Summer has finally arrived in the Show-Me State, and there is no better time to round up the family and head outside for an adventure in nature or to deep dive into our colorful history. Whichever option appeals to you, Missouri has a national park or historic site to fit the bill:
Gateway Arch National Park, St. Louis, is the best of all worlds for the family: a brand new museum documenting the history of the American West: the Old Courthouse with its lessons about the Dred Scott freedom trials; lots of green spaces to walk, run, bike and play; and the tram ride to the top of the iconic Gateway Arch itself.
George Washington Carver National Monument, Diamond, is the first national monument dedicated to a black American and the first to honor someone other than a president. Learn about and honor the famous scientist – who discovered hundreds of uses for peanuts, soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes – at his birthplace right here in Missouri.
Harry S Truman National Historic Sites: Browse objects from the Harry S. Truman home, learn about his home life and tour the house in Independence, where the only president from Missouri lived from 1919 until his death in 1972 … then take a self-guided tour of his grandmother’s farm in Grandview, where he lived from age 22 to 33.
Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Van Buren/Eminence/Salem/Winona, give you a chance to get back to your wild side in the first national park to preserve a wild river system. Float, fish and swim in the pristine spring-fed waters and maybe catch a glimpse of Missouri’s herd of wild horses.
Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site, St. Louis, invites you to visit the home of our 18th President of the United States. The house, White Haven, is a National Historic Landmark; you can explore the house, outbuildings and grounds and browse the interactive museum in the stable.
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, Republic, brings history to life on the grounds of the second major battle of the Civil War. The driving tour and walking trails let you view the battlefield, canons and notable locations like the historic John Ray House, while the visitor center offers artifacts, history and a lighted animated map of the waves of fighting during the battle.
Ste. Genevieve National Historical Park, Ste. Genevieve, is currently being developed as Missouri’s newest addition to the national parks system. The United States Department of the Interior has been authorized to preserve and interpret the French Colonial history of the area and preserve its early French architecture. Find out more, here.
Celebrate Missouri’s contributions to Teddy Roosevelt’s crowning achievement, the national park system, and then share your explorations with us on Instragram using the hashtag #MissouriAdventure.