Known as the “Show Me” state, Missouri is well known for the Arch in St. Louis and the Silver Dollar City in Branson. However, beyond these more conventional spots, there are other more unique travel destinations for company retreats within this beloved state. These lesser-known spots present a great opportunity for your next company retreat to this Midwestern state. Read on to learn more:
Devil’s Icebox: Columbia
The Devil’s Icebox is a 125-long natural tunnel located in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Within this park, you will find some of the best examples of forests, restored grasslands, streams, and karst topography in the entire state. The Devil’s Icebox itself is a double sinkhole that provides a view of the underground stream with cool, refreshing air, hence its name.
The Devil’s Icebox Cave is entirely mapped out and spans a distance of 6.5 miles. The spacious caves are home to various animals like gray bats. Guests can usually opt for cave tours to explore this interesting area but right now the tours are suspended to protect the bats that call Devil’s Icebox Cave home.
City Museum: St. Louis
This artist-built playground— housed in an old shoe factory in downtown St. Louis— is always-thrilling and ever-evolving presenting plenty of weirdly wonderful places to explore. This unique stop was created by classically trained and internationally acclaimed sculptors of Gail and Bob Cassilly. They fashioned the City Museum using all sorts of wonderful and odd things that get left behind in the city. Guests are encouraged to get lost in the twists, turns, tunnels, and slides that make up this unique and lesser-known travel destination.
Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins: Camdenton
Dubbed the location where nature and history come together, Ha Ha Tonka State Park presents a geologic wonderland with caves, natural bridges, sinkholes, bluffs, and the state’s 12th-largest stream.
The turn of the century Ha Ha Tonka Castle Ruins overlook all these natural wonders and offer impressive views of Ha Ha Tonka Spring and the Lake of the Ozarks. Guests can easily navigate all the park has to offer via a series of boardwalks and trails. Picnic sites and the open rocky glades only add to the area’s appeal.
Elephant Rocks State Park: Iron Township
Named due to the elephant-shaped boulders that call it home, Elephant Rocks State Park is an unusual park located in the southeast part of Missouri. These boulders and rocks were formed from 1.5 billion-year-old granite and are seemingly lined up, standing end-to-end like a circus elephant train. The Braille Trail is the easiest way to access the rocks that entice history buffs, intrigue geologists, and fascinate children.
The Pinnacles: Sturgeon
Situated in northern Missouri, the Pinnacles are an Ozarkian geologic formation that has been formed throughout millennia. Over time, the strongly sinuous Silver Fork Creeks and Rocky Fork Creeks have shaped these rock formations, creating the unique display seen today.
The Pinnacles formations are full of fossilized remains of ancient sea creatures within its Burlington limestone bedrock that tell the story of its shallow sea origin from over 250 million years ago. Spend some time seeing what treasures you can find seemingly hidden among the stones and imagine what the area would have looked like millions of years prior when it was but a seabed.
Laura Ingles Wilder Historic Home and Museum: Mansfield
The Laura Ingalls Wilder Home and Museum at Rocky Ridge Farm was founded for the purpose of inspiring curiosity in and learning about the American pioneer experience through the life and literature of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Guests to the property enjoy an engaging, authentic experience that is designed to preserve, protect and care for the collection of historic buildings and landscapes on site.
Throughout this historic property, guests will discover various “chapters” of Laura’s life that signify events that ultimately led to her honing her writing skills and eventually inspired her to write the now beloved Little House books. These stories, of course, were perhaps made most famous by the Little House on the Prairie TV series that was based on Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House books.
Guests can visit the museum at any time, but occasionally there are also special events hosted on the property that adds to the experience making it even more enjoyable. For example, the Wilder Days are an annual celebration of Laura Ingels Wilder, America’s favorite pioneer girl. During this event, there will be a fiddle contest and more on-site.
Missouri Botanical Garden: St. Louis
As the nation’s oldest botanical garden, the Missouri Botanical Garden was founded in 1859. This garden is a center for science education and botanical research and provides picturesque horticultural displays spanning 79 acres, which include historic architecture, a Japanese strolling garden spanning 14 acres, and one of the most extensive collections of endangered and rare flora in the entire world.
The Botanical Garden, situated within the city of St. Louis has remained a beautiful oasis for the city and has been a source of conservation, saving plants and their ecosystems. The Missouri Botanical Garden’s mission is “to discover and share knowledge about plants and their environments in order to preserve and enrich life.”
Guests can enjoy the property via guided walking tours or private guided walking tours, private tram tours, or more. There are also shops and dining spots on site that allow guests to make an entire day of their visit to this beautiful, peaceful setting.
Whether you stick to the more well-known spots like the Arch, Branson, or others, or opt for some of these lesser-known travel destinations on your company retreat, the state of Missouri offers a great deal of unique and interesting spots to explore. The state is a beautiful piece of Midwest Americana and provides a wealth of opportunities to have fun, learn and simply enjoy a fun team-building adventure. Therefore, consider exploring one or all of the seven unique destinations listed above on your next company retreat.