When planning vacations and getaways, it's easy to "think big" and come up with extravagant plans to visit exotic locations. But if you stop for a minute and think about it, there are tons of fun things to do here in our own state. Have you ever visited the Missouri Capitol, or taken that weird tram ride to the top of the Arch? Here are ten fun things all Missourians should do, at least once. 

  • Attend the I-70 Series...in both cities!

    If there's one thing we know about sports in Missouri, it's that baseball is king. It's always fun to attend an interleague game between the Cardinals and Royals, but it's even more fun to attend a Cards/Royals game in one city, and then turn around and watch the teams play again the next night in the other city.

    Michael Thomas / Jamie Squire, Getty Images
  • Go to the top of the Gateway Arch

    A regular elevator or escalator just won't get you to the top of the Arch. The tram ride takes four minutes to get to the top of the tallest landmark in St. Louis. Once you've reached the top, you'll be able to view the city, the Mississippi, and the landscape from 630 feet in the air!

    Todd Warshaw, Getty Images
  • Visit a cave

    Did you know that Missouri is called the Cave State? The Show-Me State, too, but also the Cave State. The Missouri Department of Conservation says that there are over 6,000 documented caves in the state. You can tour many of them, including the Mark Twain Cave in Hannibal, Meramec Caverns in Stanton, and the Bridal Cave in Camdenton. There are also caves open for public tours at Meramec State Park, Lake of the Ozarks State Park and Onondaga Cave State Park.

    Kurt Parsons
  • Tour the Missouri State Capitol

    Tours of the Missouri Capitol are available year-round, seven days a week, excluding New Year's Day, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas. Guided tours are about 45 minutes long, and they are free. Walk-ins are allowed, but if you're bringing a large group, you should make a reservation. Contact the Missouri State Museum at 573-751-2854 for details.

    Kurt Parsons
  • Freeze nearly to death at Arrowhead Stadium

    It seems like at least one game every year at Arrowhead Stadium is just absolutely miserable for football fans. It probably isn't that enjoyable for the players, coaches and staff, either. But it's part of the game. If you want to prove just how much you love the Kansas City Chiefs, and end up with a crazy story to tell your friends, get tickets for sometime late in the season, and be sure to put on lots of layers.

    Jamie Squire, Getty Images
  • Nearly sweat to death at the Missouri State Fair

    Every state has its fair. Ours happens to be right in the middle of August. It's going to be hot. You're probably going to get a sun burn. You're also going to end up having an awful lot of fun, whether you're going for rides, exhibits, shows or carnival food!

    Kurt Parsons
  • Go to Branson

    I think I was 13 or 14 the first time I went to Branson. I wasn't thrilled about the idea at first. I thought that Branson was only for old people. But I sure ended up having a great time at Silver Dollar City, and at the Ripley's Believe It or Not Museum, and the live shows. I had such a good time, I asked to go back the next year, which we did. Branson's a fun place for a family vacation. There really are things to do for people of all ages.

    David Welker, Getty Images
  • Try some of our "regional" foods

    Maybe you've never tried St. Louis pizza, or Kansas City barbecue, or toasted ravioli. You should. The Midwest is full of delicious regional treats (and a few that just sound kind of gross. I would avoid the gross ones).

    David Smith, ThinkStock
  • Take a ride on a riverboat

    The riverboat at Walt Disney World doesn't count. Gambling "boats" that never leave the dock also don't count. You don't have to book an expensive multi-night trip to enjoy a riverboat cruise. Those are fun, but you can also have a lot of fun on just a one-hour sightseeing cruise, or a dinner cruise.

    Kurt Parsons
  • Tailgate before a Mizzou game

    M-I-Z...you finished it in your mind, didn't you? Maybe a couple of you even finished it out loud? Tailgating is just as important to many fans as the actual game. To some fans, it's even more important! If you're going to put yourself through game day traffic in Columbia, you might as well go all out and enjoy some tailgating before kickoff. But be sure to visit the University of Missouri's website to find out exactly what the tailgating policies are before you go. Most of them are common sense, but there is very good, and useful, information on that page. Don't bring your drone, for example.

    Kurt Parsons