Best Scenic Drives in Missouri

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Last Updated on: 2nd February 2022, 11:45 pm

Glade Top Trail Scenic Drive

This 23-mile drive passes through Mark Twain National Forest, making it the state’s only National Forest Scenic Byway. 

Glade Top Trail is an adventurous byway with multiple pull-outs where you can see jaw-dropping views of the surrounding countryside. The serene environment and unhurried pace at this byway make it a perfect place for a getaway. 

Meanwhile, if you go in Spring, expect to see gorgeous blooms and chattering birds. You can also make a stop at Mark Twain Forest for opportunities to boat, fish or hike.

Roaring River Scenic Drive

Do you want to experience a lot of beauty all at once? Then get yourself on the Cassville to Eagle Rock route in autumn. Roaring River Scenic Drive is a 21.7 kilometers route that features colorful foliage, a beautiful rural landscape and wooded areas.

After your drive, you can also drop by at Pineville at the Sims General Store to browse exquisite antiques and country wares.

Tip: Watch out for the tight corners while making turns with your car.

Sugar Camp Scenic Byway

Sugar Camp is a beautiful Ozark scenic drive for nature lovers, photographers or anyone who wants a relaxing break from the hustle and tussle of a busy life.

It is located in Mark Twain National Forest, and it’s a haven for nature lovers. A drive through the route will take you through astounding Ozarks scenery, forests, farms and pastures. 

If you keep driving down the Sugar Camp Scenic Byway, you will arrive at the beautiful Roaring River State Park.

Branson to Springfield Scenic Drive

The best way to enjoy a drive on the Branson to Springfield byway is not to rush. Don’t rush if you want to enjoy the stunning Ozark mountains, the sun-kissed trees and the different heights of rock formations.

Branson to Springfield Scenic Drive features a lake that can accommodate anyone and a trail accessible to automobiles and pedestrians. There are also lovely locations you can make a stop, including restaurants and attraction sites.

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Anderson to Noel Scenic Drive

Also known as the Christmas City, Anderson to Noel Scenic Drive offers a beautiful overlook. 

Visitors often describe the place as gorgeous, and in Spring, you’ll find water cascading off the multiple limestone bluffs. 

The 15.5 km byway is surrounded by overhanging bluffs, beautiful scenery and a river great for people of all skill levels.  Some popular attractions along the route are the Elk River, Mt. Shira Stream and the Indian Creek Roadside Park.

Also, if you want to stay awhile, there are many private campgrounds along the Elk River with adequate facilities. 

Blue Buck Knob Scenic Byway

Experience breathtaking views and beautiful landscape on your drive on the Blue Buck Scenic Byway. This byway cuts through Mark Twain National Forest, which is full of wooded lands and flowing streams.

The best way to fully experience this byway is to take your time to stop and explore the farmland, streams, and picturesque overlook. Visitors often make a stop at the Noblett Lake Recreation Center for water games or camp at Bradleyville and fish at Forsyth.

Cliff Drive

If you want a less than an hour drive full of fun and nature, Cliff Drive is perfect for you.

Cliff Drive is an urban scenic byway that cuts through Kansas city along the gorgeous George E. Kessler Park. This byway is famous for its historic urban area and for being an integral part of Kansas City’s development.

The drive also features rock bluffs and natural Greenlands, and wildlife. 

Although Cliff Drive is currently off-limits to vehicles, bikers and pedestrians are welcome to explore the area.

Crowley’s Ridge Parkway

A trip down Crowley’s will recharge your battery after a long day. This 15-mile route starts from Southeast Missouri down to the Arkansas-Missouri border.

Crowley’s Ridge Parkway is also rich in Civil War history, and along your way, you’d see battlefields, farmlands, historic buildings, and museums. 

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In addition, the byway features an orchard and lush forests, which is particularly beautiful in Springtime. 

Some popular activities here include camping, birdwatching, and hiking.

Great River Road

Great River Road is a route that tells a lot of stories. A drive through this Missouri road will tell you about The Civil War Stories, Mark Twain’s legacy, and the story of People who lived before America became a nation. So if you want to experience rich stories framed by fascinating views, Great River Road it is.

This picturesque Scenic Byway follows the Mississippi from Mexico down to Minnesota. You will find many blue waters and rock bluff on the byway route.  

Little Dixie Highway 

Little Dixie Highway is a 117 miles byway that is part of the Great River Road and adjacent to the Mississippi River. The byway starts at Hannibal and ends at St. Louis. 

This route is truly a beautiful spot to take a road trip as it transports visitors back in time. Little Dixie features a rural landscape, plantation-style mansions, and Mark Twain’s site. 

Also, because of its closeness to the Mississippi River, visitors often sight birds like eagles and waterfowl.

Side Trip Idea: Make a stop at Clarksville to browse shops full of artisans.

Old Trails Road

The sight of Old Trails Road is not only relaxing but enchanting as it packs fun, with natural beauty and history. This 50 miles drive starts from Napoleon and ends at Missouri City. 

From Napoleon, drive through the Missouri River Northeast to Lexington XO to view magnificent landmarks, river buffs, hilltops, and cultural sites. You can head towards the Cooley Lake Conservation Area for the final part of the tour.

Old Trails Road is a byway that has been traveled by a lot of explorers, pioneers, Indians, and Civil War troops. 

If you wish to fully experience the history of Old Trails Road, you can stay at one of the beds and breakfasts along the way.

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Ozark Mountain Highroad

This driveway will set the basis for a beautiful morning or evening when explored. It’s a popular spot for runners and cyclists as it features twisty highway corners and incredible views.  

Located between Stone County and Taney County, Ozark Mountain Highroad is quite hilly yet sees up to 5,000 people drive every day. 

The best time to visit is in the fall when the leaves in the fall foliage change colors.

Ozark Mountain Parkway

Being in the Ozark means experiencing Missouri’s largest tourist destination. Along the drive in Ozark Mountain Parkway, you will find opportunities to take in the sights and sounds of Branson and a glimpse of the beauty of the Ozarks. 

The beautiful scenic byway also features many side tip opportunities. You can stop to fish in Silver Dollar City, visit the historic Y bridge or view the unique landscape. 

Sho-Me Santa Fe Trails

Don’t miss the opportunity to experience the beautiful hills and rich history of this Show-Me Santa Fe Byways. This trail covers about 800 miles extending from Missouri to Sante Fe, New Mexico.

The Show-Me Santa Fe Trails features orchards, vineyards, and fruit markets where sellers display their organic produce. 

You can explore the hills and banks of Missouri river banks, follow the footsteps of Native Americans on the Sante Fe trails or walk the path of the Civil War Troops during Lexington’s battle.

Stars and Stripes Historical Byway

Stars and Stripes Byways stretches 5.5 miles on the northern city limits of Bloomfield southward the Stars and Stripes Museum and Veteran’s Cemetery. 

This cultural byway is close to the Stars and Stripes Museum/Library, which tells the story of the United States’ military newspaper. 

During your trip, stop by at the Stars and Stripes Museum, the Civil War-era cemetery or the Missouri Veterans Cemetery.

Spirit of Kansas City

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This 5-mile adventure is near Kansas City and provides visitors with the opportunity to enjoy a splendid view. Many visitors often pair their trip with Cliff Drive because the byway connects with Cliff Drive Scenic Driveway. 

The route is less traveled, which means you will experience less traffic. It also features a multi-use trail that connects Cliff Drive and River Market. The trails can be used in both directions and take less than 20 minutes to complete.