Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Bowling Green

September 15, 2012 1:00 PM

Credit: Tim Warner/Getty Images

Get away for the day or for a weekend. Tucked away in the hills of Missouri above the Mississippi River is the small town of Bowling Green, Missouri. This quiet little town is the perfect place to take a step away from the hustle and bustle of St. Louis. Walk and shop among the Amish, enjoy historical sites or savor hand-dipped chocolates. Sit back and take in the atmosphere of this cozy little town, camp, fish its well-stocked lakes or sample some hometown craft beer brewed in a machine shed.

Getting ThereDrive to Bowling Green by heading north from St. Louis on Highway 40/61 for 85 miles. Stop in Troy for a break, or continue until you come to the first Bowling Green exit. Turn left and look for Hardee’s. Make another left and then look for a sign for Visitor Center Park on your left.
Parking is available in Visitor’s Center Park, the future home of the Bowling Green Visitor’s Center. There are parking spaces and walking trails to enjoy before exploring the rest of the city.

bowlinggreenwelcome Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Bowling Green

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Amish Communities at Bowling Green
Bowling Green, MO 63334
(573) 324-3149

Visit and shop at Missouri’s oldest Amish community at Bowling Green. Originated in 1947, the Bowling Green Amish community started with the Swiss Amish and it is still in existence as a small group today. This community welcomes visitors to see its farms and handiwork, buy everything from homemade jams to carefully handcrafted furniture, see a working saw mill or admire talented quilters at work. The Amish ask that visitors respect their religious beliefs and not use photography or conduct sales on Sundays. So, bring your fascination for learning and desire for handmade works of art, but leave your camera behind and plan your visit any day but Sunday.

Related: Best City Escapes from St. Louis

What To Eat

bankheadchocolates Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Bowling Green

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Bankhead Chocolates
810 Business Highway 61
Bowling Green, MO 63334
(573) 324-2312

Four generations of workers help operate this small hometown chocolate factory and bistro. Take in the sweet smell of chocolates and the surroundings of its ice cream parlor. Devour sweet, hand-dipped chocolates and then stay for lunch at the bistro. Bankhead Chocolates in Bowling Green has been hand dipping chocolates since 1919.

woodssmookedmeats Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Bowling Green

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Woods Smoked Meats
1501 Business Highway 54 W
Bowling Green, MO 63334
(573) 324-2247

Follow your nose to the delicious aroma or look for the log cabin shop. Savor delicious hickory-smoked and award-winning meats. Bite into choice steaks or crunch into flavorful bacon, poultry, brats and a variety of Sweet Betsy from Pike brand meats. Eat from the lunch deli open every day except Sunday or enjoy its barbecue sauce and rubs. While you are there, have an order shipped to friends or family as a gift.

honeyshuck Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Bowling Green

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What To Do

Honeyshuck Historical Home of Champ Clark
207 E Champ Clark Drive
Bowling Green, MO 63334
(573) 324-6707

Visit the historic home built in 1898. The original owners were a 13-term Congressman and Speaker of the House from Missouri, Champ Clark and his wife. They affectionately called the house “Honeyshuck” because of the locust tree’s seed pods that accent the yard. Bring your camera and your eye for architectural detail as you observe the Victorian house that is described by locals as “elegance on the cheap.” The design expresses an honest view of small-town, middle America life from the turn of the century and is now a national historic landmark. The home is open in June, July and August from 1:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and throughout the year by appointment.

Jack Floyd Memorial Lake

County Road 280
Bowling Green, MO 63334
(573) 248-2530

Click here for a map of the lake.

Drive three miles east of Bowling Green and you will find one of two lakes maintained by the city. Park in the parking lot near the 38-acre lake and then enjoy canoeing, fishing or boating at Jack Floyd Memorial Lake. Stocked with catfish and bass, you may just go home with a whopping fish tale to share. Launch your boat from the concrete ramp or fish on the dock. Restrooms are located near the parking lot.

batcreekbeer Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Bowling Green

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Bat Creek Brewery
4 W Main St
Bowling Green, MO 63334
(573) 324-3258

Visit Bat Creek Brewery in Bowling Green for some great time and some good beer. The entire operation, run out of a machine shed, is the dream and passion of owners Ryan Daffron and Jeremy Gilbert. Tours are offered with advance reservations by phone, and you are welcome to stop in to take a look and say hello. Taste brews with names like Midwest Farmer’s Daughter Ale or Machine Shed Stout at Southside Bar and Grill in Bowling Green and at special events in nearby Hannibal.

 Getaway Guide: One Tank Trip to Hannibal, MO

cozycampground Getaway Guide: Weekend Trip to Bowling Green

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Where To Stay
Cozy C RV Campground
16733 Highway 54
Bowling Green, MO 63334
(573) 324-3055

Tucked away just two miles northeast of the heart of Bowling Green is the Cozy C RV Campground. Visitors enjoy nightly bonfires, miniature golf and nearby Mark Twain Lake. The campground offers sewer hookups, an ice cream shop, a meeting hall, a picnic area, on-site laundry and bath houses. Pets are welcome and dogs enjoy the dog walk area. WiFi is available for an additional charge.

Super 8
1216 E Champ Clark Drive
Bowling Green, MO 63334
(573) 324-6000

The Super 8 is the only hotel in Bowling Green and it welcomes guests with amenities that feel like home. Stay in a standard room or enjoy a suite with a hot tub. Enjoy the complimentary continental breakfast with biscuits and gravy in the morning and popcorn and coffee in the hotel lobby throughout the day. Every room comes with an in-room refrigerator and microwave. Pets are welcome for a $10 non-refundable charge per stay.

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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