If you’re on the fence about visiting Springfield, check out our list of top 10 reasons to visit the third-largest city in Missouri.
Connections To The Great Outdoors
If you love the outdoors, Springfield is the perfect place for you. The city is home to dozens of parks and trails perfect for walking, biking, hiking and adventuring. Springfield is also home to the legendary Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, Dickerson Park Zoo, Wild Animal Safari, multiple caves, and other activities sure to get you exploring the wonders of nature.
A Plethora Of Museums
Springfield is rich in history, from being the home of the first recorded Wild West shootout to the birthplace of Route 66. Visit the History Museum on the Square for lessons in Springfield history and Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium to get close to nature. Don’t forget to visit the Route 66 Car Museum, NRA Museum, Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, The Springfield Art Museum, and many others.
Amazing Dining Experiences
Looking for delicious dining options? Springfield has you covered in almost every cuisine type with over 700 restaurants in the city and surrounding areas. Try cashew chicken at Leong’s Asian Diner, owned by the sons of David Leong, the inventor of Springfield-style cashew chicken. For dessert, you can’t go wrong with Andy’s Frozen Custard or Pineapple Whip. Be sure to read our Iconic Springfield Eats post and our restaurant page to see what restaurants Springfield is known for.
Tons Of Shopping
Did you know the number one thing people come to Springfield to do is shop? Battlefield Mall features 153 stores in 1.2 million square feet of space with the anchor stores being JCPenney, two Dillard's stores, and Macy's. Across the street is Brentwood Center filled with locally owned boutiques, restaurants, and salon services. And throughout the city you’ll find dozens of unique shops, flea markets and antique stores.
For homegrown products, you can visit four Farmers’ Markets across the Ozarks filled with locally grown produce, homemade crafts, candles and delicious foods.
Home To Several Caves
Missouri has had the title of being The Cave State for many years. With over 7,000 caves documented in the state’s karst topography, tourists and locals can explore Missouri’s most beautiful and extensive underground caverns.
One of Missouri’s most well-known caves is Fantastic Caverns. As the only ride-through cave in North America, riders can sit back and relax in the big red trams that can accommodate people in wheelchairs while the cave guides stop throughout the cave and explain how its formations came to be, how it was discovered, its fascinating history and lessons about the geology and ecosystems in the Ozarks.
Take a trip to Smallin Civil War Cave in Ozark, Missouri. The cave features a breathtaking 11-story arch that leads you back in time. Through the tour on a paved path, view 200-year-old cave drawings, fossils and rare crayfish, endangered blind cave salamanders and multiple species of bats. In the fall, explore the cave by a lantern with Smallin Civil War Cave’s exclusive lantern tours.
Discover other caves such as Talking Rocks Cavern in Branson, Giboney Cave at Doling Park in north Springfield, Marvel Cave at the Silver Dollar City theme park near Branson and others in the area.
Bring the whole family to Springfield! The city offers dozens of attractions the whole family can enjoy. Visit Dickerson Park Zoo and the Wild Animal Safari for up close and personal time with wildlife. For smaller kids, Itty Bitty City and The Discovery Center are great for energized little ones wanting to learn and explore. Many restaurants also offer kid-friendly options for the pickiest of eaters.
Home To A Dozen Craft Breweries
If you love beer, you’re in luck. The area is home to a dozen craft breweries, wineries and distilleries that make their own beverages. Check out the Tap and Pour Craft Beverage tour for a free self-guided tour of the area’s breweries. If you visit 10 or more, you can get a free t-shirt!
A Hub For The Arts
Find world-class art and entertainment within the city’s walls. See performances of Springfield Regional Opera, Springfield Symphony Orchestra and Springfield Ballet. If you love kids and fun, drop by the Springfield Little Theatre for different performances every few months.
For visual arts, the Springfield Art Museum is home to beautiful pieces of art and traveling exhibits. Free to see is the everchanging Springfield Sculpture Walk downtown and over 40+ murals throughout the city.
Hundreds Of Noteworthy Events
There’s never a shortage of things to do in Springfield. From the Annual Ozark Empire Fair in July and August to Artsfest in the spring, and the Christmas Parade in winter, there’s always something to look forward to. Check out our events calendar to see what’s happening when you’re in Springfield.
The Birthplace of Route 66
On April 30, 1926, a telegram was sent from Springfield's now-demolished Colonial Hotel, proposing that the road from Chicago to Los Angeles be named Route 66. Ever since, Springfield has been recognized as the birthplace of Route 66. Cruise down the historic highway and view the businesses and artwork still located on Route 66.
If you’re still curious about Springfield, take a look at our Springfield Guide, sign up for our weekly newsletter filled with things to do, call the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-678-8767 or drop in at 815 E. St. Louis St.