Explore > Missouri > Welcome to Missouri
welcome header

Places Welcoming You

gs logo Big Red Barn RV Park
Carthage, Missouri

Welcome to Missouri

There’s so much the Show Me State wants to show you. The Ozarks, rocking nightlife, slow-cooked barbecue, Route 66 — Missouri will keep you busy in the best way possible. It might be known as the “Gateway to the West,” but you’ll find you’ll want to stay put here for the stellar landscapes and homespun American experiences.

Little white flowers with green leaves

State Flower: Hawthorn. Getty Images

Big City Life

St. Louis will pull you in with Gateway Arch National Park, home to America’s tallest national monument. Ride the tram to the top of this 630-foot structure to take in sensational views of the Mississippi River. Afterward, immerse yourself in the world of blues with live performances, interactive galleries and intriguing artifacts at the National Blues Museum.

Brilliant Branson

Branson feeds your soul with even more music. Humming with the sweet sounds of country, rock and pop, the “Live Music Show Capital of the World” will wow you with its electrifying concerts and Broadway-style entertainment. If you’re a jazz fan, make your way to Kansas City for the American Jazz Museum and the 18th and Vine Historic Jazz District.

Adventures Above and Below the Ground

Missouri is often called the “Cave State” because it has 6,400 of them, and more than 20 are open for you to explore. Wander down twisting passageways inside Onondaga Cave, journey more than 500 feet below the surface at Marvel Cave or gawk at strange-looking limestone formations in the Meramec Caverns.

Hike, Bike and More

The Ozark Mountains are the stars of Missouri’s natural world. See them in all their grandeur at the Top of the Rock Ozarks Heritage Preserve. When you’re done relishing the view, tee off at the nearby golf course, stroll nature trails or take a tour to the Lost Canyon Cave.

Bluffs, Rocks and Boutiques

You’ll find the country’s longest rails-to-trails project in Katy Trail State Park. Boutique wineries, quaint towns and towering bluffs are just some of the sites you’ll get to pedal past. Elephant Rocks State Park promises something out of the ordinary: colossal boulders that resemble a train of circus elephants. Marvel at these prehistoric rocks and follow the trail around the park to encounter an abandoned mine.

Motoring the Mother Road

Above ground, you’ll discover more than 300 miles of Route 66. Cruise down this iconic highway to reach retro diners and kooky roadside attractions like the Red Rocker, Mural City and the Route 66 Museum. Feel free to stretch your legs at Route 66 State Park, which offers hiking, picnicking and bird-watching opportunities.

Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks State Park has over 1,100 miles of shoreline to play on. Rent a boat at the marina and embark on a great angling adventure. Crappie can be caught in the coves near the main river, while catfish are known to hang out around the Grand Glaize Bridge on Highway 54. You can also flick your rod and wait for white and striped bass to bite in the tributaries, coves and main lake points. Other popular fishing destinations in the state include Pomme de Terre Lake, Thousand Hills State Park and Lake Showme.

Finger-licking Good Festivals

You can’t think of Missouri without conjuring up images of mouthwatering barbecue. Every region has its own way of grilling, and the best way to sample it is by hitting up all the food festivals. Swing by Springfield’s Rock’n Ribs BBQ Festival in late April to feast on ribs slow cooked to perfection. You can try Kansas City’s spice-rubbed meats smothered in a variety of sauces at cook-off competitions like the Annual American Royal Barbecue and NKC Missouri State BBQ Championships.

Hands chopping grilled spare beef or pork ribs

Getty Images