How to Spend A Quick Day in Springfield Missouri

Mizumoto Garden Springfield Missouri

Recently we took a quick road trip to Springfield MO.  We were only there for a day, but that didn’t mean we couldn’t make the best out of it!  We stopped at a lot of cool places and had a great time even though we didn’t get to stay long.  Check out how to spend a quick day in Springfield Missouri

The Drive

The drive to Missouri from Nashville was gorgeous.  We got off of the interstate in Kentucky and took Highway 60 the rest of the way.  We drove though miles of farm land and wildlife refuge, crossed the Mississippi on a bridge that seemed way too narrow, and watched an amazing sunset as we headed toward Springfield.

Sunset Springfield Missouri

After a 7 hour drive, it was pretty late when we rolled into Springfield.  We grabbed dinner and headed on to the hotel to settle in for the evening.


The World Biggest Fork!

The next morning, we got up, grabbed some breakfast and headed out.  The primary goal for the day was to lay eyes on the World’s Largest Fork!  I mean how can you pass up an opportunity to see that?  I got a little turned around looking for it, (you would think it would be really easy to find) but eventually we located it and got our touristy pictures.  The fork is as described, really big (35 ft tall).  If you want to see it for yourself, it is located in front of Noble and Associates at 2215 W Chesterfield St, Springfield, MO 65807.

World's Biggest Fork Springfield Missouri

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden

After seeing the Giant Fork, we headed to the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden.  Part of the Springfield Botanical Garden,  the 7.5 acre, Mizumoto Japanese Stroll garden includes a large koi pond, a meditation garden, a tea house and traditional Japanese landscaping. We spent a lot of time exploring this park.  I would love to go back and visit the rest of the botanical gardens and see what they have to offer. Admission is $3 for adults and children 12 and  under are free.  Koi food is available to purchase for $1. The gardens are located at 2400 S Scenic Ave, Springfield, MO 65802. If you are spending a day in Springfield Missouri, don’t miss this.

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden Springfield Missouri

Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden Springfield Missouri

Bass Pro Shops and NRA Sporting Arms Museum

After walking around the Gardens and eating a quick lunch, we headed to the Granddaddy of all Bass Pro Shops. The store in Springfield is the original location for Bass Pro Shops, and this place was huge (Like 500,000 sq ft huge). They had every kind of outdoor equipment you can possibly imagine, an in-store swamp with native animals, and so much more. I wasn’t really there to shop though, I wanted to visit the Sporting Arms Museum.

This museum features an impressive collection of over a thousand historically significant firearms.  It chronicles the history of firearms from pre-colonial America all the way though modern guns.   Some of the most amazing weapons on display were: a flintlock Fowler that was presented to  the Marquis Faulte de Vanteaux of Limoges by Napoleon Bonaparte, an Adolph Double Rifle owned by Theodore Roosevelt, and Hollywood Guns used by John Wayne and Charlton Heston.

Visiting the store and museum are both free and a great way to spend a few hours.  The Museum is open daily (except for Christmas) from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m and is located in the Bass Pro Shops at 1935 S. Campbell Springfield, MO 65807.

On the Road again

We had an incredible time spending a day in Springfield Missouri, but we had to start heading back to Tennessee. 7 hours is a long drive and the sun was already getting low.  We made good time home, ate at the most bizarre Waffle House I have ever been in (a story for another day), and got to enjoy some incredible scenery.

Road Trip Bridge over the Mississippi River
Pardon the road grime 🙂


A Quick Day in Springfield Missouri

Have you ever spent a day in Springfield Missouri?  What was your favorite thing there?  Let us know in the comments. We really want to go back and spend some more time in the area!

Awesome things to do while spending a day in Springfield Missouri.  Gardens, museums, and more!

34 Comment

  1. These photos are great! Never thought about visiting before but definitely considering now.

  2. I have never been there but I love that fork! I wonder what the reason for it being there is? Is it a restaurant, culinary shop of some sort? I can only imagine what The Japanese Garden looks like. I’ve never been to one but have heard that they are soothing and relaxing as well as beautiful. Thanks for taking us along with you on this short road trip 🙂

    1. Apparently the fork was originally in front of a restaurant. When it closed down, Noble & Associates, an advertising firm, purchased and relocated it to its current location in front of their office.

  3. I’ve never been to Springfield Missouri, I’ve never been to the United States. I always watch such publications because I love trips. I hope I will visit soon.

  4. Springfield MO is on Route 66. Been there three times now. Lamberts Cafe, home of “Throwed Rolls” is a dining experience well worth catching!

    1. We hopped on 66 for a bit just to say we did. I heard a lot about Lambert’s while we were there, but just couldn’t squeeze it in. It is definitely on our schedule for our next trip 🙂

  5. What a beautiful drive, indeed. That fork looks so funny! Never heard of that. It does look like worth a visit. I’d be curious about the Japanese Stroll Garden. I’ve been to something similar in Boca Raton (Florida).

  6. Such a great detailed post. awesome photographs too 🙂

  7. You have great photos! Thanks for the inspiration

  8. I have never been here but the fork looks interesting. Looks like you had a relaxed outing. Great photos! 😛

  9. The Japanese gardens looked stunning! And you’re right, you definitely can’t pass down an opportunity to see a giant fork or ride along a rickety bridge for a gorgeous view

  10. Looks like a super fun day. If I ever get a chance to be in the US i will make sure to droo by. Love the sunset

  11. Looks like a really fun day trip! I loved the World’s Biggest Fork – who would’ve known it lived in Missouri? Ha!

  12. Springfield, yeah! I live about an hour away from Springfield in Joplin. We visit Springfield often, mostly on our way to Branson for a weekend. We love to go to Bass Pro. My daughter loves the turtles and the alligator. I’ve never been to the Japanese Stroll Garden; we will have to check it out this summer! Great pictures, by the way.

  13. That is such a huge fork for such a small salad!

    1. Bahahahahahah!!!!

  14. OMG! this is a great place to spend time with family! especially in this nature it would be the best!

  15. Great overview of Springfield! Will definitely pin this to save if I can ever make it there!

  16. I love stopping and finding the biggest of anything! That fork is amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  17. Great tips (and photos!) I will keep this in mind if I find myself in Springfield during travels 🙂

  18. Looks like a beautiful drive! My husband would be in his happy place visiting the original Bass Pro shops. One of his favourites spots.

    1. It would be easy to spend a full day in the Bass Pro, that place is huge!

  19. When I read Springfield I think The Simpsons, is this the Springfield that inspired the home town of The Simpsons? I love driving in the US and a 7 hour drive sounds perfect, as does bragging rights to having seen the worlds largest fork. I think I’ve seen pictures of the Japanese Garden on Instagram, it’s hard to believe it’s not in Japan!

    1. According to Matt Groening, the creator of the Simspons (one of my favorite shows ever!!!),the Springfield in the show was based on Springfield, Oregon. 🙂

  20. I just wanted to ask… WHY?? is there any meaning in that fork?

    1. Haha, I think it is a just because kind of thing 🙂

    2. I heard that a public art consultant told the elderly mayor to get forked.

  21. I always used to doubt doing a road trip for a night’s stay but now a days i’m all about it. Good to see you enjoyed your trip as well. Love your pictures too.

  22. I love the adventure of a day trip, and this one looks like so much fun … and not just because of the big fork (although i do enjoy stopping off for weird things like that)!

  23. Daniela || Ipanema travels to says: Reply

    I would love to visit the Japanese garden! If I happen one day to be in Missouri would for sure include it in my trip.

  24. Wow that giant fork! Who would have thought there would be such a thing in Springfield missouri. But you know the best part is the real version of Springfield from the Simpsons

  25. This seems like an awesome destination. I would love to spend a day there soon!

  26. I’ve seen that big fork! Springfield is a nice place for a short road trip, especially for myself bc I live in Kansas and travel trough MO often. I love your photos and your storytelling is great!

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