20 Best Things to Do in Joplin, MO

Joplin, MO
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Located southwest of Missouri, Joplin is a lovely and picturesque city.

This small, charming city is located in the counties of Jasper and Newton, at the beginning of the historic and scenic Route 66.

Joplin is a popular tourist attraction among travelers because of its breathtaking natural beauty, rich history, and fascinating culture.

Joplin has exquisite museums, splendid parks, charming antique malls, a fantastic waterfall, and so much more.

The food scene in this city is incredible as well.

All the restaurants and cafes serve delectable American food.

Joplin has tons for you to see and explore.

Here are some of the best things to do in Joplin, Missouri:

Explore Joplin on Foot and Discover Its Hidden Gems

Scenic view of Joplin's water
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Joplin is a small city, which makes it perfect for exploring on foot.

The city's lively culture oozes out of all its streets and neighborhoods.

You will see Joplin's stunning architecture and rich heritage while roaming around on your own.

Buildings along downtown Joplin
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While strolling around the city, you may even discover new places known only to the locals.

Along the way, you'll most likely find great eateries that serve mouth-watering food.

Long and peaceful walks around Joplin will surely refresh you.

Visit Grand Falls, also known as the Miniature Niagara Falls

Cascades of Grand Falls Joplin
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Located on Shoal Creek, Grands Falls is the largest continuously flowing waterfall in the state of Missouri.

It is a popular attraction of the town among both locals and tourists.

It serves impressive views of the gorgeous surrounding.

The waterfall runs all year round as the creek is never out of water, so you can see the waterfalls no matter what season you visit Joplin.

Daytime view of Grand Falls
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There are private swimming pools where you and your friends or family can enjoy the waters and the fall while not being surrounded by too many people.

Make sure to carry your camera to capture the splendid beauty of these falls.

Also, do not forget to wear sturdy shoes as the terrain is uneven.

Make sure to visit Gran Falls when you come to Joplin to witness the enchanting nature views that surround it.

Aerial view of Grand Falls
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Stop by the Route 66 Mural Park

Car display at Route 66 Mural Park
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Route 66 Mural Park is a public park in Joplin that's been around since 2013.

It is an important site that was made to preserve Missouri's historic Route 66.

The park serves as the touchstone for travelers beginning their journey to explore the scenic route.

Inside, there are two huge, beautifully decorated murals by artists Chris Auckerman and Jon White.

Visitors love taking photos with the park's red mock 1964 Corvette, which symbolizes the drive along the long roads of Route 66.

Drop by Route 66 Mural Park to see the beautiful murals and learn more about the historic Route 66.

Head to the Fascinating Joplin History & Mineral Museum

The Joplin History & Mineral Museum is a collection of five museums.

The five museums consist of sports, science, dolls, cookies, and history.

The Joplin History & Mineral Museum is located in Schifferdecker Park and mainly focuses on the city's mining boom, which took place in the 19th century.

Along with mining artifacts, the museums have a range of exciting and unusual objects such as jewelry by the infamous Bonnie and Clyde, mammoth fossils, glowing rocks, and much more.

Other museums and exhibits include the  Joplin Sports Hall of Fame, National Historical Cookie Cutter Museum, and Merle Evans Miniature Circus.

You will also see the replica of a mining shaft from the olden times, where you can learn about the mining past of Joplin.

The admission fee is reasonable, and the museum complex is open from Tuesday through Saturday.

The museum has two lovely cats that you can pet, which will make your visit even more enjoyable.

Swing Your Clubs at One of Joplin's Golf Courses

You may not expect it, but Joplin is a great place to enjoy golfing, with its great weather and scenic backdrops.

Golfing is a popular recreational activity in the city, and there are more than five golf courses located across the city.

With beautiful countryside serving sweeping views of beautiful greenery all around, golfing will surely alleviate your stress and relax you.

Established in 1912, Twin Hills Golf & Country Club is the oldest and longest golf course in the city and boasts an area of 6,842 yards.

Other great golf courses in the town are the Range Line Golf Course, Schifferdecker Golf Course, and Baxter Springs Golf & Country Club.

Make sure to play golf in these delightful courses to enjoy the city and its beauty fully.

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Candy House Gourmet

Candy House Gourmet is a candy factory located in Joplin's downtown area.

It was established in 1970 and has long been the city locals' favorite spot to enjoy delightful sweets.

This place offers a massive selection of desserts to satisfy your sweet tooth.

The Candy House is famous for its gourmet creams, fudges, chocolates, caramels, jellies, and chocolate truffles, among many other tasty treats.

They also serve seasonal desserts.

In the spring, they serve fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate, while during the fall, they serve various sweets made from fresh and seasonal apples.

You can shop for all these delectable sweets and even sample them before buying them.

Visit the Candy House Gourmet to get the best handmade sweet treats.

Book a Stay at the Bonnie and Clyde Garage Apartment

Exterior of Bonnie and Clyde Garage Apartment
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Infamous outlaws Bonnie and Clyde spent several weeks hiding in this apartment after committing several robberies and their notorious shootouts in the area.

The nearly 100-year-old apartment is now an Airbnb, so you can book a stay in the very apartment that Bonnie and Clyde stayed in.

Historical sign of Bonnie and Clyde Garage Apartment
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The owners have gone the extra mile to preserve the apartment's history.

Stay at least one night at the Bonnie and Clyde Garage Apartment when you visit the city.

Relax at the Lovely Cunningham Park

Cunningham Park was the oldest city park in Joplin, but, unfortunately, it was destroyed in the 2011 tornado.

Volunteers restored it entirely, bringing the park back to its original glory.

It also has a memorial dedicated to the lives lost in the tornado.

The park is gorgeous, and the admission is free.

There are playgrounds, swimming pools, basketball courts, grills, a gazebo, and so much more.

You can also enjoy a picnic in the picnic area with shade and tables.

The best way to enjoy this park is by merely walking around and appreciating its beauty and the local community's efforts to restore its charm.

Cunningham Park is a powerful reminder of devastation, resolve, and miracles.

Witness Beautiful Landscapes at Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center

The waters of Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center
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Located at the confluence of Shoal and Silver Creeks, Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center is an educational facility and a conservation center.

It protects the rich biodiversity of the Spring River watershed and the last remaining chert glades ecosystem.

There is a lot of fauna and flora here for you to see, along with beautiful scenery and landscapes.

You can also enjoy hiking on the partially paved path along Shoal Creek.

The nature center features various displays, along with a live aquarium where you can see turtles, fishes, and other marine animals.

Walk up to the bridge to see the stunning views of the river and its surrounding nature.

There are benches located everywhere on the bridge so that you can sit and relish the terrific views.

Visit Shoal Creek Conservation Education Center to witness Joplin's scenic natural landscapes.

Buy Lovely Souventis from Rangeline Antique Mall

Rangeline Antique Mall is an excellent upscale flea market where you can find all kinds of vintage items.

There are several shops inside this indoor flea market, and they all sell various quirky antique items.

You can select from a great selection of vintage toys, dishes, furniture, tools, glassware, jewelry, and so much more.

It is the perfect place to get a memento or a souvenir in memory of your visit to Joplin.

Visit Spiva Center for the Arts

Spiva Center for the Arts was opened in 1974 and has since been the best visual arts experience in Joplin.

This art gallery was named after local art lover, philanthropist, and businessman George A. Spiva.

The displays and exhibits are a real treat to see.

The art center also organizes classes for both children and adults.

The rotating exhibits are regularly updated and display the stunning work of local artists.

There is a gift shop here as well, where you can buy some artwork and other handmade gifts.

Visit Spiva Center for the Arts to support the local artists and see gorgeous art.

Dine at the Red Onion Cafe

Located in the town's Historic Downtown area, Red Onion Cafe is a lovely eatery with delectable food and excellent service.

The cafe is located in a 100-year building with vintage decor and a rustic setting.

Its rustic and comfortable ambiance cafe makes it a perfect place to enjoy your meals in a laid-back environment.

The menu is full of midwestern specialties, along with American comfort food.

Red Onion Cafe is famous for its salads and steaks.

The salads are freshly prepared every morning, and they even cut their steaks in-house.

Apart from their tasty salads and sumptuous steaks, do not forget to try the French onion soup and different kinds of pasta.

After enjoying your meal, you can also order delicious desserts, such as their special key lime pie and limoncello mascarpone cake.

Have Brunch at The Bruncheonette

The Bruncheonette is a famous spot to grab brunch in Joplin.

It serves delicious American food with vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options to cater to a diverse customer base.

It is a popular place among locals and tourists alike.

The menu is expansive and offers tons of dishes to choose from.

The service is excellent, and the staff is attentive and helpful.

Do not forget to try the scrumptious eggs Benedict, breakfast tacos, Benny Harper sandwich, and Hawaiian french toast.

Stay at Drury Inn & Suites

Drury Inn & Suites is the perfect hotel for you to stay at with all the luxurious amenities.

It is located near all the good restaurants and eateries in town.

The hotel is pet-friendly and allows you to stay with your pooch or kitty.

All the amenities make your stay as comfortable and worthwhile as possible.

Some of the facilities are an outdoor pool, a business center, breakfast buffet, room service, workout rooms, and much more.

The hotel also offers hospitality time from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and serves complimentary evening drinks and snacks to all the guests.

The staff is courteous and helpful.

The hotel provides a relaxed atmosphere with loads of amenities to make your vacation perfect.

Spend the Afternoon Shopping at Northpark Mall

If you're seeking indoor activities, Northpark Mall offers various options.

In 1972, the Northpark Mall, a neighborhood shopping center, opened in Joplin, Missouri.

It comprises 1,080,000 square feet of area and boasts over 100 retail businesses and a food court.

The shops here will grab your attention whether you are window shopping or planning an extensive shopping spree.

The food court offers a variety of delectable options, including Japanese and American cuisine.

Unwind and Have a Snack at Ewert Park

A neighborhood park called Ewert Park is well-known for its excellent sports facilities.

Considering its amenities, a trip to this park should be on every sports enthusiast's list of the top things to do in Joplin, Missouri.

The park offers a playground, swimming pool, covered basketball court, tennis courts, a skate park, and more.

Bring lunch or snacks to eat at the picnic area in addition to participating in your favorite sport.

If you enjoy grilling, there are barbecues in the park that you may use.

Bond with Friends at Escape Joplin

Elevate the action at Escape Joplin, whether you're out for a night in the city with your buddies or marking a special event.

Teams of three to eight players have one hour to find clues, overcome obstacles, and complete the specific task in each area.

The rooms emphasize teamwork heavily, making them a fantastic venue for team-building exercises.

Three escape rooms with various themes, including Christmas, pirates, and space exploration, are available at Escape Joplin.

Your path is obstructed by a unique collection of challenges in each room.

The chambers' complexity also varies to accommodate every visitor and ability level.

Play a Game at Leonard Park

A little neighborhood park called Leonard Park is close behind Range Line Road.

It is a straightforward community park featuring a playground, tennis courts, a covered picnic shelter, and grills.

You may also play a few tennis games on the courts or let your kids run about the grounds.

The park's 1-mile walking path is a great way to exercise.

A simple weekend at a regular neighborhood park is an excellent choice for peaceful breaks during your trip.

Go on a Nature Walk at Frisco Greenway Trail

A 3.5-mile walk, the Frisco Greenway Trail, may be accessed in a peaceful, less populated area of the city.

This route is perfect for runners and cyclists due to the gorgeous woodland landscape and well-maintained asphalt-slash-gravel lanes.

Dense forests surround the greenway, and locals frequently use the pleasant, shaded corridor for walks and jogs.

Running, walking, bicycling, skateboarding, and other sports are just a couple of the free activities to do in Joplin that are ideal for this trail.

Although most of the route is shaded, it's wise to pack a few water bottles to keep you from dehydrating as you become more active.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Visit the Beautiful George Washington Carver National Monument

Welcome sign of George Washington Carver National Monument
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Established in 1943 in the nearby Newton County, George Washington Carver National Monument is a park near the 210-acre farm where George Washington Carver was born and raised.

It's located in the neighboring city of Diamond, just a 20-minute drive outside Joplin.

George Washington Carver was a world-famous scientist, inventor, chemist, botanist, agronomist, and educator.

The statue in Diamond was the first-ever national monument in the US constructed in honor of an African-American person as well as any non-president.

The park contains the sculptures of the renowned Carver.

Sculpture at George Washington Carver National Monument
Danita Delimont / Shutterstock.com

This monument also has a museum, nature trails, and a discovery lab.

The museum showcases George Washington Carver's life and stories through various exhibits and displays.

You can hike the nature trails while learning about Carver and his life along the way.

The park is lovely and offers a tranquil environment.

To best enjoy this national monument, walk around the park and learn about the celebrated agricultural scientist, educator, and humanitarian while appreciating the lovely views.

Trail at George Washington Carver National Monument
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Final Thoughts

There are many beautiful attractions to explore in Joplin, a city in southwest Missouri, including parks, farms, gardens, and waterfalls.

Tourists from across the globe are likely to enjoy the urban atmosphere of this tourism destination featuring shops, art galleries, and fashionable restaurants.

Knowing that this city provides adventure, local history, excursions, and indoor and outdoor activities makes it tough to ignore its charm.

Follow the list of the best things to do in Joplin to ensure you don't miss out on a fantastic trip.

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