With the rise of gas prices, we’ve put together a list of destinations from St. Louis that are three hours or less. They may not be ‘one tank’ dependent upon your car’s gas mileage but they should at least come close…
Black River Lodge | Lesterville, MO | 2 hours
Black River Lodge is 250 acres with one-half mile of riverfront on the Black River. The Lodge offers 66 carpeted, air-conditioned units, recreation hall and a dining room overlooking the scenic Black River. Rates include three meals daily served family style. There are activities for children five days a week including games, crafts and refreshments. Black River Lodge is located within easy driving distance of Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, Elephant Rocks State Park, and Taum Sauk Mountain State Park.
Bearcat Mountain Lodge| Lesterville, MO | 2 hours
Bearcat Lodge offers camping and cabins on the Black River. A 1/2 mile of Black River beachfront, floating and weekend concerts are just some of the am entities you’ll find here. A close drive to Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Park, Elephant Rocks State Park, and Taum Sauk Mountain State Park.
Blue Springs Ranch | Bourbon, MO | 1.5 hours
Located on the Meramec River, Blue Springs Ranch has cabins, camping, horseback riding, floating and a new zip line.
Caryle Lake | Caryle, IL | 1 hour
The largest man-made lake in Illinois offers fishing, hunting and sailing opportunities. Camping areas abound along with swimming beaches.
Clearwater Lake | Piedmont, MO | 2.5 hours
A great lake for water sports – speed boats, pontoons, wave runners and water skiing. Nearby cabins and camping.
Garden of the Gods | Southern Illinois | 3 hours
In the Shawnee National Forest, Garden of the Gods contains unique sandstone rock formations that make it a popular attraction.
Elephant Rocks State Park| Belleview, MO | 2 Hours
The giant elephant-shaped granite boulders are the star at Elephant Rocks State Park. Enjoy hiking, picnicking and climbing (permit required).
Ha Ha Tonka State Park | Camdenton, MO | 3 hours
Imposing architecture and breathtaking scenery combine to make Ha Ha Tonka State Park one of Missouri’s most treasured spots. Located on the Lake of the Ozarks, the park features the stone ruins of a turn-of-the-20th-century castle built by a prominent Kansas City businessman high atop a bluff. More than 15 miles of trails traverse the park, leading visitors to sinkholes, natural bridges, caves and down to the lake.
Hermann, MO | 1.5 hours
Hermann, Missouri has been chosen several times for the title of Missouri’s most beautiful town. Hermann offers the charm of old Germany and beautiful vineyards in the hills above town. Hermann has 8 wineries within 20 miles and over 70 Bed & Breakfasts.
Holiday World | Santa Claus, Indiana | 3.5 hours
With the world’s #1 wooden roller coaster and the world’s longest water coaster Holiday World is definite amusement park fun. The park offers nice perks like free parking, free unlimited soda, free sunscreen, and free tube rental.
Johnson Shut Ins | Middlebrook, MO | 2 Hours
Nature’s water park on the Black River with natural chutes, waterfalls and pools. Make sure to pack a lunch, old tennis or water shoes to wear in the water and get there early. . . since the park only allows a limited number of visitors.
Katy Trail | Across Missouri
Hike or bike 237 miles of trail stretching across Missouri.
Kimmswick, MO | 25 Minutes
Charming town with 20 quaint shops, local festivals including the Strawberry Festival in June, and famous Blue Owl Restaurant.
Hannibal, MO | 2 Hours
Visit historic Hannibal, Mark Twain’s boyhood home, to learn more about his life here as a young boy, ride aboard a riverboat, explore area caves or enjoy the charming town filled with shops and wineries. Other nearby attractions include Mark Twain Cave, Cameron Cave and Mark Twain Lake.
Meramec Caverns | Stanton, MO | 1 Hour
Take a guided tour of a seven-level natural wonder, once the hideout of Jesse James. Camping, zip-lining and riverboat tours.
Meramec Spring Park| Saint James, MO | 2 Hours
Beautiful wildlife reserve with the fifth largest spring in Missouri. The park offers two museums, fish hatcheries, fishing, trails, cafe and museum.
Onondaga Cave |Leasburg, MO | 1.5 hours
Take a guided tour of the underground wonderland of Onondaga Cave. Canoeing, camping, fishing and boating.
Pere Marquette Park | Grafton, MO | 1 Hour
Take a scenic drive up the Grafton River Road to Pere Marquette Park where you’ll find hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, and boating. Stay the night at their cabins or campground or take the drive back to Grafton to enjoy dinner and drinks at Fast Eddies or the Rotten Apple.
Purina Farms | Gray Summit | 1 Hour
A must-go destination for animal lovers and enthusiasts of all ages. Free admission gets you access to shows, educational family friendly activities wagon rides, hay maze and more.
Rend Lake |Marion, IL | 1.5 Hours
Thirteen mile reservoir with 162 miles of lakeshore. Enjoy swimming beaches, fishing, boating, hunting, trap shoot, camping, hiking, and bike trails. Nearby museums, cafes, dinner playhouses, theatres and wineries.
Riverside Reptile Ranch | Stanton, MO | 1 Hour
Get up close to turtles, snakes, alligators and even lions and tigers. If random road side attractions are your thing coupled with animals that can bite your hand off, then this is the place for you!
Sam A Baker State Park |Patterson, MO | 2 Hours
It only takes a few minutes to fall in love with Sam A. Baker State Park. The cool waters of the St. Francois River and Big Creek frame a wooded setting with trails that range from easy to challenging. Ancient mountains, towering trees, and fresh air are hallmarks of the park. Rustic cabins, a campground, a separate campground for equestrians, and a lodge with good country cookin’ round out the Sam A. Baker experience.
Springfield, IL | 2 Hours
Over one million visitors a year come to see Springfield’s historic Lincoln sites, which include the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum and Library, the Lincoln Home and Neighborhood, Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices, Lincoln Tomb, Lincoln’s New Salem, and more. Other attractions include the Dana-Thomas House, the Old State Capitol, the Illinois State Capitol and the Executive Mansion.
Ste. Genevieve, MO | 1 Hour
Visit Missouri’s oldest settlement and explore the well-preserved architecture on old Main Street, antique shops, historical sites and nearby wineries.
Splash City | Collinsville | 30 Minutes
Just minutes from St. Louis is the Splash City water park with fun for the whole family. Lap pools, wave pool, water slides, toddler area and more.
YMCA Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood| Potosi, MO | 1.5 Hours
Enjoy summer getaways at Trout Lodge where accommodations, three full meals and activities are included in the rates. Lodge rooms and private cabins are available on the lake. Activities include swimming, archery, boating, windsurfing, tennis, snorkeling, skeet shooing, sand volley ball, riflery, horseback riding, hiking and more.
Wilderness Lodge Resort | Lesterville, MO | 2 Hours
On the Black River, Wilderness Lodge offers air-conditioned cabins and cottages with rates that include meals. Amenities include a lodge bar, pool, games and floating opportunities.
Whatever adventures you decide to conquer this summer, we hope some of the places mentioned above help you make lasting memories for you while not breaking the bank. Happy travels from your friends at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties…
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties, St Charles County Office