Adventure is defined as: an unusual or exciting experience. Missouri has plenty of adventures to experience, some you’ve never tried and others that are worth doing again.
Ride the Waters for Great Family Vacations
The mighty Mississippi River has been a major transportation route for hundreds of years. Observe the big river much as the early settlers did – by paddlewheel riverboat. In Hannibal, the Mark Twain Riverboat embarks on narrated one-hour sightseeing cruises and two-hour dinner cruises featuring live entertainment (reservations required for dinner cruises).
Approximately 140 miles south of Hannibal, Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruises in St. Louis has several options aboard two 1800s era paddle wheelers. Choose from sightseeing tours, dinner cruises, music cruises, passage through the lock-and-dam system and private charters.
Similarly, in Branson, the 700-seat Showboat Branson Belle plies the waters of Table Rock Lake, offering two-hour lunch and dinner cruises that include first-rate live entertainment, a three-course meal and spectacular scenery.
Saddle Up at These Family Vacation Destinations
Hit the trail the Old West way – by horseback. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner (they will teach you) or you’re a seasoned wrangler (take your horse or rent one of theirs), guided trail rides get you away from the crowd and into the great outdoors. Excursions can last an hour or stretch to several days in the backwoods. In addition to the ride, activities often include camping and cookouts, horse boarding and picnic areas.
About a dozen miles southwest of Ava, Bucks and Spurs Guest Ranch is a 700-acre, full-service dude ranch with trail rides, cattle drives, fishing, arrowhead hunting, horse training, kayaks and tubes for floating on Big Beaver Creek and several lodging options.
Golden Hills Resort and Trail Rides, two miles outside Raymondville, has more than 200 miles of trails and privately owned roads for equestrian use only, plus caves so large you can ride your horse into them. The resort offers horse rentals, hundreds of campsites with water and hookups, an on-site motel, a bunkhouse horse, stalls and paddocks, shower houses, a swimming pool, exercise room, and many other amenities.
At Coldwater Ranch, five miles north of Eminence, the wilderness trail rides include two river crossings and a chance to see Missouri’s famous wild horses. Cabins, camping and meals are available.
There are 65 miles of cut trails, five of which are along the Missouri River, on the 2,100-acre Big River Ranch, three miles outside Lexington. For tent campers and RVs, they offer electric and water hookups, restrooms and showers.
Flying R Ranch Trail Riding, sits along the North Fork of the White River, 45 minutes northwest of West Plains. (You must have your own horse.) There is a cave on the property, which you may explore for a fee. Facilities include lodging, camping and RV spaces; canoe rental is available.
Two working cattle ranches offer trail rides by reservation only; horses are available, but facilities are available for you to take your own.
Sure, there are hundreds of adventures out there: airplane and helicopter rides, ziplines, caves and canoe excursions to name a few. Find lots of exciting and unusual activities by exploring Missouri’s only official tourism website, VisitMO.com. So get outdoors and have a great time.