Missouri Bucket List ~ Southwest Region

Aside from the major cities of Saint Louis and Kansas City, the southwest region of Missouri probably sees the most tourist via Branson. Branson is the Wisconsin Dells of Missouri. We’ve visited Branson over night once, but now I’m realizing that it has a lot of other fun attractions we would also enjoy. The area also offers a lot of other fun activities in nearby cities. I’ve also realized while researching this list that we also need to return to Springfield.

Ash Grove

  • Gary’s Gay Parita: This is a redone Sinclair Station along old Route 66.


  • Indoor Mini-Golf at Grand Country: I love mini-golf and Branson has several to choose from, but this one was my favorite since you can play rain or shine!
  • Inspiration Tower: Gives you great sweeping views of the area.
  • Table Rock State Park: This is located on one of the most popular lakes in the state.
  • World’s Largest Toy Museum: This sounds like so much fun, a chance to see toys from all decades.


  • Precious Moments Chapel and Gardens: A cute and beautiful chapel inspired by the Precious Moments figurines.


  • George Washington Carver National Monument: We have visited this location. It is the childhood home of George Washington Carver and I learned so much about his life that I had never known before.


  • Grand Falls: This is the largest, always flowing waterfall in Missouri.


  • Harry S Truman Birthplace State Historic Site: The birthplace of the only Missouri born president.


  • Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum: This is the house where the Wilder family settled after leaving South Dakota and where the book series was written.


  • Hidden Waters Nature Park: A park filled with various waterways.


  • Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield: We have also visited this site. This is an old Civil War Battlefield.


  • 1984 Arcade: An old 80’s arcade that allows you to play unlimited games for the entrance price.
  • Askinosie Chocolate Factory Tour: I never say no to a chocolate factory tour.
  • Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World: This is the hub of Bass Pro Shops and well worth checking out.
  • Fantastic Caverns: This is America’s only ride-through cavern.
  • OOVVDA Winery: This one offers fruit wines!
  • Pythian Castle: This is an old castle located along Route 66 and said to be haunted.
  • Route 66 Visitor Center: This is a small visitor center but very helpful in finding information about fun things to do in the area and along Route 66.
  • Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park: We visited this park while in Springfield. It has a great walking trail and also hands-on farm activities that would be great for kids.
  • Springfield Botanical Garden: I love botanical gardens.
  • Springfield Brewing Company: I don’t normally put on restaurants, but we went to this one and it had some of the best mac and cheese I’ve ever had.
  • Watershed Center and Valley Water Mill Park: This park had a fun loop trail.
  • Wonders of Wildlife: This is the newly improved aquarium that opened adjacent to Bass Pro Shops.

Walnut Shade

  • Creation Experience Museum: A newly opened creation museum in Missouri, and free of charge!

Webb City

  • Lakeside Route 66 Mural: A neat piece of artwork located along the Mother Road.
  • Praying Hands: Another unique piece of art.

All attractions found in the 2018 Missouri Travel Guide.



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