Missouri Travel Guide

Do you think you have to travel far from home to find something extraordinary? Missouri vacations will prove you wrong once and for all. From family adventures through state parks to romantic getaways sipping the latest vintage at a local winery, Missouri isn’t your ordinary vacation.

Let this Missouri vacation guide help you think outside the box for your next trip. After you discover all that Missouri has to offer, let VacationRentals.com tempt you with a variety of cabins, mountain lodges, and condos to choose from. This year, find your own oasis in the wilderness and relax in the Missouri sunshine!

What to Do in Missouri

missouri vacations

Outdoor Adventure

Get outdoors this year with Missouri vacations. Each member of your family will find the perfect activity to put a smile on his or her face, from hiking to fishing to biking. A good Missouri vacation guide will mention that almost every possible outdoor activity is available in this state, so skip the city break this year and return to nature!

Outdoor enthusiasts will be able to choose from the 50 state parks, the Mark Twain National Forest, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and more as the backdrop of their adventure. After a few days of hiking and biking, you could try hunting. From turkey to pheasant, this activity has a long history in Missouri.

Pack your fishing poles and test your luck to catch rainbow trout or bass, or head out on America’s longest hiking trail, the Ozark Trail, for 225 miles of breathtaking scenery. Complete the perfect day of your Missouri family vacation by cooking your freshly-caught fish in the kitchen of your private vacation rental!

The Softer Side to Missouri

During Missouri vacations you will discover that this state is more than just a mecca for outdoors enthusiasts. In the 1830s, Missouri was the largest wine producing state in the country and this tradition continues today. There are 96 wineries spread throughout the state, and Stone Hill Winery in Hermann has taken third place in a variety of national awards.

Take a break from the hiking and biking to sample Missouri’s award-winning wines. Explore the areas around Augusta, Hermann, the southwest Missouri Ozark Mountains, and St James for a winery tour and tasting. Whether you want to pack a picnic and enjoy the drive or pick up a few cases of wine to bring home, wineries provide a memorable moment during Missouri vacations.

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Just for Families

A Missouri family vacation is the perfect excuse to spend quality time together. You will discover new activities, share afternoons of laughter, and have the time to reconnect. Beyond hiking, fishing, and biking, families will enjoy amusement parks, zoos, and professional sports. From exploring the depths of the Ozark Caverns to enjoying the St Louis Cardinals Stadium Tour, Missouri vacations were designed for families.

Any quality Missouri vacation guide will also provide details on the educational opportunities in this state. Bring your kids’ history books to life by visiting Civil War battlefields and Native American villages. There is no better way to infuse a curiosity about the past than by setting foot in these historic places!

Find Your Perfect Missouri Match

Not every Missouri family vacation has to be centered around outdoor activities. If your family loves music, plan a trip to Branson, Missouri’s live music capital. Branson has over 50 live performance theaters, along with a variety of other attractions to keep your family entertained. From an exciting theme park to more than a dozen golf courses, there won’t be a dull moment in Branson.

If your idea of a retreat is a bustling metropolis, look no further than St Louis. Spend your Missouri family vacation exploring the breweries, professional sports, and riverboat casinos of St Louis. From quaint neighborhoods to top shopping, St Louis has the perfect blend of modernity and history.

Looking for old world charm instead of a bustling city? Plan Missouri vacations to Hermann, designed by German settlers overlooking the Missouri River to resemble the "Romantic Rhine River Valley" in Germany. Vineyards, festivals, galleries, and spectacular views all make Hermann a top Missouri destination.

No Missouri vacation guide would be complete without mentioning Kansas City. Founded in 1850, Kansas City is known as the "city of fountains." Don’t miss out on the chance to try some Kansas City Barbeque between visits to museums, music venues, and historical attractions. Professional sports also entice many visitors to Kansas City.

Did you have a more peaceful Missouri family vacation in mind? The Lake of the Ozarks is Missouri’s biggest lake destination and offers more than 1,150 miles of shoreline. From water activities to thrilling zip lines, the pleasures of nature are available in this lake district. Championship golf and gourmet dining make this destination the complete package.

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What to See in Missouri

missouri vacations

Discover a Rich History

There is more history in Missouri than you will have time to explore during your trip. A list of state historic sites is lengthy, but you can choose what to see based on your interests. If the American Civil War piques your interest, be sure to see the Battle of Lexington State Historic Site and the Battle of Athens State Historic Site.

Does the name Daniel Boone ring a bell from the frontier stories of your childhood? Today you can visit the Boone’s Lick State Historic Site where his sons, Daniel and Nathan, processed salt from a nearby spring. Other historic sites of interest include Clark’s Hill-Norton State Historic Park Site where you will see Indian burial grounds and the Felix Valle House State Historic Site for tours of surviving French Colonial architecture.

Top Landmarks

Missouri vacations can also include visits to some of the top landmarks. In this state, the journey can be just as fun as the destination, so sit back and enjoy the drive to these top attractions. Visit the First Missouri State Capitol Historic Site to see where the state’s first government was established in 1821. For more political history, take a tour of the Harry S. Truman birthplace to see where an American President was born.

Another famous birthplace is the Mark Twain birthplace in Florida, Missouri. See for yourself where Samuel Clemens was born in 1835, and you will also see an early hand-written copy of Tom Sawyer. Take a tour of local caves at Onondaga Cave State Park or take a drive along the legendary Route 66 and see its state park, picnic areas, and popular places for horseback riding.

Seek Out Local Wildlife

Missouri vacations will be full of chances to encounter interesting wildlife in their natural environment. Elk, moose, bears, deer, beavers, and woodchucks all roam the state parks of Missouri. If you’re lucky you might also see a bald eagle during your Missouri family vacation.

There are more than 50 Missouri state parks where your family can hit the trails and try your luck at encountering these creatures. Be sure to bring your camera along in case you strike gold, and be sure to stay a safe distance from the animals, especially if there are babies near their mothers!

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Where to Shop and Eat in Missouri

missouri vacations

Unique Shopping

Missouri vacations wouldn’t be complete without a little shopping. From the art galleries and shopping malls of Branson to antiques and craft shops of St Louis, you will be tempted to bring home a few souvenirs. Don’t miss the old books and maps available at Spivey’s in Kansas City or the handmade quilts at Hickory Stick Quilt and Gift shop in Hannibal.

If you are driving to Missouri (or want to have a tasty souvenir shipped home), pick up some award-winning wines during your trip. Nothing will remind you more of your Missouri family vacation than popping a bottle of your new favorite wine. From high fashion in Kansas City and St Louis to craft shops in small towns, Missouri vacations will be full of chances to squeeze in a little shopping.

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Get a Taste of Missouri

While Missouri vacations are bound to be full of swimming in the lake, going fishing, and roasting marshmallows by the fire, they also are full of opportunities for dining out. From casual family restaurants to sampling Kansas City barbeque to fine-dining options, you will be surprised at what Missouri has to offer!

Bursting with flavor, there won’t be a dull moment for your taste buds during a Missouri family vacation. If you like your hot wings with a bit of tang, Missouri is the perfect match for you. Try CJ’s in Columbia or Wings A Blazin’ in Branson to sample the state’s best hot wings.

If you love pork, you’ll feel right at home in Missouri. Try Café 37 in West Plains and Sycamore in Columbia to sample some of the state’s best pork. If you’re looking to experience the gourmet side of Missouri, try the award-winning seafood dishes at City Tavern in Kansas City or the Seventh Inn in the St Louis Area.

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When to Visit Missouri

The most popular time to plan Missouri vacations is the summer. These months provide the best conditions to enjoy all of the outdoor adventure that Missouri has such a great reputation for. The Missouri State Fair takes place in August and draws a significant crowd. The summer is the busiest season and prices will be at their highest during these months.

The fall also has its perks, including being the perfect time to visit Missouri wineries. In the spring, visitors start hitting the trails and celebrating the season. If you’re traveling on a budget, avoid the summer months and save even more money!

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What to Bring to Missouri

Depending on the season that you’re planning your Missouri vacation, what you bring will vary. If you’re heading to Missouri in the summer to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities, don’t forget your hiking boots, insect repellant (mosquitoes can be a problem), and rain gear. A Missouri family vacation is the perfect time to do some fishing, so bring along your fishing rods.

Some families will plan on hitting the road, so bring along some entertainment for the kids while you enjoy the scenic drive. You will want to remember your camera to capture the spectacular sights, and if you have a picnic set, break it out of the closet; it will get some use during Missouri vacations! Nothing in Missouri is too fancy, but if you plan on enjoying some of the music performances in Branson or dining in the top restaurants, bring along a few nicer outfits.

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Local Services in Missouri

A thorough Missouri vacation guide will warn visitors about local services. Only expect local services to maintain regular business hours, and you won’t be disappointed to arrive at a grocery store to find it closed. Farmers markets are available throughout the state, and the best selection is of course early in the morning.

Banks and ATMs are available in the cities and towns, but might be more difficult to come by in remote areas. Plan ahead when it comes to carrying cash as some restaurants and shops won’t accept credit cards. Bring along all prescriptions you require, film for your camera, and any special dietary requirements. With this out of the way, you will enjoy every moment of Missouri vacations!

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What to Know About Missouri

There are two times of the year when prices in Missouri get higher. During the summer months and the winter holiday when schools are closed, many visitors plan Missouri vacations. If you’re traveling on a budget, avoid these two peak times. Missouri is best explored by car, so whether you drive or pick up a rental car at the airport, you’ll be sure to see a more intimate side to the state. No matter how long or short your trip to Missouri will be, you must try the state’s most famous food: Kansas City barbeque!

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Getting to Missouri

Many people who plan a Missouri family vacation arrive by car. Part of the fun of any trip to Missouri is the scenery you will encounter on your way to a destination. If you live far away and need to arrive by plane, the top airports include Kansas City International Airport, St Louis International Airport, Springfield National Airport, and Columbia Airport. From all of these airports it is possible to rent a car and continue your vacation on the state’s famous highways.

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Why Missouri Vacation Rentals?

Missouri vacation rentals are the perfect match for the scenery. A rustic cottage overlooking the lake is the best way to enjoy the wilderness. By skipping crowded hotels you will find yourself enjoying the serenity of Missouri. Whether you are traveling on a budget or not, vacation rentals will provide the best value for your trip. Go ahead, pack your family in the car, and get ready for the family adventure of a lifetime!

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