Three Affordable Summer Vacations Here in Missouri

Go See the Show-Me State

With school out and vacation days accrued, the temptation of a quick, inexpensive weekend away is getting stronger. You don’t need to hop on an airplane to satisfy your wanderlust – check out these three awesome retreats and getaways all across the state.

Johnson’s Shut-in State Park


With 8,647 acres and camping, hiking, swimming and rock climbing available, Johnson’s Shut-in State Park is a place unlike any other. The “shut-ins” (an Ozark term) are deep narrow channels of the river flowing over large, smooth rocks, perfectly forming a natural water park. Could there be a better way to spend a hot summer’s day?

There are cabins available to rent but the park is well-equipped for camping, so pack up the tents. You can try your luck fishing for dinner in the Black River but just in case, throw in a few different meals.

Weston, Missouri 


After you shop on the Plaza and catch a Royals game in Kansas City, Missouri, head over to Weston, Missouri. Less than an hour from Kansas City, this small town is the definition of charming. There are several bed-and-breakfasts to choose from but sleep can wait – explore the many antique shops, restaurants and wineries the town offers.

For the foodies among us, plan ahead and reserve your spot for dinner at Green Dirt Farm. This sheep farm has earned national awards for its cheeses, and the farm-to-table dinners pair its fresh offerings with local chefs. This is a dining experience you won’t find anywhere else.

Hermann, Missouri


Headed east instead of west? Stop by Hermann, Missouri, for some rest and relaxation. This historic community is especially eventful during the summer months, with festivals and celebrations held nearly every weekend. If you need a break from the area’s wineries, you can check out the museums, many of which honor Hermann’s strong German heritage. Or, bring your bike and hop on the famous Katy Trail for a few miles of true outdoor Missouri beauty.

Mapping out and budgeting for your trip before you hit the road will help ensure that you don’t overspend. You may even consider downloading an app like Gas Buddy to ensure you fill up cheaper.

Where is your favorite getaway in Missouri? Any hidden gems? Share your favorite Missouri vacation memory with us in the comments.

A note from our Spending Freeze winner, Tricia Morgan

My name is Tricia and I am the winner of $300 from the Missouri Credit Union 10 Day Spending Freeze Contest. You might think that’s a lot of money! What is a college senior going to do with that? Well, let me tell you. That is how the journey began for myself. I thought “10 days… no spending money… what would I do with the money?” I then realized that I should probably plan for my 10 days of not spending. So, I did what any decent human would do: I filled up my gas tank, meal prepped as much as I could, and set reminders to write on the blog post every day. Around the second day of no spending, still contemplating on where the money should go, I received a e-mail from an organization I am in “Relay for Life Steering Committee” reminding us of what is going on in the Relay world. Then an imaginary light bulb went off in my head, I haven’t fundraised all of my goal yet for the Relay for Life walk, so what better way to raise my goal then to win the money!? It started out as a thought as simple as that, but then it became much more. I had my post shared by many of my friends, co-workers, sorority sisters, and my family, some guy from West Virginia was tweeting the link who I’ve never even met before. We were all staying up avoiding homework, first rounds, and messaging anyone who was online to go vote. Countless times I was asked, “is this really you or spam?” Relay members were coming up with ideas, Oreo balls if I won were thrown out there, and so much support from this organization. I then realized I wasn’t just raising money for my goal I was raising awareness. Our lovely advisor Emily really got to me when she was sharing my link and it read “That’s money that would give one cancer patient and their caregiver free lodging if they had to travel for treatment or would give 24 women one on one counseling during their cancer journey”. Can you believe that?! With so little effort I raised awareness and provided that? I can’t wait to see what we can do together before our walk at Mizzou on April 24th. I couldn’t be more privileged to donate this money instantly back to the American Cancer Society. For something that started out as raising money, this did so much more.


To donate to Tricia’s team, click here.