, etc. This place has an amphitheater for educational purposes where programs are held throughout the summer season. The Meramec River has swimming facilities. It is advisable to check the weather conditions before visiting this place since it is severely affected by floods. There are picnic areas that are well maintained and shaded and mostly beside the river. Restrooms, bbq pits, trash cans are all available.

How to reach: it takes 41 minutes to reach this place from Missouri. If you drive from St Louis, it will take about 1 hr and 34 minutes and cost you 550 to 600.

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4. Branson, Ozark


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Another one on the list of the top places to visit in Missouri is Branson which is popular among tourists for a wide variety of adventure activities and entertainment like comedy, dance, acrobatics and more it offers to them. It houses several ancient museums and is close to the Branson tri-lakes, wineries and Ozarks. It attracts visitors to the scenic beauty it offers. Taking a ride on a trolley to visit the historic downtown is like visiting the 1880s. The best things to do in Branson is to visit the zoo, marvel cave, butterfly palace and go for picnics enjoying the eye-soothing view of the table rock lake. Watching the Branson landing fountain show, featuring fire, music, and water in the evening is a treat to the eyes. Also, one can take part in various activities at the shepherd of the hills fish hatchery like hiking, bird watching, trout fishing and going for seasonal hatchery tours. Don’t miss the world’s largest toy museum and the table rock salt park.

How to reach: from St Louis, it takes 3 hours 58 minutes to reach Branson by driving. If you book a commercial flight, it would take nearly an hour to reach Branson.

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5. Elephant Rocks State Park, Belleview

Elephant Rocks State Park

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This park displays the gigantic granite boulders that is shaped like an elephant. These huge elephant rocks were formed about 1.5 billion years ago from granites, that stand like a queue of circus elephants, end to end. People enjoy climbing upon them. The structures created by these granite boulders have intrigued geologists into studying further about them. The one-mile loop, Braille trail in this area is the first of its kind to have been created in Missouri, especially for tourists who are visually and physically challenged.

How to reach: the cheapest way to reach the elephant rocks state park is to drive from St. Louis. It costs between INR. 568 and 670 and takes about two hours to reach.

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6. St. Joseph, Buchanan County

Buchanan County

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St Joseph is a historical city and will let you learn about American history in a much more interesting way than people learn by reading textbooks. You can visualize the sight where the pony expresses begun and the house where Jesse James once resided. This house became a landmark when Jesse James was assassinated by Robert ford within the wall of this anonymous house. The hole where the bullet hit still exists. St Joseph houses 13 ancient museums, 12 festivals every year and several architectural structures that are mentioned in the national register of historic places. It has 26 miles of parkway which offers outdoor recreation for tourists. There is no doubt in the fact that St. Joseph is one of the best places to visit in Missouri. 

How to reach: buses are a cheap mode of transportation here. Bus tickets are available at an affordable rate at the St Joseph transit.

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7. Roaring River State Park

Roaring River State Park

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A 4093-acre park, Roaring River State Park is about 8 miles away from Cassville in Barry county. The park is nestled among deep, narrow and shady valley and is bordered by the rugged Ozark mountains. One of the main reasons for this lark being popular among tourists is the rainbow trout in the river. There are seven hiking trails, several picnic spots with barbecue facilities, a nature center, and a swimming pool. There is also a large camping ground for those who want to sit and relax and enjoy the eye-soothing beauty of the place.

How to reach: From Branson, the Roaring River State Park is at a distance of 1hr 30 minutes.

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8. Talking Rocks Cavern

Talking Rocks Cavern

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Located at a distance of about 15 minutes from Branson is talking rocks cavern, founded in the late 1800s. The Herschel family entertainment organizes regular tours of the caves. Tourists go down a series of 265 steps to reach the foot of the cave. The caves have formed amazing crystalline formations and are well lit and maintained. Also, a light and sound show is included in the tour organized by this family. Tourists can avail additional fun activities such as nature trails, spell box crawl maze and a lookout tower. A trip to this place is incomplete without exploring this caverns and rocks as it is one of the top places to visit in Missouri. 

How to reach: this place is located half a mile south to the junction of business HWY 13 and HWY 76 in west Branson. Tourists can take cabs from Missouri.

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Missouri has everything that a tourist needs to spend a perfect holiday. Canyons, mountains, hills, rivers, and every natural splendor that exists on Earth. You will never get enough of this place and would want to visit again and again. But, it is impossible to cover every place so this list of places to visit in Missourie would help you get the best of the “Show Me State.” Without wasting any time, plan your excursion to USA with TravelTriangle and get a personalized itinerary.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Places To Visit In Missouri

What is Missouri known for?

Missouri is known for its magnificent lakes, mountains and the gorgeous Mississippi Rivers. Tourists get attracted by its immense natural beauty, the picturesque and well-organized ancient city, different outdoor adventure activities and various interesting museums.

What is the best thing about Missouri?

The best thing about Missouri is its sports, culture, nature and great and healthy food habits.

Which tourist attractions in Missouri are currently open?

Most of the tourist sites in Missouri are open, however, mandatory guidelines are being observed to ensure a safe experience. The following places in Missouri are open:
1. Fantastic Caverns
2. Talking Rock Cavern
3. Meramec Caverns
4. Saint Louis Zoo
5. Forest Park
6. The Gateway Arch
7. Masonic Hall
8. Elsah Historic District
9. Battle of Pacific Historic Site

Is it safe to visit Missouri during Covid times?

You need to follow all the mandatory safety guidelines mentioned by the authorities to ensure a safe travel experience. Remain masked while stepping out of the hotel and maintain social distance. Avoid visiting crowded places and keep sanitizing your hands after touching surfaces.

What is the number one tourist attraction in Missouri?

There are numerous iconic attractions in Missouri. Gateway Arch serves to be the landmark and the most popular tourist attraction. Made up of steel and concrete, the site is known for its elegance. The arch is designed by the renowned architect Eero Saarinen.

Why is Missouri called the Cave’s State?

Not only is Missouri famous as the ‘show me state’, but also as a cave state for the 6300 recorded caves that have been found in and around this state. The number increases every year. These caves have so long been resourceful to the inhabitants. Also, they are home to unique species of birds and other life forms and offer frontiers of exploration for adventure lovers.

Are there any state parks in Missouri that one can visit for free?

Missouri has one of the best park systems in the entire world. The state parks in Missouri are free of any cost, making them extremely popular places for recreation. Missouri is one of the eight states in America to offer free park services.

What is the best time to visit Missouri?

The best time to visit Missouri is when the temperature starts falling. September and October are ideal for Missouri to be visited. It experiences high temperatures in the daytime with slight rainfall and crystal clear skies mostly. Spring is another season when you can visit Missouri. Hotels give discounts during this season. March and April are good except for the sporadic springtime showers. Flowers bloom and the air is as fresh as ever.

What is the hottest and the coldest month in Missouri?

January is the coldest month in Missouri having a temperature of 21.2 degrees Fahrenheit, while July is the warmest month having an average temperature of 89.8 degrees. May is the wettest, while January remains to be the driest month as well.

What are the 3 interesting facts about Missouri?

The three fun facts about Missouri has been listed below:
1. The state of Missouri has derived it’s after a tribe of Sioux Indians who were called the Missouris and not from the Missouri river which encircles the state.
2. The tallest man-made monument is the gateway arch in St Louis.
3. Richland in Missouri is the only place to have a cave restaurant in the United States.

What should I eat in Missouri?

St. Louis-style pizza, Toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, pork steaks, St Paul’s sandwich, St Louis ‘s style ribs, slingers, red hots riblets, ice cream cones, and snoots are the lip-smacking, mouth-watering dishes of Missouri.

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