Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
Operated and administered by the National Park Service (NPS), Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield gives tours of the site of the second major battle of the Civil War. Back in 1861, the seemingly silent landscape surrounding Wilson’s Creek was violently disturbed as Union and Confederate soldiers clashed to gain control of the state.
In current times, visitors to this preserved natural and historic space can tour the different significant landmarks and follow the story of the battle as it took place. Along the 4.9-mile paved tour road that circles the area, eight interpretive sites provide parking spots and hiking trails to follow. The auto tour includes a stop at the Ray House, which stands as the only remaining domicile after the battle.
Even more information about the bloody battle is found within the on-site visitor center. Open seven days a week, the visitor center features detailed exhibits, a Civil War research library, and a 30-minute film. The National Battlefield is closed during major holidays.
Address: 6424 W Farm Road 182, Republic, Missouri
Official site: https://www.nps.gov/wicr/index.htm
Located less than 10 miles north of downtown, Fantastic Caverns exemplifies the karst landscape that defines much of the Missouri underground. The caverns have a fragile backdrop of ancient features, and the only way to tour the fascinating underground landscape is on a 55-minute jeep-drawn tram ride.
This engaging jeep-drawn tram ride makes Fantastic Caverns America’s only ride-through cave system. It also provides a great way for anyone to enjoy the caves. the well-informed tour guides who lead the expeditions help shed some light on the underground features.
Fantastic Caverns truly lives up to its name. Some of the cave features encountered on a tour include columns, soda straws, and cave bacon. Because of its underground nature, Fantastic Caverns remains at a comfortable 60 degrees Fahrenheit all year long.
Address: 872 N Farm Road 125, Springfield, Missouri
Official site: http://www.fantasticcaverns.com/
Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park
A popular spot for natural attractions and things to do outdoors, Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park provides more than 100 acres of manicured space to play, picnic, and partake in some botanical beauty.
One of the biggest draws to Nathanael Greene is the Springfield Botanical Gardens. This natural space features 21 different garden beds, hundreds of varieties of flowers, and the Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House.
Lake Drummond is also within Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park and provides a great backdrop for a picnic or open space activities. The on-site Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden is also a great place to visit to add some tranquility to the day.
Address: 2400 S Scenic Avenue, Springfield, Missouri
Official site: https://parkboard.org/274/Springfield-Botanical-Gardens
Route 66 Car Museum
Located directly west of the downtown district, the Route 66 Car Museum is a privately-owned collection of cars that can’t be missed. The collection ranges from the Brass Era of automobiles to classic movie and television rides. Never under one roof will you find such a wide variety of vehicles.
Featuring more than 70 cars, trucks, and Batmobiles on display, the Route 66 Car Museum includes Jaguars, a prize-winning German Horch, and the same truck that starred in the 1940 film adaptation of The Grapes of Wrath.
Car lover or not, the Route 66 Car Museum is an impressive sight to see. Among the exhibits, there is something guaranteed to catch your eye. The museum is open seven days a week between 9am and 5pm, except major holidays.
Address: 1634 W College Street, Springfield, Missouri
Official site: https://www.66carmuseum.com/
Jimm’s Steakhouse & Pub
If you want the best steak in Southwest Missouri, many say look no further than Jimm’s Steakhouse & Pub. Reasonably priced and beautiful atmosphere is on reason to come. The other is the exquisite culinary showcase. Whether you show up for a sandwich at lunch or come for mouth-watering prime rib at dinner, you will not be disappointed.
Address: 1935 South Glenstone Avenue Springfield, MO
Official site: https://jimmssteakhouseandpub.com/