Summer is fast approaching, and you are no doubt wondering where to go during your annual vacation time. Especially when you have kids in tow, you want to visit a place where you can all have a great time. There are plenty of choices out there, and you may well have a bucket list of ideas already. If you are currently undecided, how about some Midwestern hospitality in the state of Missouri? A place of natural beauty and rich history, Missouri has something for everyone, with activities and attractions galore. From the peaks and valleys of the Ozark Mountains for would-be explorers, to some of the greatest theme parks and museums in America, there is plenty on offer for your ‘must see’ summer itinerary.
If you need any convincing, here are some of the places we recommend you visit in Missouri this year. Be sure to send us a postcard and let us know what you think.
- Visit the Ozarks
A place of rugged beauty and incredible vistas, the Ozarks recently became famous in the Netflix tv show of the same name. Don’t worry, despite the murkiness of this crime thriller, the only double-crossing you will get into will be from your family when you decide whereabouts to visit in this beautiful part of Branson. Book yourself a stay at one of the resorts in Branson MO, and then immerse yourself in the wide variety of activities that are on offer.Hike through the mountains or take a bike trail (good fun with the kids), immerse yourself within the confines of the mystic caverns, or head to the splendid ‘Lake of the Ozarks’ for a spot of fly fishing, canoeing, and waterboarding. Alternatively, if time is limited, take a whistle-stop tour of this beautiful arena down a zip wire and feel the wind through your hair. There’s plenty to do for thrill seekers and relaxation hunters alike at the Ozarks, and you will never want to leave (unlike Jason Bateman in the aforementioned show).
- Meet me in St Louis
Well, we won’t actually be there (forgive the film reference), but you should definitely go. There are loads of attractions to visit, but if you are short of time, you need to head to Forest Park. Attracting millions of people a year, this beautiful urban park situated at the heart of St Louis was once host to the 1904 World Fair. With an incredible natural setting to explore, featuring an incredible array of trees, gardens and ponds, the park is also the home of some of the greatest attractions St Louis has to offer. Examples? Art lovers won’t want to miss the St Louis Art Museum, which has more than 30,000 works of art, from the works of Picasso to more modern pieces. Kids will love the St Louis Zoo (and you will love the free admission), with over 20,000 animals, all cared for by the WildCare Institute. Your young ones may be off school, but you can further their education (and your own), by visiting the History Museum and the Science Center, for hands-on fun with a massive range of exhibits. After seeing it all, you will be exhausted, so end your time here with a Broadway musical at The Muny or a gentle boat ride on the lake to calm your excited nerves. On second thoughts, we may meet you there after all!
- Journey to Kansas City
Dorothy may not have been in Kansas anymore (apologies for another movie reference), but the place has more to offer than Oz ever did! Known as the City of Fountains (only Rome has more watery displays of beauty), this hip and trendy city has a lot to offer anybody, hipster cool or not! Sports lovers will want to visit Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs as they commemorate their 50th anniversary this year. Your kids will love you forever if you take them to one of the many theme parks, with the world’s tallest water slide at Schlitterbahn, Dorothy’s Land of Oz (perhaps she really was in Kansas after all), and the incredible thrill rides at World of Fun. The Kansas City Zoo is a must-stop for animal lovers (cowardly lions included), there are some incredible live-entertainment shows to take in (check out the jazz at the Blue Room) and to top it all off, there are some incredible shopping precincts, with plenty of places to spend your money. Short of a hurricane passing through, you won’t be in a hurry to leave Kansas anytime soon.
- Check out the famous tourist attractions
Missouri has an incredible array of tourist attractions; those places that are high on many people’s bucket lists as things they need to see before they die. What do we mean? Well, there are some diverse places to consider, but literary fans should definitely make time to visit Mark Twain’s boyhood home in Hannibal. Now converted into a museum, this beautifully restored building was the place where Twain wrote about the adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (amongst other classic works). Speaking of famous people’s homes, you might also want to visit the home of Harry S. Truman in the city of Independence. Sadly, he won’t be home to welcome you (he died in 1972), but you can tour his Victorian dwelling, before taking a walk up to the Presidential Library and Museum, which features a replica of the White House itself! War buffs should check out the Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, standing tall as a tribute to those who fell during World War 1, as well as the National World War 1 Museum, which contains over 75,000 historical exhibits from the period.
Not only but also…
There is so much more to discover in Missouri, and we haven’t had space to include it all. Aside from the popular tourist spots, there are a range of other cool and unusual things to do in the State. You won’t have time to see it all (unless you actually live there), but get your family together and create a wishlist of the highlights. You won’t regret it, and chances are, you will want to return there time and again!