Local Spots

The Best Things to Do in Paris Missouri

Discover the hidden gems of Paris, Missouri with our guide to the best activities, from local dining experiences to historic landmarks and outdoor adventures.

An exquisite, picturesque view of a small Midwest town, Paris, Missouri. The image shows architectural details of charming old brick buildings with unique detailing. To one side, there's a quiescent park with picturesque nature, perfect for leisurely strolls, and a serene lake reflecting the clear blue sky. The other side showcases a classic main street lined by antique stores and local eateries, but without any brand names or logos. In the distance, the captivating Mark Twain Lake and its surrounding landscape adds a touch of natural beauty. The image does not contain any people, text, or brand names.

Exploring Paris, Missouri: A Gateway to American History and Culture

Paris, Missouri, may not be as famous as its namesake in France, but it offers a charming slice of Americana that is perfect for a weekend getaway.

Situated in the heart of Monroe County, this quaint town invites you to explore its unique history, gastronomic delights, and outdoor adventures that make it a hidden gem in the Midwest.

Take a Historical Walking Tour

If you are fascinated by history, Paris, Missouri has a lot to offer.

One of the best ways to explore the town is by taking a historical walking tour.

Check out the historic Monroe County Courthouse, an architectural beauty that dates back to the 19th century.

Walking through the town’s streets, it’s easy to imagine the bustling activity that once filled these now quiet roads.

You might want to grab a guidebook from the local library to understand the significance of each landmark you encounter.

Visit the Mark Twain State Park

Just a short drive from Paris, Missouri, you will find the Mark Twain State Park.

Nestled along the Salt River, this park offers a plethora of outdoor activities for nature lovers.

The park features excellent hiking trails that take you through lush forests and offer stunning views of the river.

If you are a fan of fishing, Mark Twain Lake is well-stocked with bass, catfish, and crappie.

You can also take a leisurely boat ride or go kayaking to soak in the serene environment.

Camping is another popular activity here, and the park offers several well-maintained campsites.

Delight in Local Cuisine

No visit to Paris, Missouri is complete without sampling its local cuisine.

One must-visit spot is Breadeaux Pizza, known for its mouth-watering selection of pizzas made with fresh, local ingredients.

If you’re in the mood for something more traditional, head over to Jonesy’s Cafe for a hearty breakfast or classic American diner fare.

Paris also features several charming coffee shops and bakeries where you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon with a cup of coffee and a sweet treat.

Make sure to check out these popular brunch places in St. Louis for some diverse culinary experiences as well.

Experience the Paris Fork and Cork Festival

Held annually in the fall, the Paris Fork and Cork Festival is a must-attend event for food and wine lovers.

This festival brings together local chefs, wineries, and breweries to celebrate the best of Midwestern cuisine.

You can sample a variety of dishes, from gourmet farm-to-table offerings to classic Southern comfort food.

Wine enthusiasts will love the selection of locally-produced wines, while craft beer lovers can enjoy a range of brews from area microbreweries.

There are also cooking demonstrations, live music, and vendors selling artisanal products.

Shop at Unique Boutiques and Stores

One of the joys of visiting a small town like Paris, Missouri, is exploring its unique boutiques and stores.

From antique shops filled with treasures to specialty stores offering locally-made crafts, there’s something for everyone.

The Old Jail Museum Antique Mall is particularly popular, offering a diverse range of antiques and collectibles.

Another must-visit is the Blue Goose Cafe and General Store, where you can shop for home decor, gifts, and gourmet foods.

Catch a Local Performance or Event

Paris, Missouri, might be small, but it boasts a vibrant local arts scene.

The local theater regularly hosts plays, musicals, and community events that are well worth attending.

In the summer, you can also catch performances at the town’s outdoor amphitheater, which often features live music and movie nights.

The Annual Paris Fall Festival is another great event, featuring a parade, live entertainment, and plenty of family-friendly activities.

Explore the Monroe County Historical Society Museum

If you’re interested in learning more about the region’s history, a visit to the Monroe County Historical Society Museum is a must.

The museum offers exhibits on local history, agriculture, and more.

You’ll find artifacts from the town’s early days, including antique farming equipment, clothing, and household items.

The museum frequently hosts special events and lectures, providing additional insight into the area’s rich history.

Enjoy Outdoor Recreation at Indian Creek Recreation Area

Outdoor enthusiasts will love the Indian Creek Recreation Area, located just a short drive from Paris.

This area offers excellent opportunities for hiking, fishing, and camping.

The recreation area features well-maintained trails that take you through beautiful woodlands and along the shores of Indian Creek.

There are also several picnic areas where you can relax and enjoy a meal with family and friends.

If you’re into birdwatching, the Indian Creek Recreation Area is home to a variety of bird species.

Plan a Day Trip to Nearby Hannibal, Missouri

If you have extra time, consider planning a day trip to nearby Hannibal, Missouri.

Known as the boyhood home of Mark Twain, Hannibal offers a range of attractions related to the famous author.

Visit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum to learn more about Twain’s early life and works.

The Hannibal Riverfront is another must-visit, offering scenic views of the Mississippi River and a range of dining and shopping options.

You can also take a riverboat cruise for a unique perspective on the area.

Don’t forget to check out these top museums to visit in St. Louis as well for further cultural enrichment.

Attend a Local Sporting Event

Sports fans will find plenty to enjoy in Paris, Missouri.

The town has a strong sense of community, and local sporting events are a big part of that.

Whether it’s high school football, basketball, or baseball, attending a local game is a great way to experience the town’s spirit.

The local parks also offer facilities for tennis, soccer, and more, making it easy to stay active during your visit.

Relax at the Paris Municipal Pool

During the summer months, the Paris Municipal Pool is a great place to cool off.

Featuring a large swimming pool, water slides, and a splash pad for kids, it’s a fun destination for families.

The pool also hosts special events and swim lessons, making it a popular spot for both locals and visitors.

After a day at the pool, you might want to explore more family-friendly attractions in St. Louis for a full day of fun.

Explore the Paris City Park

Paris City Park is a beautiful spot for families and individuals to relax and enjoy the great outdoors.

The park features a large playground, picnic areas, and walking trails that are perfect for a leisurely stroll.

One of the highlights of the park is its beautiful pond, which is great for fishing or simply enjoying the serene views.

Throughout the year, the park hosts various community events, including concerts and festivals, making it a lively hub for local activities.

If you visit during the summer, you might catch one of the outdoor movie nights, which are always a hit with families.

Tackle the Trails at Long Branch State Park

A short drive from Paris, Long Branch State Park offers some of the best trails in the area for hiking and biking enthusiasts.

The park’s trails wind through beautiful landscapes, including forests, prairies, and along the shores of Long Branch Lake.

If you’re a water sports enthusiast, the lake offers opportunities for boating, jet skiing, and fishing.

It’s also a great spot for bird watching, with various species frequenting the area throughout the year.

Camping facilities are available as well, allowing you to extend your outdoor adventure over several days.

The park is well-maintained and offers plenty of amenities, making it a convenient and enjoyable destination for nature lovers.

Visit the Moberly Five Points Shopping Center

Just a short drive from Paris, the Moberly Five Points Shopping Center offers a variety of stores for a great shopping experience.

Whether you’re looking for clothing, electronics, or home goods, you’ll find a wide selection of shops to choose from.

The shopping center also features several dining options, making it easy to grab a bite to eat between stores.

A popular spot in the area is Lovett’s Used Books and Media, where you can browse through a vast collection of books, CDs, and DVDs.

The center often hosts sales and special events, so it’s worth checking out their calendar before you go.

If you’re planning a family outing, you might also be interested in other family attractions in the surrounding areas.

Tour the Historic Allen Chapel

For history buffs, a tour of the historic Allen Chapel is a must.

This beautifully preserved building offers a glimpse into the town’s rich history and religious heritage.

The chapel often hosts special events and services, providing a unique opportunity to experience its charm firsthand.

The grounds surrounding the chapel are equally beautiful, featuring well-manicured gardens and historic markers.

Make sure to take some time to walk around and take in the serene atmosphere of this historic site.

Enjoy Local Brews at Jackson Street Brewery

If you’re a fan of craft beer, a visit to Jackson Street Brewery in nearby Perry, Missouri, is a must.

Just a short drive from Paris, this brewery offers a range of locally-produced beers that are sure to delight your taste buds.

The brewery features a cozy taproom where you can sample their brews and learn more about the brewing process.

Some popular options include their Hoppy Trail Pale Ale and the rich, flavorful Muddy Creek Porter.

The brewery also hosts special events, such as live music nights and beer tastings, making it a lively spot to visit any time of year.

Additionally, they offer brewery tours where you can get a behind-the-scenes look at how their delicious beers are made.

Explore Native American Heritage at Graham Cave State Park

About an hour from Paris, Graham Cave State Park offers a fascinating look at Native American history.

The park is home to Graham Cave, a notable archaeological site that has revealed artifacts dating back thousands of years.

You can explore the cave and learn more about the ancient peoples who once inhabited the area through informative displays and guided tours.

The park also features beautiful hiking trails, offering stunning views of the surrounding landscape.

Graham Cave State Park is a great destination for history lovers and outdoor enthusiasts alike.

It’s a unique site that’s worth the drive for the intriguing blend of history and natural beauty it offers.

Sample Local Wine at Delfosse Vineyards

Wine lovers will enjoy a visit to Delfosse Vineyards, located just outside Paris.

This charming vineyard produces a variety of exquisite wines, using locally-grown grapes.

The tasting room offers a beautiful setting to sample their offerings, with knowledgeable staff to guide you through the different varieties.

Some of their most popular wines include the robust Cabernet Franc and the crisp, refreshing Chardonnay.

The vineyard also offers tours of their facilities, providing an interesting look at the winemaking process from grape to glass.

Throughout the year, Delfosse Vineyards hosts special events, including wine dinners and music nights, making it a great spot to visit any time.

Attend the Annual Monroe County Fair

One of the highlights of Paris, Missouri’s social calendar is the annual Monroe County Fair.

Held each summer, this fair offers a range of activities and entertainment for all ages.

You can enjoy carnival rides, live music, and delicious fair food, creating a fun and festive atmosphere.

The fair also features livestock shows, showcasing the best of local agriculture.

If you’re a fan of arts and crafts, be sure to check out the various exhibits and vendors selling handmade goods.

This event is a great way to experience the community spirit of Paris and enjoy a fun-filled day with family and friends.

Golf at the Mark Twain Country Club

Golf enthusiasts will appreciate a round at the Mark Twain Country Club, located just a short drive from Paris.

This scenic course offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience for golfers of all skill levels.

The well-maintained greens and fairways provide a beautiful setting for a day on the links.

The country club also features a clubhouse with dining options, making it easy to relax and unwind after your game.

Throughout the year, the club hosts various tournaments and events, making it a great spot for competitive play as well.

Visit the Boutiques in Downtown Paris

Exploring the charming boutiques in downtown Paris is a delightful experience for any shopper.

The area is home to a variety of unique shops offering everything from clothing and accessories to home decor and gifts.

One popular spot is The French Goose, known for its stylish selection of women’s clothing and accessories.

Another must-visit is The Olive Branch, where you can find a variety of artisanal products and locally-made crafts.

Strolling through these quaint streets, you’ll enjoy discovering hidden gems and one-of-a-kind finds.

Dine at 5 West Diner

For a classic American dining experience, head over to 5 West Diner in Paris.

This cozy, family-owned restaurant serves up hearty, delicious meals that are sure to satisfy.

Their menu features a range of comfort foods, from juicy burgers and fries to homestyle meatloaf and mashed potatoes.

Breakfast is a highlight here, with options like fluffy pancakes, crispy bacon, and perfectly cooked eggs.

Whether you’re stopping in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, 5 West Diner offers a welcoming atmosphere and great food.

Attend a Workshop at the Paris Landing Community Center

The Paris Landing Community Center offers a range of workshops and classes for all ages.

From art and crafts to fitness and wellness, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The center also hosts special events and community gatherings, making it a lively hub for local activities.

Joining a workshop or class is a great way to learn something new and meet new people during your visit.

Attend a Workshop at the Paris Landing Community Center

The Paris Landing Community Center offers a range of workshops and classes for all ages.

From art and crafts to fitness and wellness, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

The center also hosts special events and community gatherings, making it a lively hub for local activities.

Joining a workshop or class is a great way to learn something new and meet new people during your visit.

Stay at a Local Bed and Breakfast

For a truly charming and comfortable stay, consider booking a room at one of Paris, Missouri’s local bed and breakfasts.

These cozy accommodations offer a uniquely personal experience, with hosts that go above and beyond to make you feel at home.

One highly recommended spot is The Paris Inn Bed and Breakfast, known for its warm hospitality and delicious homemade breakfasts.

The rooms are beautifully decorated, blending historic charm with modern conveniences.

Staying at a bed and breakfast provides a relaxing retreat after a day of exploring the town and its surroundings.

Explore the Salt River Wildlife Refuge

If you’re an avid nature enthusiast, be sure to visit the Salt River Wildlife Refuge.

This beautiful refuge is home to a diverse array of wildlife, making it a great spot for birdwatching and photography.

The refuge features walking trails that take you through various habitats, providing plenty of opportunities to observe different species in their natural environment.

Pack a picnic and spend the day exploring the serene and scenic landscapes of the refuge.

Try the Local Delicacies at the Paris Farmer’s Market

Visiting the Paris Farmer’s Market is a delightful way to experience the town’s local flavors and products.

Held weekly, the market features a wide range of fresh produce, homemade goods, and artisanal products from local vendors.

Whether you’re looking for farm-fresh vegetables, handcrafted cheeses, or delicious baked treats, you’ll find a fantastic selection of items to choose from.

The friendly atmosphere and sense of community make it a must-visit spot for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the local culture.

Ride the Paris Wheel at the Fork and Cork Festival

One of the highlights of the annual Paris Fork and Cork Festival is the Paris Wheel, a Ferris wheel that offers stunning views of the town.

This iconic ride provides a fun and unique way to take in the sights, especially in the evening when the town is beautifully lit.

The Paris Wheel is loved by both locals and visitors and adds a whimsical touch to this popular festival.

Play a Round of Disc Golf at the Paris City Disc Golf Course

For a fun and active day out, head to the Paris City Disc Golf Course.

This well-maintained course offers a challenging yet enjoyable experience for players of all skill levels.

Set in a scenic park, the course features a variety of holes that take you through wooded areas and open fields.

It is a great way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise while visiting Paris.

Plus, it’s a family-friendly activity that everyone can participate in.

Unwind at the Salt River Community Park

Salt River Community Park is another fantastic spot for outdoor relaxation and recreation.

The park offers a range of amenities, including picnic shelters, playgrounds, and sports fields.

It is a popular spot for family gatherings, barbecues, and community events.

Whether you want to play a game of frisbee, enjoy a leisurely walk, or have a picnic, this park has something for everyone.

Join a Fishing Expedition on Lake Cooper

Lake Cooper, located a short drive from Paris, is a favorite spot for fishing enthusiasts.

The lake is well-stocked with a variety of fish, including bass, catfish, and crappie.

Fishing from the shore or from a boat, you will find plenty of opportunities to catch a big one.

The scenic surroundings make it a peaceful and enjoyable place to spend the day.

Discover Antique Treasures at the Paris Antique Mall

Antique lovers will find a treasure trove of unique items at the Paris Antique Mall.

This large store features a diverse selection of antiques and collectibles from various periods.

You will find everything from vintage furniture and decor to rare books and memorabilia.

Browsing through the aisles, you will enjoy discovering one-of-a-kind pieces and hidden gems.

Explore the Haunted History of Paris on a Ghost Tour

For a spooky yet fascinating experience, join a ghost tour of Paris.

These guided tours take you to some of the town’s most haunted locations, sharing eerie tales and paranormal legends.

It is a fun way to explore the town’s history and get a few chills along the way.

Whether you believe in ghosts or not, it’s an entertaining and memorable activity.

Indulge in Sweet Treats at Oma’s Sugar Shack

If you have a sweet tooth, a visit to Oma’s Sugar Shack is a must.

This charming candy store offers a wide range of homemade confections, including fudge, chocolates, and old-fashioned candies.

It is a great spot to pick up a unique treat or souvenir to take home.

The friendly staff and nostalgic atmosphere make it a delightful place to visit.

The Paris Arts Gallery is a wonderful place to appreciate local talent and creativity.

The gallery showcases a variety of artworks from local artists, including paintings, sculptures, and photography.

It is a vibrant space that celebrates the area’s artistic community and offers rotating exhibits throughout the year.

Visiting the gallery is a great way to support local artists and find unique pieces to admire or purchase.

Visit the McKee Memorial Airport

Aviation enthusiasts will enjoy a visit to the McKee Memorial Airport.

This small airport offers interesting insights into the history and development of aviation in the region.

You might even catch a small plane taking off or landing.

Occasionally, the airport hosts special events and air shows, making it a fun place to visit for the whole family.

Camp at the Merryman State Park

For a true outdoors experience, consider camping at Merryman State Park.

This park offers beautiful campsites nestled in the natural surroundings, perfect for a weekend getaway.

Whether you are setting up a tent or parking an RV, you will find the facilities well-maintained and comfortable.

Camping at Merryman State Park provides a serene setting to relax, unwind, and connect with nature.

Explore the Hannibal Trolley Tour

A visit to nearby Hannibal can be enhanced by taking a trolley tour of the town.

The Hannibal Trolley Tour offers a narrated ride around the town’s historic sites and landmarks.

It is a great way to learn about the history and culture of Hannibal, especially its connection to Mark Twain.

The tour is fun and informative, making it a great addition to a day trip from Paris.

Go Horseback Riding at the Sundown Stables

For a memorable outdoor adventure, visit Sundown Stables for a horseback riding experience.

This well-equipped stable offers guided trail rides through scenic landscapes, suitable for riders of all experience levels.

It is a great way to explore the natural beauty of the area while bonding with these majestic animals.

The friendly staff and well-trained horses ensure a safe and enjoyable ride for everyone.

Attend a Stargazing Night at the Paris Astronomy Club

The Paris Astronomy Club regularly hosts stargazing nights at various locations around town.

These events offer a fantastic opportunity to observe the night sky through high-powered telescopes.

You can learn about different constellations, planets, and celestial phenomena from knowledgeable club members.

Stargazing nights are both educational and awe-inspiring, perfect for families and astronomy enthusiasts alike.

Relax and Read at Paris Public Library

The Paris Public Library is a cozy and welcoming place for book lovers.

With a wide selection of books, magazines, and multimedia resources, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Take some time to relax with a good book or explore the library’s programs and events.

It is a peaceful retreat and a great way to unwind after a day of exploring Paris.

Participate in the Annual Christmas Parade

Kick off the holiday season by attending the Annual Christmas Parade in Paris.

This festive event features colorful floats, marching bands, and, of course, Santa Claus himself.

The parade brings the community together and spreads holiday cheer to all who attend.

Whether you’re a participant or a spectator, it’s a joyful and heartwarming experience.

Enjoy Classic Movies at the Paris Drive-In Theater

Step back in time and enjoy a classic movie at the Paris Drive-In Theater.

This nostalgic venue offers a fun and unique way to watch a film under the stars.

Bring some snacks and blankets, and settle in for an evening of cinematic entertainment.

The drive-in theater is a family-friendly experience that everyone will enjoy.

Take Yoga Classes at the Paris Wellness Studio

For a calming and rejuvenating experience, try taking a yoga class at the Paris Wellness Studio.

This studio offers a variety of classes for all skill levels, focusing on relaxation, flexibility, and overall wellness.

Whether you’re a seasoned yogi or a beginner, you will find a class that suits your needs.

The instructors are knowledgeable and supportive, helping you achieve a sense of balance and well-being.

Book a Scenic Train Ride on the Attic Angel Railroad

Experience the beauty of the Missouri countryside with a scenic train ride on the Attic Angel Railroad.

This historic railroad offers picturesque journeys through stunning landscapes, providing a relaxing and unique way to see the area.

The train rides often include special themes and events, such as holiday rides or wine tastings.

It is an enjoyable and memorable experience for all ages.

Take a Guided Tour of the Historic Grand Opera House

The Historic Grand Opera House in Paris offers guided tours that provide insights into its rich history and architectural beauty.

This beautifully restored building once hosted famous performers and continues to be a cultural hub.

Learn about the opera house’s past and its significance to the community through these informative tours.

It’s an enlightening experience for anyone interested in history and the arts.

Attend the Annual Paris Art Fair

The Annual Paris Art Fair is a celebration of creativity and local talent.

Held each summer, the fair features works from artists in various mediums, including painting, sculpture, and photography.

Browse through the exhibits, meet the artists, and perhaps even purchase a unique piece to take home.

The fair also includes live music, food vendors, and interactive art activities for all ages.

Visit the Historic Paris Depot

The Historic Paris Depot is a small but fascinating museum that tells the story of the town’s railway heritage.

Explore the exhibits and learn about the significant role the railroad played in the development of the area.

The depot is well-preserved, providing a glimpse into the past and the history of rail travel in Missouri.

Enjoy a Relaxing Boat Cruise on Mark Twain Lake

One of the most serene activities you can enjoy near Paris is a boat cruise on Mark Twain Lake.

Several local operators offer guided cruises, giving you a chance to relax and take in the stunning views of the lake.

It is a perfect way to spend a peaceful afternoon, enjoying the natural beauty and tranquility of this picturesque lake.

Relive History at the Civil War Battlefield

History enthusiasts will appreciate a visit to the nearby Civil War Battlefield.

This historic site offers an in-depth look at one of the significant battles that took place in the area.

Informative plaques and guided tours provide context and details about the battle and its impact on the region.

Walking through the well-preserved grounds gives a sense of stepping back in time and understanding the history of Civil War.

Enjoy the Theater Experience at the Little Theater

Catch a performance at the Little Theater, a charming local venue known for its community productions.

The theater offers a variety of shows throughout the year, including plays, musicals, and special events.

It is a great way to support the local arts scene and enjoy a night of entertainment.

The intimate setting and talented performers create an unforgettable theater experience.

Discover Unique Finds at the Weekly Flea Market

The weekly flea market in Paris is a must-visit for anyone who loves hunting for unique and vintage items.

The market features a wide array of vendors selling everything from antiques and collectibles to handmade crafts and local produce.

It is a great place to find one-of-a-kind treasures and enjoy a leisurely day of shopping.

Make sure to check the market’s schedule as it often includes special events and themed markets.

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Take a Scenic Drive Along Mark Twain State Park

Experience the natural beauty of the region by taking a scenic drive along Mark Twain State Park.

The park features several picturesque routes that take you through lush forests, rolling hills, and along the shores of Mark Twain Lake.

It is a wonderful way to unwind, enjoy the scenery, and perhaps stop for a picnic or a hike along the way.

Explore Local History Through Self-Guided Tours

For those who enjoy exploring at their own pace, Paris offers several self-guided tours that highlight the town’s rich history.

Pick up a map or guidebook from the local visitor center and set out on your own adventure.

From historic homes and buildings to markers and monuments, these tours provide fascinating insights into the town’s past.

It is an engaging way to learn about the area’s heritage while enjoying a leisurely stroll or drive.

Sample Craft Beers at Little Egypt Brew House

Beer aficionados will enjoy a visit to Little Egypt Brew House, a local brewery known for its craft beers.

Located in nearby Monroe City, the brewery offers a variety of unique and flavorful brews.

The cozy taproom is a great place to sample their offerings and learn more about the brewing process.

Popular choices include their signature IPAs and seasonal specials, which are crafted with locally-sourced ingredients.

The friendly staff and laid-back atmosphere create a fantastic brewery experience.

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Partake in a Craft Workshop at The Paris Art Cooperative

The Paris Art Cooperative offers a variety of craft workshops for those interested in exploring their creative side.

From pottery and painting to jewelry making and weaving, there’s a class for every interest.

The cooperative is run by local artists who are passionate about their craft and eager to share their skills.

Participating in a workshop is a fun and rewarding way to learn a new skill and create something beautiful.

Avery Ingram

Avery Ingram


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