Springfield is a modern locale, but the city’s old-time vibe is ubiquitous. There are captivating historical narratives that can be experienced on a stroll down C-Street or through a deep-dive at the history museum.
Experience the ancient subterranean world of the “Cave State” via Jeep-drawn trams. Cruise through an intricate cave system beneath the Ozarks — northwest of Springfield — replete with stalagmites, flowstones, and cave pearls; natural wonders shaped over time. The Fantastic Caverns keeps at a cool 60 degrees year-round, making it a perfect summer or winter attraction.
4872 N. Farm Rd. 125, Springfield, MO; fantasticcaverns.com
C-Street Historic District
A stroll through Springfield’s first historic district, Historic Commercial Street, is a six-block journey into the city’s past. Check out the 1880s architecture, Springfield’s oldest bar, and the recently revamped businesses located on the vintage street that was established a century and a half ago.
History Museum on the Square
Learn about Springfield’s past by going straight to the source where the history is held. History Museum on the Square has six main galleries depicting the city’s history through a vast collection of artifacts, photographs, and guided tours. The buildings on Park Central Square have been restored to preserve the culture of the city.
154 Park Central Square, Springfield, MO; historymuseumonthesquare.org
The Landers Theatre is on the National Register of Historic places and has protected its Baroque, Renaissance, and Napoleon-style architecture through various beautification and restoration processes. Since its opening in 1909, it’s been a center of culture and entertainment in the Ozarks. Catch a live theatre performance there if you can.
311 E. Walnut St., Springfield, MO; springfieldlittletheatre.org
For a more casual historical experience head for a drink at the Hotel Vandivort. The four-story building was first constructed in 1906 as a Masonic temple. After a renovation in the 1980s it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Grab a cocktail at the rooftop lounge and conservatory and indulge in views of downtown Springfield.
305 E. Walnut St., Springfield, MO; hotelvandivort.com