Whether you’re taking a trip to Kansas City for barbecue or plan on camping in the wilderness surrounding the Ozark Mountains, you’ll be thrilled by what Missouri has in store. These are the six must-see attractions to put on your itinerary when you visit the Show-Me State.
1. The Gateway Arch
Rated as the best attraction in the entire state by users of Trip Advisor, this iconic Saint Louis archway is the tallest monument in the nation (630 feet). The Gateway Arch was constructed in 1967 to honor Thomas Jefferson and celebrate the city’s instrumental role in the push to the West. Take the tram to the top of the archway and experience jaw-dropping views of St. Louis and beyond. If you visit after July 2018, you can be one of the first guests at the brand-new Museum at the Gateway Arch, a commemoration of the city’s pioneer roots. This historic site also includes a restored federal courthouse and access to riverboat cruises on the Mississippi.
2. Silver Dollar City
This unique theme park in Branson is dedicated to preserving and displaying the rich culture of the 1880s Ozark. In addition to the rides and shows you’d expect from an amusement park, Silver Dollar City boasts live demonstrations of traditional crafts including glass blowing, candle making, pottery, basket weaving, candy making, and much more. The park is located at the site of a 19th-century mining town, and visitors can explore a cave first discovered by Native Americans in the 1500s. You can even camp in the park, enjoy regional fare and fair favorites, and have a blast at the on-site water park.
3. Giant Book Shelf, Kansas City Library
Book lovers will adore this public art display, reported as one of the 15 most unique Missouri attractions by Only in Your State. This 25-foot-high, 9-foot-wide facade stands in front of the Kansas City Library’s parking garage in downtown Kansas City. When the Giant Book Shelf was constructed, local voters were responsible for choosing the titles that would be featured.
4. Lake of the Ozarks
Missouri’s largest lake has more than 1,150 miles of pristine shoreline for locals and visitors to enjoy. Whether you want to swim, boat, fish, or just enjoy the scenery, the Lake of the Ozarks is one of the quintessential examples of the area’s natural beauty.
5. National Tiger Sanctuary, Saddlebrook
Animal lovers will love strolling through the grounds of this non-profit big cat rescue, home to tigers, lions, leopards, mountain lions. You can watch the keepers feed the cats and even arrange for behind-the-scenes group tours where you can help feed the animals–a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
6. World’s Largest Ball of Twine, Branson
This record-winning oddity has been on the grounds of the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum since 1993.