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Springfield, MO

Getting to Know Springfield, MO

Known as the Birthplace of Route 66 and home to Missouri State University, Springfield, MO, is a vibrant college town encompassed by the natural beauty of the Ozarks.


Did You Know?
A hometown favorite since its creation in 1963, Cashew Chicken has become synonymous with Springfield. You can find variations on the Asian fried chicken dish at more than 70 Chinese restaurants, in local diners and even in the cafeteria at Springfield schools.


Springfield Neighborhoods
College students and singles tend to flock to Center City for its proximity to the entertainment district of downtown Springfield. The Oak Grove neighborhood is a great choice for young families because of its proximity to downtown Springfield, inviting parks and schools such as Pittman Elementary.


Free Things to Do in Springfield
From strolls through picturesque botanical gardens to joy rides on Route 66, Springfield offers a variety of entertainment for all ages. Check out our top picks for the best free things to do in Springfield:

  • Springfield Art Museum: This museum displays more than 10,000 permanent works, with a focus on 18th-century American art.
  • Springfield Conservation Nature Center: Explore the natural beauty of Springfield by following the self-guided displays, or enjoy three miles of scenic hiking trails.
  • Springfield Botanical Gardens: Stroll through a 7.5-acre Japanese Garden and dozens of other themed gardens at this outdoor sanctuary. Don't miss the butterfly house!
  • Route 66 Springfield Visitor Center: At this educational visitor center, you can plan out your must-sees for a cruise along Route 66.
  • Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park: Visit this 207-acre farm park that celebrates the area's agricultural history with an animal barn, demonstration crops, gardens, playgrounds and more.


Springfield for Families with Kids
Be sure to take the kids to Discovery Center, an interactive science museum with hands-on displays like the hair-raising Van de Graaff generator. Springfield is backed by an excellent school system, with standouts like Bingham Elementary School and Central High School drawing families to neighborhoods like Bingham and West Central.


Beach Getaways from Springfield
Drive just an hour south to reach Table Rock State Park, where you'll find clear lakes and campgrounds, perfect for an overnight trip. Fugitive Beach, less than two hours from Springfield, is a quarry that boasts a 60-foot waterslide, a white- sand beach and 20-foot cliffs for hair-raising leaps.