Next time you have a free weekend, pack your bags and head north-east 2 hours to Saint James. This cozy small town is in the heart of hiking, floating and fishing territory, which makes it a great place to get outdoors and unwind. Want to bring the kids? Perfect! The hiking trails out here are short with little elevation. Want to find some adventure? Bring your mountain bike and hit the trails. Itching to go fishing? The trout season here extends to the end of October. Craving some time on the patio? The gardens at St. James Winery are ready for you and the whole family. Now all you have to do is pick your adventure of choice, and hit the road.
Break From the Ordinary With This Outdoorsy Weekend Getaway To Saint James
Next time you have a free weekend, pack your bags and head north-east two hours to Saint James, Missouri..
by Ettie Berneking
Oct 01 2022 at 8 a.m.
One of the best parts of visiting small towns is stopping by all the cafes and ice cream shops. That means a trip to Ruby’s Ice Cream should be on your to-do list. This small shop serves homemade ice creams that change with the season, so get a scoop of English Cookie, Pumpkin and Spiced Vanilla if you swing by in the fall. They have non-dairy options as well plus Puppy Pops for the four-legged visitors.
Once you’ve gotten your fill of diner favorites, treat yourself to dinner at Sybill’s Restaurant + Gift Shop. The menu here is a step up with scallops, homemade lobster rangoons, prime rib and salmon milanese, so grab a seat on the wrap-around front porch and enjoy a cocktail.
Before your visit is over, be sure to stop at St. James Winery to enjoy award-winning wines and outdoor games on the patio. There’s giant jenga, the life-size chess board and a bocce ball court. Plus, the winery’s patio is adjacent to Public House Brewing Company, which means you can enjoy your wine with some craft beer, wood-fired pizzas and burgers. Oh, and don’t forget to open a bottle of the seasonal cranberry wine that makes a special appearance each holiday season. This fruit wine is so popular, Walmart decided to add the wine to its shelves earlier this year.
Saint James might arguably be best known as a wine destination, but don’t sleep on this charming town if you’re an outdoor enthusiast. If you love mountain biking, cruise through the singletrack trail system at Forest City Trail. All 11 miles of trails are great for beginner and intermediate-level riders. This is also a prime spot for hikers.
If you’re an angler who loves heading to the nearest fishing hole, load up the tackle and go trout fishing at Maramec Spring Park. This is the fifth largest spring in the state, and trout season runs from March 1 through October 31, which means you can enjoy this serene sport well into the fall. Speaking of trout fishing, another popular spot to cast a line is the Maramec Spring River Walk trail. This 1.7-mile out-and-back trail is an easy hike with scenic views of the river valley, and visitors have easy access to trout fishing. Want to see the sunset on the water? Head to Little Prairie Conservation Area. There’s a 3-mile hiking trail, but you can also kayak around the lake and enjoy the views.
You can always crash at one of the hotels in town, but if you want a true getaway that provides all the small town charm you crave, then book an airbnb. There’s Copper + Stone Cottage with its 3-bedroom country cottage built in 1930. Then there’s Sunset Ridge of Saint James, which gives its guests a farm-house welcome with 250 acres of farmland that’s home to goats and cows. If you want to wake up in the woods, then book a night at Hawks Ridge Cabin. This 3-bedroom home sits on 14 acres and is just outside of town, so you’ll be just down the road from great floatings, fishing and hiking.
About St. James Winery
St. James Winery is a family-owned, internationally awarded winery in the Missouri Ozarks. Besides growing and producing award-winning wines, St. James is dedicated to building sustainable growing practices that can reduce the winery's impact on the environment. It’s investing in water-conservation practices and low-energy wine fermentation and storage process and even those screw tops reduce the winery's lasting impact by swapping out hard-to-recycle cork. St. James Winery is the most awarded winery in the state, and dedication to creating new and exciting wines can be seen in its Winemakers Series and the Explorer Collection. Both limited-release series feature wines that are part of the winery’s research and development program aimed at discovering which grapes grow best in Missouri’s changing climate. Wines in the Explorer Collection are available at retailers throughout the state, while the Winemakers Series is only available at the winery and through the winery’s website.
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