Oftentimes, it’s difficult with a hectic life to find time to get away for a relaxing vacation. Luckily, central Missouri is filled with things for great day trips. From hiking trails to downtown shopping trips, there’s a day trip out there that matches your personality.
FOR THE NATURE ENTHUSIAST
Central Missouri is a gorgeous area surrounded by hiking paths, caves, and tall limestone rock formations making it a perfect area for residents who enjoy the occasional, or more frequent, outdoor activity. Located in Columbia, there is Rock Bridge Park, which is home to Devil’s Ice Box. Many times, you may find a group of college students excited to explore every crevice of the cave even if that means getting completely soaked in the process. If you prefer not to wade through the cold water, you can still hike along the paths of the park and enjoy the surrounding nature. Not far from Rock Bridge Park is Capen Rock Park. Capen Rock Park is more geared towards those who want to climb up a simple rock formation and look over an edge, but it’s not the best option for a thrill seeker. For those wanting to really tap into their adrenaline, we recommend The Pinnacles near Sturgeon. Now, it’s not going to be adrenaline-filled like skydiving might be, but these rocks require more athletic ability to ensure you don’t fall.
FOR THE CITY LOVER
You may be thinking right now, "Don’t say Jefferson City. I live here. I know everything there is to do." Too bad. Tour Jefferson City for a day, and not in the way that you might go about touring it every day. Spend your day as if you are a tourist and try to see the city through a new set of eyes. Start the day with your favorite espresso drink from Three Story Coffee just down the street from the Capitol. Tour the Capitol building, the museum, and its surrounding memorials. Walk through the Governor’s garden and pose with the Lewis and Clark statues. Pop into the small boutiques as you walk downtown and grab a cone of ice cream from Central Dairy. You may remember why you love Jefferson City again. And then, if you get a chance, grab a show at the Miller Performing Arts Center put on by Jefferson City Public Schools. But if you REALLY want to get away: Try St. Louis for a day of fun at the City Museum and free zoo.
FOR THE SMALL-TOWN ADMIRER
There are many towns with a ton of charm in the surrounding area. But one that is perfect for a day away, and was actually named "One of America’s 10 Coolest Small Towns," is Rocheport. Rocheport is just a short drive from Columbia and is a wine-lover’s paradise. With Les Bourgeois setting up their winery in the area and adding to the Missouri River Wine Tour, Rocheport has become a must stop location for Missouri travelers. It also boasts beautiful bridges with fantastic nature views and small-town festivals that anyone can enjoy. Start your day exploring the small city and enjoying the scenic routes it has to offer and end your day enjoying a nice dinner and glass of wine at the Blufftop Bistro.
There’s a day trip that would make anyone jealous of your travels in Central Missouri. Just don’t forget to be gumby (feel free to mix the plan up and roll with the flow) because that’s when you get the best out of your trip.