A longtime fan of Feast Magazine, Springfield, Missouri began populating its way into my email and social feeds on the regular with a seemingly endless number of salivating foodie finds; add to that an invitation to visit the Wonders of Wildlife Museum and Aquarium, which I had never heard of, and just like that my travel radar ticked as a signal to immediately add this Southwest Missouri town to our Midwest travel bucket list!!
Over the first weekend of October 2022, our family of four packed our weekender bags, hit the road, and made the 2.5 hour journey east of KC to this Route 66 birthplace to soak up all the flavors and family-friendly experiences this quintessential American town has to offer!
Known as “The Getaway to the Ozarks,” and home to a wealth of natural wonders like caves and trails, Springfield’s list of things to do can be accomplished in a couple short days or an expanded vacation to encompass all of it surrounding destinations. For those with more time on their hands, extend your trip to the expansive regional experiences, including the likes of Branson, Ozark, Bolivar and Nixa.
As part of our road trip adventure from Kansas City, I developed an amazing travel partnership with the Springfield Missouri Convention & Visitors Bureau team to line up an itinerary perfectly fit for our family’s interests and style!
I rounded out our 3-day, 2-night agenda to experience Springfield, MO for a close, fun, and delicious regional getaway!
Visit @lovespringfield and www.springfieldmo.org for a more robust look into EVERY local establishment and destination to customize your own Springfield, MO getaway.
*For additional photos, videos, and Midwest experiences, visit @kansascitybucketlist on Instagram and www.kansascitybucketlist.com.
Hotel Vandivort: Hotel Stay | Located in the heart of Downtown, Hotel Vandivort is the first centrally located downtown hotel to tap into the unique walkability of Springfield's arts, dining, and entertainment cultural hub. This upscale independent boutique hotel focuses on creating a truly unique local experience for its guests and patrons. @hotel_vandivort
Cafe Cusco: Lunch | Peruvian inspired cuisine in the heart of the Midwest. Locally owned at the center of the Historic Commercial Street District, dine in one of the city’s oldest buildings and experience this award winning restaurant and see why it is so loved! @cafecusco
Askinosie Chocolate: Chocolate Factory | A small-batch, bean-to-bar chocolate micro-factory located in Springfield, Missouri working with smallholder, sustainability-focused cocoa farmers around the world to produce award-winning chocolate. @askinosie
Historic C-Street: 6-block ‘Commercial Street’ District | Welcome to Springfield’s first historic district and the original downtown of North Springfield. Enjoy the historic architecture, and visit the entrepreneurs that have replaced the dry goods, mercantile and turn-of-the-century taverns, including the Footbridge Trading Company, Bees Knees Roller Skate Shop, Gypsy Girl, and Hakaar’s Bazaar. @historiccstreet
Vantage Rooftop: Rooftop Bar | Hotel Vandivort’s ‘Crown Jewel,’ rise above it all, where flavors come to life and cocktails are continuously reinvented with spirited specialities. “As the sun sets—our bell tolls. A call to celebrate the culture and artistry that fuels our historic city. Bonded in this shared experience, guests become locals, and locals become family.” @rooftop.vantage
Springfield Brewing Company: Brewery | Springfield Brewing Company (known by many simply as the “BrewCo” or “SBC”) has been in the business of brewing world class beers since 1997. 25 years later, the SBC phenomenon has evolved into the next level – now known as SBC’s Campus! We strive to provide the entire 417 area a truly unique experience and we’ve become known for our world class beers and food, onsite distillery and live music venue. @springfield_brewco
Mother’s Brewing Company: Brewery | Downtown Springfield's largest independent microbrewery; 21 taps with something every month can love. @mothersbrewing
Mudhouse Coffee: Coffee Shop | Mudhouse Coffee started in downtown Springfield in December 1998. Since opening we have continued to grow by offering freshly baked goodies, freshly prepared, breakfast, soups, bowls, and sandwiches; and most importantly roasting our own coffee. We have been voted Springfield's Best Coffee Place for 21 years in a row!! @mudhousecoffee
Wonders of Wildlife: Museum & Aquarium | Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium is the largest, most immersive fish and wildlife attraction in the world, consists of a 1.5-million-gallon aquarium—showcasing 35,000 live fish, mammals, reptiles and birds—and immersive wildlife galleries that bring visitors eye-to-eye with the greatest collection of record-setting game animals ever assembled. @wondersofwildlife
Farmers Gastropub: Lunch | Farmer’s Gastropub is a British-style hybrid of a bar and a restaurant in Springfield, MO. At Farmer’s Gastropub we offer a casual-meets-refined atmosphere that welcomes beer drinkers and wine snobs, non-fussy eaters and foodies alike. @farmergstropub
History Museum on the Square: Museum | History Museum on the Square is located right on historic Route 66 in Springfield, MO. Our six permanent galleries tell the stories of significant events in Springfield and was voted #1 Best New Attraction by the readers of USA Today. @historymuseumonthesquare
Prairie Pie: Bakery | Prairie Pie is a sweet and savory pie company located in downtown Springfield, Missouri founded by baker Eleanor Taylor. Prairie Pie offers unique, handmade sweet pies, pot pies, cookies, and cheesecake. @prairiepie
Springfield Public Square Historic District: Downtown Springfield | Downtown Springfield is the spot for local entertainment seekers, entrepreneurs and culture aficionados. @downtownsgf
The Golden Girl Rum Club: Cocktail Bar | Located in downtown Springfield, MO, on the square, The Golden Girl Rum Club is a tropical-inspired bar + kitchen with scratch-made tiki + classic cocktails, a large premium rum selection, as well as fresh small plate and meal options. @thegoldengirlrumclub
Van Gogh’s Eeterie: Brunch | The red brick buildings of Historic Commercial Street in Springfield, MO is home to a delightful piece of The Netherlands. Inspired by the time owner Joe spent studying abroad and living in the port city of Rotterdam, along with a second trip years later to bring back more amazing dishes. Joe opened Van Gogh's Eeterie with his parents as a second culinary adventure from their ever popular Cafe Cusco just down the street. @vangoghseeterie
Wildlife Animal Safari: Drive Through Animal Park | See and feed hundreds of exotic animals at Wild Animal Safari. Experience both the Drive-Thru Safari & Walkabout section at your leisure. Your ticket is good for the whole day, giving you hours and hours of fun! @wildanimalsafarimo
And that's a wrap! Springfield, Missouri is another hidden gem for roadtrip magnificence!