The Missouri Ozarks is full of secret spots and hidden gems only the true locals know about. Check out these spots off the beaten path for a unique and one-of-a-kind experience.
The Vintage Peddler
Head to the middle of the city for hand-picked antiques at The Vintage Peddler. The Vintage Peddler specializes in antiques and industrial, vintage and repurposed items for your home and garden. Shop for beautiful antiques such as furniture, posters, decor, greeting cards and clothing.
Address: 1432 E. Trafficway St., Springfield
Tucked away on Historic Walnut Street sits Pagination Bookshop. Opened by Jen Murvin and Kory Cooper, the 1896 home was renovated and turned into a book lover’s paradise with paperbacks and picture books lining the first-floor shelves. Books range from new to old with new titles hitting the shelves frequently. You can even purchase literary gift-themed items such as book bags and cards. Be sure to stop in the Hobbit-themed area hidden away under the stairs. Check the store’s calendar events for local author readings and writers’ workshops.
Address: 1150 E. Walnut St., Springfield
Camp Flea is a 26,000-square-foot antique mall in Ozark, Missouri, with over 200 booths packed with farmhouse primitives, industrial salvage, retro kitsch, vintage uniques and antiques. Booth inventory is constantly changing so you’ll never know what you’ll find.
Address: 1900 W. Elm St., Ozark
Schofield + Gray Holiday Markets
Schofield + Gray hosts multiple antique and vintage markets each year. Filled with the region’s best antique and vintage vendors, the beautifully curated market is full of beautiful antiques, home décor and garden items, hand-crafted gifts, and delicious food and desserts. Schofield + Gray is open only on select market days during the year.
Address: 358 Hill St., Fordland
Looking for an enchanting evening in the Ozarks? Harvest Restaurant hosts its orchard dinners every Thursday in September. Enjoy a surprise four-course meal in the middle of the orchard along with hors d’oeuvres and additional wine pairings. Food for these dinners is nearly 100% locally sourced.
Address: 8011 E. State Hwy Ad., Rogersville
Tea Bar & Bites
For a quaint breakfast on a covered patio, Tea Bar & Bites in the cozy Rountree Neighborhood is a charming, chic eatery from the floral tablecloths to the bubbling fountain outside. A delicious brunch favorite includes the special omelet bagel sandwich made with cheddar cheese, house-herbed cream cheese and greens on a toasted bagel. Quiche lovers can enjoy a new quiche each day with an ever-changing quiche of the day. For sweets such as muffins, cinnamon rolls and breads, Tea Bar & Bites also has a delicious bakery menu that changes daily.
Address: 621 S. Pickwick Ave., Springfield
The Cave Bar & Grill
About 1 1/2 hours from Springfield, The Cave Bar & Grill allows patrons to dine inside a cave. The restaurant serves American-style food, including burgers, salads, sandwiches and wraps.
Address: 12386 MO-59, Noel
Sleepy Opossum Cafe at The Royal Music Hall
If you’re in the mood for some bar bites, sweet cocktails and live music, cozy up in this pastel pink and green gem, The Royal, on Tuesday-Sunday on Cherry Street. In the mornings, however, you can enjoy breakfast sandwiches, burritos, crepes and hot coffee at the pop-up bakery, Sleepy Opossum Cafe, occupying the same space.
Taylor’s opened in 1947 when hamburgers cost just 50 cents. Over the years, not much has changed. The inside decor is just like the early regulars remember it, hard ice cream is still used in malts and milkshakes, and while the burgers cost more than 50 cents now, the beef is still ground fresh for the famous hamburgers loved by locals and visitors.
Address: 139 Memorial Plaza, Springfield
Cherry Picker Package X Fare
A coffee shop, lunch counter, neighborhood bar and package store, you can count on Cherry Picker Package X Fare being your next favorite neighborhood hangout. Choose from a selection of soups, salads, sandwiches, and coffee. If you love wine, you can even be a part of the wine club.
Address: 601 S. Pickwick Ave., Springfield
The Vineyard Market
A local winery and lounge, enjoy wine, cocktails, a great cigar, tea or adult coffee at The Vineyard Market. Hungry guests can order large artisan-style pizzas, calzones and hot or cold sandwiches. Want to sip and shop? Don’t miss the package store with custom and unique gift crates. On warm fall nights, grab a seat at the outdoor patio.
Address: 1759 W. State Hwy J, Ozark
Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield
Fought on August 10, 1861, the Battle of Wilson’s Creek was a pivotal battle in Missouri and the second major battle of the Civil War. When the smoke cleared, more than 2,500 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded or missing in five hours of intense fighting. The National Park Service, recognizing the significance of the battle, designated Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield in 1960. The 1,750-acre park, just southwest of Springfield, remains significantly unchanged and stands as one of the most pristine battle sites in the country. Besides the visitor center, the road through the park allows visitors to explore the battlefield at their own pace. Walking trails lead to various battle sites, including Bloody Hill, the Historic John Ray House and the Edwards Cabin.
Address: 6424 W. Farm Road 182, Republic
Busiek State Forest
While not a typical water activity, Woods Fork Creek flows near Busiek State Forest for a perfect natural clear splash pad. Find a private spot on the gravel and set up folding chairs for a perfect afternoon activity. Busiek offers 18 miles of trails by hikers, bicyclists, and horseback riders if you’re in the mood for a hike.
Address: Busiek Road, Spokane
At 11 stories high, Smallin Civil War Cave’s opening makes it visible to anyone exploring the area, including the Native Americans who inhabited the Ozarks and used the cave before white settlers arrived. In 1818, Henry Schoolcraft noted the cave in his journals, making it the first documented cave in the Ozarks. By the time of the Civil War, the cave was common knowledge and used extensively for several purposes. The cave was closed to the public for several years, though local scouts explored it while it was part of a camp. The cave is open for public tours and lantern tours in the fall.
Address: 3575 N. Smallin Road, Ozark
The Bat Bar
If your dream is to drink inside a cave, The Bat Bar gives new meaning to the term “watering hole.” Visitors can tour Lost Canyon Cave by golf cart and experience the unforgettable two-and-a-half-mile journey as you explore the Top of the Rock Lost Canyon and Nature Trail. This dramatic trail was created to highlight stunning rock formations, waterfalls and views of Table Rock Lake.
Shortly into the trip, the trail dips into the Lost Canyon Cave, wherein lies the one-of-a-kind bar. It’s next to a waterfall within a mountaintop cave. The good thing is it’s never all that crowded...besides the bats that is.
Address: 150 Top of the Rock Road, Ridgedale
Maple Park Cemetery
One of the most beautiful cemeteries in Springfield to see fall colors at is Maple Park Cemetery. Many prominent figures are buried here, but one of the most notable is Davis Tutt. Wild Bill Hickok killed Tutt on the downtown square on July 21, 1865 in the first recorded wild west shootout. Search for his historic grave and take in the beauty of the fall colors from October-November.
Address: 300 W. Grand St., Springfield
Prairie State Park
Tallgrass prairies once covered more than a third of Missouri; today, less than 1% remains, much of it preserved at Prairie State Park. About 1 1/2 hours from Springfield, Prairie State Park sits in Mindenmines, Missouri near the Kansas border. The park houses 4,000 acres of grasslands, hiking trails, camping areas, a nature center, and a herd of bison, a perfect day trip from Springfield.
Address: 128 NW 150th Lane, Mindenmines
Black & Blueberry Farm
Love the smell of lavender? The Ozarks is home to a handful of lavender fields perfect for picking your own home-grown lavender, including Black & Blueberry Farm. You can harvest your own lavender and pick blueberries during the peak season in the summer months. Check out the cafe full of foods such as blueberry lemonade, iced lavender lattes, blueberry ice cream and more. You can even buy your own lavender plants to grow at home.
Address: 5313 S. Farm Road 241, Rogersville
Tour The Chateau Charmant
The Chateau Charmant has been an elegant royal experience for every event, located high atop an enchanted hill overlooking the peaceful Ozark countryside. The chateau is a luxurious venue, rich in ambiance and breathtaking views. Guests can reserve it for weddings or events and even photoshoots. If you want to visit, the staff offers tours on Wednesdays and Thursdays from 11-4 p.m. ranging from $10-$15 a person.
Address: 1700 Martins Branch Road, Fordland
Tour Pedalers Bicycle Museum
You may have seen this little museum on Historic Commercial Street. The inside is filled with bicycle memorabilia and artifacts owned by James Allen. Allen has bikes that date back as early as 1817 and most of his collection ranges from the 1800s to the 1990s. The museum is currently only open by appointment but is free to see.
Address: 328 E. Commercial St., Springfield
Attend Summer Movie Nights At Founders Park
Our very own Springfield Park Board hosts some pretty cool events during the year, one being Movies At Founders Park. See a free movie once a month at the park on Fridays in June and July. Movies start at 9 p.m. Bring a chair if you have one and movie concessions will be sold at the event.
Address: 330 E. Water St., Springfield
Millsap Farm Pizza Night
Every Thursday night around 6 p.m. May-October, Millsap Farm invites pizza club members to enjoy handmade pizza. The delicious wood-fired pizzas are cooked in a handmade New Mexico-style horno wood-fired earthen oven at 800 degrees taking less than two minutes to cook. The pizzas are served buffet style. Pizzas are topped with seasonal produce, and there’s a consistent cheese option.
Address: 6593 Emu Lane, Springfield
Sunday Yoga At Phelps Grove Park
Springfield offers many community events, such as Springfield Yoga In The Park. Every Sunday (weather permitting) from April-October, yoga teachers around the area sign-up to teach Yoga In The Park at Phelps Grove Park. Anyone is welcome to come and join in. For more information on the instructors and the program, visit the Facebook page.
Address: 950 E. Bennett St., Springfield