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Things To Do in Cape Girardeau: A Vacationer’s Guide

Cape Girardeau is an ideal holiday spot for those in search of excitement. The city was established in 1793 and has since grown into one of the most prosperous and attractive places in the country.

This picturesque community in central Missouri has something for everyone. Cape Girardeau is a city full of fun things to do and lovely places to relax. Cape Girardeau County, or simply “Cape” to its locals, is a fascinating place to visit because of its many interesting landmarks and diverse population. 

This article comprises Missouri’s most noteworthy tourist destination. It will cover some of the most exciting activities available in this fantastic city.

Visit the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center to Interact With the Wildlife

The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center is a museum that displays the abundant flora and fauna that may be found in that part of Missouri.

Meadows, hills, nature paths, and ponds may all be found at this 189-acre property in North County Park. Plants, butterflies, hummingbirds, frogs, and freshwater turtles, among other local species, find refuge in the natural features.

Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center

These species, who are more at home in environments like marshes, woodlands, and large rivers, can cohabit peacefully because of the facility’s design. Exploring these areas with your kids is a great idea because of all the possible animal sightings and experiences you could have.

You may also get information about the local fauna and flora by visiting an educational facility that has aquariums, native artifact collections, and interactive displays.

Indulge in Arena Park’s Fun

When looking for family-friendly activities in Cape Girardeau, arena park should be your first stop.

A steam train, swings, slides, as well as other playground equipment, are just some of the features that make this park so appealing to families with young children. Arena Park is a great location for hosting large gatherings, such as family weddings, birthday parties, company outings, and more, with over 90 picnic tables and many covered pavilions to choose from.

Arena Park

There’s also a place there where you can get wonderful BBQ and other food. The annual SEMO District fair is held at the park. Sports fans need not feel left out, as Arena Park also holds games for local softball and baseball leagues, as well as other exciting games and carnival attractions.

Arena Park is a must-see, so put it on your itinerary and get ready for a life-changing adventure.

Have Fun at Kiwanis Park With the Kids

Kiwanis Park, a 55-acre outdoor facility, is one of the most popular parks in Cape Girardeau, and for good reason.

Kiwanis Park

Many exciting play structures, such as swings, slides, and miniature tunnels, are scattered around the lush terrain for your children to enjoy. You may take Fido to the dog park and play fetch or let him run around. Those interested in trying their luck at fishing can find a variety of freshwater species in the park’s central pond.

You may enjoy a peaceful picnic with your loved ones under one of the pavilions or at one of the many tables spread out beneath the trees.

Spend Time in Nature at Cape Woods Conservation Area

This Conservation Area is a beautiful park that attracts a lot of visitors due to its convenient location in the heart of the city.

The Cape La Croix Creek winds its way through this bottomland forest, which also has a variety of wooded enclaves and meandering hiking routes. The park is a popular place for residents and visitors alike to go for a stroll or ride their bikes and enjoy the fresh air and natural beauty of the area.

cape la croix creek conservation area

The building has been kept in excellent condition and provides a wide range of contemporary conveniences to provide a relaxing and stress-free stay. You can see the local deer population if you’re willing to do some exploring, and the paths will lead you there. You could even forget that you’re in the midst of town while you’re enjoying the park.

Discover Missouri’s Rich History and Its Notable Citizens at the Wall of Fame in Missouri

If you’re in Cape Girardeau and interested in learning more about Missouri’s past, a trip to the Missouri Wall of Fame is a must.

Wall of Fame in Missouri

The Wall of Fame is a fascinating stop for anybody interested in the state’s past who is passing through the area. Missouri’s “Wall of Fame” is a collection of notable citizens from various walks of life, including musicians, actors, politicians, scientists, and writers.

Missouri’s Wall of Fame is a 500-foot-long mural along Riverside, featuring portraits of notable locals who have made their mark on the state on their own terms. At the facility, you and your loved ones may take in beautiful views of the Mississippi River.

The Arena Park Is the Perfect Place for a Picnic With the Whole Family

Arena Park is a popular attraction in Cape Girardeau because of its spacious 90 acres and cutting-edge features. The park is a great place to take kids since it offers so many fun things to do, such as swings, slides, and a genuine steam train that visitors can get on.

The Arena Park Cape Girardeau

In addition, there are various pavilions and grilling areas, perfect for hosting large gatherings or just enjoying a leisurely meal with loved ones. The park hosts the annual SEMO District Fair, complete with amusement rides, activities, and tasty fair cuisine.

Baseball and softball games are played regularly at the park, so if you’re a fan of any of these sports, you won’t want to miss your chance to see a live game while you’re in town.

Go on an Adventure Along Levi’s Adventure Trail

Among the main activities to do in Cape Girardeau is to check out Levi’s Adventure Trail, a collection of exciting attractions that opened in 2017.

Levi Collon, who passed away unexpectedly on March 18, 2012, was honored with the naming of this park. It has everything from sand and waterbodies to zip lines and climbing structures to a plethora of swings.

Levi’s Adventure Trail

Along with a cleansed water station and a water fountain, Levi’s Adventure Trail also has park lights for usage after dark. Take the kids to Levi Adventure Trail, where they will never forget how much fun they had because of the park’s clean restrooms.

The hours of operation for Levi’s Adventure Trail are from 6:30 am to 10 pm, Monday through Sunday.

Visit Crisp Museum to Gain Perspective on the History of the Town

Crisp Museum, part of the Southeastern Missouri State University River Campus, is a must-see location stuffed with intriguing exhibits and important artifacts.

Many archaeological and historical artifacts from the area are on exhibit in the building, highlighting its rich history. Most of these objects, including effigies made of conch shells, stone tools, and containers, were discovered in effigy mounds that belonged to extinct Paleolithic societies [1].

Crisp Museum

Native American artifacts, such as blankets and beaded textiles, date back centuries. Contemporary relics including military gear, handguns, and other weaponry are also on exhibit as a reminder of the region’s bloody history.

Visitors may participate in weaving demonstrations and art classes to get a deeper understanding of the practices that inform the museum’s exhibits.

Get Inspired at the 36 Restaurant and Bar

The 36 Restaurant and Bar, located in the heart of Cape Girardeau, is a family-run establishment known for its excellent food and service. The restaurant’s proprietors, John and Venessa Klein, were originally coworkers at the establishment where they first met and eventually wed.

36 Restaurant

John and Vanessa’s lifelong ambition was to open their own restaurant, so they toiled away to create the successful 36 Bar and Restaurant.vThe head chef of 36 Bar and Restaurant is the restaurant’s friend, Chef Houston Sutton, who is responsible for creating the restaurant’s signature dishes.

There are several beers and wine selections available at the well-stocked bar. The tale of these lovers has long been a source of motivation for both natives and visitors.

Visit Lazy L Safari Park and Have Some Fun With the Animals

The Lazy L Safari Park offers exhilarating adventures for animal enthusiasts. More than fifty different kinds of animals, reptiles, and birds from all over the world are housed at the zoo’s open exhibits.

There will be several chances for you to go within inches of animals including zebras, fennec foxes, alligators, and sloths. Don’t miss the chance to feed any of these adorable creatures directly from your hand; many of them will approach guests looking for food.

Lazy L Safari Park

The zoo provides up-close experiences with cobras and alligators for the most courageous visitors. The zoo is more than just a place to see animals; visitors may also participate in a real gemstone mining operation.

Those interested in prospecting for diamonds, fossils, and other valuables may acquire a bag of mining rough, transport it to a sluice, and sift through it to uncover the jewels hidden under the soil. It’s a great keepsake that will bring back wonderful memories of your time at Lazy L Safari Park.

Go on an Exciting Tour of the Historic Glenn Home

The Glenn House is a vital piece of Cape Girardeau history, so much so that it has been included in the National Register of Historic Places. The architecture of this multi-level home is often associated with the Late Victorian period, which peaked in the late 1800s.

Since its restoration by the local cultural group, it has drawn numerous sightseers interested in the area’s history. The mansion is open for daytime tours where visitors may see the interior design, antique furniture, fashion collection, and other antiques.

Historic Glenn Home

But when night falls, the real excitement begins.  The Glenn House has been called “one of the most haunted residences in the city,” making it a popular attraction for people in search of the supernatural or a thrilling adrenaline rush. 

After-dark tours of the house allow visitors to look for paranormal activity such as hearing children laughing, seeing ghostly figures, or hearing footsteps.

Enjoy the Beautiful Scenery at Riverfront Bridge Park

The finest place to take in the contemporary architectural masterpiece that is the Bill Emerson Memorial is Riverfront Bridge Park.

This facility’s location on the banks of the Mississippi River provides breathtaking vistas of the city of Cape Girardeau, the river, and the bridge. It’s an excellent location for capturing breathtaking scenery shots to share with family and friends or upload to social media.

Riverfront Bridge Park

In addition to the new bridge, you may come upon the ruins of the old one. Besides the viewpoint, the park has open grassy areas, seats, and a grove of beech trees perfect for a quiet picnic. If you’re in the heart of Cape Girardeau, you can’t miss this delightful stop.

Like Rolla, other cities in Missouri have fun places for the children and family too! Check out the things you can do in Hermann, MO here.

Make Multiple Purchases at West Park Shopping Center

In 1981, a company called May Centers opened up shop and created what is today known as West Park Mall.

west park shopping center

It’s home to more than 50 different shops, including popular names like Bath & Body Works, American Eagle, and Bath & Body Works. The mall’s shoppers may choose from an abundance of stores.

Women’s and men’s apparel, shoes, accessories, health and beauty items, eyewear, and a wide variety of specialized stores may be found at these and other retail locations. In addition, diners have the option of ordering sweet treats or hearty dinners when they dine out.

Let the Children Play at Melaina’s Enchanted Playground

All children, regardless of age or physical ability, are welcome at Melaina’s Magical Playground.

Melaina's Enchanted Playground

A beautiful playground for all youngsters was the brainchild of an inspiring young lady named Melaina Cunningham. Melania was a joyful youngster despite her struggle with the debilitating disease called Nemaline Myopathy.

Many people in Cape Girardeau came together to lend a hand to Melaina’s family as they worked to build a playground that would be accessible to kids of all abilities. This playground is really lovely, exactly like Melaina’s spirit.

Relax at the Family Aquatic Center at Cape Splash

Kids love the Splash Family Aquatic Center because it has so many entertaining water features including man-made rivers, slides and pools, and more.

Aquatic Center at Cape Splash

The finest spot is Splash Family Aquatic Center, particularly on hot days. You could choose to lazily float along the flowing river.

For kids to have an amazing time, the facility features splash pads, Speed slides, and a water playground. You won’t regret adding the Splash Family Aquatic Centre to your visit itinerary even if it is only open in the summer.

Come Try Your Luck at the Century Casino Cape Girardeau

Include a visit to Century Casino Cape Girardeau in your travel plans if the excitement of gaming is something you like.

This recreational facility contains more than 800 gambling machines, 19 poker tables, and four live poker tables, ensuring that there is something for every appetite and desire.

Century Casino

Plus, there’s space for around 500 people to enjoy themselves there. There are eateries within the stadium where you can grab some good American fare or other nice comfort food if you feel hungry in the midst of the game. You’ll have a good time and leave with positive impressions thanks to the facility’s helpful personnel, comfortable environment, and wide range of services.

Furthermore, one can never tell. It’s possible that you’ll walk out with more cash than you brought in.


The Missouri city of Cape Girardeau is well-known for its stunning beauty and deep reverence for its cultural history.

It’s time to start making plans for your vacation to Cape Girardeau; don’t miss out on any of the exciting attractions, and don’t forget to pack your camera to record the unforgettable experiences.

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