With the end of summer quickly approaching, the end of summer vacationers have been pouring into the tourist areas of The Show Me State. And while you’re thankful for the pump the tourism gives to the economy, it’s also easy to wish things weren’t always so chaotic.
So. Go ahead. Blow everything off for the day and go get away from it all at one of these uncrowded places in Missouri.
1. Dogwood Canyon Nature Park - Lampe, MO
Go chase waterfalls for the afternoon in this 10,000-acre paradise. Or, spend the day fishing, walking or biking in this wonderland.
2. Shaw Nature Reserve - Gray Summit, MO
Get lost for an hour -- or the day -- inside the Shaw Nature Reserve, an extension of the Missouri Botanical Garden.
3. Augusta, Missouri
It's not hard to find a wide open field in Augusta, but they are all over Missouri outside of the big cities. Go find one and then make up a good reason (see above) for just whiling away the day in the middle of said beautiful field.
4. St. Louis Zoo - St. Louis, MO
With summer coming to a close and local schools heading back into session, the St. Louis Zoo is a great way to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.
5. Table Rock Lake - Branson, MO
With more than 43,000 acres of water, Table Rock Lake has more than enough space for you to find your own quiet little paradise, even if it's not on a paddleboard.
6. Ha Ha Tonka State Park - Camdenton, MO
Spread your wings and explore the ruins of Ha Ha Tonka. You may also find peace of mind exploring the caves, sinkholes and the many bluffs overlooking the Lake of the Ozarks here.
7. National Tiger Sanctuary - Chestnutridge, MO
Sit in awe of the fierce, beautiful tigers at the National Tiger Sanctuary.
8. Sachs Butterfly House - Chesterfield, MO
Your heart will be all aflutter as you delight in the grace of the butterflies at Sachs. Plan ahead for visiting at times of the day unlikely to be swarming with summer camp kids or school field trips and you should be ok.
9. Rock Bridge State Park - Columbia
Take a hike at Rock Bridge. Check out the natural rock bridge and the underground stream in the cave known as the "Devil's Box."
10. Pickle Springs Natural Area - Sainte Genevieve County, MO
Unusual rock formations, box canyons and wet weather waterfalls make this the perfect spot to get away from crowds for some alone time.
11. Loose Park - Kansas City, MO
In Kansas City, sneak out to Loose Park and spend some time in the rose garden. There are something like 4,000 roses here in nearly 170 varieties.
12. Take a drive on a MIssouri scenic country road.
Who cares where it leads? You may discover all sorts of new things along the way, but the important thing is just getting away from the crowds.
13. Lover's Leap - Hannibal, MO
In Hannibal, make the trek up to Lover's Leap for a good long look at the mightly Mississippi and the town of Hannibal.