Top 5 Missouri Road Trip Destinations | Budget Car Rental

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Are you ready to hit the open road? There’s no vacation quite like taking a road trip with friends and family. Between getting there and experiencing the destination, how can you not have fun?! The state of Missouri is filled with the beautiful Ozark forests and blue lakes, waiting to be explored, see it all on a road trip. Enjoy all Missouri has to offer by picking up a car rental in St. Louis—such as a spacious minivan or comfortable and sporty SUV—and zoom off to a nearby or far-off destination. To make the most of your Missouri road trip, rent a car and check out these top travel destinations. 


1. The Gateway Arch


Map: 11 North 4th Street, St. Louis, MO 63102

There’s no better place to start your journey than at the actual Gateway to the West. Peer out over the Mississippi River and downtown St. Louis after journeying to the top of this iconic 630-foot-high arch. Part history museum, part observation deck, this national monument memorializes Missouri’s role as a major hub during the 1800s expansion of the United States. After a four-minute tram ride to the top, you can spend as much time as you want to check out what lies below. Complete your trip by watching the short documentary at the visitor’s center and taking a riverboat cruise on the Mississippi.


2. Mark Twain National Forest


Map: 401 Fairgrounds Road, Rolla, MO 65401

Mark Twain National Forest is located in southern Missouri and is named for one of the state’s most famous natives. A great destination for true outdoor enthusiasts and environmental advocates, the forest offers more than 750 miles of trails perfect for biking, hiking, and horseback riding. There’s nothing like a long hike or bike ride through the best nature has to offer, especially after a long drive. If you’d prefer to escape modern life completely, you and your group can enjoy semi-primitive and wilderness camping.


3. Lake of the Ozarks State Park


Map: 0170, 403 MO-134, Kaiser, MO 65047

For another outdoor suggestion, Lake of Ozarks State Park is a popular stop for those who like to read a book by the lake or explore the surrounding areas. Hike, backpack, or bike in the woodlands along one of Missouri’s biggest lakes. Or if the weather is warm, jump in the Lake of the Ozarks for a refreshing swim. You can also enjoy the water while fishing or boating. Continue to save on lodging expenses by camping overnight or just stop in for a quick picnic with a scenic view of the lake.

4. Branson, MO

With amusement parks, museums, and fun dining, Branson, MO, is one of the country’s most family-friendly vacation spots.

Silver Dollar City

Map399 Silver Dollar City Parkway, Branson, MO 65616

This 1880s theme park combines roller coaster thrills with entertainment and American frontier history. Open year-round, Silver Dollar City is one of the top places to visit in Missouri, with families and friends. You’ll enjoy exploring the theme park, riding rides such as one of the world’s fastest and tallest, spinning roller coaster, catching a show, and watching craftsmen demonstrate 19th century-era handiwork. 

Titanic Museum


Map3235 76 Country Blvd & Hwy 165, Branson, MO 65616

Chances are, there’s a history buff in your road trip group—or, at least, a Leonardo DiCaprio fan. Either way, stop at Branson’s Titanic Museum for an experience to remember. Step back in time and tour a replica of the Titanic, learn the stories of the passengers and crew, and view artifacts recovered from the wreckage. This museum is kid and family friendly.

Table Rock State Park


Map5272 State Highway 165, Branson, MO 65616

Table Rock State Park is a must-see road trip travel destination while you’re in Branson. Stop at this beautiful lakeside state park to rent water skiing boats, go on a parasail ride, or scuba dive. If you’d rather stay dry, rent a bike and ride along a paved trail or take a relaxing hike, for a sampling of the Ozark woodlands and glades. Try spending the night in a lakeside yurt for the full Table Rock experience.

Book Your Missouri Car Rental

Whether you need a roomy SUV for camping, or an eco-friendly sedan to cover the miles, Budget has a car rental for you. Reserve a rental car today to ensure your Missouri road trip is safe, convenient, and comfortable.