Best Weekend Getaways in Missouri: Explore the Show-Me State
Are you craving a weekend getaway filled with history, adventure, and natural beauty? Look no further than the Show-Me State of Missouri. From the bustling city of St. Louis to the serene Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri offers a diverse range of destinations for an unforgettable weekend trip. In this guide, we’ll take you through the best weekend getaways in Missouri, highlighting the unique attractions and activities each place has to offer.
St. Louis: A City of History and Culture
St. Louis, the gateway to the West, should be at the top of your list for a weekend getaway in Missouri. This vibrant city offers a mix of history, culture, and delicious cuisine. Start your trip by visiting the iconic Gateway Arch National Park, where you can take a tram ride to the top for breathtaking views of the city. Explore the historic Soulard neighborhood, known for its lively atmosphere and vibrant nightlife. Don’t miss the opportunity to sample some of St. Louis’ famous barbecue, such as ribs or pulled pork, at one of the city’s many BBQ joints. For art enthusiasts, the St. Louis Art Museum and the City Museum are must-visit attractions. End your day with a Cardinals baseball game at Busch Stadium, cheering alongside the passionate local fans.
Where to Stay in St. Louis: The Four Seasons Hotel St. Louis or the Marriott St. Louis Grand
How to Get There: St. Louis is easily accessible by car or plane, with multiple flights arriving daily at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.
Columbia: A College Town with a Twist
Columbia, known for its progressive and eccentric atmosphere, is an ideal destination for a weekend trip in Missouri. This vibrant college town offers a wide range of activities, from exploring world-class museums to experiencing the great outdoors. Take a stroll through the University of Missouri campus, admiring its beautiful architecture and vibrant student life. Visit the Museum of Art and Archaeology to appreciate its extensive collection of ancient artifacts. If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, head to the Finger Lakes State Park for kayaking or explore the Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area for bird-watching and hiking. Columbia also boasts a lively culinary scene, with numerous farm-to-table restaurants and craft breweries to satisfy your palate.
Where to Stay in Columbia: The Broadway Columbia – a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel or the Tiger Hotel
How to Get There: Columbia is located in central Missouri and can be easily reached by car.
Lake of the Ozarks: A Natural Paradise
Escape to the picturesque Lake of the Ozarks for a weekend filled with natural beauty and outdoor adventures. This stunning man-made lake offers a wide range of activities, including boating, fishing, hiking, and even cave exploration. Visit the Bridal Cave, known for its awe-inspiring underground formations, or cool off at the Big Surf Waterpark. Take a scenic boat tour of the lake, immersing yourself in the serene surroundings. If you’re a golf enthusiast, challenge yourself on one of the many championship golf courses in the area. The Lake of the Ozarks is also home to charming lakeside resorts and restaurants, where you can relax and savor delicious local cuisine.
Where to Stay at Lake of the Ozarks: Chateau on the Lake Resort Spa & Convention Center or The Branson Hotel
How to Get There: The Lake of the Ozarks is located in Osage Beach, Missouri, and can be reached by car.
Jefferson City: A Capital of History and Culture
As the capital city of Missouri, Jefferson City offers a perfect blend of history and entertainment for a weekend getaway. Explore the historic Missouri State Capitol building and take a guided tour to learn about the state’s political history. Visit the Missouri State Museum, located inside the Capitol building, to delve deeper into the state’s rich heritage. For a unique experience, take a tour of the Missouri State Penitentiary, a former prison with a fascinating past. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the beautiful Missouri River, or take a dinner cruise to admire the city’s scenic views. Jefferson City also offers a variety of dining options, ranging from upscale restaurants to cozy cafes.
Where to Stay in Jefferson City: DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Jefferson City or the Capitol Plaza Hotel
How to Get There: Jefferson City is located in central Missouri and can be easily reached by car.
Springfield: Embrace the Great Outdoors
If you’re a nature lover, Springfield is the ideal destination for a weekend getaway in Missouri. Immerse yourself in the wonders of the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium, where you can explore impressive exhibits showcasing the diverse wildlife of the region. Discover the beauty of the Ozark Park Trail through hiking or mountain biking, or embark on a cave exploration adventure at the Fantastic Caverns. For a taste of local history, visit the Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, a significant site from the Civil War era. Springfield also offers a vibrant downtown area with unique shops, art galleries, and farm-to-table restaurants to satisfy your cravings.
Where to Stay in Springfield: University Plaza Hotel and Convention Center or DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Springfield
How to Get There: Springfield is located in southwestern Missouri and can be easily reached by car.
Branson: Family Fun and Country Music
Known as the premier destination for families, Branson offers a weekend filled with entertainment and nostalgia. Start your visit with a trip to Table Rock Lake, where you can enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, including hiking, boating, and fishing. Explore the Titanic Museum, a unique attraction that provides an immersive experience into the tragic story of the Titanic. Take a ride on the Branson Scenic Railway, offering stunning views of the Ozark Mountains. Don’t forget to catch a live show in one of Branson’s famous theaters, featuring a wide range of performances, from country music to comedy acts. End your day with a delectable dinner at one of Branson’s many restaurants, offering mouthwatering dishes for every taste.
Where to Stay in Branson: Hilton Promenade at Branson Landing or The Suites at Fall Creek by Diamond Resorts
How to Get There: Branson is located in southwestern Missouri and can be easily reached by car.
Kansas City: A Midwestern Gem
Kansas City, located in Missouri, offers a vibrant blend of culture, history, and entertainment. Begin your weekend getaway by exploring the city’s renowned museums, such as the National World War I Museum and Memorial and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, known for its impressive collection of European and American art. Indulge in some of Kansas City’s famous barbecue at one of the many top-notch BBQ joints in town. Take a stroll through the historic Country Club Plaza, featuring Spanish-inspired architecture and upscale shopping. If you’re a sports fan, catch a Kansas City Chiefs football game at Arrowhead Stadium or a Kansas City Royals baseball game at Kauffman Stadium.
Where to Stay in Kansas City: The Fontaine or 21c Museum Hotel Kansas City
How to Get There: Kansas City is located in western Missouri and can be easily reached by car.
Republic: Step Back in Time
Republic, a small town in Missouri, offers a peaceful and relaxing weekend getaway. Immerse yourself in the town’s rich history by visiting the Republic Historical Museum, where you can learn about the local heritage. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through J.R. Martin Park, a picturesque green space perfect for picnics and outdoor activities. For wine enthusiasts, a visit to the Top Hat Winery is a must, where you can sample a variety of locally produced wines. Take a sunrise walk along the Little Blue Trace Trail, a scenic path that winds through the beautiful Missouri countryside. Republic is the ideal destination for those seeking a weekend of tranquility and relaxation.
Where to Stay in Republic: There are limited accommodation options in Republic, but nearby Springfield offers a range of hotels.
How to Get There: Republic is located in southwestern Missouri and can be easily reached by car.
Independence: Small Town Charm
Escape the hustle and bustle of city life with a weekend trip to Independence, a charming small town in Missouri. Take a leisurely walk along the Little Blue Trace Trail, a scenic path perfect for nature enthusiasts. Visit the Top Hat Winery, where you can savor a variety of locally produced wines. Explore the historic attractions, such as the Harry S. Truman National Historic Site and the 1859 Jail and Marshal’s Museum, to learn about the town’s rich history. Enjoy a relaxed afternoon at McCoy Park, a beautiful green space ideal for picnics and outdoor activities. Independence offers a delightful blend of small-town charm and rich history, making it a perfect weekend getaway destination.
Where to Stay in Independence: There are limited accommodation options in Independence, but nearby Kansas City offers a range of hotels.
How to Get There: Independence is located in western Missouri and can be easily reached by car.
Hannibal: Mark Twain’s Hometown
For literature enthusiasts, Hannibal, the hometown of Mark Twain, is a must-visit destination for a weekend getaway in Missouri. Immerse yourself in the world of the famous author by visiting his boyhood home and the Mark Twain Museum. Explore the Mark Twain Cave and Campground, where you can experience the underground wonders that inspired Twain’s stories. Take a relaxing riverboat cruise along the Mississippi River, enjoying the scenic views and learning about the area’s history. Hannibal also offers a variety of charming shops and restaurants, where you can indulge in delicious local cuisine. A weekend in Hannibal will transport you to the world of Mark Twain and provide a unique literary experience.
Where to Stay in Hannibal: Garth Woodside Mansion or Hannibal Garden House Bed and Breakfast
How to Get There: Hannibal is located in northeastern Missouri and can be easily reached by car.
Discover the Best of Missouri on a Weekend Getaway
Missouri offers a diverse range of weekend getaways, from the vibrant city life of St. Louis to the tranquil beauty of the Lake of the Ozarks. Whether you’re seeking history and culture, outdoor adventures, or small-town charm, Missouri has something for everyone. Explore the top 10 weekend getaways in Missouri and embark on an unforgettable journey through the Show-Me State. Pack your bags, hit the road, and get ready to discover the hidden gems of Missouri on your next weekend getaway.