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Top 10 Places to Visit in Missouri

St. Louis
Photograph Flickr by US Department of State, via Wikimedia Commons

#1 St. Louis

St. Louis located near the confluence of the Mississippi and the Missouri Rivers is a popular city of Missouri. The city is worldwide famous for its 630 foot Gateway Arch known as the "Gateway to the West". St. Louis is home to the Saint Louis University and Washington University. The city offers number of family friendly places to visit. Things to do and top attractions include Gateway Arch, Saint Louis Zoo, Missouri Botanical Garden, Forest Park, City Museum, Saint Louis Art Museum, and Missouri History Museum.

Photograph by kspradleyphoto.com, via Wikimedia Commons

#2 Branson

Located in the Ozark Mountains, Branson is popular family vacation destination. It features collection of entertainment theaters including popular Dolly Parton's Stampede. Other attractions include Hollywood Wax Museum Branson, Silver Dollar City, White Water, Branson Top Ops, Mount Pleasant Winery, and Dolly Parton's Stampede. Fun and adventure activities include zip lines, cave tours, go-karts, mini golf, and more. Downtown Branson is known for Lake Taneycomo waterfront featuring scenic boardwalk along the lakefront and fountains.

Kansas City
Photograph by S300896, via Wikimedia Commons

#3 Kansas City

Kansas City is the largest city of Missouri located at the junction of Missouri River and Kansas River. The city is also known as the City of Fountains, Paris of the Plains, and Soccer Capital of America. The historic Kansas City is home to many historical buildings such as Antioch Christian Church, Dr. James Compton House, and Woodneath. Kansas City is also famous for its steak and Kansas City style barbecue. Things to do and family fun places to visit include The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City Zoo, Worlds Of Fun, Science City, National WWI Museum and Memorial, Union Station Kansas City, and Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.

Photograph by Adam Procter, via Wikimedia Commons

#4 Columbia

Columbia is 4th largest city of Missouri and home to the University of Missouri. Columbia offers many outdoor recreation opportunities. The city is surrounded by Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, Mark Twain National Forest, and Big Muddy National Fish and Wildlife Refuge. The city is home to many performing art venues and museums including Missouri Theatre Center for the Arts, Jesse Auditorium, and University of Missouri's Museum of Art and Archaeology.

Photograph by Joelfun, via Wikimedia Common

#5 Springfield

Known as "Queen City of the Ozarks" and "Birthplace of Route 66", Springfield is the 3rd largest city of Missouri. Springfield is home to Missouri State University, Drury University, and Evangel University. Downtown is home to several historic buildings including Gillioz Theatre and Landers Theatre. Things to do and family fun places to visit include Wonders Of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, Fantastic Caverns, Dickerson Park Zoo, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, Ozark Park Trail, Discovery Center of Springfield, and Springfield Art Museum.

Mark Twain National Forest
Photograph by Kbh3rd, via Wikimedia Commons

#6 Mark Twain National Forest

Mark Twain National Forest located in the southern Missouri is named for native author Mark Twain. The 1.5 million acres forest is known for its wilderness and scenic river. Mark Twain National Forest offers wide range of recreation opportunities. It has over 750 miles of hiking trails including 350-mile Ozark Trail that covers much of the forest. Glade Top Trail National Scenic Byway offers views of the Boston Mountains of Arkansas. Park activities include hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, canoeing, and kayaking..

Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Photograph Flickr by Paul Knittel, via Wikimedia Commons

#7 Ha Ha Tonka State Park

Ha Ha Tonka State Park located south of Camdenton is know for its history and geologic features. The 3,700 acres park features sinkholes, caves, a huge natural bridge, and bluffs overlooking the lake. Park main attraction is 20th-century stone castle ruins of Ha Ha Tonka with views of the Lake of the Ozarks and Ha Ha Tonka Spring. The state park offers 15 miles of hiking trails. Park activities include hiking, boating, swimming, and fishing.

Meramec State Park
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#8 Meramec State Park

Meramec State Park along the Meramec River is a popular recreation area. The park is located near Sullivan and 60 miles from St. Louis. Main attraction is over 40 caves located throughout the park. Fisher Cave is the most famous and spectacular natural wonder. Other attractions include Meramec State Park Lookout House & Observation Tower, Meramec State Park Pump House, and Meramec State Park Shelter House. Recreation activities on the Meramec River include swimming, boating, rafting, and fishing. The state park has 13 miles of hiking trails.

Lake of the Ozarks State Park
Photograph Flickr by James Carr, via Wikimedia Commons

#9 Lake of the Ozarks State Park

Lake of the Ozarks State Park is the most popular state park located on the Grand Glaize Arm of the Lake of the Ozarks. It is also the largest state park in Missouri. The park features 85 miles of shoreline on the lake. Anderson Hollow Cove known as Party Cove is the most popular attraction. Other activities include swimming, boating, fishing, camping, and picnicking.

Ozark National Scenic Riverways
Photograph by Kbh3rd, via Wikimedia Commons

#10 Ozark National Scenic Riverways

Located in the Ozarks of southern Missouri, Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a popular recreational area. The 80,000 acres park offers many form of recreation. Popular Current and Jacks Fork rivers activities include canoeing, kayaking, inflatable rafts and tubes. Other activities include hiking, horseback riding, fishing, camping, birdwatching, and sightseeing. Park also includes caves including popular Round Spring Caverns, Devils Well sink and Jam-Up Cave.

Best State Parks to Visit in Missouri