It's likely that there are no more popular places in the state of Missouri right now than our lakes, streams, forests and wilderness areas. People are looking for relaxation, nature, space. But one of the challenges is finding something that suits you and your family. In spite of your desire to get away from all, don't do it entirely unplugged – because there are apps that will help you make the most of your Missouri adventure.
Find places to experience nature and participate in outdoor activities in any part of the state you're visiting, with the MO Outdoors app from the Missouri Department of Conservation. It connects you with more than 1,000 conservation areas throughout the state by letting you choose an activity like camping, fishing or birding. MO Outdoors and MDC's other apps, which include MO Hunting, MO Fishing and MO Conservation Mag, are all free.
Be sure to check out the Missouri State and National Parks app to help you explore places you never knew were here. It looks like a guide and lists parks by location, amenities and campgrounds while offering photos, facts, maps and directions.
If you've already narrowed your choice down to Missouri's newest national park – Gateway Arch National Park – they have their own app that offers the most sought-after functions for visitors to the Arch: a map of downtown parking, a link to buy tickets, accessibility information, a map offering points of interest in the park and new museum, information about museum exhibits, an event calendar, timed visitor itineraries and a built-in Gateway Arch themed photo filter. And the app has been tested to ensure that everyone – especially people who are blind, low vision, or deaf – will be able to use it.
Similarly, the sensory-friendly Kansas City Zoo app was designed for all guests including those with disabilities and their families or school groups, to fully engage in the zoo experience. You'll be able to preview the spaces, create your own schedule and check out features like the sensory-friendly map and tips for visiting.
Interactive maps and photos are just the start with the Saint Louis Zoo app. Learn about your favorite animals and stay connected with the zoo wildlife. And your phone's GPS works with the app to tell you exactly where in the zoo you are.
Explore the struggle for freedom along the Missouri/Kansas border with the Freedom Frontier Tour app, from the exploration of the West to Civil War skirmishes to the Border War. It's a great way to experience history until you can get out there in person.
If sport are your thing, there's an app for that: St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals baseball, St. Louis Blues hockey and Kansas City Chiefs and Mizzou football all have their own apps so you can follow the action and your favorite players
You're bound to get hungry along the way – and nothing comes more recommended than Kansas City barbecue. But how to choose from all the good options? The KC BBQ Experience app is the ultimate resource for enjoying Kansas City's signature cuisine. Check in to 100+ regional restaurants, earn badges for bragging rights, post photos of your 'cue and embark on themed trails to explore new parts of the city.
You'll also need to quench your thirst, so you'll want to get the Missouri Wine and Grape Board's iPhone app to guide you to 97 of the state's wineries, help you select a wine or several and then enable you to keep a log of what you've tried and enjoyed.
Missouri is a pretty good-sized state, so you might look into the Amtrak app and ride the rails to some of your destinations – or check out the MODOT app to keep current on road conditions. And the Ride KC app will help you navigate around our largest city.
Several Missouri cities have their own apps, too: Independence, Visit KC, Explore St. Louis, even Visit Cuba MO.
We're just scratching the surface here – so explore these and then go discover more. And when you find something you love – be sure to share it with us at #MissouriAdventure.
Written by Barbara Brueggeman