MO Posted in Missouri April 21, 2016 by Catherine Rees 15 Places in Missouri You Must See Before You Die Do you have your Missouri bucket list yet? If not, now’s the time to start. Here are 15 places in Missouri that are so amazing you’d be crazy to miss them. 1. Gateway Arch Mark Goebel/flickr Gateway Arch is Missouri’s ode to Western expansion. Take the tram to the top for a bird’s-eye view of St. Louis and the Mighty Mississippi 2. Big Spring Shellie Gonzalez/flickr You shouldn’t miss Big Spring, one of the biggest (and best) springs in the entire world. Pack a picnic lunch and spend the day, or sleep overnight at the campground. 3. Capitol Building J. Stephen Conn/flickr Every Missourian should visit the Capitol Building during his or her lifetime. See where our state laws are made and say hello to your local representatives. 4. Castlewood State Park Mona Maynard/flickr Castlewood State Park is one of Missouri’s best spots for hiking. Even novice hikers can get out on these trails and enjoy the natural beauty. The 3.2-mile-long River Scene Trail is the most popular, with its stunning Meramec River views. 5. Elephant Rocks Nick Varvel/flickr Check out the gigantic Elephant Rocks, which was formed 1.5 million years ago. Walk the 1 mile trail and read the interpretive signs along the way for more info. Don’t forget your camera! 6. Grand Falls Doug Wertman/flickr Missouri’s largest waterfall, Grand Falls, should definitely be on your bucket list. The falls are majestic and dramatic - crashing down with enough force to spray visitors with a fine mist. 7. Grand Gulf State Park Chris M Morris/flickr Missouri’s “Little Grand Canyon” is not to be missed. Check out the mile-long Grand Gulf from overlook points above, or wander through along the valley floor. 8. Lake of the Ozarks Phil Roussin/flickr How does 1,150 miles of shoreline sound? It sounds like a whole lot of fun. Stay overnight, dine at some amazing restaurants, and of course, play on the lake. 9. Ha Ha Tonka State Park Heath Cajandig/flickr You’ll find plenty to see and do at Ha Ha Tonka State Park. Hike along 15 miles of trails, visit the castle ruins and enjoy a picnic. 10. Hughes Mountain Catherine Rankovic/flickr The Hughes Mountain Natural Area is named for John Hughes, who settled there in 1810. Climb the top for the most amazing view ever. 11. Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park Missouri Division of Tourism/flickr Cool off on the natural water slide, visit the nature center and hike along a portion of the Ozark trail. Set aside an entire day for Johnson’s Shut-Ins; there’s so much to see and do. 12. Nelson Atkins Museum of Art Brian Hillegas/flickr Admission to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art is free every day, so there’s just no excuse to miss this Missouri treasure. From ancient art to the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, you’re sure to find something you enjoy. 13. Onondaga Cave Nikonian Novice/flickr Do you know the difference between stalagmites and stalactites? You will, once you visit Onondaga Cave. The cave tour takes you along a paved walking path for about a mile. 14. Roaring River State Park Robert Breaux/flickr Roaring River State Park is THE destination for trout fishing. The river is stocked daily, and the scenery is stunning. While you’re there, explore one of seven hiking trails. 15. Bonne Terre Mine Domingo Javier Carvajal Gomez/flickr Bonne Terre Mine stopped mining production in 1962, but you can stop by as a visitor. Take a walking tour on the first two levels, or tour the billion-gallon lake by boat. Make a reservation to scuba dive in the largest freshwater scuba spot in the world. What’s your favorite spot in Missouri?