Lace up your hiking boots, grab your paddle, pack some snacks … we’re going on some adventures! Here are the best Missouri has to offer.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Conquer the Big Muddy.
Hook up with Big Muddy Adventures for a truly unforgettable experience. Many excursions are available, but the most unique just might be the Mississippi River trip from Hannibal to Caruthersville, at the very southern tip of the state.
2. Get your ATV on.
Go off road! St. Joe State Park, Finger Lakes State Park and the Chadwick ATV area of Mark Twain National Forest are both popular spots for this adrenaline-fueled sport.
3. Go on a Route 66 adventure.
Take a step back in time along Route 66. Gawk at the kitschy sights along the way, such as the World's Largest Rocking Chair outside of Cuba.
4. Go on a water expedition.
Did you know that Missouri has more coastline than California? Take advantage of it by kayaking, canoeing or paddleboarding on one of our beautiful lakes or rivers. White River Kayaking and Outdoors offers many options on Lake Taneycomo and Table Rock Lake.
5. Get spooked.
If thrills and chills are your thing, get yourself to Lemp Mansion, one of the most haunted spots in Missouri. The Victorian mansion has seen a lot of bloodshed, including four suicides by Lemp family members.
6. Ride the Katy.
The converted MKT railroad line now offers 240 miles of picturesque trail with tons of quaint small towns to stop in along the way.
7. Hike in a nuclear waste site.
Yes, you read that right. The Weldon Spring Site Remedial Action Project Disposal Cell, located just west of St. Louis, is a unique, strange spot to hike. The site was once the largest explosives factory in Missouri, then was home to a Cold War-era uranium refinery. Two decades after it was abandoned in the 1960s, the EPA discovered it was unsafe. So rather than move the contaminated refuse, the government covered it up inside a man-made mountain.
8. Float the day away.
Round up your best buds, pack a cooler of beer, and throw on your swimsuit. Floating is practically a coming-of-age ritual in Missouri, and there are tons of rivers to choose from in every corner of the state.
9. Catch a fish.
We've got some of the best trout fishing in the country. Whether you're a novice or a pro, there's a perfect stream out there for you. Bennett Spring, Montauk and Roaring River state parks are three top-notch options!
10. Fly through the air with the greatest of ease.
Get a feel for circus arts with TrapezeSTL in St. Louis.
11. Explore the canopy.
Go on a zip line canopy tour of Swope Park. The exhilarating course, run by Go Ape!, includes nearly 40 crossings with stunning views.
12. Journey to the center(ish) of the earth.
Scuba dive in Bonne Terre Mine, the largest freshwater scuba diving venue in the world.
13. Howl with wolves.
Visit the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka to view multiple wolf species. The center offers guided daytime tours, as well as nighttime Campfire Wolf Howls.
14. Hoof it.
Coldwater Ranch in Eminence offers secluded cabins and a variety of horseback riding excursions. Experienced riders can take a Rough-Out Ride, which offers visitors the opportunity to explore the large property, pitch a tent and get a fully immersive 'cowboy' experience.
15. Befriend a big cat.
Visit The National Tiger Sanctuary in Saddlebrooke to feed big cats, learn about animal care and see these majestic creatures up close.