West Plains is a city in Howell County, Missouri, part of the Ozarks region.
The Ozarks contains two mountain ranges: the Boston Mountains and the St. Francois Mountains.
It's also a place that’s developed its subculture and identity.
You can trace its history to 1832, when Josiah Howell established the first settlement there.
This area is quiet and peaceful, full of that rural charm that many people will find comforting.
Here are the best things to do in West Plains, MO:
Get Started at the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center
This center should be your first stop at West Plains.
At 2999 Porter Wagoner Boulevard, the Ozark Heritage Welcome Center assists visitors and gives them all the information and resources needed to explore the city.
If you have any questions about any sights or your planned activities, ask them here.
You can also ask the local staff for advice on where you can go, the best restaurants, and the hidden haunts that you won’t usually find in travel guides.
View Antiques at the Downtown Antiques Mall
Located in the historic courthouse of West Plains, Downtown Antiques Mall has over 70 booths and 22,000 square feet of display space.
You’ll find sellers of old coins, antique advertising, dolls, depression glass, clocks, etc.
It’s basically what every antique enthusiast dreams of.
A quick look through this mall will rapidly turn into an hours-long journey into the history of different items.
There’s also a bookshop featuring titles from local authors if you want to know the area's culture.
Walk around and view whatever takes your fancy.
You may even find more than a few unique and exciting items to bring home.
And, once you’re done, stop by their coffee shop for a quick bite and take stock of your antique haul.
Watch a Performance at the West Plains Civic Center
West Plains Civic Center is another place you have to visit if you’re looking to immerse yourself more fully into the area's culture.
It first opened its doors in 1993 and has hosted entertainment and educational opportunities for locals and visitors alike.
One of the establishment's highlights is its gorgeous theater which can seat up to 450 individuals.
That stage has seen top-notch vocalists, comedians, and entertainers; there have even been more than a few ballet performances.
You can also rent their convention center if you’re looking to host a celebration or gathering for a large number of people.
View the Exhibits at the Harlin Museum
Ozarks culture in West Plains has a rich, long, and varied history, and it’s the goal of the Harlin Museum to preserve and exhibit these stories for the next generation.
The place is home to several items with specific cultural and historical interest to the Ozarks.
One of the place's highlights is its Lennis L. Broadfoot Collection, the complete compilation of Bradfoot's art.
There are also various artifacts from World War 1 and the American Civil War, including photographs of the local militia and skirmishes fought in the area.
Buy a Souvenir at Fiddlesticks Gifts and Collectibles
Here’s another place to purchase souvenirs to show off to your loved ones.
Fiddlesticks Gifts and Collectibles sells a variety of gifts and collectibles that’ll make great conversation pieces.
They have items for every occasion, including collectibles for Christmas, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s Day, and other holidays.
You can also find porcelain mugs, story houses, and novelty pens, among many other items.
Enjoy the Outdoors at Twin Bridges Resort
If you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, then Twin Bridges Resort State Highway 14 is the place you’re looking for.
They have RV sites where you can park your vehicle before going camping.
You can also rent out a cabin for you and your traveling companions.
The area itself is at the banks of the North Fork River, giving visitors a great view and a wonderful atmosphere for those who want to get away from the world.
Learn about the Local Flora at the West Plains Community Garden
Many travelers want to experience nature and the outdoors on vacation, so why not go all out?
The Health Haven Botanical Gardens recognizes the need for a horticultural environment to improve local health and nutrition.
The people running it want to conserve West Plains’ native plants so that future generations can see and benefit from them the way their parents and grandparents did.
And they organize different events and exhibits to educate people on this subject.
You can attend one of their classes or visit their memory garden if you want to know what they’re trying.
They also have a petting zoo and playgrounds where children can play around and have fun.
Relax at Galloway Park
Galloway Park is the place to go for some peace.
Vacations are a time for relaxing and reorienting yourself as they’re a trip to see as many sights as you can.
When you’re in Galloway Park, the serene and gentle atmosphere will give you that feeling of peace you’ve been looking for.
Have a picnic under the clear blue sky and let the quiet wash over you.
Chat with your traveling companions, catch up on each other’s lives, and savor the moment of serenity while it lasts.
Have a Nice Meal at Ozark Pizza and Bread Co.
After a long day of seeing the sights and getting to know the area, you must be ready for a good and hearty meal to fill your stomach.
What better meal can fill you right up than pizza?
Ozark Pizza and Bread Co. is a great place to visit to taste the local West Plains take on a classic and familiar dish.
They offer a wide variety of flavors, such as Chicken Bacon Ranch, Greek, and Ozark Pizza.
You can also order some appetizers to get you started on your meal or some sandwiches if just pizza isn’t quite enough.
Listen to Bluegrass at the Heart of Ozark Bluegrass Association
Everyone loves music.
With many different genres, the art appeals to every taste.
The Heart of Ozark Bluegrass Association wants to spread the knowledge and love of bluegrass music to as many people as possible.
Bluegrass music might not be as popular as other genres, but it’s no less exciting or fun.
It developed in the Appalachian Region during the 1940s and traditionally played on string instruments like the mandolin, fiddle, and banjo.
This genre emphasizes the off-beat, anticipating notes instead of getting ahead of the beat, creating an energetic atmosphere.
The association hosts several festivals throughout the year to promote local artists and celebrate this brand of music that’s unique to this region.
Dine at the Ozark Cafe
The Ozark Cafe is great if you’re looking for a small treat or a snack in the middle of your travels.
You can also get breakfast, lunch, and dinner items if you’re looking for heavier fare.
For breakfast, try their omelets or their special french toast; you can also order a breakfast burrito or some classic hotcakes.
The restaurant also has some burgers and sandwiches, such as the swiss mushroom burger, loaded burger, a club sandwich, and an Ozark Philly steak.
Their house specialties include the southwest chicken pita, pork tenderloin on an onion roll, breaded pork tenderloins, pork chop sandwiches, and quesadilla chicken.
If you’re still looking for more after such a hearty meal, don’t worry since this restaurant offers many more dishes.
You can also try their homemade bread or desserts to finish your meal before continuing with your sightseeing.
Let Your Kids Have Fun at the Butler Children's Park
Here's a treat for the kids.
After all that traveling, it’s now their turn to get the spotlight on the travel itinerary.
The Butler Children’s Park is right next to the Park’s office and is sure to offer a fun time to all visiting children.
It’s a fun playground where the kids can play around with their friends and family who came on the trip, other tourist kids, and some locals.
They can run around freely and use the slides as much as possible; it’s a great way to burn off energy after a long day without the parents doing much.
Your kids will also make many new friends along the way, so it’s a win for everyone involved.
Taste the Scrumptious Dishes at Hibby’s Sports Grille
Who doesn’t love a good barbecue?
The thought of a single tasty, juicy steak, just off the grill, smelling great, is enough to make anyone’s mouth water.
Hibby’s Sports Grille offers the best dishes that’ll surely make you fall in love with good food.
Try out sandwiches and wraps, such as the patty melt, a club sandwich, and buffalo chicken.
You can also order some of the restaurant’s signature burgers to get a real taste of what this place truly offers.
And if you’re not that into meat, don’t worry about getting hungry in a place like this since they have a wide variety of salads.
Sip Beer at the Wages Brewing Company
The Wages Brewing Company is the first craft beer brewery in West Plains, and they’re determined to make an excellent first impression.
Their motto is “The middle of nowhere tastes so good!”
Their beers prove this motto correct.
When you enter their building, you’ll find a warm and casual atmosphere solely focused on promoting the craft beers created there.
But that doesn’t mean it’s a boring place.
There’s fast and free wifi and many exciting and unique art pieces to keep visitors interested and engaged.
The establishment also hosts many events and festivals throughout the year to promote its products and the local talent, so join one to have more fun.
Watch a Race at the Legit Speedway Park
High-speed car racing will surely get your blood pumping.
Don't miss this must-see event if you’re looking for something fun and exciting.
At Legit Speedway, top racers will go through the track and fight to win the top prize.
Motorsports enthusiasts will fall in love with the different unique and powerful cars with all the skilled drivers bringing out their full potential on the tracks.
The facility boasts 80 acres.
There are different events featured on their weekly racing card, so watch as many as you can.
West Plains is a quiet place, conjuring images of lazy mornings and laid-back afternoons.
It’s the place to go if you’re looking for some peace, the perfect destination for people looking to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Book a trip now!