The 4 best national parks in Missouri- a guide. Thinking of visiting a national park in Missouri, but don’t know where to begin? Well this is a good place to start. Keep reading as a break down everything you need to know about packing, accommodation and of course the best national parks in Missouri.
What is a national park?
What exactly is a national park?
A national park is an area protected due to its cultural heritage, boasting diverse wildlife and beautiful nature. They are typically known for their stunning landscapes and unique features. The aim of a national park is to preserve the sites environment and benefit from this by having opening for visitation, without destroying it. The ‘National park service‘ manages 423 national parks across America, in aims of conserving the ‘natural and cultural heritage for the benefit of current and future generations’.
Why visit the national parks in Missouri?
Why visit the national parks in Missouri? Each one boasts something unique, uncovering the history of US presidency, the first major civil war battle, and the first European settlements in Missouri. Expect to find stunning landscapes, and even activities that take you out of your comfort zone, like a tram ride 630 feet up!
How many national parks in Missouri are there?
There are 7 national parks located in the state of Missouri according to the US national park service. These parks alone contribute a whopping $411 million in economic benefit to the local communities! The parks are detrimental to Missouri’s economy, with approx. 4 million visitors to the parks each year.
The best accommodation when visiting the national parks in Missouri
So, what are the best accommodations when visiting the national parks in Missouri? Luckily I have found the best located accommodations, so you don’t have to spend extra money or hassle on travelling just to find a hotel. Keep reading to discover the most beautiful, convenient and best facilitated accommodations when visiting the national parks in Missouri…
Drury Plaza at the arch is located just a 5 minute walk away from Gateway arch. The hotel is centrally located in St louis, so its an amazing location for exploring the best of the cities, shops, and restaurants. The rooms are beautifully cosy, and there is a hot tub and indoor swimming pool on site to enjoy after a long day. There is Wi-Fi on site, as well as breakfast served free of charge. So what’s stopping you? Drury Plaza is the perfect accommodation for visiting Gateway arch. Click here to find out more.
Higher ground hotel is the perfect place to stay for visiting the Harry S Truman national historic site. The accommodation is just across the road, so its super conveniently located, as well as having a selection of restaurants and shops surrounding. Higher ground is great value for money, providing a variety of excellent facilities from Free WIFI to walking tours. The bedrooms are cosy and welcoming, guaranteeing a good nights sleep. Click here to find out more.
The Microtel Inn is a stunning accommodation located just a 25 minute walk from St Genevieve. The rooms are modern and airy, with cosy beds, en suite and tv in each room. There is a breakfast bar located in the dining area, which is super convenient for being on the go! Click here to find out more.
Hyatt Regency is a hotel with all the views! Located just 3 minutes from Gateway Arch, this incredible accommodation boasts a beautiful skyline which looks even more glorious lit up at night. Free WIFI is included throughout the site, as well as a coffee house, and gym. The incredible spacious rooms are fitted with a TV and lounging sofas, perfect for comfort and relaxation. Click here to find out more.
Essential packing list when visiting the national parks in Missouri
Packing has its ups and downs. The ups are when the suitcase finally zips up and you know you’re on your way to a lovely holiday; the downs are when you realise you’ve forgotten your all important phone charger or sun cream. But you don’t have to worry any longer. Here I have put a list of every essential you need for visiting the national parks in Missouri, so you’re guaranteed the best experience for your trip.
A sun cap is great for extra protection against the sun, as well as looking great with any outfit. The Youga caps are simplistic and come in all colours. The caps are ponytail friendly with a unique cross detailing meaning you can have a high or a low pony without the cap getting in the way, which is ideal for the heat!
1 litre water bottle
With Missouri’s summer temperature reaching up to 30 degrees, it’s important to stay hydrated. I recommend the LARS NYSØM bottle, it’s 100% leak proof and stainless steel, so you can hold hot drinks as well as cold ones on the go.
Bum bags are so convenient for holding everything without the weight of a huge backpack. The Waterfly bumbag is perfect for hikes in Missouri’s national parks, with a water bottle container pouch and multiple pockets for extra space, you’re light as a feather and ready to go!
If you haven’t already, definitely invest in some comfy trainers or walking shoes for your trip. When hiking or visiting the national parks in Missouri, stay feeling your best! These memory foam trainers are perfect for cushioning, so you can walk further distances without pain.
The best national parks in Missouri
Here are the best national parks in Missouri. Whether it’s their beauty, culture, history or activities, you will find a selection of the very best here. Keep reading to find out more…
Gateway arch is undoubtedly one of the best national park sites in Missouri. This 630 feet arch makes Missouri’s skyline even more magical, and what’s better is that you can explore the grounds for yourself!
There are many activities at Gateway arch to uncover. You can take a tram ride up all the way to the top of the Gateway arch for the most incredible views of the skyline. There are new interactive pre boarding exhibits to discover before being transported to the top within a duration of 45 minutes.
Gateway arch is big on health and wellbeing, so if you enjoy something more active you can do the Ranger Led Running Tour, which takes you around the arch for a look around site in half the speed! There are also plenty of other physical and mental wellbeing activities to enjoy, with The national park services ‘Wellness challenge‘. Some of the challenges include climbing the 65 steps of the Grand staircase or walking the sidewalk elevated over the Mississippi river.
George Washington Carver
George Washington Carver was an African American scientist, educator and inventor born in 1864. He is well known for his development of products in farming, such as making lotions, dyes and plastics with various ingredients such as peanuts and soybean. With his experimentation and discovery, he vastly improved South Americas agricultural economy.
The site is located on his birthplace and childhood home, celebrating his life, creations and influence. The site is rich with African American history, with 3 floors of museum exhibit’s to discover.
Enjoy the short Carver trail on site which is just a mile loop but definitely not lacking in beauty. Along the way, expect to find the beautiful George Washington carver statues. If you prefer, you can take a guided tour of this trail at 10am and 2pm, which allows you to discover the history and the path of George Carvers childhood.
Nearly 300 years ago, St Genevieve was built as the first permanent European settlement in America. The site aims to tell the tales of the French people that lived in the settlements, their culture, language, heritage and achievements they made. There are multiple areas to explore on site, including the Jean Baptiste Valle House, home to one of the last commandments, or the Green Tree Tavern, the oldest building standing on site.
One of the highlights of St Genevieve is the Jean Baptiste garden, bursting to life with flora, fountains and greenery. Its a great place to stop off to have a picnic, or even just to admire the beautiful natural scenery.
If you enjoy a hike, take the 3.5 mile Levee trail! It’s all flat and easy going, just follow the signs on the path and you’re good to go. Keep and ear and an eye out for the wildlife that surrounds and embrace the calm and tranquillity of the trail.
Harry S Truman historic site
The Harry S Truman historic site is one of the best national parks in Missouri for its history and education. The site occupies the whole of 219 North Delaware street, the street where Harry Truman’s home was previously located.
Truman’s home is open for visit, left exactly as it was from the 70s. Explore the interior and discover the depth and history behind Truman’s everyday working and living space. You can also discover the other houses on the street, including the Noland home, which was Truman’s auntie and uncles house.
As well as this, you can visit the Truman farm home, which was where Harry spent his younger years working for his mother. Inside you can explore Truman and his mothers bedrooms, as well as the sitting room, parlour and kitchen. The vast farm grounds are also open for a look around, the place where work was carried out by Truman as a child.
The best national parks in Missouri- further reading.
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