Springfield, Missouri: Hidden Treasures and Fine Foods

Photo Credit: Heather Crowcroft
Photo Credit: Heather Crowcroft

A couple of months back, my parents and I decided to use up some vacation time to do a little traveling and kick back. The planning process of where to go actually took longer than the actual drive to our destination. Our decision: Springfield, Missouri.

We did not do a whole lot on this “long weekend,” but enough to say we did some sightseeing. Below are some of the places we went to and some restaurants that we definitely enjoyed while down there.

Our first full day in Missouri, took us on a drive down to Branson. The southern charm of the rolling hills of the country set the mood for our day trip. We enjoyed the lovely outlet malls that the bustling tourist town offered. Next stop, the Titanic Museum. Years ago, we had visited this exhibit when it made a stop in Chicago. The Branson location is a permanent attraction, and it is definitely a must-see if you are in the area! As soon as you enter, you are given a card about a passenger on this ship- whether or not that individual survived that tragic wreck, you will only find out at the end of the tour. The audio for each area of the ship gives a lot of information, the artifacts lures you into a window of what it was like back when.

Branson Landing! Another must-see! This shopping center is like a town within a town. The shops are down a narrow street, while meeting in the middle to a large fountain. This fountain at the top of the hour plays music from rock to country, synchronized with the fountain and even fire spouts. Try to get there early for a spot; it is definitely an attraction!

Braum’s has THE BEST ice cream and milkshakes that I think I have had in a long time. I believe this is a chain in Missouri, since I have never seen any in the state I live in. Their meals are also really good and the portions are decent sized. There is even a drive-thru provided, and little grocery store if you wish to pick up a quart of your favorite flavor.

Another hidden gem that I have found in Springfield, Missouri is Jimm’s Steakhouse and Pub. No need for any explanation- just check it out!

FD’s Grillhouse is located south of Springfield off the interstate. The building has both a modern exterior and interior. While the way the restaurant is laid out, it tends to get a bit loud from time to time. The meals are largely portioned as well. I had the full rack of Baby Back Ribs with a salad, fries, and corn. I made the decision to get a full rack when the server told me there weren’t many bones on the plate for a half rack. I now know why: LOTS of pork on those bones. The meal was really, really good, and I hope to be back in the future. I would give this five stars just on the food!

If you want amazing peach cobbler? Check out Bass Pro Shop’s White River Fish House, located on the Branson Landing in Branson, Mo. This lovely restaurant is along the river of the Landing, which also sets the mood whilst you eat. The catfish dinner is fantastic, the cornbread is unique and tasty!

The best part, in my opinion, of this trip is the Pythian Castle. This castle has been used for multiple reasons throughout the history of the city. The building was used as a POW camp back in World War II, an orphanage, a women’s doctor’s office, and now a place for events and ghost tours. My parents and I had reserved spots on the night ghost tour of the Pythian Castle. It was fantastic! We got to learn the history of the castle whilst being able to “investigate” the paranormal activity that had been reported in the building. That was probably the most exhilarating and interesting moment on our trip. The not knowing what will happen, the suspense of what would be peeking around the corner, the unknown. I like to keep an open mind on things like that, but I would be willing to go back to see if anything would happen to me on the tour (since this has been reported before from other tourists).

The Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks– this hidden gem is neatly tucked into a row of strip malls, but is also a really interesting piece of history. The museum provides a range of items stretching back to World War I. It is always great to step back and remember what our service men and women did and went through for our country and to the aid of others.

I wasn’t entirely sure on how everything would pan out down in southern Missouri, but I really enjoyed myself. There seems to be so much more hidden throughout the Springfield/Branson area, and I can’t wait to go back in the future.

Until then, see you next time!

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