Travel

When you imagine going to a waterpark, you probably picture rides and concessions at every corner. What many don't know, is that nature has its own twist on a waterpark, and it lies in the heart of the Show-Me State. You can go swimming in Missouri at this gorgeous state park that will blow you away with its clear blue water, stunning nature, and of course, the shut-ins.

Johnson's Shut-Ins State Park is home to "nature's waterpark," also known as shut-ins.

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If you're seeking adventure, Missouri has endless locations where you'll find just that. No matter which incredible nature spot you end up at, the more there is to see, hike, and climb, the better. A state park near St. Louis has all of that and more, and while you might think the Show-Me state already had enough gorgeous scenic spots, you're in for a real treat when you see this place.

Elephant Rocks State Park in Belleview, Missouri is less than two hours from St. Louis and has elephant-shaped and sized boulders.

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It's some people's nightmare to have to walk up a seemingly endless staircase, for other people, it sounds like an enchanting dream! Depending on the staircase, of course. There is a beautiful scenic hike in a Missouri state park that is rightfully dubbed the 1,000 steps trail, and it leads you way up over the hills. To get in your daily workout while being surrounded by stunning views, you need to head over to Washington State Park.

Washington State Park is a public natural area that spans about 2,147 acres in central-eastern Missouri. There are many features to the park that people from all over can enjoy.

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There's nothing more rewarding than an incredible view of your home state, from the top of a trail you just worked your butt of to get up. Thankfully, this conservation area in Missourireally doesn't disappoint with its views of the river that sits beneath it. Get ready to have your mouth gaping wide open for at least a few minutes because it's unlike anything you've ever seen before.

Painted Rock Conservation Area is just a few miles from Westphalia, Missouri in Osage County. 

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While many Missourians are visiting state parks this time of year to go fishing, others go purely to explore the beauty the Show-Me State holds within it. This summer, there's one waterfall-filled state park near St. Louis that's perfect not only for those who love fishing but also for anyone who enjoys hiking and swimming among waterfalls. You don't want to miss out on the opportunity to cool off beneath one of Mother Nature's many gifts.

Sam A. Baker State Park is calling your name this summer with the ancient St. Francois Mountains, the St. Francis River, and Big Creek nearby. 

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Sometimes living in the big city can start to feel cramped and stuffy, leading you to want to get out into the great outdoors to get a big breath of fresh air. There are so many great nature spots to find across the state of Missouri, but finding the best-hidden gems is key for having the best day out. This waterfall nature spot near St. Louis is the perfect place to explore the next time you get that wanderlust bug.

Hickory Canyons in Ste. Genevieve County is a serene spot filled with unique geographical features along with incredible wildlife and rare to find plants.

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There are so many beautiful hidden gems across the state of Missouri, one of them being in a spot you might not have guessed. In the small college town of Colombia, you will find one of the most incredible natural wonders. Missouri's coolest natural rock bridge lies at the bottom of a foliage-covered staircase in Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

In the middle of the wonderful Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, is where the Devil’s Icebox lies. This spot is an above and below-ground rock formation that can be found by following various wooden bridges and trails.

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Exploring a state park can certainly be fun but nothing beats visiting somewhere that's made history. An underwater mine in Missouri did just that, after being named "the world's largest freshwater dive resort." That's right, not only can you explore the natural historic site above the water, you can also go scuba diving there for a truly unique underwater experience. 

Bonne Terre Mine has been around since the 1900s and is located in Bonne Terre, Missouri. It can be visited seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during their summer season for underwater walking and boat tours.

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Staying indoors is obviously the move these days, though cabin fever has a way of sneaking up on us after an extended period of time with no change of scenery. A private unique Airbnb retreat near St. Louis is the perfect solution to any discomfort you may be feeling right now, and we know just the place. A massive luxury tent that lies secluded in the woods fully-equipped with everything you'd need awaits you! 

Narcity may receive a portion of sales if you purchase something from this article, which was created independently by Narcity's editorial team just for you.

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