Southwest Missouri is a beautiful area that often is overshadowed by the ever-growing Northwest Arkansas area. There are so many unique places to explore. Whether you are looking for something adventurous near your new home, a good meal, or a road trip oddity, you are sure to find a destination on this list that fits your needs. Keep reading to see our ten favorite places to visit, plus many restaurants to try when you are in Southwest Missouri!

Places to Visit

Bluff Dwellers Cave – 163 Cave Rd, Noel, Missouri 64854

If you are an avid cave explorer, Bluff Dwellers is the place for you. This cave is family-friendly and has much to discover. They have several cave tours throughout the day and many activities to do after. Our favorite was panning for local gems and fossils in the cool cave water! They also have a museum filled with gems, minerals, and artifacts from all over the area. Let the kids test their cave skills in the crawl box or find the perfect souvenir in the gift shop.

Roaring River – 12716 Farm Rd 2239, Cassville, MO 65625

Roaring River is a fantastic place to bring your family and friends. There are so many trails and sites to explore that you at least need a whole day or plan to camp overnight. They have a wide variety of hiking trails, interesting rock formations to discover, and several overlooks that give a beautiful view of the whole park. You will see an insane amount of fish in the hatchery area, all in different stages of growth. They also have a gift shop and an information center to learn about the area’s native wildlife and plants. So come play in the creek, do some fishing, go hiking, and make tons of memories at this fun park!

Elk River – 201 Minnow Springs Avenue, Noel, MO 64854

The Elk River is a lovely area to take your family and friends for an exciting camping trip. There are multiple camps along the river, so finding a site fit for you can be done in a pinch. Spend a day relaxing by floating, kayaking, or canoeing down the river. We recommend visiting this area in the off-season or during the week to avoid the significant crowds. You are sure to have a relaxing, nature-filled time whenever you plan to go.

Jolly Mill – 31630 Jolly Mill Dr, Pierce City, MO 65723

This serene park with beautiful views and incredible history is hidden off 60 Hwy in Pierce City, MO. View the old distillery and the watermill that’s still in action next to the giant waterfall. You can play in the creek, explore the old town building, and have a picnic with the family. Be sure to let out your inner child on the farm-inspired playground! This park is off the beaten path, and not many people know about it, so it is a great place to relax, enjoy the scenery, and have a peaceful afternoon. 

George Washington Carver National Monument – 5646 Carver Rd, Diamond, MO 64840

For all of our history lovers, the George Washington Carver National Monument is the place for you. George Washington Carver was born in Diamond, MO, and the homestead he was born in is still there today. He is the man that brought us peanut butter and over 300 other peanut product creations. The national monument has a three-story museum full of crazy facts about peanuts and tons of interactive exhibits. You can also follow the trail that leads to the homestead and a few other historic stops along the path. You will leave this park with a wealth of ‘nutty’ knowledge!

Neosho Fish Hatchery – 520 Park Street, Neosho, MO 64850

Check out the Fish Hatchery in Neosho, MO, and see all kinds of fish! Inside you will find many aquariums and fun facts along the wall. They also have a huge bubble you can climb inside to make it feel like you are in the tank too! Outside they have a trail around the park and many hatchery ponds to discover on your walk. They also have special events for fishing derbies geared towards children, senior citizens, and veterans. Check out their page and register for one of their upcoming events.

Tall Pines Distillery – 3316 Goodin Hollow Rd, Noel, MO 64854

For our 21+ readers, visit Tall Pines Distillery and discover a ‘different class of hillbilly’ as they describe. They currently have thirteen different flavors of moonshine to choose from and have more in the works. We recommend trying the Apple Pie flavored moonshine. It has a little bite with just the right amount of sweetness. Don’t forget to take some pics for the gram! You can visit to taste some of the spirits or book the venue for your next party.

AR-MO-OK Tri-State Marker – MO-43 Sulphur Springs, AR

If you are passing through Southwest City in Missouri, you should make a quick stop here. Stand on the three states of Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma simultaneously. This is a great location to take pictures for social media. Show everyone that you really can be in three places at once!

World’s Largest Small Appliance Museum – 51 HWY 59, Diamond, MO 64840

This little museum is inside JR’s Western Store and will make you feel like a time traveler. They claim to have the world’s largest collection of small appliances, and honestly, we believe it. It is so cool to take a step back in time and see how these appliances started. The progression and changes made to bring us the items we use every day is super interesting. Our favorite items on display were all the crazy variations of waffle irons!!

World’s Largest Flowerbox – North College St, Neosho, MO 64850

Prepared to be wowed at this giant!! You’ve seen flower boxes before, but have you ever seen the world’s largest?? Well, here is your chance! The town of Neosho does a great job of making sure the flowerbox is always beautiful and photoshoot ready. 

Places to eat

Burger Time – 1152 US-71, Pineville, MO 64856

Small town cafés always have super delicious burgers and fries, and Burger Time in Pineville, MO, is no exception to that statement. With indoor and outdoor dining options and chic café décor, this cute little café is a must when you are in the mood for a good burger.

Haven 55 – 408 Havenhurst Dr, Pineville, MO 64856

Haven 55 serves fantastic meals and offers delightful, scenic views of the Elk River. A crossover of fine dining and casual mom-and-pop diner is the perfect way to describe this hidden gem. This is the ideal date night destination with your special someone. 

Mustang Bistro – 216 MO-59, Anderson, MO 64831

If you are ever in Anderson, MO stop by Mustang Bistro for some amazing sandwiches, excellent service, and the best coffee in town! Their menu items are continuously being rotated, so you are sure to find something new and yummy every time you visit.

MoJoe’s – 925 S Neosho Blvd, Neosho, MO 64850

This cute café off the Neosho Boulevard is a great place to eat when you are passing through. They have tons of flavors for their crispy chicken wings; our personal pick is the mild buffalo sauce. They also have amazing wraps and some of the best appetizers in town. If you aren’t hungry or are in the mood for something sweet, check out their coffee and tea selection and try one of their yummy baked goods.

JJ’s Restaurant – 205 N Main St, Granby, MO 64844

Step into a fun and soulful time capsule when dining at JJ’s. This lovely family-owned dinner is decorated with an array of memorabilia from the past decades and an aesthetic ice cream bar. There are arcade games upstairs too! You won’t regret eating here; everything on the menu is delicious. 

Here are a few other places to check out: 

Corner Café – 101 N Main St, Southwest City, MO 64863

Sam’s Cellar – 101 N Wood St, Neosho, MO 64850

Mary Deans Café -18 Cedar St, Anderson, MO 64831

Cliffside Café – 501 N Cliffside Dr, Noel, MO 64854

The Cave Bar & Grill – 12386 MO-59, Noel, MO 64854

The next time you are in the area, check out some of these incredible places! If you are considering buying a home in Southwest Missouri, check out our homes for sale and find an agent with expertise in the area. We have several listings in the area and many agents who have extensive experience in the Southwest Missouri region.