Weekend Getaways in Missouri: 8 Fun Destinations in All Corners of the Show Me State

From historic attractions to river adventures and modern cities, the Show Me State makes for a great weekend getaway in America's Heartland.

Located in America’s heartland, Missouri shares its shores with the two largest rivers in North America – the Mississippi and Missouri. As a result, there’s a lot of history and opportunity for exploration in the Show Me State.

With a combination of modern cities and rural communities, huge national forests and historic landmarks, a Missouri weekend getaway can be educational, romantic or just a lot of fun for the entire family.

A Literary Weekend in Mark Twain's Hannibal


Literature fans travel from around the world to Hannibal, just two hours north of St. Louis and four hours from Chicago, to experience first-hand the flavor of Mark Twain’s hometown. From white-washing a picket fence to taking a lantern tour of Becky Thatcher’s cave, Hannibal provides a fairly authentic experience, all within steps of the Mississippi River.

Take a dinner cruise on the river in a paddlewheel steamer or take in a dinner show featuring Samuel Clemens himself.

However, not everything is centered around Mark Twain in Hannibal. The little city is home to five plus art galleries, including one that features Native American art, and a winery in a cave. Among the many annual festivals is the Big River Comic Festival each October.

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At the end of the day, relax where Clemens did when he returned home, at the Garth Woodside Mansion, owned by friends of his since childhood. Often rated the top bed and breakfast in Missouri, the Victorian mansion has eight guest rooms and three cottages on the grounds.

Garth Woodside Mansion Bed and Breakfast

8.6 Excellent (28 reviews)

European Elegance for the Weekend in Downtown Kansas City


One of National Geographic Traveler’s “Best Small Cities for 2018”, Kansas City is sophisticated and full of culture, despite it’s small size. “The Paris of the Plains” has plenty on offer for travelers looking for next level art, music and food.

Take in a live jazz night at The Blue Room or an elegant performance by the Kansas City Symphony. Browse the collection of the top-rated Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art or discover up and coming artists in the Crossroads Arts District.

Catch the city’s street car for a free ride to the historic City Market, the Crossroads Art District or Union Station at the other end.

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For nearly a century, the Hotel Phillips has been one of the more elegant destinations in downtown Kansas City. The lovely art deco lobby features a gold statue of Dawn, the goddess of the stars. A downstairs speakeasy and the yummy Taveronna Italian restaurant make this a popular stop for locals as well as visitors. Back in the day, this is where Harry Truman operated a haberdashery.

Just a block from the Power & Light entertainment district and the T-Mobile Center for concerts and sporting events, the Hotel Phillips is indeed the heart of Kansas City. This location is just two blocks from the Convention Center, the historic Folly Theatre and dozens of restaurants that have put Kansas City on the map for great dining.

Hotel Phillips Kansas City, Curio Collection By Hilton

Kansas City
8.0 Very good (2249 reviews)

Sedalia – Romance, Music and a Phenomenal Bike Ride


Sedalia may not be the first place you think of when planning a romantic weekend getaway, but give it a chance and you won’t be sorry!

Sedalia is known around the music world as the home of ragtime musician Scott Joplin. A festival dedicated to ragtime each June draws thousands. However, Sedalia is also a stop on Missouri’s Katy Trail – the longest rails-to-trails project in the U.S. Stop by the restored depot for souvenirs, a local history lesson and to rent a bicycle.

For a different kind of artistic side, the local Daum Museum of Contemporary Art showcases 1,500 pieces of modern art from some of the most celebrated artists of the past 50 years.

For a romantic dinner option, nothing tops the Ivory Grille inside the Hotel Bothwell. Although, you can’t visit Sedalia without visiting The Wheel In and ordering a Guberburger. It’s a thing.

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The Hotel Bothwell is a historic property that dates to 1927 and has hosted Harry Truman, Bette Davis and Clint Eastwood. The original marble flooring, walnut woodwork and brass mail chute are among the highlights. As a member of the Ascend Hotel Collection, the Hotel Bothwell’s rooms all include a living space and plenty of room the make yourself comfortable.

Hotel Bothwell Sedalia Central District, Ascend Hotel Collection

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (836 reviews)

Embrace the Great Outdoors on a Weekend in Missouri's Ozarks


When travelers first started finding their way to Branson, it was not for the music or the theme parks, but for the beautiful Ozark scenery made famous in The Shepherd of The Hills.

Stunning water views surrounded by miles of hills and foliage make for some killer photos and a weekend chalk full of outdoor adventure. Enjoy the many advantages of your Ozark location to the fullest and go for a horseback ride in the mountains, a hike in the area’s many state parks and conservation areas, or a bit of fishing on Table Rock Lake.

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Experience the scenery in all its glory as a guest at The Bradford Inn, a family-owned property about half-way between Branson’s entertainment district and Silver Dollar City theme park.

The Bradford Inn identifies as a bed and breakfast, but each of the 27 rooms has its own entrance and parking just steps away, almost like a motel. Each room is unique with incredible views of the Missouri Ozarks. However, a lot of locals come to the Bradford Inn for breakfast and the bakery open to the public. They have some of the best French toast you’ll have taste (seriously).

Bradford Inn

9.2 Excellent (412 reviews)

St. Charles – History, Shopping and the Mighty Missouri


One of the most historic communities in Missouri, St. Charles was the state’s original capitol. It was here on May 14, 1804 that Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, along with the Corps of Discovery, slipped their boats into the Missouri River for a two-year journey that would change the history of the United States.

Over the years, St. Charles has become a haven for independent businesses featuring the work of local makers and artists. It’s a wonderful girls’ getaway weekend to stroll these brick-lined streets, poking in and out of boutiques and discovering treasures not found anywhere else.

A dozen or more outdoor cafés celebrate local cuisine and wine from Missouri’s wine region, with expansive views of the Missouri River.

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While St. Charles has any number of unique accommodations to choose from, the Country Inn & Suites by Radisson reflects the city’s French heritage and is within walking distance of the Main Street shopping district. With plenty of living space in the suites and connecting rooms, girlfriends or families traveling together can kick back at the end of the day and enjoy plenty of conversation.

Country Inn & Suites by Radisson, St. Charles, MO

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Saint Charles
9.4 Excellent (2056 reviews)

Outdoor adventures and Route 66 on a Weekend in Lebanon


Located on the famed Mother Road, Route 66, Lebanon is smack dab in the middle of Missouri and surrounded by the Mark Twain National Forest. Learn more about Route 66 at the local museum and research center dedicated to this uniquely American experience.

The rolling hills of mid-Missouri, all a part of the Mark Twain National Forest, provide nearly unlimited opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Take a float trip on the Niangua River, explore the treetops on a zipline or fish for trout at Bennett Spring State Park. The Jim Rogers Fly Fishing School, one of the country’s best, is located here at Bennett Spring.

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Today, Route 66 follows the path of Interstate 44 in this area, which is where you’ll find the Hotel Hampton Inn with easy access off of Exit 127. The Hampton, with its complimentary breakfast and free wifi, is a comfortable home base for shopping at a dozen or more antique shops, picking berries at local fruit farms, or attending a race at the Lebanon-I-44 Speedway.

Hampton Inn Lebanon

Top rated
8.8 Excellent (1154 reviews)

Unexpected Opportunities on a Weekend in Southeast Missouri


A college town with great history, shopping and family fun, Cape Girardeau is a perfect weekend getaway for people of all interests.

Just across Williams Street is the vibrant West Park Mall with nearly 50 name brand and locally owned retail outlets. Movie theaters, more shopping and plenty of restaurants are nearby. Head downtown for a dozen or more antique and thrift shops that draw shoppers from all over southeast Missouri.

While downtown, take a walk along the Flood Wall Mural, a 24-panel installation on the 15-foot tall wall that protects downtown Cape from the Mississippi River. If the river is below flood stage, gates open in the flood wall and you can walk right along the Mississippi River.

Families with kids can burn off some energy at the Trampoline Center or the Splash Family Aquatic Center. Kids may also enjoy the Conservation Nature Center or the Lazy L Safari Park.

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With easy access off of I-55, the Pear Tree Inn is an ideal base for all of your Cape Girardeau adventures. Reasonably priced with an outdoor pool and spacious sun deck, the Pear Tree is a part of the Drury Inn family of hotels.

Pear Tree Inn Cape Girardeau West

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Cape Girardeau
8.9 Excellent (2057 reviews)

Rich History Found on a Weekend in St. Joseph, Missouri


St. Jo, as the locals call it, is known around the world as the birthplace of the Pony Express and the place where Jesse James took his last breath. So those two historical sites are a must see to truly appreciate the grit of this city.

There is also another museum in town that generates a lot of conversation, although it’s not for everyone, to be sure. The Glore Psychiatric Museum lies on the grounds of what was once an insane asylum. Though somewhat grim, it’s a tastefully done look at the history of psychiatric medicine.

For a more cheerful museum experience, the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art has an impressive collection of European and American art, as well as a delightful little café for lunch.

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Back around the turn of the 20th century, St. Joseph was in its heyday of elegant homes and community richness brought by the railroads and cattle yards. That’s about the time the Whiskey Mansion was built. Fast forward 125 years and this Italianate mansion is an elegant bed and breakfast inn and a stop on the city’s historic architecture tour.

Whiskey Mansion

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Saint Joseph
9.0 Excellent (1035 reviews)