The Outdoor Lover’s Guide To Springfield, MO

Enjoy The Outdoors In Springfield, MO
35b41efb 8c30 44e9 836c 0a815ed0a468 madison+russell sr 1990 Written by Madison Russell on July 20, 2020.

The great outdoors is open for business. Springfield is home to dozens of outdoor trails, parks, and attractions that will surely satisfy your desire for adventure. We’ve compiled a list of some of our most popular outdoor attractions that will get you out and about.

Day 1

Breakfast at Tea Bar & Bites

Tea Bar & Bites

Tea Bar & Bites

Start the morning with breakfast on the Tea Bar & Bites patio. Serving tea and brunch from 8:30 AM-4PM, Tea Bar & Bites makes the outdoors enjoyable with covered patio seating. A customer favorite breakfast item on the menu is the quiche of the morning that can change daily. 

Address: 621 S Pickwick Ave, Springfield, MO 65804

Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park

Nathanael Greene Iris Garden

Nathanael Greene Iris Garden

Walk through the various botanical gardens of Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park. Enjoy the beautiful flowers and Japanese architecture in the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, or walk the trails along Lake Drummond. There are over 20+ themed gardens to explore along with the Roston Native Butterfly House. 

Address: 2400 S Scenic Ave, Springfield, MO 65807

Bass Pro Shops

Outdoor lovers have to visit The “Grandaddy” of All Outdoor Stores. The 500,000-square-foot store is home to many outdoor items from camping supplies, to firearms, to your next fishing vessel. Bass Pro Shops is also home to the National Sporting Arms Museum, the National Archery Hall of Fame and the Motorsports Museum, and is adjacent to Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium. 

Address: 1935 S Campbell Ave, Springfield, MO 65807

Lunch at Red’s Giant Hamburg

Red's Giant Hamburg

Red's Giant Hamburg

Inspired by the first original drive-thru restaurant in the United States, Red’s Giant Hamburg is a great stop for your favorite fast food classics. Enjoy burgers, fries and onion rings and add a banana split for dessert.

Address: 2301 W Sunshine St, Springfield, MO 65807

Sculpture Walk/Mural Hunting

Head to downtown Springfield to see an outdoor art museum. The Springfield Sculpture Walk has sculptures scattered all over downtown, making it the only museum without walls in the Ozarks. 

For more outdoor art, check out the murals in Springfield to see over 40 works of art by local artists. 

Dinner at The Order and Drinks at Vantage

To finish off the night, stay downtown and head to The Order at Hotel Vandivort for burgers, seafood and lamb chops. Treat yourself to a local dessert of Askinosie Chocolate and Coffee Ethic Pot De Creme to finish off your meal. For the best view in Springfield, check out Vantage Rooftop Lounge & Conservatory for drinks on the outdoor patio.

Address: 305 E Walnut St, Springfield, MO 65806

Day 2

Breakfast at Aviary by Lavender Falls

For delicious crepes and mimosas, start your morning off at Aviary by Lavender Falls near Farmers Park. For a more savory breakfast crepe, get The Farmer and enjoy a crepe filled with scrambled eggs, cheddar jack cheese, and a meat of your choice that includes ham, applewood smoked bacon or sausage. If you’re deciding on a side dish,  the pommes frites are a must. 

Address: 2144 E Republic Rd, Springfield, MO 65807

Farmers’ Market

Springfield has a variety of farmers’ markets open every Saturday morning. For close by markets, head to the Farmers’ Market of the Ozarks for local honey, fruits, veggies, homegrown flowers, smoked meats, sauces and spices. 

Address: 2144 E Republic Rd, Springfield, MO 65804

Fantastic Caverns and Smallin' Civil War Cave

Smallin' Civil War Cave

Smallin' Civil War Cave

Missouri is known as a cave state, and there are plenty of caves to choose from in the area. 

No need to bring your walking shoes here; just north of Springfield, Fantastic Caverns is North America’s only completely ride-through cave. Open year-round, its constant 60-degree temperature provides welcome coolness in summer and a warm respite from winter’s cold, making it an attraction that’s perfect to see in any season. To protect the cave’s fragile beauty, the 55-minute tours are conducted in trams that follow the course of an ancient underground river.

Address: 4872 N Farm Rd 125, Springfield, MO 65803

Farther south sits Smallin Civil War Cave. Discovered in 1818, Smallin Civil War Cave features a breathtaking 10-story arch that leads you into rich human history and rare cave life that begins all the way back with the Native Americans. The cave is open year-round for guided, half-mile walking tours accessible with strollers, wheelchairs and mobility scooters. Visitors can walk through the cave and see rare bristly cave crayfish, blind cave salamanders, an array of bats and fossils embedded in the cave’s walls.

Address: 3575 N Smallin Rd, Ozark, MO 65721

Lunch at Lambert’s Cafe

Lambert's Cafe

Lambert's Cafe

Home of “Throwed Rolls” Lambert’s Cafe is a great stop for southern comfort food. Besides hot and ready rolls thrown right to the table, you can do classics like chicken fried steak, chicken pot pie or for something a little weird, such as frog legs or chicken livers. 

Address: 1800 W State Hwy J, Ozark, MO 65721

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

For a walk through history, your next outdoor stop should be Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. The battlefield southwest of Springfield near Republic preserves the site of the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Fought on August 10, 1861, the battle was the first major American Civil War engagement west of the Mississippi River. Guests can drive through the battlefield and observe what remains of this historic battlefield.

Address: 6424 W Farm Rd 182, Republic, MO 65738

Dinner at Route 66 Food Truck Park

Dinner is best enjoyed outside. The Route 66 Food Truck Park is home to eight food trucks that each have a little something for everyone to enjoy from street tacos and Mediterranean cuisine to vegan options and London pasties.

If you’d rather sit inside and eat, you’re in luck. The park also has indoor seating for those wishing to get out of the rain, snow or shine and enjoy a meal from the comfort of indoors.

Address: 1530 E St Louis St, Springfield, MO 65802

Day 3

Dogwood Canyon

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

Dogwood Canyon Nature Park

While your last day includes a bit of a drive, it’ll be well worth it. About an hour from Springfield sits Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, a 10,000-acre paradise full of adventures. Guests can walk or bike the four-mile trail or take a variety of tours such as Segway and tram tours. Anglers can also take self-guided or guided fishing tours to catch all the rainbow trout they possibly can.

Address: 2038 West, State Hwy 86, Lampe, MO 65681

Lunch at Mill & Canyon Grill Restaurant

Stay at the Mill & Canyon Grill Restaurant at Dogwood Canyon for lunch by an exquisite waterfall view. Choose from fried mushrooms to classics like the bison burger, dogwood salad, and pan-fried trout. 

To take lunch on the go, guests can also order ahead to purchase a picnic lunch to bring on their hike.

Address: 2038 West State Hwy 86, Lampe, MO 65681

Kayak at Lake Springfield Boathouse

Lake Springfield Boathouse

Lake Springfield Boathouse

Head back to Springfield to relax and float in Lake Springfield. Rent a few kayaks for you and the whole family to paddle around the lake. 

Address: 2312 E Lake Springfield Park Rd, Springfield, MO 65804

Dinner at Bambino’s

Bambino's Cafe

Bambino's Cafe

Finally, end your adventure at Bambino’s Cafe for a plate full of italian food. Start off your meal with a bit of bruschetta or plate of toasted ravioli. After that, it’s all about the pasta. Try everything from fettucini alfredo to baked ziti and spaghetti and meatballs.

Address: 1141 E Delmar St, Springfield, MO 65807

Other Outdoor Attractions

Did one of the ones up top not suit your trip? Here are a few other outdoor attractions you can explore to take their place. 

Dickerson Park Zoo

Wild Animal Safari

National Tiger Sanctuary

Ozarks Greenways

Rutledge-Wilson Farm Park

Springfield Conservation Nature Center

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