Located in the heart of America, St. Louis is a beautiful city with a rich history, which you can learn about at the Missouri History Museum. Having been a hub for westward expansion, St. Louis quickly became a melting pot of cultures and identities that traveled far and wide to experience all that the Midwest had to offer.
Surrounded by picturesque land, St. Louis, a bustling city, is only a stone’s throw away from smaller cities or towns.
Keep reading to learn about the best day trips from St. Louis, so the next time you’re looking for some adventure, you know exactly where to go.
Springfield is the state capital of Illinois and is only about 1.5 hours away from St. Louis. There are many different attractions in this historic city, but you may already know that Springfield’s claim to fame is that it was home to our 16th U.S. President, Abraham Lincoln, from 1837 to 1861.
Some top places to visit include:
The Lincoln Tomb
Located in Oak Ridge Cemetery, the Abe Lincoln Mausoleum is a site for many people, history buffs or not. Marking the location is a bronze bust of Abraham Lincoln himself. You’ll notice his nose is bright and bronzy, as all the visitors are encouraged to rub it for good luck.
Inside the mausoleum, you can view the resting places of Abraham Lincoln, his wife (Mary Todd), and three of his four sons (Edward, William, and Tad).
This National Historic Site is the house where Lincoln lived with his family for 17 years before being called to the White House. You can now take tours of Lincoln’s home to catch a glimpse of what life was like for Abraham Lincoln as he worked to become a successful lawyer and the President of the United States.
The Dana Thomas House
The Dana Thomas House was the 72nd house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for the Springfield socialite Susan Lawrence Dana in 1902. Susan was a forward-thinking woman who wanted to house she could show off.
The home contains the most extensive collection of house-specific, original Wright art glass, fixtures, and furniture from the Prairie Style. It also includes 35 rooms and 12,000 square feet of living space, including a bowling alley.
Home to Mark Twain’s boyhood house, this riverside town inspired classic literary characters like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer.
Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home
This historic location is a museum comprised of permanent exhibitions dedicated to remembering Mark Twain’s works, his hometown, and the people who inspired his literature.
The museum contains priceless artifacts, including:
- Some of Mark Twain’s personal belongings, like his writing desk, chair, and typewriter
- First editions of all of Mark Twain’s major works, shorter pieces, and articles
- Foreign editions of Mark Twain’s work
- 15 original Norman Rockwell oil paintings created for special editions of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn
Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tours
Hannibal carries the energy of days gone by, back before Mark Twain was even born.
Prior to Hannibal being founded in 1819, at least six known Native American tribes had lived on the land. Since then, according to the Haunted Hannibal Ghost Tours, the town has been marked by murder and mischief.
From Millionaires’ Row to Hannibal’s historic Main Street and the Old Baptist Cemetery, you’ll hear stories of years past and the possible ghostly inhabitants that still roam this earth.
These tours fill up fast, so if you want to investigate the “other side,” call (573) 248-1819 to make a reservation.
Rockcliffe Mansion (Historic House Museum, Guided Tours, Boutique Bed & Breakfast)
Designed by the prominent architectural firm Barnett, Haynes & Barnett of St. Louis, Rockcliffe Mansion was one of the firm’s first designs for the lumber baron John J. Cruikshank Jr.
Construction started in 1898 and was completed by 1900, resulting in an opulent yet warm and noble Gilded-Age mansion built in the Georgian Revival style. The residence is perched on a limestone bluff, providing beautiful views overlooking Hannibal and the Mississippi River.
The Cruikshank family lived in the home until 1924, when John passed away. The mansion would sit vacant for 43 years until three Hannibal families saved the historic site from demolition in 1967.
Since then, the property has been restored to its previous glory and has suites and other rooms available for those wishing to spend the night.
Daily tours of the mansion are available starting from April 15th to November 15th, so you can get a chance to view some of the 30+ rooms, ten ornate fireplaces, and one-of-a-kind architectural details. You’ll be brought back in time as you take in the lush interiors of original antique furnishings and fixtures preserved and displayed.
A highlight of Missouri’s wine country, Hermann was founded by the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia in 1837. Located along the Missouri River, the small town is surrounded by a luscious environment that made it ideal for German settlers to grow grapes for their delicious wine.
The farm is comprised of multiple buildings that were built and added to by numerous German families since the founding of Hermann. The Greek Revival Teubner-Husmann house, built in 1847, stands as the focal point of the farm. At one point, it was home to George Husmann, the father of Missouri wine.
However, it’s believed that the first settlers of the land that now makes up Hermann Farm were the Rasche Family, who appear to have moved from Philadelphia sometime between 1839 and 1842.
The property also touts several other buildings, such as:
- A summer kitchen and washhouse
- A smokehouse
- A cider house
- A press house and wine cellar
Deutschheim State Historic Site
The Deutschheim State Historic Site is comprised of restored 1840s and 1850s buildings that allow visitors to explore how German-Americans settled Hermann and developed the foundation for a Missouri wine industry.
Look at grape vines planted in the 1850s and many historical artifacts that will tell you about the daily life and traditions of the German immigrants in the mid-19th century.
The site contains buildings such as:
- The visitor center – built circa 1890 for Julius Hundhausen; offers exhibits and a gift shop
- The Pommer House – a brick, Neoclassical home built for Caroline Pommer in 1840; displays two original Pommer pianos in the workshop
- The Strehly House – a modest structure built in the 1840s; owned and lived in by the same family for over 100 years
- The print shop – the publication site of the first German newspaper west of the Mississippi; houses a working Washington Press from that era
Adam Puchta Winery
Founded in 1855, Adam Puchta Winery is the oldest continuously owned family winery in the United States. By the 1870s, Adam Puchta was a well-established winemaker and businessman. By the 1880s, Adam and his son, Henry, renamed the business Adam Puchta & Son Wine Co. and began marketing their wines in small kegs and barrels to taverns throughout central and eastern Missouri.
Henry and his son continued wine production until prohibition closed the winery’s doors in 1919. When prohibition ended in 1933, Hermann’s wine production-dependent economy was devastated. Adam Puchta & Son Wine Co. only made wine for family and friends until newer generations could reopen for commercial production in 1990.
Since then, the winery has grown rapidly and won many regional, national, and international awards for its various wines. Today, the winery is run by Tim Puchta and his son Parker on the same land where Adam founded the winery on. The original buildings are even still used, though they have been repurposed as the business grew.
The Massey Team at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties
St. Louis is a beautiful city conveniently located in the heartland of America. Not only are there plenty of attractions within St. Louis that can keep you entertained, but there are historic, beautiful, and even mysterious locations that are perfect for day trips.
If you’re looking for the perfect home in the ideal St. Louis area location, contact us today by visiting our website at https://masseyteam.bhhsselectstl.com/, or call us at (618) 791-5024 & (618) 791-9298.