Tour planners have many choices in this friendly Missouri community

Joplin, a city tucked in the corner of Southwest Missouri, offers both a tranquil small-town lifestyle and an active urban area featuring a host of entertaining options.

For those seeking to enjoy the great outdoors, Joplin can accommodate them with a trip to Grand Falls, the largest continuously running waterfall in Missouri. Grand Falls flows 12 feet down a 163-foot-wide ledge and over unusually thick layers of chert rock. Visitors can also walk the trails in Wildcat Park, home to the last remaining chert glades, a globally unique habitat found only in this area. Wildcat Park also features Shoal Creek Conservation and Education Center, an environmental education and conservation facility, opening in early 2019. The center will showcase plants and animals found on the glades and surrounding habitats. The George Washington Carver National Monument is the birthplace and childhood home of the famed scientist, educator and humanitarian. This land has been preserved inside a 240-acre national park, located about 15 minutes southeast of Joplin. The park consists of the 1881 Moses Carver house, Carver cemetery, a ¾-mile nature trail and a ¼-mile contemplative trail.

Grand Falls

Grand Falls

Visitors looking to drive the iconic Route 66 will find it cuts through the heart of downtown Joplin. Also known as the Sunshine Lamp District, downtown is home to dozens of shops, restaurants and art galleries woven together by a tight bunch of city blocks. Historic Murphysburg District is home to many regal homes and is one of Joplin’s oldest neighborhoods. In 2015, the district was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Explore Joplin’s numerous antique and vintage stores, including the Blue Moon Boutique, which sells clothing, jewelry and unique gifts, and the Fancy Flamingo Flea Market, which contains more than 300 booths filled with collectibles, antiques, furniture and home décor.

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