Top 10 Best Missouri Tourist Attractions

10 Best Missouri Tourist Attractions

Missouri is a state located in the mid-west region of the United States. With a population of over 6 million dwellers, Missouri is the 18th most populous state in the country. The capital city is Jefferson while Kansas City is its largest metro. It is located at the junction of the three greatest rivers of the USA and has diversified geography. Missouri is the leading producer of transport equipment and its economy is primarily based on the fast-growing industries of aerospace, biotechnology, and food processing. Tourism also lures thousands of visitors to numerous points of interest which include historical sites, outdoor recreation activities, and exquisite downtown nightlife.

10. Forest Park

Known as the “Heart of St. Louis”, this sprawling public park is a wonderful place for outdoor recreation as well as family vacation spots. Spanning an area of 1300 acres, Forest Park contains numerous sites for both indoor and outdoor attractions. It offers lush-green gardens with side-ways ponds and a variety of meadows and man-made. Bicycles and paddle boats are available for tourists to tour the park. Apart from this, Forest Park also features one of the most renowned tourist destinations in Missouri including the Saint Louis Zoo and Saint Louis Science Center.

This sprawling 1,293-acre park is located within the city limits and offers a variety of attractions, activities, and adventures. From paddle boating in the lake to picnicking under the trees, Forest Park is full of memories just waiting to be made. Let’s take a deeper look at what makes it so special.

Explore Exciting Attractions

Forest Park is not only known for its natural beauty but also for its exciting attractions. The jewel of these attractions is The Muny – the nation’s oldest and largest outdoor amphitheater. Here you can enjoy some of Broadway’s biggest hits amidst a beautiful landscape. Additionally, the Saint Louis Zoo is located within the park, as are several playgrounds, an expansive golf course, and more.

Forest Park Band Stand at Muny Opera
Forest Park Band Stand at Muny Opera by EEngler is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Enjoy Numerous Events

If you’re looking for a unique way to experience Forest Park, be sure to attend one of its many events. From summer concerts and outdoor movie screenings to art festivals and holiday celebrations – there’s something for everyone! So if you’re looking for a fun and memorable way to explore St. Louis, be sure to check out this incredible venue.

9. Missouri State Capitol

Missouri State Capitol is a building that represents the legislative and parliamentary councils of Missouri’s government. The imposing structure is located in Jefferson City and rises up to a height of 75 meters and is a must-see destination for many travelers. The area is well renowned for its architectural displays as the Capitol grounds are filled with engraved sculptures and statues. Tourists can take up guided-group tours to the state museum and the Hall of Famous Missourians, located within the Capitol, to explore the historic relics of Missouri and memorials of some residents who were honored for their contributions to the state.

Established in 1918, the Capitol is a sprawling complex of buildings that houses the legislative and judicial branches of government. Boasting Greek-revival-style architecture, the Capitol preserves the historic beauty of Missouri while showcasing its modern greatness.

History & Architecture

The Capitol was designed by architect Theodore Link, who incorporated complex details to create a stunning building that celebrates Missouri’s past. Inside, visitors can find classical touches like Corinthian pilasters and Tuscan columns, along with murals that capture the majesty of Missouri’s landscape. Outside, the grounds contain a beautiful garden featuring a variety of plants and trees native to the state, as well as sculptures that honor Missouri’s leaders.

Fun Tip from a Local: Be sure to check out the Governor’s Mansion! At the south end of the Capitol Grounds lies a picturesque two-story residence, known as the Governor’s Mansion. It’s open for tours every Wednesday at 11 am – so don’t miss out on your chance to see inside!

Inside Tour

A tour of the Capitol takes visitors through the chambers and hallways that make up the storied building. Many highlights include the Senate Chamber, where guests can observe the day-to-day activities of legislators, and The Rotunda floor exhibit which offers an overview of Missouri’s history. Other popular attractions are the Grand Staircase, marble wainscotting, and stained glass windows, each providing insight into the unique legacy of this iconic building.

8. Silver Dollar City

Opened in 1960, Silver Dollar City is a public theme park which is established in Branson, Missouri. It combines a flashy mix of amusement rides and attractions with the culture and crafts of the 1880s of the Ozark community. Thousands of visitors tour this place during its operating season to experience the thrill of its mind-blowing rides and play the arcades. Added to that, the traditional crafts and artistry demonstrated by the craftsmen are also a source of attraction. Silver Dollar City hosts several prominent festivals in its tourist season.

This awe-inspiring theme park spans over 100 acres and features a variety of attractions, activities, and live entertainment—all set against the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains.

Experience World-Class Thrills and Chills

Thrill seekers will love the wide range of roller coasters and other rides available at Silver Dollar City. From the ground-rattling speed of PowderKeg Coaster to the whipping turns of Thunderation, there are thrills around every corner. Plus, kids love the pint-sized rides in Kids’ Fest.

Silver Dollar City
Silver Dollar City by Branson Missouri is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

Catch Incredible Live Entertainment

Silver Dollar City also offers some incredible live performances. Catch everything from classic bluegrass music to mesmerizing firework displays each night. You’ll find traditional craftspeople demonstrating their skills on historic crafts such as blacksmithing, glassblowing, and candle dipping. Don’t forget to take advantage of special events like Summer Concerts under the Stars and Living History Encounters which bring history to life with reenactments of key moments in US history.

7. Titanic Museum Attraction

Titanic Museum is a Titanic-themed museum in Branson. Carved like the Titanic itself, the double-storied museum is anchored in water and was opened to the public in 2006. The grandiose complex takes its visitors through the history and factual information of one of the greatest ships in mankind’s history. While taking the 90-minute guided tour, tourists can experience the hallways, staircases, and cabins and can explore the displayed historical artifacts of the ship and its passengers. Moreover, tourists can visit the Titanic store to get unique souvenirs.

Located on a lush 77-acre property, this interactive museum offers visitors an immersive experience into the fateful voyage of the legendary RMS Titanic. With life-size replicas, artifacts from the ship and its crew, and more – visitors can explore and learn about this critical moment in history firsthand.

Historical Insight

This interactive museum gives visitors the unique opportunity to get an up-close look at detailed replicas of the ship’s decks, cabins, grand staircase, bridge, and more. Through these models, they can gain deeper insight into how the Titanic looked and operated before tragedy struck. Visitors can also view historic artifacts and memorabilia from the ship and even uncover their own Titanic connections through family research. This museum is designed to help people gain a greater understanding of the events leading up to, during, and after the Titanic’s fateful voyage.

Local Tip: If you’re looking for a truly unique experience, be sure to book the “Maitre D’ Class” tour for an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s collection. A great way to round out your visit!

Educational Activities

In addition to offering a wealth of interactive exhibits, the Titanic Museum also provides educational activities for children and adults alike. These activities give guests of all ages a chance to deepen their knowledge through fun, hands-on learning experiences. From scavenger hunts to 3D puzzle building – there are countless ways to learn about the Titanic and have fun doing it.

6. Worlds of Fun

Worlds of Fun is an amusement park based in Kansas City, Missouri. Primitively opened in the 1970s, Worlds of Fun is themed after the book, Around the World in Eighty Days. It is directly affiliated with Oceans of Fun, a water-theme park adjacent to it. The park canvases an area of 235 acres and is divided into five virtual ‘worlds’. It uplifts the level of exhilaration and frenzy to the top, with spine-chilling rides like the Patriot, the Mamba, and the Prowler. A dedicated spot for children, known as Planet Snoopy, is also located within the park. Moreover, for family recreation, a campsite has been established which houses all kinds of shops, restaurants, and amusement places.

Experience Thrilling Rides

Whether you’re looking to get your adrenaline pumping or enjoy a leisurely experience, Worlds of Fun has a wide selection of heart-stopping rides suitable for all ages. Get ready for speed rides such as the Mamba, Timber Wolf, and Patriot, or make sure to check out some family-friendly favorites like the Grand Carousel and Lumberjack Falls. With over 100 attractions in total, there’s something for everyone.

Fun Tip from a Local: If you’re looking to maximize your time at Worlds of Fun, make sure to take advantage of their Early Ride Time program which allows guests to ride select attractions before the regular opening time. Just be sure to arrive early and check the schedule beforehand!

Worlds of Fun Kansas City

Take in Great Shows

For those who are looking for a break from all the fun rides and food options, the park also features great live shows. From holiday-themed musical performances to comedic skits and acrobatic acts, Worlds of Fun ensures entertainment both on and off the attractions. So don’t forget to come early and stay late to catch a show while you’re here!

5. Nelson Atkins Museum of Art

Nelson Atkins Museum is Kansas City’s most significant cultural attraction, known for its large-scale compilation of classical, scholastic, and Asian art. Constructed on the grounds of the Oak Hall, the museum is prized for its broad range of historical pieces from around the world, including artifacts from Latin, Greek, and Roman dynasties of pre-historic times. Nelson Atkins Museum also hosts several exhibits as well as educational programs for children and adults which lures thousands of tourists. The museum also houses a major collection of English pottery, American sculpture, and miniature paintings.

Latest Exhibits

The museum’s ever-evolving collection is home to an array of fascinating exhibitions that feature both classic pieces and cutting-edge contemporary works. Current highlights include an exploration of African art and culture, as well as an impressive showcase of 17th-century Japanese prints. Other ongoing exhibitions cover a range of topics, including fashion, film, textiles, photography, and much more.

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri, USA
Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Missouri by ernie_nh7l is licensed under CC PDM 1.0

Perks & Amenities

The Nelson Atkins Museum offers many features to enhance your experience, like the interactive Family Space, which provides educational activities and crafts for kids. Other amenities such as free Wi-Fi access, gift shops, and a cafe make it easy to spend several hours at the museum.

4. Missouri Botanical Garden

Missouri Botanical Garden is the oldest botanical institution in continuous operation in the country and a National Historic Landmark. Founded in 1859, the institution has been the leading center of botanical research study and an oasis in St. Louis. The Garden consists of 79 acres of elegant botanic display which includes a Japanese excursion garden of 14 acres of space and one of the world’s largest collections of endangered orchids. Moreover, several annual cultural festivals are held here in which arts, crafts, and botanies are showcased. The garden also offers educational and learning programs for the citizens and aims to preserve the beauty of the city.

Educational programs

At Missouri Botanical Garden, take advantage of the many educational opportunities available. Educational programs range from summertime gardening classes to field trips and lectures with expert instructors, opening visitors up to learning about topics such as plant ecology, horticulture and more. Groups can also register for guided tours designed to provide a deeper dive into the history and biology of each section of the gardens.

Fun Tip: Don’t forget to check out the night sky! On select nights throughout the year, look up–through telescopes provided by the St. Louis Astronomical Society–to explore distant galaxies

Missouri Botanical Garden

Special Events

Each season, Missouri Botanical Garden offers special events to take part in. From their annual “Garden Glow” winter event where thousands of twinkling lights magically transform the grounds into a festive nighttime wonderland to picnic days where guests can spend warm sunny afternoons basking in the beauty of nature, this venue has a multitude of activities to enjoy. Keep an eye on their website for upcoming events details!

3. Union Station

Built in 1914; Union Station is one of the top attractions in Kansas City which played the role of railway Station during the times of World War 2. The gorgeous building contains 900 rooms and draws thousands of tourists who marvel at her stunning structure. Union Station contains adventurous spots like the Science Center and Extreme Screen for 3D theatre. Tourists may also find permanent rail exhibits for traveling around Kansas City or the state itself. Union Station was Missouri’s second busiest train station in its early times.

Kansas City Union Station
Kansas City Union Station by justenoughfocus is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

History and Legacy

Union Station was originally built as a railroad station in 1914 and served as a major center of transportation for much of the 20th century. After several decades, however, it was closed due to economic decline. In 1996, the facility was restored and opened its doors again as a multi-purpose tourist attraction. Today, visitors can explore the station’s two levels filled with restaurants, shops, galleries, theaters, and other entertainment venues.

Events and Activities

If you’re looking for something to do at Union Station, there’s no shortage of activities to choose from. The Science City offers interactive exhibits and workshops ranging from robotics and energy to astronomy and life science. Meanwhile, youngsters will love getting up close and personal with the historic locomotives on display in the Grand Hall. Plus, each month features festivals and events such as live music performances and outdoor movies.

Fun Tip from a Local

One of the best things about Union Station is that it’s always changing! So if you’ve already visited the station before, don’t be surprised if you find something new during your next trip. For instance, a local tip—look out for special nights when the Amtrak observation deck opens late into the evening so you can take in the incredible sight of the city skyline lit up at night!

2. Lake of the Ozarks

The Lake of the Ozarks is a large basin located in the north of the Ozarks and it covers several lakes and tributaries. Due to its curved shape, the lake has been nicknamed ‘The Magic Dragon’. Lake of the Ozarks State Park was established around the lake and it has been a top vacation site for thousands of tourists to Missouri. Once there, travelers can take a peek at the historical “Ha Ha Tonka” State Park and the Eagle’s Nest Resort. There are a variety of family picnic spots, golf courses, and outdoor recreation activities available in this region.

With miles of majestic lakefront shoreline, wide-open spaces for outdoor recreation, and plenty of attractions and activities to suit everyone’s tastes, Lake of the Ozarks is one of Missouri’s premier tourist destinations. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or a week-long family vacation, Lake of the Ozarks has something for everyone, from outdoor adventurers to history buffs. Here are some of the best things to do at Lake of the Ozarks:

Outdoor Recreation

For those who enjoy exploring the outdoors, Lake of the Ozarks has plenty to offer. You can take a boat tour of the lake, try your hand at water sports such as kayaking, canoeing, and fishing, or embark on a hiking or biking adventure through nearby trails. With plentiful wildlife and stunning scenery, Lake of the Ozarks makes for an unforgettable experience in the great outdoors.

Fun Tip from a Local: If you’re looking for a unique way to see more of Lake of the Ozarks’ beauty, rent a seaplane and soar high above the lake. Not only will you get stunning views, but you may even be able to spot some wild mustangs below!

Frozen Mountain on Table Rock Lake in the Missouri Ozarks
Frozen Mountain on Table Rock Lake in the Missouri Ozarks by Victoria – Ozarks Crescent Mural is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Family Attractions

Lake of the Ozarks also has plenty of family-friendly attractions. From amusement parks to state parks, museums to theater performances, there is something to suit everyone’s interests. The big draw here is definitely Silver Dollar City theme park where visitors can travel back in time to explore frontier life and enjoy exciting rides and shows.

1. Gateway Arch

A trip to Missouri would surely be incomplete without visiting this majestic, iconic structure! Located in the city of St. Louis, the Gateway Arch is a 630 feet tall monument and the world’s tallest arch. It is situated in the nucleus of Jefferson National Park and has attracted millions of visitors over the years due to its exemplary architecture. Tourists take up elevators to reach the topmost floor of the arch known as “Journey to Top” to experience stunning landscapes of the entire city and the surrounding highways. Moreover, there’s a museum located within the Arch to promote the cultural history of the state amongst the visiting crowds.

The Gateway Arch has been standing for over 50 years, and its rich history lends an air of grandeur to a visit to the monument. Visitors can explore the different aspects of the arch’s construction and learn about its famous architects, including renowned architect Eero Saarinen. By taking a tour, visitors can get an in-depth look at the arch’s history and learn about why it was built, and how it has come to be the iconic symbol we know today.

Take a Ride To The Top

Using its unique tram system, the Gateway Arch allows visitors to experience a breathtaking view from the top of the arch. During the ride up, visitors will be able to take in views of St. Louis from 103 stories high! Once they reach the top, they will have plenty of time to admire the amazing panoramic views of both the city and the Mississippi River.

st louis arch
Gateway Arch, St Louis

The Gateway Arch also provides visitors with an opportunity to explore art and culture. The grounds around the arch feature several pieces of public art, including sculptures by renowned artist Robert Indiana. Additionally, visitors can stop into the park’s museum to learn more about the history of St. Louis and the region. Throughout the year, the park also hosts special events and cultural festivals that give visitors a chance to explore even more.

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