Joplin, Missouri gives travelers an unforgettable experience along America’s Mother Road, Route 66.
Located in Joplin’s historic City Hall, the Visit Joplin office offers Route 66 postcards and magnets, along with travel information. The welcome center staff can offer visitors a brief history of the building (a former department store) and the Joplin area. Highlights include viewing the last signed Thomas Hart Benton mural next to a mural created by Benton’s grandson, Anthony Benton Gude. A short walk across the street takes visitors to the Route 66 Mural Park, a two-story set of murals featuring a stylized Corvette for photo opportunities.
A tour through the Historic Murphysburg neighborhood highlights the golden age of mining in Joplin when the area was the top producer of lead and zinc in the world. The district’s website offers walking and driving tours to follow while learning about the mining barons, brewers, store owners, and bank presidents that built their stately homes and gardens during the heyday of Joplin’s mining boom. Bus group travelers can request a step-on guide to tell the stories of the original homeowners and Joplin’s colorful history.
Not far from Historic Murphysburg is the Candy House Gourmet chocolate factory. English toffee, caramels, and caramel pecan treats are created from the 50-year-old recipes that have made this shop famous nationwide. A variety of other chocolates of the finest quality, a wall of jellybeans, and homemade caramel nut corn are also available. Visitors can observe the processes of the chocolate kitchen through large viewing windows in the store.
Dining along Joplin’s Route 66 offers groups several unique and exciting options. Hackett Hot Wings is more than just wings with a menu of Southern favorites. Club 609 is the place to be for happy hour with an excellent streetside window view of the Route in downtown Joplin. Bookhouse Cinema is located on the Route in the East Town Dreams District, home of Langston Hughes and the location of Joplin’s first lead strike. Bookhouse offers vegan and vegetarian options on their eclectic menu, cocktails, board games, and independent film screenings.
The Joplin History & Mineral Museum is composed of four different museums. The Dorothea B. Hoover History Museum houses artifacts from Joplin’s past, including items left behind by Bonnie and Clyde after their 1933 shootout in Joplin. The Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mining Museum features world-class mineral samples along with exhibits from Joplin’s mining days. The National Cookie Cutter Historical Museum highlights cookie cutters from throughout the decades. The Joplin Sports Hall of Fame honors Joplin’s finest athletes. Visitors may get a chance to meet the resident cat “curators”, Crystal, and Roxie. The museum is recognized as a Route 66 Roadside Attraction. Groups are welcome to cater into the Museum’s large hall for lunch or dinner while they enjoy the historic ambiance.
Just south of Joplin’s Route 66 is Missouri’s largest continually running waterfall, Grand Falls. This scenic spot located along Shoal Creek is the perfect spot for a sunset group photo.