You probably already know about my upcoming trip to Branson, Missouri. It’s a media tour/5th anniversary celebration/honeymoon! My husband and I are flying from Boston to Branson next week and we’ve added a full day to our itinerary! Yup, Springfield, Missouri here we come! 

I connected with Susan over at the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau and she gave us some great ideas for a short day trip into Springfield which is just about 45 minutes North of where we are staying in Branson. 

Susan was hard pressed to pick a few activities for us to enjoy when there really are so many great things to do! But, we think she did a fantastic job! 

My husband is the religious fisherman, I’m the curious history buff. Susan met us right in the middle with some fantastic ideas!

Learn About Springfield, MO


 Springfield is rich with interesting and entertaining attractions, more than 6,300 hotel rooms, more than 800 dining options and a variety of shopping and cultural activities.

Not only is Springfield’s geographic location at the center of the country, but on more than a few occasions this town has found itself smack dab in the middle of history. From the Louisiana Purchase to the Civil War, from the railroad to the famous Route 66 – it all happened here and made Springfield what it is today.

[Tweet “Springfield MO #History From the Louisiana Purchase to the Civil War, the railroad to the famous Route 66! #SGF “]

What We’ll See in Springfield

Passages now open in Springfield
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Passages Treasures of the Bible

“Passages provides the casual visitor and the intellectually curious—those of faith and those of no faith at all—with a one-of-a-kind opportunity to go behind the scenes of the most influential work that humankind has ever labored to capture, preserve, translate and study,” said Dr. Jerry Pattengale, executive director of the Green Scholars Initiative, which is overseeing advanced research on items in the collection.

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Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World

Grandaddy of all outdoor stores. Fishing, hunting, camping, boating, golf, gifts, footwear and apparel. Explore the 300,000-square-foot showroom loaded with unique features, including an art gallery, barber shop, firing range, Tracker boat showroom, waterfalls, aquariums, Hemingway’s Restaurant, a coffee shop and much more. Your adventure starts here.

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Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield

Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, one of six national parks in the state of Missouri, is a perfect stop for an entertaining and educational experience.

Fought on August 10, 1861, the Battle of Wilson’s Creek was a pivotal battle in Missouri and the second major battle of the Civil War. When the smoke cleared, more than 2,500 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed, wounded or missing in five hours of intense fighting. The visitor center features a new 27-minute film, a museum and changing exhibits. A five-mile self-guided tour road allows visitors to explore the battlefield at their own pace. Walking trails lead to various battle sites, including Bloody Hill, the Historic John Ray House and the Edwards Cabin.

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The Battle of Springfield Driving Tour

In January 1863, Union forces defended the Springfield territory during the Confederate attempts to gain supplies and high-ground access. Twelve markers placed throughout the battleground commemorate where defenses were organized, troops gathered supplies, injured soldiers were hospitalized and homes were burned.

What We’ll See Next Time in Springfield

 Fantastic Caverns, Smallin Civil War Cave, Dickerson Park Zoo, Hammons Field baseball and so much more! We are already discussing a return trip to both Branson and Springfield with the three kids in tow! 

Check out the Free Springfield Visitor’s Guide for some other great ideas! 

Must Eat in Springfield

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We’ll be meeting Susan at Leong’s Asian Diner for famous Springfield-Style Cashew Chicken and to talk more about Springfield! 

Did you know this dish owes most of its popularity to Springfield?

The deep-fried version of the dish is closely associated with the city of Springfield, Missouri. Deep-fried cashew chicken was apparently first served in 1963 at the Grove Supper Club in Springfield. David Leong, the chef, who moved to the United States from China in 1940, struggled to gain acceptance for the foods of his homeland so he began searching for a dish that would appeal to local residents’ taste buds. His famous deep-fried cashew chicken recipe was so popular he soon opened Leong’s Tea House in Springfield. The dish became exceedingly popular in the Springfield area and is often cited as the unofficial “dish of the city”. Springfield even hosts an annual festival that is centered around this chicken dish.

[Tweet “Springfield has earned the reputation as Missouri’s cuisine capital. Come see why! #SGF “]

 Springfield has more than 1,000 restaurants with everything from elegant to family-style. There’s Something to please every palate! See Springfield dining options here

By Erica Buteau

Change Agent. Daydream Believer. Maker. Creative. Likes love, peace and Jeeping. Dislikes winter, paper cuts and war. She/Her/Hers.

53 thoughts on “Planning a Day in Springfield #MO #route66 #SGF #springfieldcashew #History”
  1. Am I the only one who thinks of the Simpsons when I hear Springfield! I’ve never been but I definitely want to check out Route 66 one of these days!

  2. I have friends that are from Springfield and they talk about quite a few of these attractions! I have actually wanted to visit and check them all out for myself for quite a while!

  3. I’ve never been to Springfield before. Is that where the Simpsons are from? Anyway, you sure do have a exciting trip planned ahead of you. Have a great time!

    1. Don’t be ashamed! I haven’t either! I’ve been all over New England, the Carolina’s and upstate NY as a child. Flew to DC twice, San Francisco and Dallas all on work trips so saw almost nothing (except extended stay in Dallas) and I’ve been to San Antonio on vacation to visit my oldest stepson. I have a lot of traveling to do!

  4. Ooh sounds like you have a ton of fun planned ahead! I think I would visit just for the Springfield-Style Cashew Chicken! The rest would all just be a bonus!

  5. I keep doing a google search to find out how far this is from me because Montana is not that far but not sur where Springfield is. Unfortunatley google does not seem to know either as it is taking me to Alabama, lol. I would love to visit this area and if I can figure out how far it is, it might just be in our summer plans.

  6. Great post with lots of great information. Would love to visit there someday. I have been to Missouri quite a bit but never ventured to that area. My husband and I love to travel and see the different areas of the US so we will put this on our list.

  7. We haven’t been to MO, but my husband it itching to take a trip out there to see the Cardinals play! It does look like there is quite a bit more for the family to enjoy, other than a baseball game. We may have to make the trip after all 🙂

    1. My husband is a Cardinals fan too. He was stationed not far from Springfield for about 10 years. He gave up his New England baseball roots while there, I suppose! (Go Sox!)

  8. It looks like you have a nice getaway planned! I’d love to visit Missouri one day. My grandparents traveled to MO, and couldn’t stop raving on how beautiful it is there. Enjoy your trip!

  9. I have some friends who live in Springfield, but I haven’t been there since I was a teenager. We’ll have to go visit them and check out a few of these places while we’re there! I’d love to check out Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield!

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