Sometimes the best vacations happen in your own backyard.

Staycations are rising in popularity for a variety of reasons—one of them being the travel restrictions that were imposed during the COVID-19 outbreak.

It might be that you were impacted financially by the pandemic and can’t afford to travel the globe. Perhaps you’re uncomfortable with the idea of international travel while the world is still recovering from the impact of the virus.

Whatever the case, a staycation is a great option; and as a Missouri local, you don’t need to travel very far in order to enjoy the perfect getaway. Here are six top spots to consider for your next Missouri staycation!

1. Branson


While Branson is a small town of roughly 11,630 people, it happens to be a highly popular tourist destination—and for good reason. This town has something for everyone, whether you’re single or whether you’re bringing a young family along.

If you’re a thrill-seeker, be sure to spend a day at Silver Dollar City—Branson’s very own amusement park and home to well over 50 rides, slides, and attractions. Those who are passionate about the arts might enjoy a country music concert at Clay Cooper Theatre or a Biblical reenactment at Sight & Sound Theater.

For those who love nature and wildlife, check out the aviary at The Butterfly Palace, the animal exhibits at Promised Land Zoo, or the many trails and scenic views at Table Rock State Park.

There are also plenty of lodging options available in Branson, as the town is set up to accommodate thousands of tourists at any given time. Start planning your trip today!

2. Springfield

If you’re a true Missouri native, you’ve probably seen Springfield—the state’s capital—in person. Unless you’ve already taken a Springfield staycation, however, it’s likely that you’ve only scratched the surface of everything the city has to offer.

Springfield isn’t your typical metropolitan area. While it won’t blow you away with colossal skyscrapers, it will certainly impress you with its natural beauty.

During your trip, explore the depths of Fantastic Caverns—the only North American caves to offer complete tram ride tours. After you’ve emerged from the surface, check out over 500 different animals at Dickerson Park Zoo or the wildlife at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center.

You might even choose to visit Pythian Castle, a historic landmark that was built by the Knights of Pythias back in 1913. Before your trip ends, leave some downtime for a leisurely walk through the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden or the Springfield Botanical Gardens.

3. Lake of the Ozarks


If your ideal vacation consists of a day at the beach, you may be disappointed to know that Missouri is a doubly landlocked state with no access to the ocean.

By visiting Lake of the Ozarks, however, you can simulate the beach experience and enjoy traditional water sports and activities—whether it’s swimming, fishing, boating, or jet skiing. What’s more, this area is home to multiple water parks, including Big Surf Waterpark, Jolly Mon Indoor Water Park, and others.

Those who don’t share the same fascination with water activities will be pleased to know that the lake is also surrounded by all kinds of non-water attractions. Golf fanatics can enjoy 18 holes at Lake Valley Golf Club, The Oaks, or another one of the area’s dozen golf courses.

The shopaholic simply has to walk the perimeter of the lake to find hundreds of retail, vintage, and antique stores, as well as a full-fledged outlet mall with some of the biggest brands!

4. Hannibal

For the bibliophile, there is no greater staycation spot than Hannibal—a small city that is most well-known for being the place where American author Mark Twain was raised.

At some point during your trip, make sure you pay a visit to the Mark Twain Boyhood Home. Here, you’ll walk the same corridors that young Twain walked throughout his childhood and learn more about the famous writer’s upbringing through interactive exhibits. Then, visit the museum, which is home to multiple Norman Rockwell paintings and Clemens family memorabilia.

Complete the experience by trekking to the top of the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse and strolling through Riverview Park. Finally, visit Lovers Leap for one last scenic view before heading home!

5. St. Louis


Big cities aren’t for everyone, and with a population of nearly 300,000, St. Louis is dwarfed only by Kansas City. For the person who can embrace the hustle and bustle of a large metropolitan area, however, St. Louis is a great destination for a staycation.

To start, treat your family to a day at the St. Louis Zoo—a facility that USA Today has ranked as the 8th best zoo in the country. With 15 major exhibits and over 6,600 animals, this zoo is sure to keep you and your children occupied for hours.

To continue the fun, visit City Museum—an old 10-story warehouse that has been transformed into a playground filled with repurposed rooms and objects. Wind down by strolling through the Missouri Botanical Garden or Forest Park.

Finally, you can’t tie a bow around your St. Louis staycation without visiting the iconic Gateway Arch. Journey to the top to look out over the city and Mississippi River.

6. Kimmswick

If the purpose of your staycation is to escape the busyness of everyday life, maybe Kimmswick is the right destination for you. This quaint town oozes character, as many of the same buildings and sites remain from when it was founded in 1859.

For $5, you can take a tour of the Anheuser Museum and Estate—a beautiful river property previously owned by Fred and Mabel Ruth Anheuser. As you walk Kimmswick’s quiet streets, you’re also likely to come across some of the town’s hidden gems—such as The Glass Artisan and The Spicery of Kimmswick.

Next, visit LaChance Winery of Kimmswick to enjoy live music, great wines, and delicious food. While you’re out and about, be sure to stop by Mississippi Mud Gallery & Gifts to pick up a few specialty items for friends and family back home.