Distance from Springfield: 1 hour 40 minutes
Known For: Being the gateway to two of Missouri’s largest lakes
Main Attraction: If you’ve driven north to get to Lake of The Ozarks, you’ve likely passed through Lincoln, Missouri. The town of 1,200 straddles Hwy. 65, and is a popular lunch spot of passersby headed to the lake for the weekend. But if you’re passing through in the fall, be sure to check out the annual Balloon Glow/Fall Market/Strongman Competition and Mozarkite Rock and Gem Show in September. This event sets up at Hare Park in Lincoln, and guests come out for a ticketed dinner and a warm fall evening as hot air balloons are inflated and tethered nearby.
Best Bite In Town: The giant ice cream cone sign is your clue that you’ve reached Estes Drive In. The burgers, house-made chips, banana splits and fried chicken sandwiches are the go-to eats at this roadside drive-in.
Best Hidden Gem: If you want to stretch your legs a little longer or just walk off that burger from Estes Drive In, then stop at the Lincoln Antique Mall. This sizable antique mall has a little of everything including pottery, antique fishing and farm equipment, kitchenware and furniture.