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The Rolla Daily News - Rolla, MO
  • Day Trippin' — The queen of the Ozarks

  • Nicknamed the “Queen City of the Ozarks”, Springfield has always been considered an excellent place for shopping by our local Ozarkians. Consider a trip-for-a-day to explore a few of the town’s vacation attractions.
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  • Nicknamed the “Queen City of the Ozarks”, Springfield has always been considered an excellent place for shopping by our local Ozarkians. Consider a trip-for-a-day to explore a few of the town’s vacation attractions. Visitors will have time for just a few of the attractions in one day due to the fact that the town has countless possibilities of fun and interesting things to do.
    Visit downtown and check out the 1984 Arcade. Surround yourself with games and music from the era of the 1980s for just five dollars each. While downtown, have a bite to eat at the many choices of eateries. If you are downtown on the first Friday of the month, you might want to time your visit to enjoy the First Friday Art Walk. This monthly event features original art, live music, hands-on activities, live art demonstrations, and a variety of nighttime activities.
    In January of 1863, Union forces defended the Springfield territory during the Confederate attempts to gain supplies and high-ground access. There are twelve markers placed throughout the battleground that commemorate where defenses were organized, troops gathered supplies, injured soldiers were hospitalized and homes destroyed.
    A visit to the Air and Military Museum on Kearney Street includes restored vintage military equipment. This “hands on” museum’s mission is to “educate our citizens, preserve our history and honor our veterans and our country.”
    Wilson’s Creek Battlefield is almost a day trip in itself. Visit the Civil War Library at the battlefield. The library has one of the largest collections of bound volumes on the Civil War in the National Parks Service for genealogical and historical research.
    On Commercial Street the visitor will find the History of Hearing Museum. You will go back in the day of the trumpet ear horn era to today's remarkable hearing technology.
    For cave enthusiasts, visit River Bluff Cave, the Missouri Institute of Natural Science.
    If you are found of castles, check out the “certified haunted” Pythian Castle. Built in 1913 as an orphanage by the Knights of Pythias, the fifty-room castle was later owned by the U.S. Military. The old castle offers ghost tours, murder mystery dinners, comedy nights and other special events occur regularly.
    Baseball is always fun. Visit Hammons Field to attend a Springfield Cardinals game or take a tour of the stadium.
    For a touch of history, visit the home of John Polk Campbell. He was the nephew and namesake of the founder of Springfield. The old farmstead includes the 1856 house, the log kitchen, a log granary, a barn and the family cemetery. It’s located in Nathanael Greene Park.
    Springfield was incorporated in 1838. That same year the Trail of Tears began and passed through this area. The Old Wire (Military) Road supplied the area during the Civil War and the area is the site of the Wilson’s Creek Battle. Interestingly, in 1865, the town square was the site of a “quick draw” shootout between Wild Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt. Two small brass plaques inlaid into the pavement on Park Central Square mark the locations of both Hickok and Tutt during the famous shootout.
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    And, Springfield is recognized as the birthplace of Route 66 Highway begun in 1926. The Ozark Jubilee was the first national country music show on television that was broadcast from Springfield from 1955 until 1960. The show featured well-known performers, including Red Foley, Brenda Lee, Porter Wagoner, Slim Wilson, and Buford Foster’s “Tad Poles” square dance group.
    “Springfield is rich with interesting and entertaining attractions, more than eight hundred dining options and a variety of shopping and cultural activities.” Visit springfieldmo.org for special offers and coupons.D
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