Places To Visit in Missouri
Located in the Midwest of the U.S. Missouri is known for its jazz heritage. Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri and has a population of nearly 500,000 residents. It is popular for its cuisine and, for a solo woman travelling here, it's the perfect destination for nature, arts, and culture. In this article, I cover recommended places to visit in Missouri.
To meet others in Missouri, plunge yourself into a dive bar. A dive bar is basically a neighbourhood bar of which Kansas City has several. You'll find open mic nights, live music, craft beers, and plenty of grilled chicken wings to make you feel at home. Just sit at a bar and before you know it, you'll have made a new friend.
Missouri is a state situated in the Midwest. It is an area of mountain regions and open plains, which is perfect for solo travellers who love the outdoors. Whether you prefer the adrenalin buzz of flying through the air on a zip line or you love hiking through state parks, Missouri has more than 80 state parks to explore. There's even a national forest named after the famous Mark Twain.
Jefferson City is the State capital and rich in Missouri history. If you head north or east, you'll find plenty of agriculture. Head west, and you'll be met with St. Louis, famed for having the highest manmade monument in the USA and known as the Gateway to the West. Discover the best places to visit in Missouri below.
St. Louis is also one of the stops on Route 66. For the cultural solo traveller, there are enough art museums to keep your creative side entertained. Stroll around the Laumeier Sculpture Gardens or pop into one of the bars to listen to some live blues. Beer lovers will enjoy a trip to the Anheuser-Busch Brewery where you can learn about the local brew.
Ride the tram to the top of the iconic archway for views of the Mississippi River before hopping aboard a traditional paddle-wheel boat and cruising along this famous river. With its deep culture and plenty of attractions, there's a reason that St. Louis attracts countless tourists every year.
Kansas City is the largest city in the state and a great place for the musical solo traveller. Many visit the old summer residence of the former president, Harry Truman, where you can marvel at antiques and old family heirlooms. The main reason to visit is for the historic jazz district called 18th and Vine, which has heritage venues such as The Blue Room and the Jazz Museum, where you can learn more about the district that once hosted important names such as Ella Fitzgerald.
Kansas City has some interesting memorials that shape the city into a blend of history and artwork. One of the most well-known is the bronze sculpture of Charlie “Bird” Parker. This 17-foot sculpture of the legendary musician should be on any jazz lover's itinerary. The 9/11 Memorial and Korean War Veterans Memorial both stand in Overland Park.
If you love movies, Kansas City is big on film tourism. Some of Hollywood's figures have history in this city and many stories were inspired here. You can self-guide your way through the city learning about the city's film culture.
History solos will love the Old Cowtown Museum. Amongst the historical artefacts, you can find historic buildings and take a step back in time to the 1880s. This history museum can be found near the Arkansas River.
For a glimpse into history, take a peek inside the renovated Union Station, which has an early 20th-century marble entry hall. If you've ever wanted to go around the world in 80 days and visit every single continent, you can fulfil your travel bucket list dreams at Worlds of Fun, the city's fun-filled theme park.
Nature in Kansas City
Eco solos should head to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve where you can take a guided tour by one of the rangers. This ecosystem can only be found within this section of the Flint Hills prairie, which covers the east-central part of the state. For the more adventurous, you can spend time here at a rodeo and immerse yourself in ranch life.
Nature solos will love Botanica. This botanical garden has over 9 acres of plants and includes a sensory garden amongst the fountains and sculptures of this oasis. Explore woodland paths and rejuvenate your senses with some water therapy at the streams and waterfalls before admiring the butterflies in the butterfly garden. Perfect for those seeking some nature in the city.
If you like hiking, there are plenty of places to hike just outside of the city. Swope Park has a gorgeous landscape with limestone rocks and plenty of trails. It's 1,800 acres of nature just waiting to be explored. The Lakeside Nature Center is the spot to search for native wildlife.
Being in Missouri, you should definitely try a bourbon. Holladay Distillery is the oldest distillery on the west of the Mississippi River. Here you can take a tour to witness over 150 years of distilling history.
Not to be confused with “The Simpsons'” homeland, Springfield is the third-largest city in the state and has plenty of Wild West history. It was also an important Civil War city. Popular with those who enjoy outdoor sports, Springfield offers lots of opportunities for hiking and biking.
If you prefer being on the water, you can canoe or go boating to your heart's content. Then enjoy your choice of cuisine at one of the numerous restaurants in the city. If you're there in the summer months, visiting Jordan Valley Park is a must. Springfield is a good base to see larger lakes like Table Rock Lake and Norfork Lake, which are within two hours of the city.
For entertainment, head to Branson, one of the most popular cities in Missouri. It's known for its entertainment strip of glitzy shows and theatres and for attracting the big names in country music. But it's not all about the nightlife here. The surrounding countryside and Bull Shoals Lakes are ideal for hiking and trying your hand at water sports. You can camp here, too.
Where To Stay in Missouri
No matter where you stay in Missouri, there are lots of hotels to choose from. You'll find numerous accommodations in Saint Louis and well-known international hotel brands across the state. If you're backpacking in Missouri, you'll find a few places to camp, such as Ozark National Scenic Riverways or treehouse cabins if you're feeling really adventurous.
Plus there’s Airbnb which offers rooms with a local and rental accommodation in Missouri on a short-term basis. You can stay in a private room in a local's house or rent their whole apartment. Save $20 off your first stay with this Airbnb link.
All of the accommodation below have been recommended by solo female travellers from our Girls about the Globe community and come with our Solo Female Friendly endorsement. For all accommodation in Missouri, click on the link below and search the reviews.
For those who prefer the freedom of the open road consider hiring an RV and driving yourself around the USA stopping in Missouri on the way. As a solo traveller, you’ll have plenty of space for your accommodation, your own transport and possibly a kitchenette too. RVshare allows you to compare RV rates from different brands and find local owners near you. In most cases, they deliver to a specific location or park, so the home-away-from-home will be ready and waiting for you on arrival. Plus, you can bring your pet! Prices start from $75 a night. * Book a campervan with RVshare
This 3-star hotel is in a great location in the heart of the Theatre District. There’s an indoor pool with sun loungers, an outdoor swimming pool and a hot tub and fitness centre so you can stick to your fitness regime when you’re here. The staff are really welcoming and helpful and breakfast is included in the rate. The rooms come with a fridge, microwave and coffee machine so you can make yourself snacks. Choose from a queen room, a king room or a king room with a spa bath.
- Prices from £104 / $148 USD per night for a queen room
- To book, check prices or availability for Grand Oaks Hotel
What’s fantastic about this 4-star boutique hotel isn’t just that it’s in a great location in Kansas City but that it is also a contemporary art museum. Part of the 21c Museum Hotel group, this one in Kansas City is situated between the Power & Light district and River Market in downtown. You don’t have to venture far to find bars, restaurants and coffee shops but if you prefer to stay in the hotel they have a restaurant and a bar too. Reception is open 24 hours, there’s also a gym and rooms come with a flat-screen TV, coffee machine and mini bar. Choose from a deluxe or luxury king room, a deluxe queen room or a corner suite.
- Prices from £144 / $205 USD per night for a deluxe king room
- To book, check prices or availability for 21c Museum Hotel
For those looking for a 4-star hotel with character, the Last Hotel in Saint Louis is a boutique hotel within walking distance to some of the city’s sites. Spend time at the rooftop pool and enjoy the city view and St Louis skyline whilst chatting to the friendly bartender or work out in the onsite gym. The staff are fantastic and the front desk is open 24 hours. Choose from a king room, a deluxe king room, a junior suite or a queen room.
- Prices from £199 / $283 USD per night for a single room
- To book, check prices or availability for The Last Hotel STL
If you prefer to stay somewhere historic, Rader Manor is a beautiful 130-year old Victorian mansion in Springfield that offers a more intimate stay than a hotel. Enjoy the period decor, furnishings and antiques including the grand piano (you can even play it!)
Mingle with the other guests in the communal lounge area, the Manor’s garden or the Victorian-style dining table in the kitchen over breakfast. Choose from a single room with a private bathroom, a deluxe king suite or a king suite.
- Prices from £109 / $155 USD per night for a single room
- To book, check prices or availability for Rader Manor
Get Your Guide – Get Your Guide helps you to find top-rated day tours and activities in Missouri. Choose from an entry ticket to the Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, an Old Town St Louis haunted history walking tour or an all-day ticket to the world’s largest toy museum in Branson. There are several to choose from and it’s really simple to use. Just check the reviews, price and availability then book online. Read my Get Your Guide review or click the link below for all their tours.
Viator – Viator is similar to Get Your Guide. They are an American company and a tour platform with more than 345,000 tours and worldwide activities. Choose from a Kansas City Segway tour, a Crossroads art district and Westside urban morning hike, a Tom’s Town distillery tour and tasting, or a Kansas City bar hunt. Although some of their tours have a minimum of 2 people, there are several tours to join as a solo such as a Vigilante extreme ZipRider experience in Branson and it’s simple to use. Read my Viator review or click the link for all their tours.
Have you been to Missouri? I'd love to hear your comments below