Missouri, located in the Midwestern region of the United States, is often overlooked as a travel destination compared to more popular states such as California or New York. However, what many people don’t know is that Missouri is home to some of the most incredible hidden gems in the country. From quaint towns to breathtaking natural beauty, this state has it all. Here’s a guide to Missouri’s best-kept secrets:
- Ha Ha Tonka State Park: Located in the Ozarks region, Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The park is home to stunning limestone cliffs, natural bridges, and the ruins of a castle built in the early 1900s. Visitors can hike through the park’s trails, swim in its clear water springs, or explore the castle’s ruins.
- Hermann: This charming town located in the heart of Missouri’s wine country is a hidden gem. Hermann is home to over a dozen wineries, each with its unique flavors and specialties. Visitors can also stroll through the town’s historic streets, visit its museums, or take a relaxing bike ride along the Katy Trail.
- Elephant Rocks State Park: This unique park located in the St. Francois Mountains features massive granite boulders that resemble elephants. Visitors can climb the rocks, hike through the park’s trails, or have a picnic in the beautiful natural surroundings.
- Arrow Rock: This historic town located in central Missouri is a step back in time. Arrow Rock’s historic district is home to several buildings that date back to the early 1800s, including a courthouse and a tavern. Visitors can also enjoy a show at the Lyceum Theatre, which has been entertaining audiences since 1961.
- Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield: This historic site located near Springfield was the site of the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River. Visitors can explore the battlefield’s trails, visit the museum, or attend one of the park’s living history events.
- Missouri Botanical Garden: Located in St. Louis, the Missouri Botanical Garden is one of the oldest and most beautiful botanical gardens in the country. Visitors can stroll through the garden’s 79 acres, which feature over 7,000 plant species, including the famous Climatron, a geodesic dome that houses a rainforest.
- Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum: This museum located in Hannibal is dedicated to the life and works of the famous author Mark Twain. Visitors can tour Twain’s boyhood home, which has been restored to its 19th-century appearance, or explore the museum’s exhibits on Twain’s life and literary works.
Missouri’s hidden gems are not to be missed. From stunning natural beauty to historic towns and landmarks, there’s something for everyone in this incredible state. Whether you’re a nature lover, a history buff, or simply looking for a unique travel experience, Missouri has it all. So next time you’re planning a trip, consider exploring Missouri’s best-kept secrets. You won’t be disappointed.