Whether you have a case of the post-holiday blues or just need a relaxing break following the holiday hoopla, winter is a great time to plan a short getaway in the Show-Me State. Adding just an extra day to a normal weekend is sufficient time to lift your spirits, soothe your soul and burn off some energy.
This is the perfect opportunity to celebrate America’s symbol, the bald eagle, along the Mississippi River at Clarksville. The town holds its annual Eagle Days celebration later in the month, making this the time to observe the majestic birds at your leisure, in the quaint little town that the World Bird Sanctuary in St. Louis calls “the eagle viewing capital of the United States.” Their riverfront attracts huge numbers of birds, drawn by the easy fishing by Lock and Dam #24 on the Mississippi.
Once you’ve had your fill of the birds (or the cold!), relax with a little antiquing along the Great River Road in Clarksville, Louisiana, and Hannibal.
Top off your weekend escape with a night at Overlook Farm Bed and Breakfast in Clarksville and enjoy their unique combination of elegance and serenity.
If you have kids along, the City Museum in St. Louis is a must-stop: it’s the perfect spot for kids of all ages to work off a little cabin fever (or holiday indulgences!).
For a truly wild experience, arrange for the family to participate in a Campfire Wolf Howl at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka. And if you want to see the wolves as well, check out their daytime PredaTours (weekends only).
The western side of the state has just as much to offer for a long weekend adventure. Start with a little outdoor time at Squaw Creek National Wildlife Sanctuary near Mound City. You may spot wintering bald eagles, a variety of waterfowl, and perhaps even the breathtaking Trumpeter Swan.
When it comes to kid-friendly fun, you just can’t beat Legoland Discovery Center at Crown Center in Kansas City, but if you’ve got a young artist in the family, also be sure to explore Kaleidoscope for a few hours of color, glue and glitter.
For the sports-minded, there’s the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the College Basketball Experience.
Down south, a night spent at Grand Country Inn in Branson offers the gamut of family fun, including a waterpark, laser tag and mini-golf. Springfield’s Fantastic Caverns’ drive-thru’ tram tour is a great way to dodge the winter weather outside.
If a couples’ retreat is part of your long weekend planning, treat yourself to the luxury of the Hotel Vandivort, Springfield’s first upscale urban boutique hotel. You’ll love the lobby (known as Springfield’s Living Room), and don’t miss getting a selfie in the public restroom (seriously, everyone does it; the lighting is amazing).
The options are endless when you have a long winter weekend in front of you, and the whole of the Show-Me State to explore.