Visiting Southern Missouri - What Is There to See?

Some people only know Missouri for two cities -- St. Louis and Kansas City. Yet there is a lot more to Missouri than those two places. The southern section of the state has many attractions, both with interesting towns, and stunning natural sights. Here's a look at some of what the southern part of Missouri has to offer.

Cities and Towns of Interest

Branson, located in southeastern Missouri, is arguably the biggest tourist attraction in the area. All the country music concerts in the resort town attract plenty of music fans, but the town also has plenty of other things to do besides that, including other stage shows, the National Tiger Sanctuary, and Silver Dollar City. Tourists spend a weekend -- or even a week -- checking out all there is to do in the town.

Other cities and towns in southern Missouri include Rolla, Joplin, Springfield, and Cape Girardeau. There are vital businesses and colleges located in the area as well, for those considering moving to the southern part of the state.

Natural Attractions in Southern Missouri

For example, Mark Twain National Forest has 1.5 million acres, and beautiful views. The federal park, located near Rolla, was established during the Great Depression. It is one of the most vibrant forests in the Midwest.

Another natural area is Flag Spring Conservation Area. People hunt and fish in this area, as well as enjoy the ponds and forests. Deer, squirrels, and even wild turkeys are abundant in the state-run land, located in southwest Missouri. Bird watchers can also find many species in the locale.

Huckleberry Ridge Conservation Area is also run by the state of Missouri. This is a forest which is plentiful with hickory and oak trees. There are also shortleaf pine in the park, although not as much as in the past. Ozark chinkapin is another tree in the area, a tree that is only found in Missouri. The conservation are is named for the huckleberries people used to pick in the area.

Big Sugar Creek State Park is popular for camping and relaxing. The state-run park, located in the southeast corner of the state, also has plenty of hiking trails. People also swim, cycle, and fish in the park.

These are just a few of the natural attractions in the area, including Stockton State Park, Roaring River State Park, Lake Wappapello State Park, Onondaga Cave State Park, and Roger Pryor Pioneer Backcountry.

Historic Sites in the Area

Trail of Tears State Park is not just a natural attraction; it honors the Cherokee Indians who were forced to march to Oklahoma in the 1830s. The area is located in southeast Missouri.

Another historic location is the Harry S Truman Historic Birthplace in Lamar, Missouri, located in southeast Missouri. The site shows where the U.S. president lived in as a child.

People interested in the Civil War can see the site where the Battle of Carthage occurred. This was considered to be the first full-scale battle of the war.

Plenty To Do

Although southern Missouri is not as well-known as other locations in the Midwest, there are many interesting things to do in the area that could keep even the most jaded visitor entertained.

Lisa Swan is a frequent contributor to real estate sites.

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