The best way to spend time in Joplin is to visit the downtown area. Historic buildings, excellent shops, fine salons and tasty restaurants are around every corner—just let curiosity be your guide! Memorial Hall, the Joplin Public Library and the Post Memorial Art Reference Library are just some of the places worth visiting. many historic structures still exist in Joplin including the House of Lords, a one time popular gambling club at 407 Main Street., the Newman Mercantile Store building, a landmark since 1910, and now called home to Joplin’s City Hall, the Frisco Depot, a one time Harvey House and Railroad office building that has been converted to apartments, as well as the Union Depot, and the Fox Theater. A trolley is available for transportation downtown.
The historic Murphysburg District is a residential area that sprang up in the 1880's just west of the downtown Main Street business district from Byers to Jackson Avenues and 2nd to 7th Streets. Many of these grand homes still stand today and are representative of Victorian and post-Victorian architecture. Home and garden tours of the district are offered at special events throughout the year.
Bonnie & Clyde's Joplin Hideout
The historic location of a shootout between the law and Bonnie & Clyde that resulted in the tragic deaths of two officers. The apartment has been beautifully restored and is available for nightly, weekend and weekly rental. For more info Bonnie & Clyde's Joplin Hideout.
Redings Mill Bridge
The historic escape route of Bonnie and Clyde after the tragic shootout at the Joplin garage apartment. Follow Main Street going south of Joplin to Shoal Creek. A new bridge was built just to the west when they closed the old bridge to foot traffic only. On the north side of the bridge, there is a small area for parking your car so you can walk the bridge. Be sure to bring your camera. The view is beautiful.
Sky High Castle
Sky High Castle was built during 1927 - 1930. The owner/builder, who wanted to have his own castle built of local stone, had been to Europe during the 1920s. He had the turret and crenelations built to imitate what he had seen during his travels. It's striking appearance that has long held the interests of many local folks and visitors to the Joplin, Missouri area. The Castle can be viewed from the town of Redings Mill below. Although tours are no longer available you can still view the castle, by heading south on Main Street, crossing over Shoal Creek to Redings Mill and turn right. Look up to the hillside on your left and you can view the castle. For more information visit
Joplin Museum Complex
No trip to Joplin would be complete without a trip to the Joplin Museum Complex at Schifferdecker Park. The complex includes the Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum and the Dorothea B. Hoover Historical Museum. Both museums tell the story of Joplin, its mining history, and its people. The Museum Complex is located in Schifferdecker Park and open daily except Mondays. There is a nominal admission fee and group discounts are available. Please call 417-623-1180 or log on to www.joplinmuseum.org.
Civil War Museum in Carthage
Experience the “Battle of Carthage” through the 7'X15' foot inspirational mural painted by local artist Andy Thomas. The museum displays authentic artifacts and specific details of the Civil War fought in Carthage. Phone: 417/358-6643 Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9 am - 5 pm; Sun., 1-5 pm; Open all year. Free Admission. Located at 205 E. Grant, Carthage, MO. For more info visit www.powersmuseum.com/about/carthage.html
George Washington Carver National Monument & Museum
The George Washington Carver Monument is the first national monument to recognize the scientific accomplishments of an African-American in agricultural science and was established by an act of Congress on July 14, 1943. It is one of six national parks in Missouri and the first national monument in world history to be established for better racial peace and understanding. Visitors will enjoy a video presentation, museum, interactive Carver Discovery Center, and nature trails, as well as guided tours. The monument is located 2 miles west of Diamond, MO on V Hwy. Phone: 417-325-4151 for more info www.nps.gov/gwca/.
Bluff Dwellers’ Cave and Browning Museum
Bluff Dwellers’ is one of the most scenic of the many caves in Missouri, owing to the variety of natural processes that led to its formation. After taking a 45-minute tour of the complex of caves, see some of the interesting rocks, minerals, fossils and arrowheads recovered from the cave and surrounding area at the Browning Museum. www.4noel.com/bluffd/
George A. Spiva Center for the Arts
The George A. Spiva Center for the Arts has been fostering memorable experiences with the visual arts since 1947. The exhibition, education, and cultural center is located at 3rd & Wall in the heart of downtown Joplin. It's a place to see art, to learn about art, to create art, to collect art. It's a place to be inspired, a place to feel at home. Spiva Center for the Arts is open Tuesday through Sunday. Please call 417-623-0183 or log on to www.spivaarts.org for gallery hours and more information.
Thomas Hart Benton Mural
On permanent display in Joplin City Hall, Joplin At The Turn Of The Century, 1896-1906, is the famous artist's only autobiographical work and certainly one of his finest creations. Dedicated on Joplin's 100th birthday in 1973, the gigantic and stunning work depicts early Joplin and its mining history. Accompanying the mural is the fascinating Evolution Of A Mural, the story of the development of the mural and Benton's thought process behind the creation of his final mural. It includes the artist's rough sketches and drawings of the monumental work in progress. Viewing of the exhibit is a must for any art enthusiast. The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday through Friday, 8 AM - 5 PM and by appointment on weekends. Call 417-625-4789 or 800-657-2534 for more information.
Joplin Public Library & Art Reference Library
The Joplin Public Library was founded in 1902 and serves the entire four-state region with a collection of over 100,000 items in print and non-print format. Located within the Joplin Public Library is the Post-Memorial Art Reference Library featuring European art and antiques from the Winfred and Elizabeth Post collection as well as monthly exhibits by area artists and collectors. The facility is located at 300 South Main Street, Joplin, MO. For more info visit www.joplinpubliclibrary.org or phone (417) 623-7953.
Post Memorial Art Reference Library
The Post Memorial Art Reference Library is housed in English-style great hall. The library is furnished with European art and antiques from the Winfred and Elizabeth Post collection. Located at 300 Main St., Joplin, MO. Call (417) 782-7678 or visit www.postlibrary.org.
Located on Route 66 across from the the Joplin Museum Complex.
Grand Falls on Shoal Creek are only a few minutes from Wildcat Park and have been one of Missouri and the Ozarks' most scenic destinations for several decades. As the largest, continuously flowing natural waterfall in Missouri, Grand Falls plunges over 25 feet down a ledge of solid chert before flowing southward. Call 800-657-2534 for more information.
Directions to Grand Falls: From 1-44 West take Joplin exit 6 (Hwy 86 SOUTH) Follow south approx two blocks and turn right (west) on Glendale Road and follow about 1.5 miles. Turn left (south) on Jackson and cross over low water bridge. Immediately after bridge turn right (west) on Riverside Drive and follow for 2 miles and Grand Falls will be on your right side.
Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center
The Wildcat Glades Conservation & Audubon Center, is a flagship nature center program of the National Audubon Society. The Center connects people to the beautiful and unique natural resources of our region through a network of trails, a state-of-the- art "green" building and hands-on interactive programming. Adjacent to Silver and Shoal Creeks, the Audubon Center showcases a premiere 1,300-gallon aquarium and Ozark stream. For more information, call 417-623-2211 or log on to www.wildcatglades.audubon.org.
Reptile World Zoo
Reptile World Zoo showcases an amazing collection of exotic reptiles and creepy, crawly things including cobras, pythons, anacondas, alligators, crocodiles, dragons, iguanas, tortoises and tarantulas. Reptile World is a perfect family day trip or field trip for a school group. Located at 1733 Kodiak Road, Joplin, MO. For more info call 417-206-4443 or log on to www.reptileworldzoo.com for more information.
Route 66 Carousel Park
The park provides family entertainment for all ages with 36 holes of mini-golf, go-karts, arcade, amusement rides, batting cages, party room and much more. Located at 3834 W 7th St., Joplin, MO. For more info call (417) 626-7710 or visit www.route66carouselpark.com.
Precious Moments Park & Chapel
Creator Sam Butcher began drawing the endearing teardrop-eye children he called "Precious Moments" in 1974 as gifts for family and friends. His work has gone on to be some of the most recognizable art in the world and spawned the creation of the Precious Moments Park & Chapel in 1989 in nearby Carthage. Drawing some 400,000 visitors each year, the Park & Chapel showcase beautiful murals of the Precious Moments characters depicting beloved stories from the Bible. In addition, the Fountain of Angels, Wedding Island, Royal Delights restaurant, acres of gardens and a large gift shop make Precious Moments one of Missouri's most beautiful attractions. Precious Moments is open year round with hours varying by season. The Precious Moments Park is located in Carthage, Missouri. Just a short hop off of I-44. Call 800-543-7975 or visit www.preciousmoments.com for more information.
John C. Cox Pioneer Cemetery
Civil War and Spanish-American War veterans and early settlers are buried in Cox Cemetery. Located north of the homestead of Joplin's co-founder, John C. Cox at 615 Persimmon, Joplin, MO.
The fabled Spook Light has been appearing in the night sky on a country road known as Devil's Promenade only a few miles outside of Joplin for more than a century. Regarded as Missouri's most famous ghostly manifestation, the first sighting was recorded back in 1886. The illumination is mobile and has shown itself in the colors of white, yellow, orange and red. Early settlers actually left the area in terror because of the giant ball of light bouncing over hills and across fields.
Directions to Spook Light: from I-44 take exit 4 - HWY 86 South. Follow approx 6 miles to junction Route BB. Turn right on BB Hwy and follow the road until it ends. Turn right again, go 1 mile, turn left on E50 Road also known as Spooklight Road. Approx 1 1/2 - 2 miles is the darkest and best place to wait. Call 800-657-2534 for more information or visit www.prairieghosts.com.
Joplin Little Theatre
This wonderful theatre is the oldest continuously operated community theatre west of the Mississippi. It is located at 3009 West 1st Street in Joplin. Call 417-623-3638 for schedule of performances or visit www.joplinlittletheatre.org.
Joplin 66 Speedway
Check out some great racing action on the 4/10-mile, oval, red-clay racetrack at Joplin 66 Speedway in Joplin. The track features all classes of racing, including bomber, factory stock, late model and modified. The speedway seats 8,000, with a 6,000-seat concrete grandstand.
The Bridge recreation and entertainment center opens a brand new location in 2006, boasting 64,000 square feet of the most extreme and exciting activities in today's youth culture. The Bridge is home to a 40' rock climbing gym, cage basketball, Internet café and wireless hotspot, network and arcade gaming, as well as Autumn Ramp Park and The Foundry Music Venue. The Bridge is open every day except Monday with free admission -- activities are priced separately. Location at 3405 S. Hammons Blvd. For more info call (417) 206-6886 or visit www.thebridgejoplin.com.
On Old 66 Blvd. just west of 170. Phone 417-359-5959 for shows and times.
Skateland of Webb City
Skateland of Webb City made it's home in the renovated power house of the Southwest Missouri Railway streetcar system in 2000. Skateland is open year round. One of it's main attractions are their Public Skating Sessions. Skateland is located at 600 South Ball Stree, Webb City, MO. For information on hours and prices call (417) 673-1099
Carl Richard's Bowling Centers
1419 West 4th Street, Joplin, MO. Phone 417-624-5681.
Candy House Gourmet Chocolates
In 1970, an old rock tavern in the Ozarks, just south of Joplin, was transformed into a quaint little candy shop. Today, the Candy House has two Joplin locations and is known by customers worldwide for wonderful hand-dipped chocolates, English toffee, caramel pecan treats and other sweet delights. See the original Candy House two miles south of Joplin on Highway 86 (Joplin Main St.). Call the Candy House at 417-624-1515 or log on to www.candyhouse.net for exact hours and more information.
See a renovated Santa Fe and a Frisco caboose and a Jersey Central passenger car at this local attraction. All of the cabooses are filled with railroad memorabilia and displays. Gifts and kitchen accessories are available at the gift shop. The Country Caboose is located at 1100 North Prosperity in Joplin. Visit www.countrycaboose.com for more info or phone 417-624-3861.
Always Buying Books
Great prices on new and used books. The shop carries a good selection of books about Bonnie & Clyde for those who didn't get enough by visiting the Joplin Hidout. Located at 5357 North Main Street, Joplin, MO 64801. Phone 471-781-1720
In the tradition of the Old Country, Arde's serves evening meals at an unhurried pace; or if you must hurry we can efficiently accomodate your schedule. Old World Hospitality, Old World Gourmet Foods, and Old World Fine Wines: it's all here. Only Arde's can truly offer you the best of both worlds. Open 6 nights a week. Located at 101 Mark Twain Drive, Joplin, MO. Phone 417-782-4636 or visit www.ardesvilla.com.
Fred & Red - Chili, Tamales & Spaghetti Red
Get your chili fix at Fred & Red. You can get it plain or with beans, over tamales or spaghetti. Burgers and hot dogs are also available. Fred & Red has been a favorite among locals and visitors since 1929. Located at 1719 S. Main Street. Open 11-9 Tues.- Sat. (Note: highly recommended by the webmaster of this site)
Crabby's Seafood Bar and Grill
Faraway seafood sensations without the travel. Crabby's is pleased to offer a consistently evolving menu of new cuisine & old favorites, spotlighting the freshest offerings of the season. Located at 815 W 7th, Joplin, MO. Call 417-206-FISH or visit www.crabbysseafood.com
Red Onion Café
The Red Onion Café is located at 204 E. 4th St., Joplin, MO. Call 417-623-1004.
Granny Shaffer's Restaurant
Locally Owned, American Home Cooking, Vegetarian Friendly Items, Kids Menu, Carry Outs. Excellent Breakfast menu. Located at 7th & Illinois, Joplin, MO. Phone 417-624-3700. (Note: highly recommended by the webmaster of this site. Excellent breakfasts!)
Please note that the header graphic is a composite photo made expressly for
this website and not an actual photo of the gang in front of the apartment.