Joplin is a mid-size town in Southwest Missouri with an interesting history. In its early days, Joplin was a mining town. Over time, mining declined, but the town was eventually made part of the famous Route 66. Famous criminals Bonnie and Clyde once spent some weeks in the area leaving havoc in their wake.
During its heyday as a mining town, Joplin invested heavily in buildings and cultural establishments. The area's commitment to culture can still be found in its arts center and museums, and there are plenty of opportunities for shopping.
Along with the ample tourist attractions Joplin also provides wonderful resources to residents. Joplin's thriving small businesses provide the community with a list of great dentists, attorneys, auto repair shops, plumbing contractors, you name it!
There's plenty of history to check out in Joplin, and its local Museum Complex makes it easy to take in several museums at once. Shoppers will love Sandstone Gardens, a massive showroom of home and garden decor, while those with a fondness for the nostalgic may enjoy a side trip to Rangeline Antique Mall. End your visit on a sweet note by visiting the Candy House Gourmet Chocolates factory for a tour.
Candy House Gourmet Chocolates: Chocoholics will love taking a tour of this manufacturing plant. You'll get to see how the chocolate candies are made and even get to try some samples.
Joplin Museum Complex: This is a one-stop museum complex that includes: Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum, Dorothea B. Hoover Historical Museum, The Empire District Electric Company Museum, The Joplin Sports Authority Sports Hall of Fame, and the National Historical Cookie Cutter Museum. Arrive early in the day and everyone can check out the museum or museums that interest them.
Rangeline Antique Mall: No road trip is complete without a trip to antique mall. Rangeline has a strong following due to friendly staff and high quality merchandise.
George A. Spiva Center for the Arts: This arts center has been a fixture in the area since the mid-20th century. The Spiva Center offers a venue in support of the literary, performing, and visual arts. In addition to fine art galleries, the center also offers theatrical performances, classes, and artist talks.
Sandstone Gardens: Sandstone Gardens sells a huge selection of interior and exterior decor from its 50,000 square feet showroom. Sandstone Gardens specializes in statuary, but there is a wide selection of other items as well. It's in-house bistro gets raves from diners. The management warns that GPS devices have sometimes led visitors astray. Check out their website or call ahead for directions.