Whether your interests are in local history or events of the past that shaped our nation, historical sites and museums in the area will provide education and entertainment for hours. Some are well known while others are quirky and off the beaten path, and they all are worth exploring. Many are free or low cost, and some have limited hours; it’s a good idea to call before you go.
Air & Military Museum of the Ozarks
Bass Pro Shops
- The Archery Hall of Fame has a collection of some of the most unique memorabilia depicting archery history available anywhere in the world.
- The Bass Pro Museum showcases how the store got its start in Springfield and became the giant outdoor retailer it is today.
- The Motorsports Museum at Bass Pro features racing memorabilia and cars used in NASCAR races, including the No. 3 car Dale Earnhardt drove for his Daytona 500 win in 1998.
- The NRA® National Sporting Arms Museum features nearly 1,000 firearms that trace the history of hunting, conservation and freedom.
The Battle of Springfield
Built in 1891 as a jail, The Calaboose, 409 W. McDaniel St., is a federally recognized historical restoration used as a police substation with a police museum on the first floor. Tours are by appointment.
Dr. Michael J. Clarke History Museum of Ozarks Scouting
The Dr. Michael J. Clarke History Museum of Ozarks Scouting, 1616 S. Eastgate Ave., showcases uniforms and other scouting memorabilia.
Doling Park Museum
The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Museum
The Flower Pentecostal Heritage Center Museum, 1445 N. Boonville Ave., displays the development of the Assemblies of God Church, headquartered in Springfield.
Founders Park, 330 E. Water St., is where you can explore Springfield’s first 100 years of history.
History Museum on the Square
The History Museum on the Square, 154 Park Central East, presents the rich tapestry of southwest Missouri through interactive exhibits, video and photography and a treasure trove of artifacts. Fans of Route 66 won’t want to miss this museum.
History of Hearing Museum
The History of Hearing Museum, 628 E. Commercial St., lets you examine hearing assistance devices from yesteryear.
Lew's Ozark Fishing Museum
Lew's Ozark Fishing Museum, 3031 N. Martin Ave., showcases the beginnings of rod and reel entrepreneur Lew Childre and legendary fishing guide J. D. Fletcher.
Missouri Institute of Natural Science
Missouri Sports Hall Of Fame
The Railroad Historical Museum
The Railroad Historical Museum in Grant Beach Park, 1300 N. Grant Ave., is an opportunity to explore the cab of a Frisco 4524 locomotive, Burlington baggage car, Chicago Northwestern commuter car and Burlington Northern caboose.
Route 66 Car Museum
Springfield Art Museum
Springfield Fire Department Museum
Check out the history and heritage of the Springfield Fire Department from 1867 to the present at the Springfield Fire Department Museum inside Historic City Hall, 830 N. Boonville Ave.
Springfield Softball Hall of Fame
The Springfield Softball Hall of Fame Museum at the Killian Sports Complex, 2141 E. Pythian St., features the Springfield and Missouri Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame with displays dating from the 1920s.
Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium
Branson Auto & Farm Museum
Creation Experience Museum
George Washington Carver National Monument
The George Washington Carver National Monument, 5646 Carver Road in Diamond, tells the story of the child known as the "Plant Doctor" who tended his secret garden while observing the day-to-day operations of a 19th-century farm. Nature and nurture ultimately influenced George Washington Carver on his quest for education to becoming a renowned agricultural scientist, educator and humanitarian.
Laclede County Route 66 Museum
Laclede County Route 66 Museum in the Lebanon-Laclede County Library, 915 S. Jefferson Ave. in Lebanon, is home to a replica gas station with a vintage car and pumps, plus other Route 66-related history exhibits.
Laura Ingalls Wilder Home & Museum
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Home & Museum, 3060 Highway A in Mansfield, inspires curiosity and fosters learning about the American pioneer experience through the life and literature of Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Nathan Boone Homestead State Historic Site
The Nathan Boone Homestead State Historic Site, 7850 N. State Highway V near Ash Grove, showcases pioneer Nathan Boone, a genuine Missouri icon – a hunter, soldier, surveyor, and businessman. He was the youngest son of Daniel Boone.
The Ralph Foster Museum
The Ralph Foster Museum at College of the Ozarks, 237 Christian St. in Point Lookout, is a collection of memorabilia relating to the Ozarks region. One of the more famous exhibits is the original vehicle used in the television series "The Beverly Hillbillies." Visitors will find antiques, weapons, dolls, natural history and other items from around the world.
Shipwrecked Treasure Museum
Veteran's Memorial Museum
Veteran’s Memorial Museum, 1250 W. 76 Country Boulevard in Branson, is a tribute to the men and women who defended American liberties during the 20th century. The museum is filled with a collection of wartime exhibits covering the heights and depths of human experience.
The Library at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
With about 6,000 volumes, the library at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, 6424 W. Farm Road 182 near Republic, has one of the largest collections of bound volumes on the Civil War in the National Parks Service. A new Visitor Center is dedicated to educating the public about the area’s Civil War history.