Springfield is the third-largest city in the state of Missouri and the county seat of Greene County. It is one of the two principal cities of the Springfield-Branson Metropolitan Area, which has a population of 541,991 and includes the counties of Christian, Dallas, Greene, Polk, Webster, Stone and Taney.
Springfield’s nickname is “Queen City of the Ozarks” and it is known as the “Birthplace of Route 66”. It is home to several universities, including Missouri State University, Drury University, and Evangel University.
Parks and recreation
The Springfield-Greene County Park Board manages 3,200 acres and 103 sites, including the Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, which contains the historic Gray-Campbell Farmstead, Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden, Master Gardener demonstration gardens, Dr. Bill Roston Native Butterfly House, and Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center; the Rutledge-Wilson Farm Community Park; the Mediacom Ice Park; the Cooper Park and Sports Complex; the Dickerson Park Zoo; and various other public parks, community centers, and facilities.
The non-profit Ozark Greenways Inc. promotes trail recreation and local bicycling through the establishment of greenway trails, including a 35-mile crushed-gravel trail, the Frisco Highline Trail connecting Springfield to the town of Bolivar, and smaller trails connecting parks and sites of interest within the town and county.
The Missouri Department of Conservation operates the Springfield Nature Center and numerous nearby conservation areas.
The National Park Service operates the nearby Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.
Springfield’s metropolitan area is reasonably well-developed, but situated within close distance of recreational lakes, waterways, caves, and forests, such as the James River, Busiek State Forest, Lake Springfield, Table Rock Lake, Buffalo National River, Ozark National Scenic Riverways, and Fantastic Caverns.
Hunting for the top experiences in a friendly city
Shop, Stroll, Eat and Be Amazed
The flagship Bass Pro Shops store is in Springfield. The company’s first and largest store is filled with large aquariums stocked with native fish, waterfalls, taxidermy displays and a huge selection of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear in nearly 47,000 square meters. Watch divers feed fish and talk about them in Uncle Buck’s Auditorium, visit the two museums dedicated to sporting arms and archery, grab a meal at the popular restaurant or sweet treat in the fudge shop. People visit to witness its sheer size, art displays, special events such as the Outdoor Fitness Festival and, of course, nostalgia. It’s a far cry from when a young fisherman, Johnny Morris, started his operation in 1972 in a .75-square-meter room in the back of his father’s liquor store.
Famous Highway and Historic Sites
Springfield is recognized as the Official Birthplace of Route 66. The historic “Mother Road” that linked Chicago and Los Angeles got its name during a meeting of highway officials there in 1926. History buffs will want to cruise along local portions of the famous highway and make stops at the History Museum on the Square, the Park Central Square site of the quick-draw shootout between Wild Bill Hickock and Davis Tutt in 1865, and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, where the second major battle of the Civil War took place in 1861. The battlefield features Civil War exhibits, and visitors can walk, bike or drive through the site on a self-guided trail tour. For more Route 66 nostalgia, visit the Route 66 Car Museum, which houses around 70 classic cars, plus Route 66 memorabilia. In the city’s history museum, see exhibits about local Ozarks history from prehistoric times through the 1900s. History lovers also will want to visit the Walnut Street National Historic Register District with more than 150 historic homes and unique shopping and dining experiences.
There are many reasons to extend a stay in Springfield. Among them is Fantastic Caverns, the only cave in North America large enough to ride through on a 50-minute tour of an underground riverbed on Jeep-drawn trams. The Smallin Civil War Cave also has the largest cave opening in Missouri. Stroll through 80 acres of native forests and fields at the Springfield Conservation Nature Center, then go to Dickerson Park Zoo to see more than 340 animals representing 120 species, including elephants, cheetahs and wolves. Children will adore the Discovery Center, an interactive, hands-on educational experience where they learn while they play with everything from a giant eyeball to building blocks.
For sports fans, the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame has 2,000 square meters of sports memorabilia and displays. Visit Hammons Field baseball stadium where the Springfield Cardinals, a Double-A franchise of the St. Louis Cardinals, play. After all of that activity, take time to relax in downtown Springfield, which is filled with a variety of chef-owned restaurants, boutiques and night clubs.
|Country||United States of America|
|Currency used||U$ Dollar|
|Area (km2)||213.18 km2|