Download GPX file for this article
37.21528-93.29833Full screen dynamic map

From Wikivoyage
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Springfield is the third largest city in the state of Missouri, with a population of more than 168,000, and more than 462,000 (2019) in the metro area. It is also known as the Queen City of the Ozarks, and the birthplace of Route 66. Though it's on a flat plateau, the more picturesque Ozarks are just southeast of the city.

Understand[edit]

Meyer Library with fountains on the MSU campus

The Springfield Missouri Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official information source.

Climate[edit]

The city lies within the boundaries of the humid subtropical region as defined by the Köppen climate classification system. As such it experiences times of exceptional humidity; especially in late summer. According to Forbes magazine's list of "America's Wildest Weather Cities" and the Weather Variety Index, Springfield is the city with the most varied weather in the United States.

Get in[edit]

Map of Springfield (Missouri)

By plane[edit]

By car[edit]

  • Springfield runs along Interstate 44 in southwest Missouri which runs from St. Louis through Springfield on to Tulsa. US Routes 60, 65, and 160 all run through town too. Missouri Highway 13 is another main road.

By bus[edit]

  • Greyhound has regular service running up and down I44. Buses typically transfer in Tulsa for onward service to Dallas & Austin.

By taxi[edit]

  • Yellow Taxi is the primary taxi service in Springfield, though others do exist.

Get around[edit]

Just about everyone drives, but because Springfield is so flat, bicycling or walking are good options.

Districts[edit]

  • Downtown -- A busy professional atmosphere by day, and vibrant nightlife to follow. This area is an entertainment hub. Coffeehouses, theaters, bars, restaurants, shops, parks, fountains, and nightclubs are abundant. Stop by the Square and see the location where Wild Bill Hickok shot Dave Tutt.
  • Commercial Street -- This Historic District features coffee houses, thrift stores and renovated loft space. Many regard this area of town as the most interesting up-and-coming area of town. Stop in at Lindberg's for a beer.
  • MSU campus -- Not the most bohemian college in the country, yet the area has a youthful energy and vitality to it.

See[edit]

  • 1 Fantastic Caverns, 4872 N Farm Rd 125, +1 417 833 2010. Daily 8AM-7PM. Springfield's most popular attraction is the only cave in which you ride in a tour vehicle, rather than walk. Fantastic Caverns (Q5434180) on Wikidata Fantastic Caverns on Wikipedia
  • 2 The Dickerson Park Zoo, 3043 North Fort, +1 417 864 1800. Daily 9AM-5PM. Home to 450 animals representing 160 species. It is located northeast of the intersection of I-44 and Missouri Hwy. 13. Dickerson Park Zoo (Q5273643) on Wikidata Dickerson Park Zoo on Wikipedia
  • 3 Wilson's Creek National Battlefield, 6424 W Farm Rd 182, +1 417 732 2662 ext 227. Daily 7AM-9PM except national holidays. Wilson's Creek was the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River. The bloody Southern victory on August 10, 1861, focused greater national attention on the war in Missouri. The nearly pristine landscape allows visitors to experience one of the best-preserved battlefields in the nation. A 4.9-mile paved tour road provides a self-guided auto tour. There are eight interpretive stops at significant battle-related locations. There are five walking trails off the tour road, varying in length from 1/4 to 3/4 of a mile. A 7-mile trail system for horseback riding and hiking is accessible from the tour road. $5/adult or $10/car. Wilson's Creek National Battlefield (Q8022913) on Wikidata Wilson's Creek National Battlefield on Wikipedia

Museums[edit]

  • 4 Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium, 500 W Sunshine St, toll-free: +1 888 222 6060, . M-Th 10AM-5PM, F 10AM-7PM, Sa 9AM-7PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Sprawling conservation-focused complex featuring wildlife exhibits & an aquarium with huge tanks. Connected to Bass Pro Shops. Annual Membership (unlimited visits for a year): $50 child, $75 adult. Ozark Adventure (three attraction combo): $30 child, $60 adult. General Admission (single day admission): $19.95 child, $37.95+ adult. Just For Neighbors (local resident ticket): $17.95 child, $32.95 adult. Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium (Q8031923) on Wikidata Wonders of Wildlife Museum & Aquarium on Wikipedia
  • 5 Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, toll-free: +1 800 498 5678. M-Sa 10AM-4PM, Su noon-4PM. Adults $5, seniors (55+) $4, children (6-15) & students, $3. Missouri Sports Hall of Fame (Q6879711) on Wikidata Missouri Sports Hall of Fame on Wikipedia
  • 6 History Museum on the Square, 154 Park Central Square, +1 417 831-1976. W-Sa 10AM-5PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Local lore.
  • 7 Route 66 Car Museum, 1634 W College St, +1 417 861-8004. Daily 9AM-5PM. Very nostalgic.
  • 8 Springfield Art Museum, 1111 E Brookside Dr, +1 417 837-5700. Tu-Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 1PM-5PM. Proof that Springfield doesn't have to be a cultural desert. Free.
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
Fantastic Caverns

Do[edit]

A fountain in downtown Springfield
  • 1 Discovery Center, 438 E St. Louis St, +1 417 862 9910, . Daily 10AM-2PM, 3PM-7PM (closed from 2-3 PM for deep cleaning during pandemic). Closed on most holidays. This is one of Springfield's greatest attributes. Great for kids and adults. The newest building even has a place where your can bicycle across a tightrope. This is also Springfield's first "green" building. $12 adult, $8 child; tickets must be purchased in advance due to the pandemic. Discovery Center of Springfield (Q5281880) on Wikidata Discovery Center of Springfield on Wikipedia
  • 2 Springfield Cardinals Baseball, 955 East Trafficway, +1 417 863 0395. The Springfield Cardinals, a AA minor league baseball team, plays at Hammons Field in downtown Springfield. $6-47.
  • 3 1984, 400 East Walnut Street (1984 is across from the downtown YMCA on Jefferson Avenue in Downtown Springfield, Missouri. From National, go west on Walnut, turn south on Jefferson (it's a one way street!) and is immediately on the left-hand side of the road.), +1 417 831 3665. W-Sa 4-11PM. A vintage video arcade containing many classic games from the 1970s and 1980s, including Asteroids, Deluxe Asteroids, Gravitar, Tempest, BattleZone, Space Invaders, Ms. Pac Man, Centipede, Tron, Pole Position, Vindicators, P.O.W.s, Golden Axe, and even Pong. Single admission price at the door grants unlimited play for as long as the arcade is open. $7 at door for unlimited play.
  • 4 Hollywood Theaters, 415 W. College St, toll-free: +1 844 462 7342. Offers most of the latest movies released.
  • 5 Alamo Drafthouse, 4005 South Ave. Has most of the latest movie releases, as well as a large selection of food and drinks.
  • Springfield 8. With all the latest movies it is located near Battlefield and hwy. 65.
  • 6 Jordan Valley Ice Park, 635 E Trafficway St. Daily Noon-10:30PM. Mediacom Ice Park (Q6806008) on Wikidata Mediacom Ice Park on Wikipedia
  • 7 Back Rubbzz Massage Therapy, 1649 South Enterprise, +1 417 886-4826. M-F 10:30AM-5:30PM, Sa 10AM-3PM, Su closed. While not a full spa, Back Rubbzz offers relaxation and therapeutic massages at reasonable rates. Their staff is friendly and personable, and the atmosphere is relaxing. First-time clients are eligible for a "Welcome Massage", 60 minutes for just $39.95.
  • 8 Sky Zone Springfield.
  • Moxie Cinema (305 S Campbell Ave #101), +1 417 429 0800. Springfield's only independent movie theater. They show first-run documentaries, foreign films, and other independents that typically don't make it to smaller markets such as Springfield. They serve beer and wine as well.

Parks[edit]

Buy[edit]

There are many shopping centers located throughout the city with everything from Best Buy to Shoe Carnival to Marshall's.

  • Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, 1935 S. Campbell, +1 417-887-7334. Su 9AM-7PM, M-Sa 8AM-9PM. The first and largest of a chain known for its large, wilderness-themed stores & wide array of hunting, fishing & outdoor gear.
  • 1 Battlefield Mall, +1 417 883-4111. JCPenney, Macy's, Dillards, Sears, and many more. Battlefield Mall (Q4873111) on Wikidata Battlefield Mall on Wikipedia
  • Redeemed Music and Books (RMB), 4140 South National (northeast corner of National and Republic Road), +1 417 877-9294. M-Sa 10AM-7PM, W 10AM-6PM, Su closed. Great used book store if you are looking to buy, sell, or trade Christian-themed material. Largest selection of used homeschool products in the area. For those not looking for Christian-themed books or music, they also offer one of the best collections of classic literature and philosophy of the second-hand shops in town. Books are priced half of retail (exception for collectibles or antiques), and they offer 50% of their price for trade or 25% for cash. They also have a 40% off sale in February and August.

Eat[edit]

Missouri does not have statewide legislation banning cigarette smoking in restaurants. However, the Springfield City Council has banned smoking in all restaurants inside city limits.

A popular local dish is "cashew chicken", a pseudo-Chinese dish found at all Chinese restaurants in Springfield. The dish is fried chicken pieces served on fried rice and covered with an oyster sauce. The dish is then garnished with green onions and cashews. Chinese restaurants are quite plentiful in Springfield because of the popularity of the dish. (However, most southwest Missouri Chinese restaurants' cuisine has been adapted to the Ozarkian palate, featuring sweeter, thicker sauces than West Coast Chinese restaurants. Natives of the West Coast, or of China itself, may be in for a rude awakening.) If you want local food, there are several restaurants.

  • Mexican Villa, 2755 S Campbell Ave, +1 417 883 1040. Su-Th 11AM-9PM, F Sa 11AM-10PM. Some believe it is the best Mexican food in town, although others think it's the worst. The burrito enchilada style (the house specialty), tortillas, and hot sauce are all highly recommended. They have a very popular sweet salsa that is oddly good. Tastes a lot like a thinned out Chinese duck sauce.
  • Tea Bar & Bites Cafe, 621 S Pickwick Ave, +1 417 866 7500. M-Sa 8:30AM-4PM, Su 10AM-3PM. One of the most unique restaurants, serving fresh food with a Mediterranean twist. Great outdoor patio, too.
  • Gailey's Breakfast Cafe, 220 E Walnut St, +1 417 866 5500. Good specials and great fruit-yogurt-granola bowl.
  • Maria's Mexican Restaurant, 406 South Ave, +1 417-831-9339. Little pseudo Mexican cafe downtown. Preppy drunk college atmosphere, but OK food.
  • Casper's, 601 W Walnut St, +1 417 866 9750. M-Sa 10:30AM-2PM. Burgers, chili & other comfort eats served in this snug diner with offbeat, artsy decor.
  • Amigo's, 2118 S Campbell Ave. Authentic Mexican food - family owned and operated.
  • Buckingham Smokehouse Bar BQ, 2002 S Campbell Ave. The loaded smoked sweet potato may change your life multiple locations
  • Lambert's Café, 1800 W State Hwy J, Ozark. A large comfort food restaurant in nearby Ozark where their locally famous rolls are thrown at your face instead of given to you. Somewhat pricy but an essential for first-time visitor's.
  • Hong Kong Inn . Springfield is famous for its cashew chicken, which is best at this small local chain.
  • W.F. Cody, 3138 E Sunshine St. Greasy spoon gastropub type of place.
  • Gilardi's, 820 E Walnut St. Good wine list, great eggplant pasta.
  • Harruno, 3044 S Fremont Ave. Sushi and other Japanese food.
  • Ocean Zen, 4117 S National Ave. Seafood and they also have good steaks.
  • Avanzare, 1908 S Glenstone Ave. Higher-end Italian food.
  • Nakato, 2615 S Glenstone Ave. The best hibachi in town.
  • Incredible Pizza Company, 2850 S Campbell Ave. Full service buffet, movies, and games.
  • The Tower Club, 901 E St Louis St (on the 21st and 22nd floors of Hammons Tower, St. Louis and John Q Hammons Pkwy), +1 417 522-1144, . Available to rent for meetings, weddings, reunions and any other special event needs you may have. It boasts spectacular panoramic views of Springfield.
  • Crosstown Barbecue, 1331 E Division St, +1 417 862 4646. Longtime, unassuming restaurant providing generous plates of BBQ & comfort eats in a casual setting.
  • Cielito Lindo, 3530 S Campbell Ave, +1417 886 7676. The closest thing to "real" Mexican food in Springfield.

Drink[edit]

If you are looking for a good cup of coffee, the Mudhouse would make a great choice. It has a great selection of both hot and frozen drinks and has monthly art exhibits. It is downtown on South Street, one block south of the square. You will find that a lot of college kids hang out there (many of them with laptops due to the free Wi-Fi access), but it has a quiet atmosphere nonetheless. A good place to get a cup of coffee, read a book, or find an interesting person to talk to.

There is also a few chain smoothie stores around town.

The downtown area still has some funky dive bars despite the ongoing gentrification of the area. Expect cheap beers and girls of dubious repute.

  • The Springfield Brewing Co (BrewCo (for short)). A pretty good local microbrewery located downtown. In addition to various ales and lagers they have decent pub food. Hosts bands oftentimes at night.
  • Mudhouse. Downtown coffee shop
  • Kingdom Coffee, 211 S Market, Suite 10. Downtown coffee shop.
  • The Coffee Ethic, 124 Park Central Square. Downtown coffee shop.
  • Dancing Mule, 1945 South Glenstone, +1 417 883-5114. Coffee shop a few blocks north of Battlefield Mall on Glenstone. Features a wide variety of hot and cold drinks as well as smoothies and pasties. They have a drive-thru for those in a hurry. They also sell coffee by the pound. Only negative is that the shop is small so seating is limited.
  • Pappy's Place, 943 N. Main St. (two blocks north of Chestnut Expressway), +1 417 866-8744. lunch. Pappy's Place is a barbecue bar and grill that oozes local flavor. It's been in business since 1971. Look for the Welsh rugby jerseys on the walls along with other historic memorabilia, but it is a dark shotgun bar. Good food and low prices.
  • The Potter's House, 724 S. National (across the street from MSU). Semester hours: Tu-Th 3PM-midnight, F Sa 7PM-midnight. The Potter's House serves a variety of coffee drinks, smoothies, and teas. They also feature homemade cookies and brownies. In December 2011, it was voted Ultimate Coffeehouse in Springfield by MSU students. Comfortable place to meet friends, drink coffee, and play games. college student budget.

Sleep[edit]

Most of the city's more affordable motels and hotels are located near the intersection of Glenstone and Kearney, not far from the I-44 exit. There is also many chain hotels and motels throughout the city.

Connect[edit]

Take a small detour off Route 66 and head west on I-70 until you reach Kansas City.

Go next[edit]

  • Branson A family-friendly Las Vegas with lots of live stage shows, two amusement parks, and more.
  • Buffalo National River in Arkansas is an untarnished, free-flowing river that is perfect for boating and fishing.
  • Joplin A quirky Ozark town west on I-44.
  • Lebanon and Rolla are both east on I-44.
Routes through Springfield
JoplinHalltown  W I-44.svg E  MarshfieldSt. Louis
VinitaAurora  W US 60.svg E  Mountain ViewSikeston
SedaliaBuffalo  N US 65.svg S  BransonLittle Rock
JoplinHalltown  W US 66 (historic).svg E  MarshfieldSt. Louis


This city travel guide to Springfield is a usable article. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page.