Points of Interest

 
 
A popular local saying has it that the third time you visit the Ozarks, you bring your furniture. West Plains, nestled in the “Heart of the Ozarks”, is where you’ll find breathtaking scenery to soothe your spirit and plenty of warm, gracious people who make it difficult for you to leave. When it comes to the best the Ozarks has to offer, West Plains has it all…and we’d like to share it with you. But be careful…we do become habit-forming.

The Mark Twain National Forest, named for Missouri’s favorite son, provides much of the scenic beauty in the Ozarks Heritage Region. But it’s not just another pretty place. You’ll discover a wealth of outdoor recreational activities within its borders. With more than 40 campgrounds and picnic sites, 350 miles of floatable streams, 63,000 wilderness acres, and 125 miles of trails for hikers, bikers and horseback riders, you’ll be hard-pressed to decide what you want to explore first. Whether you hunt, trout fish, raft, kayak, explore springs, or tour the many gristmills; you’re only a stone’s through away from a relaxing West Plains hotel or eatery

 
 
  Pick up the pace at one of the finest dirt track facilities in the nation. The West Plains Motor Speedway’s premier event is the “Show Me 100”, where late model drivers from across the country compete to start the Memorial Day weekend race. The season begins mid-March and runs through August with events for crowds as large as 17,000.

Country western stars Porter Wagoner and Jan Howard both called West Plains home, as did baseball greats Bill Virdon and Tedd Gullic. Preacher Roe, legendary left-handed pitcher for the Brooklyn Dodgers, still makes his home in West Plains. The Harlin Museum has the honor of preserving the accomplishments of these hometown heroes, along with displaying the work of emerging Ozarks artists.

People come from miles away to attend concerts and family activities at the West Plains Civic Center. With 30,000 square feet of exhibit space, 7,400 square feet of meeting rooms, a 2,900-seat arena and a 450-seat theater, there’s certainly room for everybody. The center boasts a collegiate-sized swimming pool, hot tub, sauna, and a professionally designed fitness room. The state-of-the art Civic Center hosts expos and conventions, athletic events, stage shows and performing arts theatre. The Civic Center has developed a solid reputation for staging quality family entertainment and cultural events.

Other recreational opportunities in West Plains include a new Aquatic Park with a collegiate-sized swimming pool, leisure pool, sunbathing area and pavilion. City parks provide areas for picnics, play and exercise as well as tennis courts and batting cages. There’s even a Winter Sports Complex. From golf courses and basketball courts to art exhibits and roller-skating, we truly have the finest recreational facilities for outdoor activities.

 

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