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Springfield, Missouri, Trip Guide | Midwest Living

Midwest Living / Travel / Missouri / Springfield MissouriSpringfield, Missouri,

Trip Guide

The third-largest city in Missouri, Springfield is proud to be known as the Birthplace of Route 66. But there are plenty more things to do here, including Fantastic Caverns, Pythian Castle and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.

By Maria Duryee

-The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks Military buffs will enjoy the 5,000-plus pieces of military history, including restored vehicles and equipment. Knowledgeable volunteers are on hand to answer questions. (417) 864-7997;

-Askinosie Chocolate You can watch cocoa beans be transformed into small batches of flavorful candy bars during Tuesday tours. But no matter when you come, your taste buds are sure to be engaged; the Times of London claims this place makes some of the world’s best candy bars. (417) 862-9900;

-Fantastic Caverns Trams carry guests past lit caverns, curtains of stone and ponds inhabited by Ozarks-only creatures, like blind grotto salamanders. (417) 833-2010;

-Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden Paths lead over 7.5 acres of rolling terrain to streams, waterfalls and a half-moon bridge at the garden, created in partnership with Springfield’s sister city Isesaki, Japan. (417) 891-1515

-Springfield Art Museum Small but packed with almost 9,000 pieces of art, the museum focuses on 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century American paintings. Each summer, winners of the museum’s Watercolor USA contest are displayed. (417) 837-5700;

-Springfield Conservation Nature Center Familiarize yourself with native plants and wildlife at the educational center then watch for them on the 3 miles of trails.

-Springfield Hot Glass Watch blown-glass art created by the owners or browse beautiful and reasonably priced glass items including platters, pitchers, lamps, paperweights, jewelry and bottles.

-Pythian Castle People swear they’ve seen ghosts on tours of this 1912 castle that has housed orphans, POWs and TB patients. (417) 865-1464;

-Route 66 Billed as the birthplace of Route 66, Springfield has vestiges of the Mother Road in downtown along Kearney Street, Glenstone Avenue, and College and St. Louis streets. (417) 881-5300;

-Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield Site of the first major Civil War battle west of the Mississippi River, the 1,750-acre battlefield remains one of the most pristine. Get an overview during a 29-minute film at the visitors center, then take a driving tour and/or walks retracing the battle. On some weekends, costumed interpreters work at Ray House, a field hospital. About 15 miles outside town. (417) 732-2662;

-Aviary Cafe and Creperie Shabby-chic decor sets a laid-back vibe in a lobby of a 1900s hotel, where you dine on tastes of France at affordable prices. (417) 866-6378;

-CreAsian This casual eatery serves savory Chinese food at reasonable prices. (417) 865-8899Crosstown Barbecue Having churned out barbecue for four decades, it’s practically guaranteed that you’ll love whatever you order in this no-frills spot. (417) 862-4646

-Gailey’s Breakfast Cafe Eat simple, hearty breakfasts (or lunches) at an old-fashioned dining counter. (417) 866-5500

-Scotch and Soda Sip craft cocktails while eating gourmet bar bare at the Prohibition-style lounge.

-Springfield Brewing Co Pizzas pair perfectly with the on-tap Mueller beers made in the fermenters standing behind floor-to-ceiling windows. (417) 832-8277;

-StayBest Western Route 66 Rail Haven The antique cars in the parking lot reflect the time when this hotel was a favorite stop on Route 66. The simple rooms are more modern now, but still comfy.

-Greenstay Hotel and Suites Sleep with a clear conscience knowing that this hotel works to reduce its environmental footprint at every turn.

-Hotel Vandivort Built in 1906 as a Masonic Temple, the downtown building now serves as a modern, upscale 50-room lodging. Its restaurant, The Order, serves locally sourced fods like grassfed beef from Blackgate Farms.

Source: Springfield, Missouri, Trip Guide | Midwest Living

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Hilary Pennarts

I am from California, but I have lived in Missouri since 1991. I grew up in Ozark, Mo and Graduated from Ozark High School. After High School I went to college in Kansas City and graduated with a Bachelors in Art History from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. I love the Springfield area so I returned home to pursue a career in the art world. Having a career in art is quite difficult without a Masters. So, since my Father was a builder for many years in this area. I decided to combine Art and Homes into one. I have a passion for Real Estate and helping others. I am so proud to be able to work in this industry in Springfield and Surrounding areas.

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