The large variety and quantity of things to see and do in Springfield, Missouri — plus the community’s friendliness — means group tours have enjoyable visits.

Known as the birthplace of Route 66, Springfield is a welcoming city at the crossroads of American history, according to Susan Wade, public relations manager for the Springfield, Missouri, Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The bureau also works closely with group tour operators to ensure successful tours.

“The CVB has a full-time staff member dedicated to the group tour market,” Wade said. “Lori Casey will provide suggested itineraries, help negotiate room rates at hotels, help schedule tours and more. She can be reached at 800-678-8767 or”

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium
Credit: Springfield CVB

Johnny Morris’ Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium is one of Springfield’s gems. This facility lets visitors explore underwater life from around the world in aquariums with 1.5 million gallons of salt and freshwater. WOW also has a lot of educational displays, live animals, amazing art and murals, spectacular taxidermy displays and more.

Next door to WOW is Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World, the first and largest Bass Pro store in the world. Along with outdoor gear shopping, patrons will enjoy a number of free museums, including the Archery Hall of Fame, a motorsports museum dedicated to NASCAR memorabilia (including cars) and the NRA Sporting Arms Museum.

Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World
Credit: Springfield CVB

History Museum on the Square showcases local history. An entire gallery is dedicated to Route 66 because Springfield is the Birthplace of Route 66. It was in Springfield, Missouri on April 30, 1926, that officials first proposed the name of the new Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway. In 1938, Route 66 became the first completely paved transcontinental highway in America, the “Mother Road,” stretching from the Great Lakes to the Pacific Coast. The museum includes state-of-the-art interactive exhibits and a section dedicated to the area’s Native American history. Discover Springfield’s role in the American Civil War and the duel between “Wild Bill” Hickok and Davis Tutt — the first recorded quick-draw shootout of the Wild West era.

“Springfield is the beautiful Ozarks Mountain Range where rolling hills and lush greenery provide beautiful scenery and a diversity of outdoor activities,” Wade said. “Springfield also is only 35 miles from Branson and the two destinations work closely together to make sure every visitor has a great experience.”