A trip through Missouri gives visitors a true sense of America’s history, culture and heritage. We’ll start our long weekend trip in St. Louis, “the gateway to the West,” which is home to well-known attractions, unique museums and more before heading south to Springfield then ending our trip in the artsy and entertaining metropolis of Kansas City.
Day 1 – St. Louis
Morning: Fly into St. Louis Lambert International Airport
Afternoon: Visit the Gateway Arch and the Missouri Botanical Garden
Take a ride to the top of one of the most iconic attractions in the United States at St. Louis’ Gateway Arch National Park. Visitors can take in amazing views of downtown St. Louis, the Mississippi River and the state of Illinois to the east—views can stretch for 30 miles (50km) on a clear day.
Experience breathtaking beauty in a historic setting at the Missouri Botanical Garden, which has welcomed visitors for more than 150 years. The gardens offer more than 32 hectares of displays, including the famous Japanese Garden.
Evening: Take in a ballgame at Busch Stadium
As the home of Major League Baseball’s St. Louis Cardinals, St. Louis is a great baseball town. Head to Busch Stadium for a game if the Cardinals are in town, or just visit the Ballpark Village entertainment district to catch some live music or enjoy a tasty meal.
Other options: Visit Forest Park, home to several free attractions, including the Saint Louis Art Museum, the Saint Louis Zoo and the Missouri History Museum. Study St. Louis’ brewing history by taking a tour of the world-famous Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
Day 2 – St. Louis to Springfield, Missouri
Morning: Travel to Springfield, Missouri (215 miles/350km; 3 hours, 15 minutes)
Afternoon: Explore Springfield
Springfield in southern Missouri is known as “the pulse of the Ozarks,” and this charming city offers great options for family fun, museums, outdoor attractions and food and drinks. Fans of historical road trips can discover many Route 66 attractions in the area (in fact, Springfield claims to be the birthplace of the famous driving route), including the Route 66 Visitors Center, the Route 66 Car Museum and the History Museum on the Square.
Evening: Take in a show
Other options: Get out and explore the natural beauty of the Ozark Mountains region in and around Springfield at county and state parks. Head south from Springfield to discover the entertainment mecca of Branson, home to family-friendly attractions and abundant concerts, shows and other live performances.
Day 3 – Springfield to Kansas City
Morning: Travel to Kansas City (165 miles/265km; 2 hours, 40 minutes)
Afternoon: Explore Kansas City
Welcome to the New Midwest. Kansas City in far western Missouri has become a revitalized destination for travelers, offering everything from thrilling live sports to world-class art museums to globally famous barbeque.
Evening: Discover Kansas City’s jazz scene
Jazz fans, you’re in the right place. Kansas City was—and continues to be—a vital destination in the history of American jazz. The city is home to the American Jazz Museum, and more than 40 venues throughout the city, including several in the 18th & Vine District, offer live jazz performances on a regular basis.
Other options: Visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Depending on the season, head to a Kansas City Chiefs (NFL) or Kansas City Royals (MLB) game. Sample classic KC BBQ at iconic restaurants like Arthur Bryant’s and Jack Stack Barbecue.
Day 4 – Kansas City
Morning: Depart from Kansas City International Airport