If you’re looking for the best places to experience fall in Missouri, then you’ve come to the right place!
Missouri is probably best known for big cities like Kansas City and St. Louis. Or rugged cities like Branson, where you’ll find plenty of things to do.
But there’s so much more to the state than just its major cities!
From its sweeping plains, agricultural history, and some awesome landscapes, it’s a beautiful Midwestern state.
In fact, some of the best places to enjoy Fall colors in Missouri are at many of the amazing state and national parks in Missouri.
Missouri in the fall can be a truly magical experience, especially if you know the best places to go.
However, there are tons of other great places to explore in Missouri in the Fall too.
On this list, I’ve tried to include a variety of different places to enjoy the beautiful Fall colors in Missouri.
So, let’s take a look at the 15 best places to experience Fall in Missouri!
15 Best Places To Experience Fall In Missouri
See Fall Colors At Elephant Rocks State Park
One of the best places to enjoy fall in Missouri is at Elephant Rocks State Park.
Elephant Rocks State Park is gorgeous and has some of the best scenic hikes in Missouri.
The park is known for its elephant-shaped boulders, which is how it gets its name.
As you hike to the boulders, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful Missouri fall foliage.
When you get to the elephant-shaped boulders, you’ll get a picturesque view of the valley below that is full of trees.
During the Fall, those trees are beautiful shades of red, orange, and yellow.
Trees surround the uniquely shaped boulders too.
So, it’s a really unique view of Missouri’s fall foliage!
Stroll Through Forest Park While You’re In St. Louis
There are tons of fun things to do in St. Louis Missouri.
If you’re visiting Missouri in the fall, you may want to consider strolling through Forest Park.
Forest Park is over 1,000 acres and is one of the most prominent parks in the city.
As the summer ends, Forest Park is one of the best places to enjoy autumn in Missouri.
You can walk the trails, enjoy the beautiful fall foliage, and you’ll be right in the city too.
Throughout the fall, Forest Park hosts a variety of different events.
They have Fun Runs, the Cross Country Festival, a Hot Air Balloon Race, and tons more.
It’s easily one of the most fun places to see fall foliage in Missouri.
Go Camping In The Mark Twain National Forest
If you want to spend a few days immersed in Missouri fall colors, I suggest camping in Missouri Mark Twain National Forest.
The Mark Twain National Forest is over 1.5 million acres of dense woods.
Those dense woods come alive with some of the most beautiful fall foliage in Missouri when the weather starts to cool down.
You’ll be able to spend a few days surrounded by fall leaf colors while you hike throughout the national forest.
Spend your nights around the fire enjoying smores and the stars!
You’re sure to enjoy spending a few days camping in the Mark Twain National Forest during the fall.
Visit Washington MO For Pumpkin Palooza
In Washington Missouri, you’ll find the Pumpkin Palooza festival.
It’s easily one of the best things to do in Missouri in the fall!
You’ll be surrounded by all things pumpkin when you take part in this Missouri fall festival.
Start the day with the ‘Great Pumpkin Weigh-in’ where you could see pumpkins that weigh over 100lbs.
Then walk the streets of Downtown Washington. That’s where you’ll see local vendors selling food, handmade goods, and even more pumpkin-themed items.
Throughout the day they have a variety of different competitions as well.
There is a baking competition, pumpkin rolling, a ghost hunt, storytime for the kids, and tons more.
It’s a super fun Missouri autumn activity that the whole family will enjoy.
Spend A Weekend In Kansas City, Missouri In The Fall
There are tons and tons of things to do in Kansas City, Missouri.
That’s especially true in the fall!
As autumn time starts, Kansas City becomes one of the best places to enjoy Missouri in the fall.
In the heartland, you can find a variety of different autumn activities that everyone in the whole family will enjoy.
You’ll find a variety of different pumpkin patches, so you can pick out your own pumpkins for jack-o-lanterns.
Or, take part in one of the city’s many festivals, like Weston’s Apple Fest, or explore the botanical gardens.
Kansas City is also home to several cider mills, which are a great way to spend an autumn day in Missouri.
No matter what you’re interested in, you’ll enjoy spending time in Kansas City, Missouri in the fall.
Hike The Katy Trail To See Beautiful Fall Foliage In Missouri
One of the best ways to see the stunning fall foliage in Missouri is to hike the Katy Trail.
You’ll find the Katy Trail in the Katy Trail State Park. The entire trail is 240 miles long and runs between Clinton and Machens Missouri.
When you hike the Katy Trail, you’ll get to experience some of the most scenic areas of Missouri.
This makes it perfect for admiring Missouri’s fall foliage!
You don’t have to hike the entire 240 miles to experience the beauty of autumn in Missouri.
There are a variety of different trailheads that you can pick up throughout the state, or of course, start in Katy Trail State Park.
No matter how you choose to hike the trail, it’s an excellent way to see fall foliage in Missouri.
Enjoy Missouri Fall Foliage In The Ozarks At The Alley Spring
You’ll find Alley Spring nestled in the Ozarks of Missouri.
The Ozarks are one of the best places to visit in Missouri, especially in the fall.
It’s the 7th largest spring in Missouri and the original bright red spring house is surrounded by dense woods.
At Alley Spring, the fall colors in Missouri are some of the best during the autumn months.
The beautiful waters around the spring, the spring house, and the fall foliage are absolutely stunning.
All around the Spring, there are hiking trails you can explore, where you’ll get to enjoy more of the stunning fall foliage in Missouri.
It’s easily one of the best places to enjoy fall colors in Missouri while you explore the Ozarks.
Take Part In The Maple Leaf Festival In Carthage
The Maple Leaf Festival started in Carthage Missouri in 1966 as a marching band competition.
Carthage is one of the coolest towns in Missouri!
Today, it has evolved into a huge festival that people come from all over to enjoy and take part in.
Every year, the city expects around 80,000 visitors to take part in the festival. So it’s kind of a big deal!
The Maple Leaf Festival takes place annually on the third Saturday of October.
It begins with the largest parade in Southwest Missouri. The parade is so big that it typically lasts from 9 am to 12 pm.
Throughout the day, you can find vendors on the streets, tractor and car shows, food stalls, and live entertainment.
There are even marching bands, a nod to the original Maple Leaf Festival.
Explore The Hermann Wine Country During Fall In Missouri
Missouri’s Wine Country is undoubtedly Hermann, Missouri.
In fact, it’s where you’ll find many of the best Missouri wineries.
It’s also a beautiful area to explore during autumn in Missouri.
While you’re in Hermann, you can take a fall drive in Missouri on the Hermann Wine Trail.
On the trail, you’ll find a number of different wineries where you can sample delicious wine blends.
All along this Missouri fall drive, you’ll get to see some spectacular fall foliage too!
Exploring Missouri’s wine country is easily one of the best activities to enjoy in Missouri in the fall.
Have Fun At The Harvest Festival And Pumpkin Nights In Branson
There are tons of different activities to enjoy during the fall in Branson.
One of the most popular Branson fall activities is the Harvest Festival and Pumpkin Nights.
All year long, there are so many fun things to do in Branson!
The Harvest Festival takes place in Silver Dollar City, a historic area of Branson.
It runs from the end of September to the end of October.
This fall festival in Missouri features craft days, fall displays, and a variety of other activities.
At night, take part in the festival’s Pumpkin Nights.
There, you’ll be able to see literally thousands of pumpkin jack-o-lanterns on display!
You won’t want to miss this festival when you spend the fall in Branson!
Enjoy Picturesque Views At Lake Of The Ozarks When You Travel To Missouri In The Fall
The Lake of the Ozarks is a popular vacation spot in Missouri.
It’s actually a reservoir created by the Osage River, in the Northern Ozarks.
A majority of the Lake of the Ozarks is located in the Lake of the Ozarks State Park, which is another great camping spot in Missouri.
If you aren’t interested in traditional tent camping, they also have yurts and cabins available to rent.
They can make for an especially romantic Midwest getaway in the fall, where you’ll be surrounded by Missouri fall foliage.
At the lake, you can swim, boat, hike, and more.
It may be a bit chilly to swim in the fall, but it’s still a beautiful place to hike or boat while you enjoy the fall foliage in Missouri.
Hike To See Missouri Fall Foliage In Dogwood Canyon Nature Park
One of the best ways to see the spectacular fall foliage in Missouri is to take a scenic MO hike in Dogwood Canyon Nature Park.
Dogwood Canyon Nature Park is a beautiful park in the Ozarks that is over 10,000 acres.
It’s actually a nature preserve, and you’ll find it just outside of Lampe, Missouri, which is one of the best places to visit in Missouri.
At Dogwood Canyon, you’ll be surrounded by a dense forest that is bursting with color during the fall in Missouri.
Whether you stay and explore for the whole day, or just spend a few hours hiking, it’s easily one of the prettiest ways to experience Missouri in the fall.
Head To Eureka For Their Annual Scarecrow Festival
If you’re looking for a truly unique Missouri autumn experience, head to Eureka for their annual Scarecrow Festival.
For the month of October, Eureka puts on a colorful and artistic display with its unique scarecrows.
As you walk through the town, you’ll find businesses and private residents who are taking part in the fun fall festival in Missouri.
You’ll find tons of scarecrows posed in a variety of different positions and decorated in unique ways.
Past popular scarecrows include a motorcycle rider, a gnome, Wonder Woman, Ariel, and tons more.
To encourage people to take part in the festival, they have a selfie scavenger hunt, and the winner can actually win a cash prize.
Drive One Of The Scenic By-Ways For A Beautiful Fall In Missouri Roadtrip
Sometimes, the best way to enjoy fall foliage is with a scenic drive.
Missouri is full of scenic by-ways that are perfect for Missouri fall drives.
Some of the scenic by-ways are only around 20 miles long. However, there are some scenic by-ways in Missouri that are hundreds of miles long.
One of the best ways to experience fall colors in Missouri is to drive on the Missouri portion of Historic Route 66.
Historic Route 66 is full of unique attractions, and many of them can be found on the Missouri portion of the scenic by-way.
For instance, in Missouri, you can explore the Meramec Caverns, a unique cave in Missouri to explore. Or visit the Route 66 Drive-in Theatre.
As you drive to each unique attraction, you’ll be surrounded by the beautiful Missouri fall foliage!
Kimmswick Apple Butter Festival Is One Of The Best Things To Do During The Fall In Missouri
Every year, on the last full weekend in October, the town of Kimmswick hosts its annual Apple Butter Festival.
It’s the biggest festival in Kimmswick, and they typically expect over 100,000 visitors during the festival weekend.
As you stroll through the streets, you’ll typically find over 500 different vendors.
The vendors range from food vendors, craft vendors, and drink vendors.
For the kids, they also have pony rides, a petting zoo with farm animals, and even a miniature train!
You’ll also find tons of live entertainment throughout the day.
Of course, you’ll also get to learn all about how apple butter is made, and be able to purchase fresh apple butter!
Packing List When Experiencing Fall In Missouri
If you are searching, here are some tips on how to pack lightly when packing to go experience autumn in Missouri.
A concealed travel pouch may be one of the most important items you bring along when searching for places to see Missouri fall foliage.
It is always important to protect your personal information. Identity thieves are everywhere.
This unisex RFID blocking concealed travel pouch is lightweight and comes in several colors. It has lots of organization to give you peace of mind.
If you have a pouch already that does not come with the RFID protection, as I do, these RFID sleeves are the perfect solution.
This configuration comes with enough credit card sleeves that the entire family would be protected. They are slim too, so they will easily fit into your pouch or wallet.
If you are planning on taking a lot of pictures with your phone you will definitely want to consider an external charging battery. This Anker high-speed phone charging battery is the exact one I carry with me on all of my trips.
It can be used on a variety of phones, not just an iPhone like I have. And wow is it fast!
I like that it holds its charging capabilities for several uses so I do not have to worry about it while out and about, and if I forget to recharge it at night, it will still be good to go the next day.
My daughter gifted me with this FugeTek selfie stick and tripod setup for my birthday. I absolutely love it! It is made of lightweight aluminum and is so easy to use.
It has Bluetooth connectivity and is a breeze to use for taking selfies when seeing the beautiful North Dakota colors of autumn.
Hydration is so important when traveling. You want to remain hydrated throughout your travels to support your immune system which in turn will be stronger to fight off any germs you will encounter during your travels.
You will want to bring your own refillable water bottle with you.
I never leave home on a trip without my Bobble filtration bottle. The 18.5-ounce size is perfect for hiking and it fits nicely in the pocket of a backpack.
When filled with water, it is not too heavy to carry. And the charcoal filter ensures fresh clean water whenever you fill the Bobble.
Perhaps you are traveling a long distance and packing space is a premium in your suitcase, or in your car.
Then this set of collapsible silicone foldable water bottles would work well for you. Would not take up much space at all.
You will want a backpack or daypack with you to store snacks, your water bottle, phone, extra clothes, etc.. then this foldable water-resistant backpack would be great.
There are so many great ways to spend a beautiful day in the fall in Missouri.
From fun festivals, Missouri fall drives, and beautiful parks full of colorful foliage.
No matter how you like to enjoy a beautiful fall day, you’ll enjoy these Missouri autumn activities!
Have you ever been to Missouri in the fall?
If so, I’d love to hear about your favorite activities in the comments!