From water adventures at Lake of the Ozarks to toe-tapping music in Branson, the “Show Me State” has something unforgettable to offer everyone. When you take a trip to Missouri, you can look forward to catching a bird’s-eye view of St. Louis from the famed Arch, or immersing yourself in the wine country of Hermann. Staying at a Missouri vacation rental puts you in the heart of the Midwest, which is packed with an abundance of entertainment options. Consider these incredible cities when planning your next weekend getaway.

1. Wine and Dine in Hermann

hermann missouri
Source: Flickr/robertstinnett

A vacation rental in Gasconade County puts you right in the heart of Missouri’s wine country. Spend a weekend touring the grounds of the Oak Glenn Vineyard and Winery or sampling the popular wines at Stone Hill Winery. Continue your journey through the Hermann Wine Trail to explore the best of the Midwest, or set your sights on the historical buildings of this German town, such as the parks and gardens at the Deutschheim State Historic Site or Historic Hermann Museum. When hunger strikes, stop in for some German fare at Hermann Wurst Haus or Vintage Restaurant.

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2. Enjoy Live Music in Branson

Dixie Stampede Branson
Source: Flickr/Jeff Weese

Enjoy a weekend splashing around at White Water Branson or exploring the caves when making Branson your vacation destination. Branson brings country music to the Midwest with toe-tapping live performances at the Hamner Barber Theater and Dixie Stampede. Family-friendly attractions such as Silver Dollar City give the kids a chance to step on board rollercoasters or see reenactments of the Wild West. When visiting during the colder months, occupy the family with tours of the Titanic Museum or Ripley’s Believe it or Not; in the warmer months, take a refreshing dip in Tablerock Lake.

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3. Feast on Entertainment and Barbecue in Kansas City

Kansas City Missouri
Source: Flickr/Stuart Seeger

Fun is around every corner when opting for a vacation rental in Kansas City, home of the Worlds of Fun theme park. Ride the roller coasters for the day before feasting on some of the best barbecue in the Midwest at Arthur Bryant’s or Jack Stack Barbecue. The city appeals to art enthusiasts, with attractions such as the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Take the kids to the Kansas City Zoo to see lions, tigers, and bears, or treat that special someone to some night life in the Light District.

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4. Make a Splash in Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks
Source: Flickr/Jason Wolff

Excite the thrill seekers in your family with a weekend getaway to Lake of the Ozarks, where you can spend your days boating, kayaking, or parasailing right from your lakefront vacation rental. Sign up for a guided tour of the lake with Iguana Watersports, and stop for some fresh seafood and American cuisine at lakefront restaurants, such as the Horny Toad, JB Hooks, or Baxter’s Lakeside Grille. During the summer, take a stroll on the Bagnell Dam strip to play skeeball or putt putt at Sugar Creek Mini Golf, and stop in at Stewart’s Cafe for a giant cinnamon roll to satisfy your sweet tooth.

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5. Take Your Weekend to a Higher Level in St. Louis

St Louis Arch
Source: Flickr/Rian Castillo

When vacationing in the Show-Me State, a visit to St. Louis is a must, especially when you can see what the city has to offer from the top of the Arch. Tour the Arch museum and ride up to the top to the observation area to look out over the Mississippi River. St. Louis offers something for nature enthusiasts, too, with special events each weekend at the Missouri Botanical Gardens and more than 1,200 acres to explore at Forest Park. Check out the summer showcase series at The Muny for an evening of theatrical excellence, or head to the Soulard area for a cocktail at Molly’s or Hammerstone’s. Make a stop at the Anheuser Busch Brewery near downtown St. Louis before departing to see the Clydesdale, and learn a few things about the brews in a Beer School workshop.

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6. Explore History in Hannibal

Hannibal Missouri Mark Twain
Source: Flickr/CMFrango

Delight the history buffs in your crew by reserving a vacation rental near the childhood home of Mark Twain. This historic city offers attractions such as the Mark Twain Cave and Cameron Cave, which you can explore in spring, summer, and fall, and the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse, open year-round for viewing. If your kids are entranced by trains, head over to the Big River Train Town Museum and Show to see model trains and purchase a few accessories for your own collection. Enjoy quality time with your partner on the Mark Twain Riverboat Cruise, and sail along the mighty Mississippi River.

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7. Stroll the Streets of St. Charles

St Charles rail station
Source: Flickr/bk1bennett

Located just 30 miles outside of St. Louis, St. Charles offers tourists a taste of a small town right outside the big city. Stroll along the cobblestones of Main Street to shop for antiques in the Historic District, or head over to the Historic Frenchtown District to shop for glassware and authentic furniture. Try your luck at the Ameristar Casino right on the riverfront before feasting on barbecue at the Sugarfire Smoke House or steaks and seafood at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill. History buffs also enjoy exploring the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center, located in downtown St. Charles.

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8. Tour the Museums in Columbia

Twin Lakes Columbia
Source: Flickr/Heath Cajandig

Make your weekend getaway educational with a trip to Columbia, home of the University of Missouri’s main campus. Columbia features a variety of museums for you to explore, such as the Museum of Art and Archaeology, or the Museum of Anthropology. Get out and about with a hike through Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, or stroll along the lakefront boardwalk of Stephens Lake Park. This college town offers plenty of nightlife. Stop in Club Vogue for happy hour or Room 38 Restaurant & Lounge if you like the busy bar scene.

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