Missouri Vacation Ideas

Missouri Vacation Ideas #1: Branson Missouri Described by many as "The Live Music Show Capital of the World", Branson Missouri is a must visit for vacation music lovers. Here you will find at least 40 music theaters with live entertainment to rival Broadway musicals.

Besides the 60 plus shows, family-friendly Branson offers outdoor fun as well. The three lakes offer swimming, boating, water skiing, dinner and entertainment cruises. There are boat rides of various themes like the live pirate invasion on the Sammy Lane Pirate Cruise.

#2: Independence Square in Independence, Missouri offers fun for the entire family. On its historic streets you can find a horse and buggy ride, a trail adventure tour, or a turn-of-the-century dancing experience.

Visit Marshal's Home & Museum an 1859 Jackson County Jail. The Independence Square Courthouse houses the restored office and courtroom Harry Truman occupied as county judge in 1933. There is an 1827 Log Courthouse which was once a Mormon mercantile store.

Missouri Vacation Ideas #3: Just south of St. Louis is Grant's Farm so named because Ulysses S. Grant once farmed it. Today it is the home of more than 1,000 exotic animals from six continents. Grant's Cabin, built by himself in 1886, stills stands. In The Deer Park you can feed and pet the animals.

Budweiser Clydesdale
Budweiser Clydesdale
Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/toolman6598

There are shows with African elephants, parrots, and birds of prey. The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses are bred here. Grant's Farm, near St. Louis Missouri, is the 281-acre ancestral home of the Busch family. This popular family destination is now operated by the Anheuser-Busch Company.

Here you can see over 1,000 animals and enjoy the animal shows in the Tier Garten amphitheater.

The kids can pet and hand feed the pygmy goats and other animals. The original four-room, two-story cabin built by Ulysses S. Grant is on display. The Budweiser Clydesdale Stables house 35 of the world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales.

#4: Lee’s Summit - The Amtrak pulls into the middle of downtown Lee’s Summit, Missouri.

The recently renovated district is charming with quaint home furnishing boutiques, an Irish jewelry store, a variety of restaurants, and new lofts. My favorite boutique is Cameron’s and I recommend Bailey’s for an appetizer and a wine flight.

They both have friendly owners, who will make sure you feel welcome. In the afternoon enjoy a boat ride on one of our nearby lakes.

At dusk, go to the Marina Grog and Galley and request a table on the back deck. The restaurant sits right on Lake Lotawana and has an extensive wine list and delicious Kansas City Steaks. - Kelly O'Hagan from MI

#5: Missouri's Rhineland is an area along the Missouri River full of German culture and lots of wineries. A road trip on route 94, from St. Charles to Jefferson City, will take you through the farmlands, limestone bluffs and vineyards of the Rhineland. This is beautiful scenic countryside. Along the way stop at some of the quaint and German influenced towns like Hermann, Marthasville and Washington. A trip to the Rhineland is a great vacation idea for couples.

A romantic vacation idea is the Ashdon House Bed and Breakfast in Marthasville. This is actually a working Morgan Horse breeding facility for championship Morgan horses. You can enjoy an elegant romantic stay with a five-course gourmet breakfast, horseback riding (lesson too, if you like), relax and enjoy the horses.

Hannibal, Missouri
Hannibal, Missouri
Photo Credit: flickr.com/photos/philippe-lepage
#6: Hannibal, Missouri is the boyhood home of Sam Clemens, the beloved American writer better known as Mark Twain. His famous book The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, was written from memories of growing up in this sleepy little river town.

The Mark Twain Museum consists of eight town properties that are associated with Sam Clemens, including the small white frame house where the Clemens family lived.

Outside of town is the Mark Twain Cave. July 4th weekend the town celebrates Tom Sawyer Days with Huck Finn style activities such as fence painting and frog jumping.

Missouri Vacation Ideas #7: Silver Dollar City is an amusement park in Branson themed in the 1880's. Here you can see craft demonstrations as well as enjoy musical performances which change daily. Kids like the water? They won't forget the adventures of a day at WhiteWater with various slides, The Surfquake Wave Pool, as well as rafting rides that will keep them busy all day!

Silver Dollar City – Powder Keg Ride

Missouri vacations #8: St. Louis, Missouri has a lot to offer and a great spot to visit, especially if you have kids, is the St. Louis Zoo. The zoo is designed to put you right into the middle of the animal's habitat.

And this is one the very best zoos for recreating natural, realistic habitats for the animals. A favorite for the kids is the children's zoo. Here they can have fun with interactive exhibits like one where they can slide down through the otter pool along with the otters. There's a sea lion show, a 3-D movie, "Glacier Run" Motion Simulator and so much more.

St. Louis Zoo Train

Missouri vacations #9: St. Louis, Missouri Hermann, Missouri is a quiet small town about an hour drive west of St. Louis. Founded in 1836 by Germans from Philadelphia, Hermann today invites visitors to join in celebrating their thriving German culture and heritage.

The town is a very popular vacation place in Missouri during the three big annual events held here. Wurstfest is held at the end of March and celebrates the art of German sausagemaking. Maifest is a traditional German spring festival held in May. The celebrations feature parades, Maypole dances, arts & crafts and plenty of German music & food. Then in October is the ever popular Oktoberfest with more German style food, music and fun.

There are several museums and historic sites of interest. The area here is also known for its award winning wineries. Two of the best for wine touring are Hermannof Vineyards and Winery and the Stone Hill Winery.

For an upscale place to stay with views overlooking the Missouri River, try the cottages at the Hermann Hill Inn and Vineyard. Hermann is a fun vacation idea for anyone interested in German culture or just a relaxing getaway spot in a small town atmosphere.

Missouri vacations #10: St. Louis, Missouri The Missouri Botanical Garden and the Missouri History Museum are two reasons that St. Louis is one of the more popular vacation ideas in Missouri. Both of these are fun and interesting places to visit.

The Missouri History Museum has a huge variety of state-of-the-art, interactive and informative exhibits that feature persons and events that are important contributors to the city’s culture and growth; such as the famous aviator Charles Lindbergh and the 1904 World’s Fair.

Missouri Botanical Garden is 79 acres of natural beauty featuring the colors and smells of the spectacular array of flowers and plants. Bring the family for a picnic and enjoy the sounds of the summer jazz festival. For more museum fun in St. Louis, check out the Museum of Westward Expansion and the Museum of Transportation.

Every member of the family will have an awesome experience at the St. Louis Science Center. They've got some wonderful entertainment with a top notch planetarium, IMAX Theater and loads of cool science related exhibits to enjoy.

Missouri vacations #11: St. Louis, Missouri

Head out for a vacation getaway to Kansas City, Missouri and experience the American Royal Rodeo. This huge event has been held every fall since 1899 so it’s an integral part of St. Louis culture. This is one of the top rodeos in the country. You can see some excellent horse shoes including Arabian, Cutting, Hunter/Jumper, Quarter Horse and Saddle Horse Shows. The rodeo contests include everything from steer wrestling and barrel racing to bull riding and bareback riding.

But besides parades, hog & steer auctions and the great rodeo events, the American Royal Rodeo is famous for four day long food festival featuring the best and biggest barbeque contest you will find anywhere.

Several thousand people compete every year to be the Grand Champion winner American Royal World Series of Barbecue Open Contest. The variety of barbeque styles and tastes is something than every barbeque fan should experience.

Missouri vacations #12: St. Louis, Missouri For a vacation idea that embodies the small town Midwestern experience, you can’t go wrong with a trip to Ste. Genevieve, Missouri. The quiet streets, the old French Colonial buildings, and the historic downtown – they all make Ste. Genevieve an attractive vacation spot. Good times to visit are during the mid-December Country Christmas Walk and the mid-August celebration of the town’s French heritage, Jour de Fete.

There are several nice historic sites, many historic homes, and a shopping gallery featuring top wildlife artists and take a tour of the wine region. A few of the excellent places to stay are the Victorian –era Southern Hotel, Main Street Inn B&B and the Inn St. Gemme Beauvais.

Missouri vacations #13: St. Louis, Missouri In Southeast Missouri, the Ozark Trail offers outdoor enthusiasts a place for hiking, backpacking, canoeing, biking and horseback riding. The whole Ozark Trail runs some 350 miles and it is made up of 13 sections ranging from 10 to 40 miles in length. There’s a wide variety of terrain so the trail can accommodate everything from short walks to backpacking camping trips.

Along the way you will encounter all the beauty of the Ozark Mountains with streams, waterfalls, forests and plenty of wildlife. A good starting point would be to visit oazarktrail.com. They have a lot of great info about where and how to access the trail.

There are several companies that offer shuttle services for parts of the trail. This can be very convenient way to return to your base after travelling a long section of the trail. They also offer various options from camping, cabin rentals and canoeing. Four of these companies are the Ozark Outdoors Riverfront Resort, Bass River resort, Bushy Creek Lodge & Resort and Richard’s Canoe Rental.

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