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Travel

Midwest Travel & Tourism Guide

Plan a day trip or weekend getaway this fall to one of these 10 midwestern hot spots in Missouri or Arkansas.

Sep 01 2019 at 9 a.m.

Ozark Mountain Range
Photo courtesy Shutterstock


Take a look to find places in the midwest region that you can visit for the day or turn into a weekend getaway. From places in Arkansas to Missouri, you’re sure to find a spot to tour. It’s the perfect time of year to get off your couch and go explore. Join those who come from all around the country to experience Missouri and Arkansas natural beauty, outdoor action, compelling history, world-class museums, local shopping and so much more! 

Mountain biking the in the fall
Photo courtesy Northwest ArkansasNorthwest Arkansas is beautiful in the fall, so take advantage of the scenery on a mountain bike trail.

Northwest Arkansas

Autumn is the perfect time to visit Northwest Arkansas! Enjoy a prime mix of nature’s sights and urban delights. Hike the stunning Ozark Mountains, paddle sparkling rivers and streams, and shred 250 miles of epic off-road bike trails. 

Savor award-winning culinary, explore many distinctive downtowns— rom Bentonville to Fayetteville, Siloam Springs to Eureka Springs, Rogers, Springdale and more—and discover the world-class Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art.

From fall art and craft fairs, a vibrant craft brew scene and the finest in SEC sports action, to the rumble of the Bikes, Blues and BBQ motorcycle rally–Northwest Arkansas has it all. Come discover why more than 4 million people visit each year! 

Plan your own trip at NorthwestArkansas.org 

Boston Mountains in Arkansas
Photo courtesy ShutterstockBoston Mountains outside of Springdale, AR.

Springdale Chamber of Commerce

PO Box 166, Springdale, Arkansas // 479-872-2222

Located in the heart of beautiful Northwest Arkansas, Springdale is the perfect spot for a weekend adventure.

Experience the nation’s largest bicycle pump track at Runway Bike Park. Thrill seekers can test their mountain biking skills at Fitzgerald Mountain, which features trails for all levels from a strider course to a double-black line.

Tour Bike Rack Brewing Company, Sassafras Springs Vineyard, Core Brewery or The Odd Soul to sample locally crafted beers, wine and cider. Enjoy a ride on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad’s excursion train through the scenic Boston Mountains. Visit vibrant Downtown Springdale and check out the local art scene at the Arts Center of the Ozarks, or learn about the region’s rich history at the Shiloh Museum of Ozark History.

Discover what makes Springdale one of the top vacation destinations in Arkansas! Visit ExploreSpringdale.com to plan the perfect weekend getaway!

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR
Photo courtesy Crystal Bridges Museum of American ArtVisit the Men of Steel, Women of Wonder exhibit at Crystal Bridges in Bentonville, AR before it's too late.

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

600 Museum Way, Bentonville, Arkansas // 479-418-5700

Take a whimsical romp through the forest and experience Color Field, a new, outdoor exhibition featuring large, colorful sculptures against the lush backdrop of Crystal Bridges’ Ozark forest.

Along the way, learn about color theory, discover some of today’s exciting contemporary artists, and immerse yourself completely in this enchanting exhibition to experience the impact color has on our lives.

Color Field is open through September 30, so don’t miss your chance to experience art and nature this summer! Tickets are $12 and free for museum members and youth ages 18 or younger.

Boat on the water at sunrise at Gaston's in Arkansas
Photo courtesy Gaston's White River ResortEscape to the water at Gaston's White River Resort in Lakeview, AR.

Gaston's White River Resort

1777 River Road // 870-431-5202

A few days at Gaston’s and all’s right with the world. They have everything you need for a family vacation, romantic getaway or group gathering. With world-class trout fishing, shore lunches on the White River banks, scenic foliage and beautiful Bull Shoals Lake nearby, there’s no better place to experience the outdoors. Dine in their restaurant and private club overlooking the river, where Chef Rick Gollinger cooks your catch from the day. Gaston’s gets it right, every time.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations villa in Branson MO
Photo courtesy Holiday Inn Club VacationsRelax in comfort near all of the action when you stay with Holiday Inn Club Vacations.

Holiday Inn Club Vacations

2380 MO-76, Branson, MO // 866-765-2502

Holiday Inn Club Vacations offers two resorts located in Missouri, one in Branson and one in Desoto. Both resorts provide spacious villas complete with fully equipped kitchens, pullout sleeper sofas, and plenty of room for the whole family. Timber Creek Resort in Desoto is an outdoor-oriented relaxing retreat offering amenities such as a fully stocked fishing lake, watersports rentals, and more. Holiday Hills Resort in Branson is close to all of the action and includes a championship golf course, indoor pool and much more. Whichever resort you choose there’s sure to be something for everyone in the family!

Loft at The Keeter Center in Branson, MO
Photo courtesy The Keeter CenterRelax in comfort with spa like amenities at The Keeter Center.

The Keeter Center

1 Opportunity Ave., Point Lookout, MO // 417-239-1900

Located in the scenic Ozark Mountains on the tranquil campus of College of the Ozarks, The Keeter Center offers award-winning accommodations. All suites include spacious rooms, oversized balconies with picturesque views of the campus, and spa-like amenities including lavender bath salts and luxurious bathrobes. Relax in your room while the staff delivers a renowned turn-down service including freshly baked cookies and milk from the campus dairy. After waking up refreshed and renewed, enjoy a delicious, made-to-order breakfast delivered right to your suite.

The Keeter Center’s award-winning restaurant brings a fresh approach to the fine dining experience. The culinary staff incorporates seasonal, garden-fresh vegetables into their menu selections. Choose from a variety of delectable offerings that infuse student-made fruit spreads, apple butter, and Edwards Mill freshly ground products into their dishes. Visitor Tip: Enjoy premium ice cream at the College Creamery, made fresh with cream from the campus dairy.

Wonders of Wildlife, Springfield, MO
Photo courtesy Wonders of WildlifeVisit the “Best New Attraction in America” and “America’s Best Aquarium," as voted by the readers of USA Today.

Wonders of Wildlife

500 W. Sunshine St., Springfield, MO // 888-222-6060 ext. 2

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium consists of an all-new 1.5-million-gallon Aquarium Adventure showcasing 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles, amphibians, and birds and immersive Wildlife Galleries that bring visitors eye-to-eye with the greatest collection of record-setting game animals ever assembled. Created by noted conservationist and Bass Pro Shops founder/CEO Johnny Morris, the 350,000-square-foot experience celebrates those who hunt, fish and act as stewards of the land and water. Located next to Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters in Springfield, Missouri, the campus is a centerpiece of America’s Conservation Capital in Missouri’s Ozark Mountains. Wonders of Wildlife has been voted “Best New Attraction in America” and “America’s Best Aquarium” by the readers of USA Today.

Little boy sitting on a pile of pumpkins in Clay County, Missouri
Photo courtesy Clay CountyEnjoy family time and love the outdoors while still close to the city in Clay County, Missouri.

Get Away With Clay

Clay County, Missouri // 816-407-3659

just minutes from downtown Kansas City, Clay County offers your family exciting attractions, outdoor adventures, charming communities and Jesse James history.

Clay’s communities come alive in the fall with family-friendly festivals and events. Ride a trolley in Excelsior Springs, visit a winery near Smithville or try your hand at pickleball in North Kansas City. Browse a farmers’ market in Liberty or learn about Jesse James in Kearney. Kids love Clay’s pumpkin patches, corn mazes and Worlds of Fun’s Halloween Haunt. 

Come play with Clay this fall. Plan your trip at VisitClayMO.comProduced in cooperation with VisitMO.com.

Battle of Lexington MO on a building column
Photo courtesy ShutterstockExplore Civil War history when you visit Lexington, Missouri.

Visit Lexington, MO

Lexington, MO // 660-251-3270

How can you care about History? You can walk in the steps of Civil War soldiers and see the battlefield hospital with bullet holes and blood stains. Experience the quarters where household slaves worked and slept. Take a modern day horse ride along the early Sante Fe Trail route, or stop for refreshments in a bank once robbed by the famous James Younger gang. Come visit and you’ll find even more. Visit visitlexingtonmo.com.

Discover Saint Charles, Missouri
Photo courtesy Discover Saint Charles, MissouriSaint Charles has a lot of history to learn about and explore.

Discover Saint Charles, Missouri

St. Charles, MO // 800-366-2427

Just west of St. Louis you’ll find St. Charles, a river city with a unique historical perspective, beautiful sites, friendly people and a pace just a little slower than that of the big city. Saint Charles is a source of historical encounter: the Lewis and Clark Rendezvous, Missouri’s First State Capitol, origin of the Boone’s Lick Trail and home to Daniel Boone.

The people of St. Charles have labored lovingly to preserve and share its treasured river heritage. A destination for almost one million visitors each year, Saint Charles history comes alive to welcome you.

You’ll find St. Charles offers first-rate hotels and accommodations, over 150 restaurants to choose from, and so many things to do, you may have to come back to try everything.

Experience the charm and beauty of a city that has been welcoming visitors since 1769.