The sun set reflects across Forest Lake

The sunset reflects across Forest Lake in Adair County’s Thousand Hills State Park. Park Supervisor Ryan Persinger said the lake is available for most aquatic activities.

Are you ready to get out of the house and explore this summer? Whether you are looking for day trips or a longer getaway, this guide will help you find things to do and places to eat all over Missouri.

Here is a sampling of places we found. Click on the region to find more attractions and restaurants.

Northeast

See prehistoric rock carvings at Thousand Hills State Park

A step into Thousand Hills State Park is a step back in history. With prehistoric rock carvings called petroglyphs, some over 1,500 years old, the park is one of only two state parks in Missouri that have a major petroglyph site. Visitors can discover the history and meaning of these hieroglyphic-like carvings, but park officials say most people visit the park for Forest Lake, which covers almost 600 acres.

Northwest

Maryville Board Game Café has 500 games for customers to play

The Maryville Board Game Café offers customers a place to play a wide assortment of board games while drinking one of 39 available beverages, from tea and coffee to smoothies and frozen drinks. Scott Copeland opened the café after noticing a lack of social outlets, excluding bars. The cafe holds a library of at least 500 board games for customers to play, ranging from classics like Monopoly to more niche titles like Dungeons and Dragons.

Southwest

Retro games and an '80s experience come with a stop at 1984 Branson Arcade

The 1984 Branson Arcade stands out as a place to play retro games, as well as enjoy an authentic retro experience. Ron Murphy, one of the partners, wants to expose younger generations to the game world he loved when he was younger. An arcade lets customers experience a slice of the 1980s along with the games and this arcade has display areas lined with memorabilia from the decade — toys, electronics, even TVs playing classics on VHS.

Southeast

Broussard’s Cajun Cuisine brings a taste of the bayou to Cape Girardeau

Broussard’s has been serving authentic Cajun cuisine to customers in Cape Girardeau since 1986. The menu offers a mix of traditional Cajun fare and modern American favorites, ranging from classics like gumbo and jambalaya to burgers and salads. Stephanie Clark, one of the owners, describes it as original and authentic with an old-world charm that is unusual for the area. The restaurant sits on the banks of the Mississippi River, adding to the laid-back atmosphere.

St. Louis

Baileys’ Chocolate Bar offers a unique post-dining experience

To complement other restaurants nearby, Baileys’ Chocolate Bar owners Dave and Kara Bailey wanted to elevate the dining experience by specializing in beautiful desserts and signature cocktails. As the business grew, so did their ability to create more menu options. They added seasonal items — such as ice cream martinis for the summer and warm martinis in the winter. Still, their staples remain the most popular. These include Baileys’ Brownie, which is topped with Irish cream and salted caramel sauce, and the Royale, a brownie or blondie topped with caramelized banana, homemade vanilla ice cream and toasted nuts.

Kansas City

Chai Shai introduces classic Pakistani, Indian street food to diners

Chai Shai is a small and unassuming Pakistani and Indian restaurant in the Brookside neighborhood of Kansas City. The only commercial sign is a small window decal that reads, “Chai Shai.” The restaurant has been family owned and run since it opened in June 2010. It specializes in both Pakistani and Indian street food. The restaurant is designed to be a place to sit with friends while sipping tea and eating. Open for lunch and dinner, the restaurant specializes in samosas, vegetarian fare, lamb and chicken dishes.

Central

Deutschheim State Historic Site in Hermann honors the community's German roots

Hermann was founded by German immigrants, and the Deutschheim State Historic Site is meant to preserve that heritage. It was established in 1837 by the German Settlement Society of Philadelphia to be a haven for German culture. The town’s location was chosen based on its proximity to the Missouri River, and it has also become known for its abundance of wineries. Among the attractions at Deutschheim are the Pommer-Gentner House and Strehly House, both among the oldest surviving structures in town and the homes of founding families.

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