Missouri June 04, 2020
This Weekend Road Trip Will Lead You To Some Of Missouri’s Most Beautiful Natural Scenery
Road trip! Who’s up for exploring some of Missouri’s beautiful natural scenery? This road trip, which you can do in a weekend or longer if you prefer, begins in Joplin and will take you to just a few of the most beautiful destinations in the state. If you decide to follow the road trip as it is, you’ll journey 579 miles with nearly 10 hours of drive time. (Don’t forget to add in all the time you’ll need to explore at each destination.)
Click here for the Google Maps for this road trip.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
Get ready for the most beautiful road trips of the year! As always, you can add or delete stops to meet your time frame and your interests.
1. Grand Falls – Joplin
Let's kick off this road trip at Grand Falls in Joplin, a definite must-see whether you're a lifelong Missourian or new to the state. Grand Falls spans 163 feet and cascades down 12 feet. It's also known as the "largest continuously flowing natural waterfall in Missouri."
for directions to Grand Falls and to see what else you can do in Joplin while you're in town.
2. Fantastic Caverns – Springfield
More natural beauty awaits at Fantastic Caverns in Springfield. Just a heads up that you'll probably want to bring a jacket or a sweatshirt as the cave maintains a cool temperature of around 60 degrees all year around. Sit back, relax, and enjoy learning about the natural wonder on the 55-minute tour of what's billed as the only ride-thru cave in the United States.
for the official website of Fantastic Caverns.
3. Bennett Spring State Park – Lebanon
Adventure and pure natural beauty collide to make the perfect next stop on our road trip. Bennett Spring State Park promises plenty of beauty and a ton to do. Spend a few hours - or an entire day, if you have the time - floating on the water. The park also features a swimming pool, hiking trails, and lodging.
for the official website of Bennett Spring State Park.
4. Runge Nature Center – Jefferson City
Our next stop brings us to Runge Nature Center. Lace up your hiking shoes and follow the trails that tally nearly 2.5 miles and boast an abundance of beautiful scenery. One of those trails is handicap accessible. You might also want to stop by the nature center (currently temporarily closed due to the pandemic). Indoors, you'll find exhibits and live animals.
for the official website of Runge Nature Center.
5. Prairie Garden Trust – New Bloomfield
Explore the sensational landscape at Prairie Garden Trust. The natural area is brimming with natural beauty, including Beaver Lake, Lotus Ponds, and the Savannah. Make sure you stroll by the Indigo Prairie, which features more than 50 types of flowers and grasses.
for the official website of Prairie Garden Trust.
6. Finger Lakes State Park – Columbia
Finger Lakes State Park offers something for everyone - from the adventurers to the nature lovers. If it's natural beauty you're after, set off on the nearly five-mile water trail. You can also go kayaking, canoeing, or paddle boarding. Adventurers, who love ATVing and motorcycling, will find plenty of room to explore, too.
for the official website of Finger Lakes State Park.
7. Rose Garden at Jacob L. Loose Memorial Park – Kansas City
Our final stop brings us to the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden, a natural haven in the middle of the busyness of Kansas City. Since it was founded in 1931, the breathtaking garden has grown to 3,000 roses across one and a half acres. Of those 3,000 roses, you'll find more than 130 different varieties.
for the website of the Laura Conyers Smith Municipal Rose Garden.
What other destinations would you add to this road trip? Let us know in the comments! For a quick morning or afternoon trip, follow this
one-mile trail to Hickory Canyon Waterfall. Address: Grand Falls Blvd, Joplin, MO 64804, USA Address: 4872 N Farm Rd 125, Springfield, MO 65803, USA Address: 26250 MO-64A, Lebanon, MO 65536, USA Address: 330 Commerce Dr, Jefferson City, MO 65109, USA Address: 8945 Co Rte 431, New Bloomfield, MO 65063, USA Address: 1505 Peabody Rd, Columbia, MO 65202, USA Address: Kansas City, MO 64112, USA