18 Best Places and Things To Do in Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Cape Girardeau, Missouri, located along the Mississippi River, is a charming city known for its rich history, picturesque landscapes, and vibrant cultural scene. Whether you’re a history buff, nature lover, or simply seeking a memorable experience, Cape Girardeau offers a range of attractions and activities.

1. Tears State Park


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For outdoor enthusiasts, the Trail of Tears State Park is a must-visit. This scenic park offers hiking trails, picnic areas, and camping facilities amidst a picturesque setting. It also commemorates the forced relocation of Native Americans during the Trail of Tears, providing educational exhibits and information about this dark chapter in American history.

2. Cape River Heritage Museum

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Immerse yourself in the city’s heritage at the Cape River Heritage Museum. Located in a restored firehouse, the museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and interactive exhibits that trace Cape Girardeau’s history, including its ties to the Mississippi River.

3. Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center

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Nature lovers will appreciate a visit to the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. Explore the walking trails and immerse yourself in the surrounding wildlife and natural habitats. The center offers educational exhibits, nature programs, and special events for all ages.

4. Discovery Playhouse

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If you’re traveling with children, make sure to stop by the Discovery Playhouse. This interactive children’s museum offers hands-on exhibits and educational activities designed to spark curiosity and creativity in young minds.

5. Cape Girardeau Riverfront

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Enjoy a scenic walk or bike ride along the Cape Girardeau Riverfront, offering picturesque views of the Mississippi River. The riverfront also hosts various events and festivals throughout the year, such as the Cape Girardeau Air Festival and the Cape Girardeau Heritage Days.

6. Cape Girardeau County Park North

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Spend a day outdoors at Cape Girardeau County Park North. This expansive park features playgrounds, picnic areas, walking trails, and sports facilities. It’s a great spot for family outings, outdoor recreation, and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.

7. Red House Interpretive Center

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Delve into African American history and the heritage of Cape Girardeau at the Red House Interpretive Center. This museum offers exhibits, artifacts, and interactive displays that highlight the contributions and experiences of African Americans in the region.

8. Glenn House

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Step back in time with a visit to the Glenn House, a beautifully restored Victorian mansion. This historic house museum offers guided tours that provide insight into the lifestyle and architecture of the late 1800s. Admire the elegant interiors, period furnishings, and learn about the prominent Glenn family who once resided there.

9. Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center

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Beat the heat and have a splashing good time at the Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center. This water park offers a variety of water attractions, including water slides, lazy rivers, and a large swimming pool. It’s a perfect place to cool off and enjoy a fun-filled day with family and friends.

10. River Campus Art Gallery

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Art enthusiasts shouldn’t miss the River Campus Art Gallery. Located on the campus of Southeast Missouri State University, this gallery hosts rotating exhibitions featuring works by local, national, and international artists. It’s a fantastic place to immerse yourself in contemporary art and explore different artistic expressions.

11. Cape Girardeau Municipal Golf Course

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If you’re a golf enthusiast, tee off at the Cape Girardeau Municipal Golf Course. This well-maintained public golf course offers scenic views and challenging fairways for players of all skill levels. Enjoy a round of golf in a peaceful and picturesque setting.

12. Cape Girardeau Central High School Museum

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Step back in time at the Cape Girardeau Central High School Museum. Housed in a restored classroom from the early 1900s, this museum showcases artifacts, photographs, and memorabilia that highlight the history of the school and the community. It offers a fascinating glimpse into the educational past of Cape Girardeau.

13. Lazy L Safari Park

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Lazy L Safari Park is a wonderful attraction located in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. This family-owned and operated park provides visitors with an opportunity to get up close and personal with a variety of exotic and domestic animals. Here’s what you can expect to find at Lazy L Safari Park. Lazy L Safari Park offers a hands-on experience with the animals. You can feed and interact with animals such as llamas, kangaroos, goats, deer, and even emus.

14. Cape Rock Park

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The highlight of Cape Rock Park is undoubtedly the panoramic views it offers. Perched on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River, the park provides a breathtaking vantage point to admire the river’s beauty and the picturesque landscape beyond. You can see miles of rolling hills, the cityscape of Cape Girardeau, and the majestic river stretching into the distance.

15. Old St.Vincent’s Church

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Old St. Vincent’s Church holds great historical and cultural significance in Cape Girardeau. It is one of the oldest surviving buildings in the city and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The church has been a centerpiece of religious and community life since its construction.

16. A.C. Brase Arena Building & Park

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The A.C. Brase Arena Building features a spacious indoor arena that serves as a hub for various sports and recreational activities. The arena is equipped for indoor soccer, basketball, volleyball, and other team sports. It hosts leagues, tournaments, and open play sessions, providing opportunities for both organized sports and casual play.

17. Crisp Museum

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The Crisp Museum showcases a diverse range of exhibitions that highlight both art and regional history. The rotating art exhibitions feature works by local, national, and international artists, covering various styles and mediums. The history exhibitions delve into the rich heritage of Southeast Missouri, exploring topics such as Native American culture, regional history, and significant events.

18. Cape LaCroix Recreation

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The Cape LaCroix Recreation Trail winds its way through the natural beauty of Cape Girardeau. Starting near the intersection of Kingshighway and Broadway, the trail follows the path of Cape LaCroix Creek, meandering through wooded areas, open fields, and residential neighborhoods.

Cape Girardeau’s blend of history, natural beauty, cultural attractions, and community events make it an engaging destination for visitors of all interests. Whether you’re exploring the outdoors, immersing yourself in the city’s history, or simply enjoying the local charm, Cape Girardeau offers a memorable experience.