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Explore the Show-Me State With Rural Missouri
Readers of Rural Missouri magazine inspired this Trip Idea, through voting in the annual Best of Rural Missouri contest. Here's a look at some of the top vote-getters in various dining and sightseeing categories. You can see the full story by searching the April 2016 edition at


The Lake of the Ozarks

Chosen by Rural Missouri readers as Missouri's best Day Trip destination, Lake of the Ozarks was lauded as the Best Recreational Lake in the U.S. by readers of USA Today/10 Best in 2015. With more than 1,100 miles of shoreline and an abundance of recreational activities, the Lake of the Ozarks offers fun for all ages.

Route 66 Rocker

In September 2008, the Guinness Book of World Records awarded Dan and Carolyn Sanazaro's 42-foot, 1-inch steel rocker the designation "World's Largest Rocking Chair" which it held until 2015, when a larger chair was completed in a neighboring state. It's still a sight to behold - and Rural Missouri readers' favorite Roadside Attraction - and is situated along Route 66 (Route ZZ) outside of Cuba.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

The remains of a huge, circa 1905 European style stone castle add an air of mystery to this Missouri State Park. Situated atop towering bluffs, the views of the Lake of the Ozarks are majestic. More than 15 miles of winding trails take you past caves, a spring, sink-holes, a natural bridge and down to the lake.

Bridal Cave/Thunder Mountain Park

One of Missouri's most beautiful show caves, Bridal Cave has been the spot of more than 3,000 weddings, which is perhaps one of the reasons it was selected as the state's best cave by readers of Rural Missouri.

Dining Options

Matt's Steakhouse

Find out why the Kansas City strip is a must-try! This Rolla eatery was voted the top steakhouse in Missouri by Rural Missouri readers in 2016. Lunches are served Tuesday thorugh Saturday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. Reservations are accepted until 5 p.m. for that evening's seating and are first-come, first served.

Missouri Hick Bar B Que

For the third time in three years, Rural Missouri readers selected this Cuba establishment as the state's top barbecue joint. All of Missouri Hick's meats are seasoned with a special rub and smoked for 12 hours.

Lambert's Cafe – Sikeston

World famous Lambert's Cafe is the home of the "Throwed Rolls" and has been a mainstay in Rural Missouri voters' minds for years. Generous portions, interesting decor and a fun atmosphere make this restaurant - and its sister location in Ozark, Mo. - the epitome of destination dining.


Catalpa is a small, fine-dining restaurant in a little red brick house in Arrow Rock, a village of 56 people on the Missouri River at the very beginning of the Santa Fe Trail. It is open Friday and Saturday evenings, February thru December, by reservation only. 2016 marked the fourth time in five years that Catalpa was selected as Rural Missouri readers' favorite restaurant.

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