Best Fall Getaways in Missouri

by | Sep 9, 2018 | Ask CMS Homes | 0 comments


Summer may be the most popular time to take a vacation, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only time. Fall can be a wonderful time to explore new places, and there are plenty of places in Missouri to get the most out of the autumn season. Whether it’s a family trip or a romantic weekend getaway, here are some of the best fall getaways in Missouri.

Elephant Rocks State Park

Really, any state park in Missouri will offer a lovely view of fall foliage, but Elephant Rocks State Park has the added majesty of huge granite boulders in contrast to the nearby trees. Located on Route 21 near Belleview, the park is named for the rocks that “stand end-to-end like a train of circus elephants.” There is a self-guided walking trail, the Braille Trail, picnic sites and plenty of history to soak in while basking in the kaleidoscope of fall colors. If you want to keep going, Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is less than 30 minutes down the road near Lesterville, offering more beautiful views.

50 Miles of Art

If you’re looking for something artsy, block off the first weekend in November for the 50 Miles of Art studio tour. From Nov. 3-4, three communities along a 50-mile stretch of Route 79 — Clarksville, Hannibal and Louisiana — will showcase the artists live and create there. More than 40 artists participate in the showcase, and the route follows the Mississippi River, providing beautiful views along the way. A full schedule is available here.

River of Life Farm

Who says tree houses are just for kids? At River of Life Farm, you can stay in tree houses on stilts, offering prime views of the North Fork of the White River and Missouri Ozarks. Located in the Wild Trout Management area in southern Missouri, River of Life Farm offers fly fishing, bird watching, star gazing, hiking or simply a cozy cabin getaway.

St. Louis

For a more urban fall experience, visit Missouri’s second-largest city. Ride to the top of the Gateway Arch for beautiful views of the city and the Mississippi River. Take a stroll through the Missouri Botanical Garden, the nation’s oldest botanical garden, which has 79 acres including Japanese strolling garden and rare orchids. Citygarden and Forest Park offer more views of fall foliage (be sure to check out the Jewel Box display greenhouse within Forest Park), and Tower Grove Park offers a little bit of history along with its wooded Victorian charm. For more ideas, check out Explore St. Louis here.

Take a Steamboat Ride

See the countryside the way Mark Twain did on a Mississippi River cruise. Paddlewheel steamboat cruises are available from companies like American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines, generally for 9-11 days. Themed voyages, city stay packages and other options are available.


Known as an entertainment destination, Branson boasts some impressive fall fare, as well. Watch the Ozarks change colors at the 165 Scenic Overlook, or the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area. Walk through one of the area’s nature trails, like the Lakeside Wilderness Hiking Trail. Or take a train ride on the Branson Scenic Railway, a 40-mile trip through Ozark foothills. For the adventurous souls, try the Branson Zipline for sweeping views of fall colors.

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