If you’re looking for a weekend getaway that is under the radar and boasts some fantastic Midwest gems, look no further than Springfield, MO, a mere 2.5 hours south of Lee’s Summit.
This southwest Missouri town dubbed “Queen City of the Ozarks” is the birthplace of Route 66, home to the award-winning Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium, and a wealth of salivating foodie finds. Here are my top picks not to miss for photo opportunities, foodie feasts, and unique experiences you won’t find anywhere else.
Where to Stay:
Hotel Vandivort: This sleek boutique hotel, once a Masonic Temple, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is located just steps from some of downtown Springfield’s best food and drink.
Cafe Cusco: This ‘Inspired Peruvian’ restaurant sits at the center of the Historic Commercial Street District and offers up some of the most unexpected flavors in one of the city’s oldest buildings. Bring on the charm and the Nachos Picchu.
Van Gogh’s Eeterie: A few blocks away from Cafe Cysco and a product of the same owner, This Netherlands-inspired “welkoms” you with sweet and savory wafels, dutch pancakes, and Dutch decor.
Mudhouse Coffee: This cozy downtown coffeehouse offers classic and creative selections, such as the Boom-Boom breakfast burrito, Snickerdoodle Latte, and Mudpuddle frozen mocha.
Prairie Pie: Come for the rotating menu of handmade sweet pies, pot pies, cookies, beer, wine, and cocktails at this charming eatery.
Askinosie Chocolate: This made-from-scratch, award-winning chocolate maker has been nationally recognized and sustainably inspired, with small-batch offerings including chocolate bars, nibs, and more.
Beer & Cocktails:
The Golden Girl Rum Club: Absorb all of the tropical sights, sounds, and smells at this “endless summer” escape. The colorful cocktail menu inspires with its vibrant drinks dressed to perfection in tiki presentation.
Vantage Rooftop: Come “rise above it all” at Hotel Vandivort’s glamorous upstairs cocktail lounge under the stars. Whether you’re feeling a Signature Paloma or a specialty mocktail, pair it with small plates and a view you must not miss.
Springfield Brewing Company: A local staple, SBC is celebrating over 25 years of award-winning, locally-brewed, craft beers, including year-round favorites, seasonals, “squeezonals” and limited-release selections.
Mother’s Brewing Company: “With something every mother can love,” from the Lil’ Helper to the Step Dude, the wide selection of palates will be pleased with tasting notes like peanut butter, orange, and cherry, and of course, Askinosie chocolate flavors.
Historic C-Street: Six blocks of Springfield’s historic shopping and eating district.
History Museum on the Square: A step back in time for the history buffs looking to learn about Springfield’s role in American history.
Cloud House: A unique and unexpected rural farm experience and display adjacent to Sprinfdfield’s farmers’ market.
World’s 2nd Largest Fork: This giant, 35-foot-high fork once held the title for the world’s tallest and weighs in at a whopping 11 tons of sculpture glory.
Wildlife Animal Safari: Where else can you feed the likes of camels, zebras, and ostriches from your car amongst a 350-acre nature park and 5-mile tour? Enjoy these up-close animal interactions and more, including petting and feeding sloths and giraffes back at the park’s homestead.