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Explore the Park Sites of the Show Me State
Select a park, and start your adventure in Missouri with Best Western hotels.
From the peaks of the Ozark Mountains to the bustling streets of St. Louis – there’s no shortage of dazzling scenery and historical gems spread across Missouri’s landscapes. Missouri's six U.S. National Parks do their part by preserving the culture and beauty of the Show Me State, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors each year.
During your stay, delve into Missouri’s far-reaching U.S. historical roots by visiting Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, or become familiarized with a certain Civil War Union leader by stopping at the Ulysses S. Grant National Historical Site.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg. Choose a park, pack your bags, and dive into discovery in the great state of Missouri.
Celebrate the American Icon
Travel to eastern Missouri and glean new insights into the life and career of Ulysses S. Grant, the 18th U.S. President. The Grant NHS covers nearly 10 acres of well groomed land and historic sites. Visit today!
As you venture through Missouri and make your way to St. Louis, be sure to spend a day exploring the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic Site.
There are many ways to gain insights into Grant's life, whether it be personal, military career, or presidential – but few can match the exceptional level you'll find at the Grant NHS.
You'll find the Ulysses S. Grant NHS southwest of downtown St. Louis, and almost directly south of St. Charles. The site is nestled between State Route 30 and State Route 366 – major highways like Interstate 44 and Interstate 55 also yield easy access to the park.
You can visit and explore the Grant NHS any day of the year, minus major holidays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There are no entry fees at the Grant NHS – feel free to visit and explore. There are, however, tickets required to try some of the guided tours. Those are available at the Grant NHS Visitor Center.
Attractions & Activities
Also known as White Haven, the Ulysses S. Grant NHS is an exceptional and must-see attraction in eastern Missouri. And ideal destination for history buffs, traveling families, and those generally looking to learn more about the 18th U.S. President, this NHS yields full days of fun.
Across the 10 acres of land at the Grant NHS, you'll find monuments, exhibits, historic structures, and plenty of artifacts, all celebrating and memorializing Grant's military career, his time in the White House, and his personal life. You'll find five historic structures at the Grant NHS, including the childhood home of Julia Dent Grant, his wife.
Be sure you tour the Grant NHS Visitor Center, where you'll be treated to an introductory film, can view artifacts from his military career, and purchase tickets for any ranger-led activities.
To see the historic structures across the Grant NHS, you'll walk along a quarter mile trace which guides you through the farm. Throughout the year, you'll find special engagements at the site. Typically held in early May, the Grant Storytelling Festival is a highlight.
Presidential History in Western Missouri
Enjoy an afternoon exploring the Harry S Truman National Historic Site – it's an ideal way to gain insight into the life of the 33rd U.S. President. There's lot of history peppered around Missouri – the Truman Site may just be one of the best.
Designated as an official National Historic Site in 1983, the Harry S Truman Site is found in western Missouri, south of Kansas City and most easily accessed from Interstate 49.
You'll find the Truman Historic Site Visitor Center in the city of Independence – it's open 8:30 am to 5 p.m. daily. The Truman Home features daily tours from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., though there are no available Monday tours from November 1st through Memorial Day.
Different from the Truman Home is the Truman Farm Home – it's located just a bit south in Grandview, but is just one more aspect of the entire Truman NHS. There's an audio tour available at the Truman Farm Home, along with your own self-guided tour.
Attractions & Activities
Plan a visit to western Missouri soon and check out the Harry S Truman National Historic Site – there are few better ways to new insights into the life and presidency of Truman. You'll be guided through Truman's hometown, gain access to his family farm, and see thousands of artifacts across many exhibits at the Truman Home.
Built in 1894, the Truman Family Farm is where Truman himself went to work at the age of 22. He would work on the family farm for 11 years. You can enjoy a pleasant tour of the Truman Family Farm, including access inside the farm house – check out the bedroom above the dining area where Truman slept.
Another significant attraction at the Truman NHS is the Noland Home. This is the location where Truman's cousins, Ethel and Nellie Noland, lived. It's also the site where, in 1910, Truman would meet Bess Wallace, who years later would become Mrs. Bess Truman – First Lady of the United States.
The Noland Home is open for tours, yielding access to well-preserved and beautifully restored rooms inside. You'll find the Noland Home directly across the street from the Truman Home – feel free to enjoy a tour of both in the same afternoon.
Head to southwestern Missouri for a peek at the mystique and history of American icons. Go just a couple miles west of Diamond and make it a point to stop at the George Washington Carver National Monument.
This is the first national monument dedicated to an African-American as well as the first dedicated to a non-president. You’ll get to see the childhood home of George Washington Carver; a botanist and inventor. Explore the one-time residence amid rolling hills, woodlands, and prairies. The 240-park has a ¾ mile nature trail, a museum, and exhibit area so you can learn all about the fascinating past.
Civil War History in Missouri
Explore the site of the Second Major Battle of the Civil War. Southwestern Missouri is home to Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, where you'll embark on tours, auto tours, and interpretive programs.
You'll find Wilson's Creek National Battlefield southwest of downtown Springfield, only minutes from State Route 413 and Interstate 44.
The actual body of water Wilson's Creek flows north and south, almost directly through the middle of this historic battlefield site.
You'll be able to access Wilson's Creek National Battlefield any day of the year, save for major holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
The Wilson's Creek NB Visitor Center is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. There is a nominal entry fee at Wilson's Creek NB, while those guests 16 and younger get in free.
Attractions & Activities
Start your day at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield with a tour of the Visitor Center. You'll find a wealth of excellent things to do and see within.
Don't miss any of the in-depth exhibits pertaining to the Battle of Wilson's Creek, there's a 30-minute film you'll want to watch, and a bookstore where you can acquire maps. Tuesday through Saturday at the Wilson's Creek Visitor Center you can tour the Civil War Research Library.
One of the sites you'll want to tour at Wilson's Creek NB is the Ray House. Owned at the time by John and Roxanna Ray, this house served as a hospital during the Battle of Wilson's Creek. Tours of the Ray House vary by season, so be sure to check on availability at the Visitor Center.
An ideal way to see a majority of the Wilson's Creek National Battlefield is with a drive along the 4.9-mile paved tour road. You'll find eight unique interpretive stops, detailing and highlighting some of the significant areas along the route.
Named after the legendary author, Mark Twain National Forest stretches into parts of 29 different counties in the southern half of eastern Missouri, between Springfield and St. Louis, nearest to Rolla. Governed by the U.S. Forest Service, the park boasts over 1.4 million acres of outdoor adventure opportunities.
Wilderness areas in the park, such as Bell Mountain Wilderness and Devils Backbone Wilderness, give visitors a glimpse at pristine nature, while streams, and rivers, and lakes, including Eleven Point Natural Scenic River and Ripley Lake, provide ample spots for fishing and boating.