I drove through quite a bit of Missouri, but only stopped in Kansas City to visit friends. St. Louis is another place on my list to visit in the future.
1. Kansas City
Highlights: Shops, museums, parks
Suggest Staying: 1-3 days
Stay Around: Downtown
In case you’re wondering, Kansas City actually spans both Missouri and Kansas, the main part of the downtown area being in Missouri. Many business have their headquarters here, and therefore there is an interesting mix of shops and outdoors stores. You can also find very good BBQ. The university adds to the diversity and nearby you can find several interesting parks and museums.
See & Do
Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. Really nice art museum. Pretty big, full of exhibits from paintings to sculptures. Free entry.
Riverside Market. Outdoor market with fresh fruits and veggies, herbs, spices, and various other things to buy.
Plaza. Outdoor shopping mall. Old style, kind of ritzy.
Toy & Miniatures Museum. Really cool, unique museum showcasing miniature models of all kinds of things from tiny houses, ships, musical instruments, etc. Mostly Victorian and European styled stuff. There is also a section of old vintage toys which was wonderfully nostalgic.
There are multiple places that make up the Ozarks which spans across Missouri and Arkansas. In Missouri, you’ll find a couple large lakes for boating, fishing, and swimming as well as the mountains. Beautiful area if you like nature, and at least worth driving through if you’re road trip takes you through there or nearby if not spending a couple days.
See & Do
Table Rock State Park. Huge lake, great for camping and boating. Plenty of campsites, well kept. Marina within the park
Dogwood Canyon. Nature park, fee to get in, beautiful grounds.
Roaring River State Park. Beautiful river running through it, camping, hiking, trout fishing and hatchery.
Sugar Camp Forest Scenic Byway. Scenic drive.
Branson. Kind of touristy, but good if you’re looking for restaurants or souvenirs.