6 cool places to see in Joplin, Missouri
Take I-44 east for a Missouri adventure.
Grand Falls, 5685 Riverside Drive, is the largest continuously running waterfall in the Show-Me State.
1. Cunningham Park
Cunningham Park, West 26th Street and South Maiden Lane, is the oldest park in the city. It was destroyed when the historic EF-5 tornado ripped through town in 2011. Volunteers from all over the U.S. planted trees and set the park on the path of restoration. Overlooking the play areas, pond and butterfly garden is an artistic memorial: tall black structures that look like sketched outlines of three houses lost in the storm. Among these outlines are interpretive panels that educate visitors about the tornado, the lives lost and the work to rebuild.
2. Bonnie and Clyde for history buffs
Notorious gangsters Bonnie and Clyde’s garage apartment sits at 215 W. 34th St. in a quiet residential neighborhood. This two-story stone structure was used by the Barrow Gang to lay low in 1933 after a series of robberies. When the local police showed up on April 13, 1933, to investigate reports of suspicious activity, a gunfight broke out. Two officers lost their lives in the exchange. Evidence left behind, including an undeveloped roll of film, later helped law enforcement bring the gang to an end. The apartment is an AirBnB today, but the city museum, the Joplin History and Mineral Museum at 504 S. Schifferdecker Ave., has a few artifacts on display.
3. Wilder’s Steakhouse
Wilder’s Steakhouse, 1216 S. Main St., is fronted by a restored neon sign. The interior recalls the glamour of the 1940s with an art deco bar and wooden booths. Since 1996, Wilder’s has been owned by the Pawlus family, and the historic restaurant has become known for its fine dining experience.
4. Grand Falls and Wildcat Glades
Grand Falls, 5685 Riverside Drive, is the largest continuously running waterfall in the Show-Me State. The nearby Wildcat Glades, 201 Riviera Drive, offers a series of hiking trails through a uniquely diverse natural area. The chert glades here showcase flora and fauna that are not found together anywhere else in the world. The rock formations scattered throughout the park are beautiful in any season.
5. Route 66
The Route 66 Mural on Main Street is a fun photo opp; you can pose with a mock 1964 Corvette that really captures that vintage
Mother Road feeling.
6. The Eagle Drive-In
The Eagle Drive-In, 4224 Hearnes Blvd., serves gourmet burgers in a hip space near the interstate. It also pours a selection of local beer. It’s not your “greasy spoon” style of drive-in, but the food here is worth the wait.