Missouri is filled to the brim with exciting attractions – some more well-known than others. The iconic spots are can’t-miss locations in their own right, but it’s also nice to discover something a bit more unexpected. These Missouri lodging options and experiences are sure to impress even the most discerning traveler.
Establish your basecamp at The Ozarker Lodge, located in the heart of Branson. The carefully curated décor creates a nostalgic atmosphere that brings to mind classic family road trips and the joy of spending time with loved ones. An outdoor pool, creekside soaking tubs and seasonal programming will keep all members of the family entertained. Luxury and wilderness combine to create an unforgettable stay at Big Cedar Lodge. Nestled in the Ozark Mountains overlooking Table Rock Lake, this resort has a wide variety of accommodations, including lodges, cottages, cabins and glamping tents. Guests can enjoy the property’s marina, spa, world-class restaurants, championship golf courses and more during their stay.
Branson and live music are the perfect pair. Catch a performance in an unexpected location – on the water. Showboat Branson Belle’s dinner theater performances are sure to be a highlight of your trip. Another Branson mainstay? Silver Dollar City, an 1880s-themed park full of thrilling rides talented craftsmen and tasty treats. It’s continuously voted one of the best theme parks in the United States. Experience the exhilaration of speeding through the Ozark Mountains on the Runaway Mountain Coaster, the longest and fastest mountain coaster in the Midwest.
You’re sure to work up an appetite after all of these adventures, so stop by Mel’s Hard Luck Diner for a bite to eat. The 1950s-themed diner is sure to entertain with professional singers, songwriters and musicians serving up delicious food. Looking for international flavor? Check out India Clay Oven for mouthwatering north Indian cuisine. The menu also features a wide variety of vegetarian dishes. Barbecue is always a crowd pleaser, and you can’t go wrong with Danna’s Bar-B-Que and Burger Shop. The menu is loaded with smoked meats, fried catfish and classic barbecue side dishes.
Housed in a former social club, Hotel Kansas City’s architecture and dining options make it stand out. The Truitt is a boutique hotel that is equal parts modern and vintage. Its proximity to the Country Club Plaza makes it ideal for visitors looking to do some shopping. Contemporary art lovers will feel right at home at 21c Museum Hotel. Curated art exhibits will capture your attention, and Savoy, the on-site restaurant, will tantalize your taste buds.
Load your itinerary with one-of-a-kind destinations to round out your trip. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is best known for the massive shuttlecock statues scattered on the beautiful lawn. The free museum showcases art from around the world. Swordfish Tom’s – a speakeasy named after the infamous political boss Tom Pendergast who controlled Kansas City in the 20s and 30s. Though the items on display are small, The National Museum of Toys/Miniatures makes a big impact. While exploring the city, hop on the RideKC Streetcar for free transportation – it connects all the downtown neighborhoods.
The Iron District is a collection of colorful shipping containers repurposed to serve as dining and retail locations. Founded in the 1860s as an industrial hub, the West Bottoms is now a thriving community that frequently hosts events and is full of charming antique shops. In the East Bottoms area, you’ll find J. Rieger & Co., a distillery established in 1887 that closed due to Prohibition. A century after the end of Prohibition, it reopened and now offers tours, tastings and dining.
Originally a Masonic Temple, Hotel Vandivort provides upscale accommodations in downtown Springfield. Rich textures offer both comfort and style in the luxuriously appointed rooms. For a more rustic experience, check out Angler’s Lodge, a Bass Pro Shops hotel. It’s located near the original Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World.
Explore Fantastic Caverns for an unforgettable cave tour. Visitors are guided through the natural wonders of the cave on a jeep-drawn tram. If you crave a more hands-on experience, try Adventure Cave Tours. All the gear is provided for these wild cave tours that will have you crawling and climbing as you go. The outdoors meets the indoors at Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium. It’s the largest immersive wildlife attraction in the world with over 1.5 miles of exhibits featuring more than 800 species.
Stop in for a sweet treat and factory tour at Askinosie Chocolate. Named one of Forbes’ 25 best small companies in America, Askinosie makes award-winning chocolate with a focus on sustainability and fair partnership with farmers. Step back in time at Pythian Castle. The building was an orphanage in 1913 before it was owned by the U.S. military. Some say the residents from yesteryear are still around, but you can find out for yourself on a haunted tour.
The rooms in Angad Arts Hotel are themed around one of four colors: blue, green, yellow and red. Guests are encouraged to choose their room color based on the emotion they want to feel while staying in the hotel. An art deco dream, The Last Hotel is a top-rated boutique hotel in downtown St. Louis. Head up to the rooftop for a drink at the bar and try out the pool. St. Louis Union Station Hotel is known for its elegant architecture and décor. Its Grand Hall lounge has a variety of dining and drink options including a soda fountain complete with retro-style treats.
Union Station also has tons of activities for visitors to enjoy: an aquarium, Ferris wheel, carousel, mini golf, mirror maze, ropes course and more. Grab a frosty drink to fuel your adventures at Fitz’s Root Beer. The craft soda micro-brewery serves up some of the biggest ice cream floats you’ve ever seen. Enjoy an adult libation at 360 STL, a lounge at the top of the Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark. The views are truly unbeatable – you can see everything from Busch Stadium to the Gateway Arch and Mississippi River.
Take a break from sightseeing for a meal at City Foundry STL, a food hall with 17 different vendors serving cuisine from across the globe. Then, it’s time to get back out there and see one of the city’s most unique museums – City Museum. This warehouse-turned-wonderland is 600,000 square feet of educational fun. Bonus: the exhibits and structures in the museum were made from repurposed objects. Although taking a deep dive into the economy might not sound like the most enticing activity, you’ll be surprised at how interesting and informative it can be at the Economy Museum at the St. Louis Fed. Interactive exhibits, games and videos are engaging and entertaining.