Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Arrow Rock, MO

July 21, 2012 6:00 AM

Travel through history to the 19th century Missouri to spend a weekend watching fireflies light up the skies, enjoying professional theatrical entertainment and just generally indulging in history.  At Arrow Rock Historic Site, just a short jaunt from St. Louis, travelers enjoy all of this in a weekend of learning and loving this area you just can’t find elsewhere.

Getting There

Visit Arrow Rock by traveling west from St. Louis on Highway 70 for 150 miles. Stop in Columbia for a break, or continue till you come to the Highway 41 exit just west of Boonville. Drive 13 miles northwest on 41. You will see the Arrow Rock Visitor Center at the top of the hill. Parking is available in front of the Visitor Center Museum, where you can also set off on a walking tour. Board a tram guided tour at the Friends of Arrow Rock office on Boardwalk. Trams leave four times daily at 10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3 p.m. in summer months and run on weekends only in the spring and fall. Adults ride for $5, and children ride for $2.50. Call ahead at 660-837-3231 to arrange group tours or for Preservation Tours you can customize based on your interests.

village of arrow rock Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Arrow Rock, MO

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Arrow Rock State Historic Site
39521 Visitor Center Drive
Arrow Rock, MO 65320
(660) 837-3330

Price: $25 adults/$13 children ages 2 to 14/free kids 2 and younger

Step back into Missouri history atop the bluffs of the Missouri River where flint tools and weapons were once manufactured. Arrow Rock is a 19th-century national historic landmark that was established in 1829 but spotted on a 1732 map as a rock of arrows, written in French as “pierre a fleche.” Today, the village remains preserved as a historical site and a traveler’s dream getaway spot where visitors shop antique galleries, visit museums, and enjoy dinner and a professional musical show before locals direct you to the best viewing spot for the nightly natural light shows from the fireflies. Stay at one of the eight bed and breakfast facilities on or near Arrow Rock, or camp with your family at the campgrounds. Pack your own food and enjoy the picnic shelter or one of the restaurants in Arrow Rock.

j huston tavern Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Arrow Rock, MO

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J. Huston Tavern
304 Main Street
Arrow Rock, MO  65320
(660) 837-3200

Take a step back into an age-old century where hospitality is not forgotten. Your meal is served with excellence and in time for you to make it to the Lyceum Theatre show on time. Savor the best fried chicken in rural Missouri at the longest consistently serving restaurant west of the Mississippi; it’s had more than 175 years in business. Dine in or order a carry-out picnic to eat at the campground or picnic shelter. 

Related:  Best City Escapes from St. Louis

arrow rock lyceum theatre Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Arrow Rock, MO

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Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre
114 High Street
Arrow Rock, MO 65320
(660) 837-3311

Price: $34.50 per person/$24.50 week night special 8 p.m. show on Wednesday and Friday at the box office the day of the show

Plan your visit around your favorite well-known Broadway show title.  Take in one of their eight musicals performed each season at Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre.  Lyceum Theatre has been entertaining audiences in Missouri for 50 years, and they have no plans of slowing down.  Forget you’re inside a historic village with their Broadway quality, state-of-the-art acting talent found across the nation.  Order your tickets before you arrive to be sure you have one of their 408 seats, or take your chances on an open seat and save $10 on available seats at Wednesday and Friday 8:00 shows when you buy your tickets at the box office on the day of the show.

black history museum Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Arrow Rock, MO

Photo Credit: The Village of Arrow Rock/Facebook

Black History Museum

Inside of the Black Masonic Lodge
Mason and 6th Street
Arrow Rock, MO 65320
(660) 837-3231

Price: free

Arrow Rock is rich in its black heritage, and June 2, opened Arrow Rock’s Black History Museum. This center, designed to pay tribute to black history, sits inside the Black Masonic Lodge. Exhibits display the contributions of black residents who helped make Arrow Rock a memorable city.

george caleb binham Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Arrow Rock, MO

Photo Credit: Village of Arrowrock/Facebook

George Caleb Bingham House
First Street
Arrow Rock, MO 65320
(660) 837-3231

Price: free

Shed some light on the history of artist George Caleb Bingham through the art of luminism. The frontier painter from Missouri was also an Arrow Rock resident. Visit the home where he lived with his wife situated on the Missouri landscape that inspired some of his most famous works of art. Get a group together for a $3 guided group tour, which includes an informative look at the Bingham House itself.

lewisclarkoverlook Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Arrow Rock, MO

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Lewis & Clark Overlook

Along the Walking Trail
Arrow Rock, MO 65320
(660) 837-3231

Price: free

Bring your binoculars and get ready for some great views along the walking trail at Arrow Rock looking through the eyes of Lewis & Clark as they discovered the west. When in Arrow Rock, be sure to take some time to explore the walking trail near the campground and picnic shelter. Along the way, stop and observe the river at the Lewis & Clark Overlook. The views are worth the short trek on the gravel path.

Related:  Top Jogging Trails in St. Louis

smithchapelmethodistchurch Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Arrow Rock, MO

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Arrow Rock Federated Church

505 High Street
Arrow Rock, MO 65320
(660) 837-3240

Price: free

Pastor Jack Thomas leads a congregation comprised of a joint union between several Arrow Rock churches at the church that was the backdrop for the funeral of Tom Sawyer in a 1972 film. The Baptist Church became the Lyceum Theatre, the Christian Church fell victim to storm damage, and this once Methodist church became home to them all with a new name – Federated Church. This working movie set promises a fun picture or two for anyone who remembers Tom and Huck’s adventures.

bunnys bed and breakfast Getaway Guide: Weekend Road Trip to Arrow Rock, MO

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Bunny’s Bed & Breakfast
300 N. 7th Street
Arrow Rock, MO 65320
(660) 837-3352

Price: $85 per room per night

Take in Arrow Rock’s rich history and then tuck into a warm cozy bed just like home at Bunny’s Bed & Breakfast, which is within walking distance of the Lyceum Theatre inside Arrow Rock. The B&B is named after its owner, Bunny Thomas, who will make your mouth water with her Honey Bunny coffee cake in the morning. Choose from five rooms complete with private baths, air conditioning and WiFi, but be sure to book your stay in advance as the B&B fills up quickly.

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Tere Scott is a freelance writer and author of e-books and two educational blogs. She loves to research information to share. She currently resides in St. Louis. Her work can be found at

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