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Road Trip recommendations Iowa (Granger Ford) to DFW via Missouri/Arkansas

HDT05

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Hi All...

I'm flying in to pick up my new F150 at Granger Ford and have a little time on my hands so figured I'd take the time to explore the countryside a bit.

I love to find little towns with interesting histories/beautiful places to go that nobody knows about and usually do that by staying off the main roads and following my nose. We are not into art galleries but hey give me a pub with a view or live band/restaurant with an amazing breakfast/friendly people/civil war or otherwise historical place then we're up for it....

Flying into Iowa tomorrow (Wednesday)....

Can anyone make any suggestions as to places to see? We would be very grateful...

Cheers
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dmeyer302

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Welcome to my neck of the woods in Carthage MO, you will be passing right through. What I recommend might depend on what time of day you are here, click for links.

Coffee
Lunch
Boutique shops around the square
Civil War museum
Battle of Carthage State Historic Site (not much to see honestly, it's a park and a plaque)
Red Oak II (vintage town reassembled by a local artist)

Farther off your path:
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
Hanger Kafe (cropdusting airport with a diner)

Northwest Arkansas (Rogers/Springdale area) has Pea Ridge battlefield and a ton of good food options.

Consider the Boston Mountains Scenic Loop (US-71 south from Fayetteville, AR) for some scenic views and small towns. I-49 parallels 71 and it is quite pretty as well. Avoid I-44 west between Joplin and Tulsa unless speed is your goal. It is not an interesting drive, plus it is a toll road.
 

Aron

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I haven't driven that corridor (just crossed it a few times), so I don't have a huge amount to offer. Looks like the most direct/boring route would be I-35 the whole way. If you're going to do that, I might recommend stopping by the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve near Emporia KS, about halfway between Witchita and KC. The National Park Service has recreated the landscape of what the prairie used to look like prior to all the farms. Nice place to take a short hike and stretch your legs--just avoid the bison.

If it were me, I think that I'd take some extra time and stay away from the interstates. Southern Missouri/Northern Arkansas has the Ozarks, which should be pretty nice this time of year. I've never been to Branson, but that's down that way. There's a national park in Arkansas (Hot Springs), but it's a different kind of national park than what you might think when you say that word--it's a bunch of historic hotels that built up around the hot springs as old tourist destinations. If that appeals to you, then that might be worth it.

If you're willing to go a ways out of your way, you could head east towards the Mississippi and drive along the Great River Road (https://experiencemississippiriver.com/the-great-river-road-the-best-drive-in-america/). Stop in St. Louis to see the Gateway Arch maybe?
 

lrb_35128

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HDT05

HDT05

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Thanks for the input! Definitely going to Carthage, not sure if I’ll go over towards St Louis. I’m thinking I’m going to start with Des Moines, Kansas City then back down the middle of Missouri through to Arkansas.
Decided to take in the historical civil war sites you’ve suggested and see what the best diner I can find along the way is.

should be an adventure!
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