Things To Do in Cape Girardeau, MO
Whether you’ve lived in Cape Girardeau your entire life or you just moved to the area, finding new ways to enjoy the place you live is always exciting. Lucky for you, there are plenty of great ways to get in touch with your local community. Here are some of the most exciting things to do in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
The Trail of Tears State Park
Cape Girardeau is home to the Trail of Tears State Park, which encompasses 3,415 acres of land in nearby Jackson. The park is named to honor the Cherokee Indians who lost their land and lives after the government forced them to relocate. While the trails have a painful history, they are also a place of peace today. Visitors come to the park to hike and remember the history of the land. Additionally, the park offers opportunities for picnics, fishing, camping, and horseback riding. Accommodations include cabins, inns, and more. The nature center also offers information about the area’s history.
Many people who visit the park are particularly interested in the hiking trails. The Trail of Tears State Park has five popular trails, including the Peewah Trail Red Loop, which features 6.2 miles of moderate trail in a remote section of the park, and the Peewah Trail Yellow Loop, which features 3.9 miles of trail along the Mississippi River. The Shepard Point Trail climbs the bluffs and overlooks the river for over 3 miles. The easiest trails are the 2.2-mile Lake Boutin Trail and 0.7-mile Nature Trail.
Location: 429 Moccasin Springs, Jackson
Cape Girardeau Murals
One of the best ways to indulge in Cape Girardeau art is to explore heritage and culture through local murals. The city hosts a variety of murals that depict local history and stories. Take a walk downtown and enjoy some outdoor art.
One of the most prominent murals is situated along Water Street in old downtown. The mural, called “Mississippi River Tales,” was designed by Thomas Melvin. It features 24 panels that depict the history of Cape Girardeau, including Native American history and the Civil War. Other murals include the “Heritage of Music” mural and a large Coca-Cola mural.
Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center
If you visit Cape Girardeau’s North Country Park, you’ll find a region with deep natural and cultural history. Today, you’ll also find the Conservation Nature Center. Inside, there are several exhibits, including some interactive ones. The Nature Center also boasts an aquarium and play area for children. Those interested in history can enjoy a collection of Native American artifacts from Missouri. The Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center also hosts special events and group programs. Best of all, it’s free to explore.
If you venture outside the center, you’ll find nature trails that show off the area’s terrain, including gorgeous hills and fascinating sinkholes. You can hike for 2 miles and view wildlife in its natural habitat. The grounds include gorgeous wildflowers, a fishing pond for children, and a hummingbird garden. There’s even a swamp to explore.
Location: 2289 County Park Drive, Cape Girardeau
Cape Girardeau was once a heavily fortified city. During the Civil War, these forts provided ample protection. Today, Fort D is the only remaining part of the fort system, and it’s now a public historic site. The fort overlooks the Mississippi River, providing amazing views of the surroundings. Admission to Fort D is free, and the fort also hosts events throughout the year. For example, the venue hosts events for American Battlefields Park Day in April and Family Weekend in September.
You can take a self-guided tour of the historic site or visit during a reenactment time so you can see exactly what life may have been like when the fort was used.
Location: 920 Fort St., Cape Girardeau
Red House Interpretive Center
If you’d like to get a taste of what Cape Girardeau might have looked like in the past, the Red House Interpretive Center is an exciting destination. The center has been reconstructed to look like an original trading post. The interpretive center commemorates Louis Lorimier, a significant figure in the community. The Interpretive Center also hosts some information about the Lewis and Clark expedition. Admission to the center is free.
Exhibits at the Red House include Lorimier’s Trading Post as well as the Lorimier Room, which depicts what Lorimier’s home may have looked like in its time. The Girardeau Room contains a map of the territory during Lorimier’s time. Finally, you can check out the Historic Gardens, which mimic what a garden would look like around 1803.
Location: 128 Aquamsi St., Cape Girardeau
Cape Woods Conservation Area
If you’ve been looking for some urban wilderness, Cape Girardeau can offer a taste. The Cape Woods Conservation Area boasts 36.7 acres of land, much of which is great for hiking and biking. The park is free to use, and it’s especially great for birdwatching and looking for wildlife, including squirrels, cottontail rabbits, and white-tailed deer. The trails are relatively flat, which makes them perfect for a casual stroll on a warm day.
Location: 1348 N. Mount Auburn Road, Cape Girardeau
Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center
Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center is an outdoor water park suitable for the entire family. The park contains a lazy river, swirl pool, splash pad, and several water slides. The park opens up for the season in May and will remain open throughout the summer. This park has a lot to offer those of all swimming levels. Whether you want to find a learn-to-swim program or enjoy some aquatic fitness, you’ll find a way to have fun in the sun here. You can also host a birthday party at the aquatic center.
Location: 1565 N. Kingshighway, Cape Girardeau
At John Sinclair Nissan, we know that Cape Girardeau is one of the best places to explore. Whether you’d like to learn about the region’s rich history or explore local art, the area has a lot to offer new and longtime residents alike.
If you need a new ride to get you from place to place in Cape Girardeau, stop by John Sinclair Nissan today. Our friendly team members can help whether you want to trade in your current vehicle or fix it up so that it’s ready to roll down the Missouri streets. Check out our service specials to save even more during your visit.