Traveling from Topeka to Branson in an RV will take less than a day, but if you really want to explore the distance between the two cities, it can take two to three days to take everything in. If you plan to include plenty of nature exploration in your road trip itinerary from Topeka to Branson, you will want to include stopping at national and state parks along the way. Before you leave Topeka, make sure to set foot in some of the standout museums that can be found there. There are also quite a few golf courses along the way, so make sure to bring your gear to test your skills on new courses.
Gateway Arch National Park
While there is no national park on the route that you will be taking for this Topeka to Branson road trip, you can easily add Gateway Arch National Park to your itinerary. This stop will add about 300 miles to the trip, but making time for this detour to see the arch is well worth the effort. The park is in St. Louis, and the arch, which is the main attraction in the park, serves as a gateway to the west and a reminder of the journey the early pioneers took. The arch is 630 feet in the air, and if you climb to the top, you will see an amazing view of the city below and a bird’s eye view of the Mississippi River. In addition to the arch, there are plenty of walking paths to enjoy and museums to explore while you are in the area.
Clinton State Park
The first state park that you will want to visit on this Topeka to Branson RV road trip is Clinton State Park, a 1,500-acre park located in Lawrence, Kansas. Since the park is positioned along the northern side of a reservoir, it is a great place for anglers to fish. Catfish, bass, crappies, and more can easily be caught in these waters, and if you want to take a boat out on the water, there are 16 ramps that can be used. There is also a swim beach that the kids will adore, and it even features a volleyball net. Several hiking trails in the park await your exploration, including a skiing trail that can be used in the winter. An archery range and a disc golf course can also be enjoyed at Clinton State Park.
Stockton State Park
Stockton State Park should absolutely be included in your trip's itinerary. It is located right on Stockton Lake, so it is the ideal place for anglers to try their luck. There is also the option to enjoy other water sports such as swimming, water skiing, sailing, scuba diving, and more. This is a great place to watch for birds and other wildlife as they are quite plentiful in the park. If you prefer to stay on land, there are several hiking trails in the park that you can also enjoy.
Table Rock State Park
Another Missouri state park that you will encounter on this road trip is Table Rock State Park. The park has a marina where you can rent boats to fish from, and it offers other water activities such as skiing, paddleboarding, and more. Swimming in the park’s water is permitted though there is no designated swimming beach available. There are also plenty of biking and hiking trails that can be explored in the park.
Yaya’s Alpaca Farm
Located just 45 minutes from Kansas City, Yaya’s Alpaca Farm is a great place to visit, especially if you have kids. There are tours of the farm available so that you can truly see what the area has to offer. There is also a store where you can get alpaca fleece clothing and other goods to remind you of your trip.
The Fantastic Caverns were discovered in 1862 by farmers; today, this spot is known as "America’s Ride-thru Cave." Tour guides will drive you through the caverns explaining the origins of the cave and the formations that can be found there. The cave was used as a speakeasy during prohibition, but in the 1950s, the cave began focusing on tours and the effort to make it an informative place to visit.
National Tiger Sanctuary
Another great place to explore during this road trip from Topeka to Branson, especially for an animal lover, is the National Tiger Sanctuary. The sanctuary is designed to be a location that saves sick tigers, tiger cubs, and other exotic cats and helps them recover so that they can eventually be released back into the wild. When you visit, you can learn about the facilities that the tigers live in and the care that they receive while they call the sanctuary home. Take the time to experience a tour to watch the animals and even see them being fed.
While it is known as the home of the University of Kansas, there are tons of non-scholastic things to do in Lawrence, Kansas. This includes its beautiful and vibrant downtown area. This is where you will find Massachusetts Street, which was established 150 years ago. Places like the Booth Family Hall of Athletics are perfect for sports lovers. For those that enjoy a more sightseeing-oriented experience, the Spencer Museum of Art also has plenty of exhibits to enjoy.
While here, you can also visit many of the Lawrence-area campgrounds, which include sites like Kansas City West/Lawrence KOA and Suncatcher Lake & RV Resort in nearby Leavenworth. You can even bring your favorite pet to Suncatcher. When it comes time to offload your wastewater, there are also local Kansas dump stations that you can use for little to no cost.
Kansas City, Missouri
As the largest city in Missouri, Kansas City is a cool town that you may want to spend a few days exploring. The city has a population of almost half a million and is home to several major league sports teams. Known colloquially as "KC," the city hosts more college basketball games than any other city in the country, so this place is a must for any NCAA fan. The city is also home to the National WWI Museum as well as several haunted houses. In fact, this is why the city is known as "The Haunted House Capital of the World."
When in town, stay at one of the local Kansas City campgrounds. You can find options like Worlds of Fun Village as well as other RV campgrounds in nearby places like Independence where Campus RV Park and Autumn Falls RV Park are located. While staying, check out one of the nearby dump stations when it is time to offload your wastewater.
Known to Missourians as "The Queen City of the Ozarks," Springfield is rich with culture. Today, the city has a population of over 159,000 and a metropolitan area that more than doubles that population. From unique cafes like the Coffee Ethic to the signature Springfield dish, cashew chicken, you will have a great time in the city. Springfield is also known as the home of Route 66 since the motorway was proposed here. Sports fans will also love taking in a Springfield Cardinals game or a Missouri State Bears game.
Campgrounds in Springfield vary greatly so that you can easily find one that will fit your RVing needs. As a city with an urban-suburban vibe, Springfield has plenty of RV campgrounds within the city limits. These include Springfield/Route 66 KOA, Cooks RV Motor Park, and Ozark Highlands. Of the three, both Cooks and Ozark Highlands allow pets. You will also find hookup options and Wi-Fi at most RV campgrounds in the area. When the time comes to get rid of your gray and black water, you will also have a few options for dump stations.
When you follow this road trip itinerary from Topeka to Branson, you will enjoy historic locations and beautiful scenery along the way. If you want to travel in comfort and style, consider an RV rental from RVshare. From large motorhomes to compact campervans, there is a rig that will meet your travel and budget needs. Once you hit the road, you are protected by our renter guarantee and 24/7 roadside assistance. Find the perfect vehicle for your travel needs in Topeka or Branson.