Missouri is a beautiful state. To create a definitive list of all the beautiful scenery would be nearly impossible. In almost any part of the state you come upon natural wonders you were never expecting, sometimes right in your own backyard. Here are a few of the towns in Missouri with some of the most beautiful scenery. You may notice Kansas City and St. Louis were excluded from this list. It’s not because they don’t have beautiful scenery, they just get enough attention already. Let’s put the focus on some of Missouri’s other wonderful places.
Missouri River near Hermann.
St. George from Stone Hill.
Stone Hill Winery.
Hermann is a beautiful town with German heritage in the Missouri Valley Wine Country. Besides walking tours of the town itself, you can also visit all the wineries in the area with the Hermann Wine Trail, winding 20 amazing scenic miles between Hermann and New Haven. Katy Trail, accessible via an eight-foot bike lane on the Missouri River bridge, provides more beautiful scenery perfect for biking, hiking, or just wandering.
Branson might be better known for its attractions and shows, but for those looking for pretty scenery, there’s so much Branson has to offer. Table Rock Lake, Bull Shoals Lake, and Lake Taneycomo offer all the water-related activities you can hope for, as well as relaxing nature trails. Hiking opportunities abound with city and state parks, wilderness areas, and extensive state and national forest land all around the Branson area. Learn why Missouri is called the “cave state” by visiting Silver Dollar City's Marvel Cave, or by discovering smaller caves along trails and in the protected park and forest lands in the area.
3. Jefferson City
Missouri River Bridge.
The Missouri River and tree-lined bluffs are just part of makes Jefferson City one of the prettiest cities in the country. Our state capital is full of historic buildings surrounded by a natural setting and a charming downtown. Several beautiful parks and recreation areas throughout the city also help make Jefferson City the “Most Beautiful Small Town” according to Rand McNally.
Katy Bridge in winter.
Fall on the Katy Trail.
Looking out over Missouri River. As seen from Harley Park.
Somewhere near the halfway point of the 237-mile Katy Trail State Park, Boonville is proud to have the trail running right through town. The Katy Bridge is a sight to see, and Warm Springs Ranch is home to the Budweiser Clydesdales. The town itself is worth exploring with a historic walking tour, and the Missouri River is always a good source for natural amazing scenery.
"Breakthrough" - A section of the Berlin Wall, on the campus of Westminster College.
Westminster College, scene of Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech.
Another beautiful historic small town, Fulton is also host to the National Churchill Museum, and a section of the Berlin Wall. Located in the rolling green hills of Central Missouri, there are several natural locations such as the Prairie Garden Trust, the Stinson Creek Trail, the nearby Mark Twain Forest, five beautiful city parks and so much more.
6. St. James
Maramec Spring Park .
Maramec Spring Park.
St. James Winery.
Probably the most beautiful area to visit while in St. James is Maramec Spring Park. It contains the fifth largest spring in the state, 1,860 acres of forest and fields, and the Meramec River flows right through it. Also while in St. James bike or hike one of the trails, have a picnic in St. James Park, or take in the views at one of the two local wineries.
The Awakening, by J. Seward Johnson.
“The Awakening” by J. Seward Johnson is truly a sight to see while in Chesterfield. In addition, Faust Park contains an updated playground, a historical village, a walking trail, carousel, and the "The Butterfly House.”
Eminence is known as a premier outdoor destination, and it’s easy to see why. The Jacks Fork River and Current River provide year-round floating and other water activities. In addition, there are springs and caves to explore, horseback riding with guided trails, and hiking and sightseeing on the Ozark Trail.
Rolling hills and cliffs surround the south, east, and north sections of the city. Streams and tributaries such as the James River, Galloway Creek and Jordan Creek flow within or near the city. In addition, there are 92 parks in the city including the Botanical Center at Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. The Missouri Department of Conversation’s Springfield Nature Center and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield are located on the outskirts of town, and are great places to hike and enjoy nature.
10. Cape Girardeau
2003 Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. The new cable-stayed bridge replaced the old 1928 Cape Girardeau truss bridge.
Main Street and Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge.
Constructed in 1854, and technically the "common pleas" courthouse, it also serves as the second county courthouse.
Cape Girardeau is a charming historic town in Southeast Missouri. The Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River is truly a sight to see, as well as the numerous historic murals. The Mississippi River Tales Mural, located on the city's downtown floodwall, covers nearly 18,000 square feet! It spans the length of the downtown shopping district and features 24 panels. The Riverfront Park lies behind the floodwall where riverboats dock and visitors can view the Mississippi River. While in the Cape, don’t forget to visit Trail of Tears State Park, 3,415 pristine acres of some of the most breathtaking scenery in the state.
What are some other great Missouri towns with beautiful scenery? Have you visited any of these places? What was your experience? Share in the comments below.