Coming from a town where the only thing to do was walk around Walmart, and that still being 20 miles away, living in Cape Girardeau has been a nice change of pace.

There are always things to do on campus like watch a River Campus production or play some arcade games in the Center for Student Involvement. But for those days you want to get away from campus, I’ve compiled a list of my top 10 favorite things to do right here in Cape Girardeau.

Trail of Tears State Park 

Two women posing on a path in the woods. The trees have orange leaves.


There are lots of hiking trails and wilderness to explore in Cape Girardeau. Trail of Tears State Park is spread throughout a few towns, but there’s great parts of it right in Cape. There are even special use areas that you can reserve! If you’re not the hiking type, it’s always pretty to drive through as well.

Outer Edge Escape Games

A group of women pose with a sign that read "We escaped"

Grab some friends, put on your thinking cap, and head over to Outer Edge Escape Games! If you’ve never done an escape room before, you’re really missing out. There are rooms with different themes, and they routinely change them out, so you can go multiple times without repeating.

Cape West Cinema- Marcus Theatres

A red building with Marcus Cinema and Cape West signage on the front.

Excited to see the newest movie? The movie theater in town offers $5 movie Tuesdays. Complete with reclining chairs and plenty of deals on popcorn, Cape West Cinema is a popular spot to go after classes. On Thursdays, you can also bring your student ID to get movie tickets for $6.

Shop Downtown

A busy Cape Girardeau downtown street.

Downtown Cape Girardeau is the perfect place to take pictures with friends, check out the shops, and grab something good to eat! There’s no telling what deal you’ll find at the boutiques or antique shops. In December, the streets are decorated with Christmas lights, and there’s plenty of Christmas window displays to look at.

Check out the Cannon and Riverwalk History

An old canon sitting on top of a hill overlooking the Mississippi River

There’s history at every turn in Cape Girardeau. Head downtown to see the cannon and get a better look at the buildings and river. Once you’re done with that, park your car downtown and take a stroll along the Riverwalk. There’s murals and signs depicting famous Missouri history.

West Park Lanes

A woman smiles while holding a bowling ball in front of lanes. The bowling alley is lit with purple light for a glow bowl.

West Park Lanes is the perfect way to let out some energy on the cold winter days. You can even join a bowling league! Make sure to try the slushies from the snack bar, they’re my go-to bowling fuel. Student Activities Council usually rents out the bowling alley once or twice a year for students to go to for free!

Cape Rock
A rock overlooking the river with a plaque that read "Cape Rock" there is additional text on the plaque explaining the history behind the rock.


Another great outdoor area is Cape Rock. There’s a beautiful river overlook spot and some plaques to read about the history of the area. Head a little further down the road, and you might catch a train going by past the river.

Glenn House TourA large, white, Victorian style house decorated in garland


David A. Glenn’s Queen Anne style house is a national historic building located in downtown Cape Girardeau. They offer regular tours during May-October, but you can request a tour at any time. With any historical town, there’s bound to be some supernatural activity. The Glenn House embraces this and offers ghost tours of the building. It was even featured on an episode of Ghost Adventures!
 

Cape  Splash  Family Aquatic Center

Cape Splash's pagoda and two water slides

On a hot summer day, the best way to cool down is at Cape Splash Family Aquatic Center. There are eight water slides, with the tallest being 265 feet long! On its off-season, the park is decorated with cute Christmas lights that you can drive by.

Bonus- World’s Largest Fountain Soda Cup

Two women pose with arms wide open in front of the World's largest Fountain Soda Cup

Sodas from the fountains at Rhode’s gas station, or as I like to call them, “Rhodie Sodies,” are always a great stop. But, the best Rhodie Sodie is not 32 or even 44 ounces, it’s 605,555.2 ounces. It’s marked as the world’s largest fountain soda cup, right here in Cape Girardeau! I used this as a photo op after my formal, but it’s cool to stop by at any time!

-Heather Hoffman