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My Top 4 Day Trips Near St. Louis

My Top 4 Day Trips Near St. Louis

As most of you know I grew up near St. Louis, MO, and I've always loved exploring the drivable areas near my hometown. Sarah and I often would spend hours driving through the countryside exploring roads, and I distilled those explorations into our top 4 best day trips. Here they are, in no particular order: 



Alton/Grafton Ferry/Pere Marquette


Map link1st half, and 2nd half (they wouldn’t let me take the ferry, so I had to split it into two sections) 


What to doride the ferry to Calhoun County, hike at Pere Marquette State Park, and drive back during the sunset along the great Illinois river road


Why we love it: the drive is one of the most beautiful in the midwest, tracing along massive white bluffs that have been compared to the cliffs of Dover. There are several great hikes at Pere Marquette State Park, and it’s always a blast to ride a ferry on the mighty Mississippi River. 





Caledonia/Elephant Rocks/Fort Davidson/Cape Girardeau


Map Linkclick here


What to do: Stop off at the only gas station in Caledonia for amazing fountain sodas, hike at Elephant Rocks State Park, visit the civil war battlefield at Fort Davidson and finish out the night at Bella Italia in Cape. 


Why we love it: Bella Italia makes the best bread I’ve ever had, and you’ll need it after a few hours of scrambling over giant boulders at Elephant Rocks State Park. Also, keep your eyes open for a great little ice cream shop between Pilot Knob and Cape Girardeau. 







Map Linkclick here


What to do: experience a beautiful drive up the Missouri river road, check out the crafts in Clarksville and visit Mark Twain’s boyhood home in Hannibal. There’s also cave tours that the story of Tom Sawyer is based on, and a bunch more (check it out here). 


Why we love it: Depending on the time of year you might see bald eagles above the dam in Clarksville, or the stunning fall colors in the remote forests along the way. Also, it’s fun to connect real places to Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer stories, and Hannibal has some of the most beautiful post civil war architecture in Missouri. 





Wine Country/Hermann/Jefferson City 


Map Linkclick here


What to do: Drive one of the most beautiful drives in Missouri on old hwy 94, get ice cream in historic Hermann, MO  and visit the state capitol in Jeff City


Why we love it: Yet another stunning drive along a very old Missouri highway, this trip will take you past Daniel Boone’s final homestead and a host of great wineries and stunning river basin views. When you get to Jefferson City you can take a free tour of the capitol. We recommend the pizza place right next to the capitol if you’re looking for a good place for dinner. 


P.S. I know this is not anything to do with music, but even a musician needs to take day off once in awhile and travel to keep the creative juices flowing. 


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