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Missouri Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home

Image: Missouri Staycation: 7 Fun Things to Do While Staying Close to Home
Rotunda of the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City, Missouri. (Glenn Nagel/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM

When planning a family vacation or staycation to Missouri, activities and attractions may seem endless. From great entertainment to phenomenal historic sites, there are endless opportunities. Families on vacation or staycation can enjoy Missouri's natural beauty among many other things.

Here are seven great places to visit when traveling to Missouri:

1.
Unlimited adventures welcome families at the Arcadia Valley Region and Black River Recreation Area. Along with the scenic ecological and geological features, the area offers plenty of recreation. Take float trips on rafts or kayaks on the Black River. The park area is a wonderful place for backpacking, hiking, hunting, horseback riding or walking along nature trails bird watching.

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2. Jefferson City is home to the state capital, a beautiful structure finished in 1918 with a dome that rises 238 feet above the ground, surrounded by grand columns. Visitors to the city might also enjoy Carnahan Memorial Gardens, near the capital building, located next to the Governor's Mansion, with walkways, flowers and pools of water. City attractions include the Runge Nature Center that features hiking trails along with indoor and outdoor wildlife habitat exhibits.

3. The entertainment and nightlife of Branson make it a must-see for families on a staycation. However, the city has other attractions, such as the Titanic Museum, which has recreated hallways, cabins and artifacts from the Titanic before its ill-fated voyage in 1912. Visit the Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure to see Branson's rainforest and more than 1,000 butterflies. Nearby Silver Dollar City provides an 1880s-style amusement park with rides, shops and restaurants.

4. The Mark Twain National Forest covers a huge area across southern and central Missouri, complete with lakes, streams, rivers, picturesque views, bluffs and plenty of shaded trees.The animal life in the forest includes everything from ducks, geese and doves to rabbits, raccoons, bobcats and coyotes. Fishing and hunting are allowed throughout the park, except where signs post otherwise.

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5. Crane Lake Conservation Area and Trails has a 12 mile hiking and biking trail around one of the most beautiful lakes in Missouri. The area is located within the Mark Twain National Forest, but offers a peaceful getaway surrounded by nature. Families on a staycation can relax in picnic areas and enjoy great fishing for largemouth bass, panfish and catfish, or go canoeing on the waters.

6. Boating, hiking, biking and other activities provide family fun at the Lake of the Ozarks State Park. The large wooded area includes 12 trails for hiking throughout the park. Launch your own boat from the many ramps or rent kayaks, canoes and paddleboats. Fishing enthusiasts will enjoy catching a variety of fish. The park also has beaches.

7. Of course, St. Louis has long been the gateway for western expansion and features its popular Gateway Arch, some 630-feet tall. Journey to the top and enjoy the view. The city is perfect for a staycation with many other activities that include the local zoo, Forest Park, the St. Louis Cathedral and the Museum of Westward Expansion.

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When planning a family vacation or staycation to Missouri, activities and attractions may seem endless. From great entertainment to phenomenal historic sites, there are endless opportunities.
Missouri Staycation, Family, Fun, Travel
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2015-32-23
Monday, 23 Feb 2015 11:32 PM
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