Now’s the Time: Plan That Summer Road Trip
If there’s anything the past few months have taught us, it’s to slow down our constant on-the-go lives and enjoy the moment while we can. Many of our schedules have completely turned upside down, whether we’re working from home, working less, or not working at all. As uncertain as these times have been, there’s something comforting about the idea of having some extra time to enjoy ourselves, our loved ones, and the moment. While these times are far from ideal and it’s easy to get caught up in all the negativity, it’s important to step back and remember all that you have to be grateful for. Something we’re grateful for is all the amazing places we can take road trips to within driving distance of St. Louis! If you’ve been itching to safely get out of the house, check out this short list of summer road trip ideas surrounding the St. Louis area.
- Highway 36: Mark Twain Lake & Mark Twain State Park are perfect for kayaking, biking, camping, hunting, fishing, and boating. For families, learn more about geocaching at Mark Twain Lake to stay busy & active with the kids! Union Creek Covered Bridge and Locust Creek Covered Bridge are two of the most beautiful spots to take pictures. Built in 1871, Union Creek is a rare Burr-arch covered bridge that served travelers through Monroe County for 99 years. Locust Creek Covered Bridge was built in 1868, is the longest covered bridge in Missouri, and was also a link in one of the earliest transcontinental railroads. Lewis and Clark State Park which borders Lewis and Clark Lake, is great for bird-watching including geese, great blue herons, eagles, swans, snowy egrets and more!
- Highway 21: Drive straight into the Ozark Mountains on this scenic route! Washington State Park is filled with history and includes clues about the Native Americans who once inhabited the area, the largest group of petroglyphs ever found in Missouri, and much more! In present day, you can rent canoes or kayaks to float down the Big River, all while staying in cabins or campsites on site. Elephant Rocks State Park is one of the most magnificent sights around! Walk along a mile-long paved trail to explore the billion-year-old giant pink granite boulders that as you guessed it – look like a row of circus elephants. Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park is basically a natural “waterpark” thanks to the Black River, which has carved out pools and chutes in ancient volcanic rock, creating Missouri’s most unique “swimming hole.”
- Highway 19: Located on the Missouri River, Hermann is a small town that includes the Hermann Wine Trail. This trail offers 11 wineries located along the river, including the Stone Hill Winery which was the second-largest winery in the US prior to prohibition! There are also many lodging options including bed and breakfast inns and “treehouses.” The Ozark National Scenic Riverways include the Jacks Fork and Current rivers where people can canoe, kayak or raft down them. As the country’s first national park area to protect a river system, it is surrounded with lush green forests and rock bluffs.
While this is just a short list of road trip ideas surrounding St. Louis, there are hundreds ofother beautiful places to explore! Times may be different, but something that will never change is the great outdoors. However, it’s important to remember that there are many extra guidelines put in place to ensure the safety of visitors and staff, so keep that in mind before visiting any places. Lastly, make sure your vehicle is road-trip ready with a service check-up at the Mungenast St. Louis Service Center! Other than that, do a quick Google search to better plan out your trip, pack those bags, and go! NOW is the time to set sail on that much-needed road trip you’ve been planning for years.