Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Missouri and Arkansas

Plan a day trip or weekend getaway this to one of these 12 midwestern hot spots in Missouri or Arkansas.

Sep 01 2022 at 9 a.m.

Ozark Mountain Range
Photo courtesy Shutterstock

Take a look to find places in the region that you can visit for the day or turn into a weekend getaway. It’s the perfect time of year to get out there and go explore. Experience Missouri and Arkansas natural beauty, outdoor action, compelling history, world-class museums, local shopping and more!

Tropical beach
Photo courtesy ShutterstockCall AAA Travel today and book the trip of your dreams.

AAA Travel

2552B S. Campbell Ave.Springfield, MO | 417-882-8040

After staring at living room walls for more than two years, travelers are taking to the roadways and skies to enjoy beaches, cruises and international vacations and they are planning ahead.

Plan Ahead with the Experts

AAA Travel encourages people to book their trips now as inventory is going fast for 2022 and 2023. In addition to amazing domestic destinations like National Parks and iconic landmarks, travelers are planning trips through AAA Travel partner Pleasant Holidays to tropical locales like Mexico and the Caribbean. With continuing changes in travel requirements, it’s never been more important to book your trip with a trusted Travel Advisor. Call 417-882-8040 or schedule a visit at 2552B S. Campbell to get back to traveling.

Route 66 Car Museum Springfield MO
Photo courtesy Route 66 Car Museum

Route 66 Car Museum

1634 W. College St.Springfield, MO

Spend time reliving special memories and relishing the details of Guy Mace’s classic and sports car collection, located on the famed and historic Route 66. Once you step inside, you’ll be amazed by the size and condition of the cars on display. In fact, every car in the museum is maintained and drivable!

Visit the Museum

These gems are Mace’s passion, and now he shares that passion with the public. The Route 66 Car Museum is open seven days a week from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., for you to take a walk through history.

What You’ll See

The collection began in 1990 when he bought his first Jaguar. The collection has since grown to over 70 automobiles, from early brass era cars to vehicles used in movies. The museum houses seven Jaguars, two Rolls Royces, a 1963 Morgan owned by Desert Storm’s General Norman Schwarzkopf, and the famous truck from the movie, The Grapes of Wrath.

Piney River Brewing Company

15194 Walnut Grove Drive, Bucyrus, MO

The local and independently owned Piney River Brewing Company draws customers from all corners of the country.

Scenic Views & food

Enjoy live music most weekends from their large outdoor decks overlooking beautiful pastures. Pizza is available if you get hungry while sipping one of their award-winning beers, but their laid-back environment means you can also bring your own food for a picnic!

Bed + Brewery

Dream of staying closer to the river and brewery? Book a stay at the Piney River Farmhouse that sleeps eight. Enjoy peace and quiet in the country on the large front porch or around the fire pit. Bonus: Your fridge comes stocked full of fresh Piney River Beer.

Pulaski County, Missouri


With miles of waterways twisting and turning through breathtaking Ozark scenery, Pulaski County, Missouri, is an ideal spot for families looking to make a getaway this fall.

Nature, History & Uranus

The forests blaze in Pulaski County with reds, oranges and yellows. Stroll through pumpkin patches and thrill at their  haunted attractions.

Take an unhurried trip downstream or cast a line in search of a world-record smallie! Float down the Big Piney and Gasconade rivers in solitude. Trout anglers from across the region seek out the less crowded Roubidoux.

The fun goes far beyond the rivers and streams carving through the wilderness— explore the colorful history of Pulaski County along Historic Route 66, including stops at the hilariously colorful Uranus, Missouri, known for fantastic fudge and mini golf and Frog Rock overlooking Waynesville. With so much to do and see, you’ll want to make this an overnight trip!

Photo courtesy Benton County CVB

Benton County


It’s worth the gas! Benton County, Missouri provides a plethora of exceptional opportunities. Whether you want to have a family weekend in a charming downtown, take on scenic trails or enjoy some great food and drink, you won’t have to go far.

New Adventures

Benton County, Missouri, is the place to explore and find new adventures this year. With access to two of Missouri’s largest lakes ­­— Truman Lake and the Osage Arm of Lake of the Ozarks — it makes for a great family vacation. You’ll find options for hiking, biking, golfing, dining, shopping, boating, fishing, camping, taking in history and festivals. Benton County offers a unique natural landscape for outdoor enthusiasts and quaint downtowns that boast a very unique shopping atmosphere. Take in family-owned dining that you won’t find in the big cities. If you haven’t been to Benton County, Missouri, what are you waiting for? For more information, visit #Visitmo.

Governor's mansion, Jefferson City MO
Photo courtesy Jefferson City CVB

Jefferson City, Missouri


Jefferson City has many gems to offer outdoor enthusiasts, history buffs and thrill-seekers in the heart of Missouri.

Explore the Great Outdoors

For a breath of fresh air, break out the bike and pedal the Katy Trail, the longest developed rail-trail in the country. If the former railroad is too much of a commitment, stroll the trails at Runge Nature Center or the Bicentennial Bridge leading to the 32-acre riverfront Deborah Cooper Park.

Historic Architecture & Museum Tours

Admire the pristine architecture of the Missouri State Capitol, Governor’s Mansion and the downtown skyline. Wander the historic halls of the Capitol or join a guide-led tour to learn about the stunning structure. At the Mansion, docents guide you through the first level of one of few executive residences open to the public. Reservations are required for both tours. If history is more your thing, Immerse yourself in intriguing exhibits at the Missouri State Museum and the Museum of Missouri Military History.

Famous Ghost Tours

Book a ghost tour at the decommissioned Missouri State Penitentiary and learn of its 168 years of operation. The former prison has been featured on many television shows throughout the years, most recently including Destination Fear, Ghost Hunters, Mysteries of the Abandoned and Portals to Hell.

Sweets & Eats to Recharge

Refuel at one of Jefferson City’s original staple eateries like Prison Brews, Madison’s Café or ECCO Lounge and satisfy your sweet tooth with Central Dairy ice cream. Plan your trip at!

Cape Girardeau
Photo courtesy Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitor's Bureau

Cape Girardeau

Discover the rich history of Cape Girardeau, which is one of Missouri’s oldest river towns.

Visit the River Town

From its easily accessible, central location to the many historic sites, museums and monuments, Cape is the perfect setting for a getaway. The vibrant riverfront downtown features eclectic shops and boutiques as well as local casual and fine dining.

Give It a Gamble

Also downtown is a full-service casino located on the Mississippi Riverbank. Cape Girardeau is sure to be your new favorite escape any time of year. Start planning with

Gaston's White River Resort
Photo courtesy Gaston's White River Resort

Gaston’s White River Resort

1777 River RoadLakeview, Arkansas | 870-431-5202

Not Your Average Fishing Trip

Disconnect and unwind at Gaston’s White River Resort, where unspoiled natural beauty and adventure are waiting around every bend. Fish in style and comfort at America’s #1 trout fishing resort that brings anglers from coast to coast for the ultimate White River experience.

Learn from Master Fly Fishermen

Create lifelong memories with loved ones in the scenic Ozark Mountain region while on a one-of-a-kind guided fly-fishing trip. Need lessons? Attend fly-fishing school with a master fly fisherman.

Unforgettable Luxury and Relaxation

Experience luxury across Gaston’s 400-acre resort that contains one of the south’s finest restaurants serving up bison, scallops and fresh rainbow trout. Relax in riverbank cottages that offer a cozy place for two or a lodge with ten private bedrooms. Revel in the expansive amenities such as a private club, swimming pool, tennis courts and a landing strip for fly-in guests. Come for the unforgettable experience and be a part of Gaston’s family.

Springdale, Arkansas

Explore Springdale | 800-972-7261

A New Perspective on Fall in Arkansas

Experience a helicopter tour above the Ozarks with FlyARH or take an excursion train ride on the Arkansas & Missouri Railroad through the Boston Mountains to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage. If you plan to see the foliage from your motorcycle, we’re the best home base in Northwest Arkansas for excursions!

Adventure Runs Through the Mountains

Learn about the unique geology and wildlife of Northwest Arkansas at the interactive exhibits of the Ozark Highlands Nature Center or try one of their archery ranges! Then test your mountain bike skills at Fitzgerald Mountain or at Runway Bike Park, the nation’s largest pump track.

Sip and Relax

Sample local beer and wine and enjoy the only craft cidery in Arkansas! Stay awhile and see the month-long celebration of Ozarktober with tons of live music. Springdale is centrally located in Northwest Arkansa­­s—halfway between Crystal Bridges and the University of Arkansas. Learn more at