Whether you’re getting ready to cruise the Mother Road or looking to get off the beaten path, Carthage and Joplin will be just your speed. You’ll get a taste of days-gone-by Americana, interesting local history and tasty food. So buckle up and get down to southwest Missouri – just keep the speed limit in mind.
Take in the scenic beauty of Grand Falls, Missouri’s tallest continually-flowing natural waterfall. The 12-foot-tall falls plunge down a 163-foot-wide chert ledge that provides a stunning panoramic view. On hot days visitors can splash around in Shoal Creek near the base of the falls.
Snap a selfie or two … or three, or four … at the Historic Route 66 Mural Park on Joplin’s Main Street. The two murals, Cruisin’ into Joplin and The American Ribbon, were produced by local business, Joplin’s Images in Tile. A mock 1964 Corvette at the base of the murals is the perfect place to pose for a picture.
Enjoy a movie the old fashioned way at the 66 Drive-In Theatre. Load your car up with lawn chairs and settle in to see two movies for the price of one. There is a brief intermission between films, which is the perfect opportunity to stop by the concession stand for a tasty treat.
Learn about Joplin’s mining origins and the people and events that defined the town since its foundation. The Joplin History & Mineral Museum features two distinct collections – the Dorothea B. Hoover Historical Museum and the Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum. The mineral museum has one of the world’s most impressive collections of lead and zinc ores, and the history museum has a Bonnie and Clyde exhibit with items left behind by the infamous duo during their stay in Joplin.
Visit a quiet meadow that was once the site of a Civil War battle. The nearby spring that made the area an ideal encampment for both Union and Confederate troops still peacefully flows. An on-site display provides information about the battle and how it set the stage for a larger battle one month later at Wilson’s Creek in Springfield.
History buffs will be in their element at the Carthage Civil War Museum. The museum focuses on the Battle of Carthage, the first full-scale land battle of the Civil War. A video describes the impacts of the Civil War on the Ozark Mountains and how skirmishes were fought on the terrain.
Refuel with a perfect cup of coffee before continuing your exploration of southwest Missouri. The menu boasts a wide variety of coffee drinks in addition to tea, smoothies and more. Light meals, pastries and baked goods are also available at Mother Road Coffee.
If a classic American meal is what you’re looking for, you won’t be disappointed by the burgers at The Woodshed Burger House. The restaurant, located in the back of Cherry’s Art Emporium, serves up gourmet burgers, steaks, salads and some seriously cheesy pizza.
Sample genuine Missouri barbecue at Boomer’s BBQ. The family-owned business has a mouthwatering menu of classic barbecue favorites and new, inventive dishes like Boomer’s Pork Parfait – five layers of pulled pork and twice baked potato casserole. Guests can enjoy a meal in the dining room or grab something to go at the drive-thru window.
Built in the 1940s, this one-of-a-kind motel is a Route 66 mainstay. Visiting Boots Court gives guests the chance to experience what traveling along the Mother Road was like in its heyday. The rooms have been restored to their former glory, including a radio in every room.
Fans of Victorian architecture will find an ideal place to rest for the night at Grand Avenue Bed and Breakfast. Elevate your stay by booking a special murder mystery experience. You will receive details and evidence from the “chief investigator” upon arrival. Clues will be placed around town and more secrets will be revealed until the “perpetrator” is revealed during breakfast on the last day of the visit.