Visit Bolivar & Polk County

There's a lot to do just northwest of Springfield.
Ade7a3c6bb1c133813bc471dc67bc5ec75a8b561 susan wade sr 0386 Written by Susan Wade on November 15, 2019.

Bolivar is a vibrant small town with a charming downtown, a world-class art museum, a hospital and a four-year university offering a variety of degrees, including two doctoral programs. 

About 30 miles northwest of Springfield, Bolivar offers plenty for visitors to see and do. The historic Polk County Courthouse reigns on the town square surrounded by a frozen custard shop; restaurants; stores selling jewelry, antiques, furniture, books and clothing; an art gallery; historic buildings and more. A monthly car show welcomes anyone interested in automobiles.

A few blocks away, the Polk County Museum resides in the former Northward School, a majestic brick structure on the National Register of Historic Places. On the lawn sits a log cabin built in 1867 and moved to the museum grounds in 1981. A gazebo beckons those who want to relax in the shade created by the structure and nearby trees.

The Dunnegan Gallery or Art is home to a world-class collection.

The Dunnegan Gallery or Art is home to a world-class collection.

Around the corner is the Dunnegan Gallery of Art, showcasing its permanent collection along with traveling exhibits. At any given time, the 26,000-square-foot gallery has more than 1,000 sculptures, paintings and woodcrafts on display.

For those who enjoy outdoor activities, the Frisco Highline Trail - the second-longest Rail/Trail in Missouri - provides a 35-mile path for walking, running and biking between Springfield and Bolivar. Just a few minutes north of Bolivar, Stockton and Pomme de Terre lakes offer fishing, sailing and other water activities.

Teeing off in front of the silo at Silo Ridge Community Golf Course.

Teeing off in front of the silo at Silo Ridge Community Golf Course.

Test your skills at the Silo Ridge golf course; splash with the kids at the city’s aquatics center; and shop for locally grown, made or produced foods and products at the Polk County Farmers Market.

Bolivar also has fun annual events including its one-day Country Days festival in September and the Celebration of Freedom Fireworks Display on the campus of Southwest Baptist University in July.

Hiking one of the local park trails.

Hiking one of the local park trails.

In the fall, the kids will love the corn maze, pumpkin patch and other activities at the nearby Fieth Family Farm and in the summertime, pick delicious blackberries and red raspberries at the Hummingbird Berry Farm a few miles south of town.

You’re sure to enjoy exploring Bolivar, the county seat of Polk County. Before you go, be sure to check hours at various facilities. Some operate on a part-time basis or are seasonal.

Learn more about Bolivar at or

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