Two of three safari-style tents sit on a floating dock in a Mississippi River channel, and the third overlooks a private pond. Each tent contains a king-size bed plus futon or sofa sleeper, tables with lamps, and a mini frig. Walk to the bathroom cabin for toileting and showering, or use an outdoor covered cooking area (with microwave, sink, burners). Overnights on boats (clipper sailboat, cabin cruiser, houseboat) or an Airstream are possible, too. glampingstl.com
Check the view atop Gateway Arch, the glistening beacon of St. Louis, and see how the new St. Louis Aquarium has transformed historic Union Station. Music fills Laclede’s Landing during Big Muddy Blues Festival, Labor Day weekend.
Spend the night in a converted railroad caboose along historic Route 66—it’s big enough for a queen bed and two singles with a bathroom tub and shower. Outside is a fire ring that overlooks a playground and swimming pool at the campground of tents and RVs. koa.com
One mile away is Six Flags St. Louis, the mega amusement park that introduces the Catwoman Whip this year (riders fly 164 feet at 50 mph). Two hours north is Hannibal, the riverside town that gave author Mark Twain lots of fodder for writing; National Tom Sawyer Days are July 2–4.
Treehouse cabins peek out from thickets within the Ozark Mountain farm’s 500 acres. Expect fine craftsmanship, inside and out, and modern amenities. In the Treetop Hideaway are stained glass windows, a stone fireplace, a hot tub, and aking-size bed. Treetop Cedar Crest, with a queen bed, is slightly smaller. Both look onto the North Fork, one of the nation’s best trout fishing spots (access is included). Or hike in neighboring Mark Twain National Forest, 1.5 million acres filled with trails, horseback riding, and mountain biking. riveroflifefarm.com
Ninety miles west are the theaters, music, and family fun of Branson, where a celebrity lineup draws a big crowd for Country Music Days, Sept. 11–20. Cool off with water parks and thrill rides at Silver Dollar City.
Photos courtesy Explore St. Louis, Silver Dollar City