17 Best Scenic Drives & Missouri Road Trip Destinations

Scenic drives are Missouri’s specialty. (After all, it is the Show Me State!) So, as you begin planning your family’s next road trip in MO, consider venturing through some of these popular highways and byways. You’ll fill your cloud account with more pictures than you could shake a stick at.

Missouri Scenic Drives

17. Missouri Farmlands Road Trip

Where: Sedalia, MO
Length: 50 miles
Season: Best experienced in spring and autumn
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Take an evening road trip around Sedalia’s gorgeous and tranquil farmlands. Picture-perfect rural landscapes abound, and free-roaming livestock, deer, and other wildlife sightings aren’t rare along the Missouri Farmlands Loop.

16. Wine Country Tour to Portage Des Sioux

Where: Chamois to Portage Des Sioux, MO
Length: 100 miles
Season: Best experienced in spring, summer, and autumn
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Drive east from our Blue Springs Hyundai dealership and take a tour of Missouri’s wine country. Starting in Chamois or Hermann, head toward St. Charles, stopping to sample some Midwest vino along the way. If you need suggestions, try popular places like Stone Hill Winery in Hermann, Montelle Winery in Augusta, and Cedar Lake Cellars in Hickory Grove Township.

15. Lake of the Ozarks Trip

Where: Lake Ozark
Length: 100 miles
Season: Best experienced in summer
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Grab your flip-flops, load up your Hyundai Tucson with a picnic lunch, and check out the Lake of the Ozarks State Park area. This little road trip through the Ozarks, starting near Laurie, is as classy and gorgeous as road trips get.

14. Rolla-Salem Loop

Where: Rolla, MO
Length: 100 miles
Season: Best experienced in the spring and autumn
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Lovely: The perfect adjective to describe this scenic trek through the heart of Missouri. Sandwiched between the Mark Twain National Forest and Ford Leonard, this loop features twisty turn after twisty turn as it runs through historic towns like Salem, cozy areas like Doolittle, and even into Devils Elbow.

13. Glade Top Trail

Where: Mark Twain National Forest to Theodosia, MO
Length: 200 miles
Season: Best experienced in spring and autumn
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After your drive through the scenic Rolla-Salem loop, start another adventure—this time beginning at Mark Twain National Forest. Head south along the Hercules Glades, through Ava, and end in Theodosia. Spring is a particularly lovely time of year to see the trees bloom and hear wild birds chattering.

12. Old Trails Road & Excelsior Springs Junction

Where: Napoleon to Missouri City, MO
Length: 50 miles
Season: Best experienced in spring, summer, and autumn
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Who knew a fairly short afternoon drive could have so many unique sightseeing opportunities? Follow the Missouri River northeast from Napoleon to Lexington, MO, then swing north through Henrietta. Grab a bite to eat, then finish the final leg of the tour westward toward the Cooley Lake Conservation Area and Excelsior Springs.

11. Blue Buck Knob Scenic Byway

Where: Branson to West Plains, MO
Length: 100 miles
Season: Best experienced in spring and autumn
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The Ozark Hills are calling! Take a weekend retreat and experience the breathtaking views along Blue Buck Knob Byway. Stop to fish in Forsyth, camp out near Bradleyville, and check out the Siloam Springs before you turn around and head home.

10. SW Missouri Corner

Where: Southwest City to Roaring River State Park
Length: 60 miles
Season: Best experienced in autumn
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You can’t beat a road trip through Southwest Missouri in the fall. Foliage is astonishingly colorful, which only adds pep to the natural, rural landscape and densely wooded areas. Tight corners are plentiful on this trip, so be sure you’ve got a car with great handling, like a Hyundai Veloster.

9. Meramec Caverns

Where: Meramec Caverns (Sullivan, MO)
Length: 100 miles
Season: Best experienced in summer and early autumn
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Take I-44 to Meramec Caverns for a family-friendly spelunking journey through one of nature’s biggest mysteries. After your tour of Meramec, travel the loop near the northern side of Mark Twain National Forest. Stay at Berryman Campground for the evening, and check out the quaint shops in Huzzah and Butts.

8. Cliff Drive

Where: Kansas City, MO
Length: 3 miles
Season: Best experienced all year long
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Short. Sweet. Simple. A little trip on Cliff Drive should recharge your batteries after a long day of work. Start near Maple Park in Kansas City and follow Cliff Drive through Kessler Park until it becomes Cliff Drive Scenic Byway—that’s where the fun begins. Enjoy one of the most popular sightseeing spots in all of Kansas City!

7. Spirit of Kansas City Scenic Byway

Where: Kansas City
Length: 5 miles
Season: Best experienced all year long
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Pair your trip through Cliff Drive with this 5-mile adventure on the Spirit of Kansas City Scenic Byway. You can even park and walk or bike the entire way, allowing you to stop and experience the National Historic Huron Park Cemetery, Kaw Point, and more historic sites and buildings.

6. Crowley’s Ridge Parkway

Where: Malden, MO, to St Francis, AR
Length: 15 miles
Season: Best experienced in spring and autumn
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The southeast Missouri “Bootheel” is an exceptional destination for bird-watching, camping, sightseeing, and peace and quiet. Crowley’s Ridge Parkway, which is a geological masterpiece that’s rich in Civil War history, runs along MO State RT 25 and down to the Arkansas-Missouri border. Spend a few hours taking it all in.

5. Sugar Camp Scenic Byway

Where: Mark Twain National Forest
Length: 30 miles
Season: Best experienced in spring and autumn
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Explore farmland, miles-long pastures, and super-dense forest. Sugar Camp Scenic Byway is truly a magnificent drive for photographers, videographers, and anyone in need of a tranquil break from social media.

4. Northland–Weston Loop

Where: Weston, MO
Length: 80 miles
Season: Best experienced in summer and autumn
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If you’re looking to get the family out on a beautiful Saturday, try this scenic road trip through Northland, aka Weston, MO. Grab lunch at the Green Dirt Farm Creamery then head east, passing Paradise on your way to the Watkins Woolen Mill State Park.

3. Little Blue Trace Trail

Where: Near Independence, MO
Length: 8 miles
Season: Best experienced in autumn
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We’re lucky our Blue Springs car dealership is near one of our favorite Missouri scenic drives: Little Blue Trace Trail. Situated between us and Independence, MO, Little Blue Parkway runs parallel to Little Blue River (obviously), which is a great spot for anglers. Cross into Burr Oak Woods to finish your trip.

2. Swope Park

Where: Kansas City, MO
Length: 5+ miles
Season: Best experienced in autumn
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Who knew Kansas City had such stunning fall foliage? To end your summer, take a hike or drive on the back roads surrounding Swope Park. Late October is a popular time to visit, as the park becomes an autumn wonderland. For an added adventure, explore Ward Parkway.

1. Sho-Me Santa Fe Trails

Where: Dover to Waverly, MO
Length: 10 miles
Season: Best experienced in spring, summer, and autumn
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Fruit vendors dot the Sho-Me Santa Fe Trail, selling their organic produce and wines to passers-by, tourists, and locals alike. Along the scenic drive, you’ll have chances to explore the hillsides and banks of the Missouri River. And, considering its name, it feels like the perfect area to take your new Hyundai Santa Fe Sport out for a joyride.

What? You don’t have a Santa Fe SUV? Let us help you cross off bucket-list items before summer ends. Visit McCarthy Blue Springs Hyundai at 3000 Northwest South Outer Road for a special price on the Santa Fe or another new Hyundai vehicle. Give us a call at 816-224-7500 to schedule a test drive. (Heck, you can even explore one of these local scenic byways on your test drive!)


Sources:

stonehillwinery.com/

cedarlakecellars.com/

montelle.com/

fs.usda.gov/recarea/mtnf/recarea/?recid=21842

kcparks.org/places/cliff-drive/

scenicbyways.info/state/MO.html

greendirtfarm.com/creamery/