17 Must-Do Things in Missouri: A Journey Through the Show-Me State

Missouri, the Show-Me State, is a treasure trove of history, culture, and natural beauty. 

From the bustling streets of St. Louis to the serene beauty of the Ozarks, Missouri offers a unique blend of experiences that are sure to captivate any traveler. 

Here are 17 things you absolutely must do when you visit Missouri.

1. Explore the Gateway Arch in St. Louis

The Gateway Arch is not just Missouri’s most iconic landmark, but it’s also the tallest man-made monument in the U.S. Standing at 630 feet, the arch offers a stunning view of St. Louis. 

You can take a tram ride to the top of the arch for a panoramic view of the city. 

The Gateway Arch also serves as a symbol of the city’s role as the “Gateway to the West” during the westward expansion of the United States in the 19th century.

2. Visit the National WWI Museum and Memorial in Kansas City

Kansas City is home to the National WWI Museum and Memorial, which is one of the only places in the United States dedicated to preserving the objects and history of World War I. 

The museum has a vast collection of artifacts, including weapons, uniforms, and vehicles from the war. The Liberty Memorial Tower offers a great view of Kansas City.

3. Discover the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum in Hanniba

Hannibal, Missouri, is the boyhood home of famous American author Mark Twain. 

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum allows you to step back in time and see the places that inspired Twain’s classic American novels, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.

4. Explore the Ozark National Scenic Riverways

The Ozark National Scenic Riverways is a national park in the Ozarks of southern Missouri. 

The park offers canoeing, kayaking, and fishing on the Current and Jacks Fork Rivers, as well as hiking and horseback riding on its many trails. 

The park is also home to Alley Mill, a historic grist mill that is a popular photo spot.

5. Visit the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence

The Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum in Independence is one of only 13 Presidential Libraries in the United States.

The museum features a replica of the Oval Office as it looked during Truman’s presidency and the gravesites of Truman and his wife, Bess.

6. Take a Budweiser Brewery Tour in St. Louis

The Budweiser Brewery in St. Louis is one of the largest and oldest breweries in the U.S.

The brewery offers tours that take you through the brewing process, from the raw ingredients to the finished product. You can also see the famous Budweiser Clydesdales at the historic stables.

7. Explore the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis

The Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis is one of the oldest botanical institutions in the U.S.

The 79-acre garden features a variety of plant displays, including a Japanese garden, a rose garden, and a tropical rainforest inside the Climatron conservatory.

8. Visit the Titanic Museum in Branson

The Titanic Museum in Branson is a two-story museum shaped like the Titanic.

It features over 400 artifacts from the ship and its passengers. As you walk through the museum, you’ll feel like you’re on the actual ship, from the grand staircase to the hallways and cabins.

9. Experience the Thrills at Silver Dollar City in Branson

Silver Dollar City is a popular amusement park in Branson that takes you back to the 1880s.

The park features over 40 thrilling rides and attractions, live shows, and craftsmen demonstrating glassblowing, blacksmithing, and candy-making.

10. Explore the Saint Louis Zoo

The Saint Louis Zoo is recognized as one of the nation’s leading zoological parks.

It’s home to more than 17,000 animals, many of them rare and endangered. The best part? Admission is free!

11. Visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is known for its neoclassical architecture and extensive collection of Asian art.

The museum’s vast collection spans over 5,000 years of history, with pieces from around the world.

12. Take a Stroll Through Forest Park in St. Louis

Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the U.S.

It’s home to several of St. Louis’s most popular attractions, including the Saint Louis Zoo, the Saint Louis Art Museum, and the Missouri History Museum.

13. Visit the State Capitol in Jefferson City

The Missouri State Capitol houses the government of the state of Missouri.

Guided tours are available that showcase the building’s beautiful architecture and the artwork that adorns its walls and ceilings.

14. Explore the Caves at Meramec State Park

Missouri is known as the “Cave State,” and Meramec State Park is a great place to explore this underground wonder.

The park offers guided tours of Fisher Cave, where you can see stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and other cave formations.

15. Visit the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City

Kansas City has a rich jazz history, and the American Jazz Museum celebrates this legacy.

The museum features exhibits on jazz legends like Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington, and the Blue Room, a working jazz club.

16. Explore the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum in Mansfield

Fans of the “Little House on the Prairie” series will love the Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum in Mansfield.

The museum includes the house where Wilder wrote her famous books and a museum with artifacts from her life.

17. Visit the Pony Express National Museum in St. Joseph

The Pony Express National Museum commemorates the legendary mail service that ran from Missouri to California.

The museum features exhibits on the history of the Pony Express and the challenges faced by its riders.


From its rich history and culture to its stunning natural beauty, Missouri offers a wealth of experiences for every traveler.

Whether you’re a history buff, a nature lover, or a foodie, you’ll find something to love in the Show-Me State.

So pack your bags and get ready to explore all the unforgettable things to do in Missouri!

Remember to check out our other guides on visitusaguide.com for more travel tips and insights. Whether you’re planning to visit the vibrant city of New Orleans or explore the natural beauty of Colorado, we’ve got you covered. Safe travels!

David Kingston

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