"The Queen City of the Ozarks"
Located in the south west region of the state, Springfield is the third largest community in Missouri. The Queen City was incorporated in 1838 and had assured success due to it's location. Situated along what was then referred to as the "Wire Road", in reference to the telegraph lines that ran along it, the city has always found itself situated well for travelers passing through. The Wire Road from St. Louis to Springfield was later incorporated into U.S. Route 66, which was the first completely paved U.S. Highway, that later became Interstate 44. As a result the travel industry has always prospered here. Many of the "Mother Road" businesses can still be seen along the multiple paths it followed over the decades. Today the community is home to almost 6,000 hotel rooms and 800 restaurants.
Later in south west Missouri, as lakes were being developed for flood control and power generation, Springfield found itself conveniently located a short drive from the majority of the states reservoirs. These new bodies of water quickly became magnets to outdoor enthusiasts. Table Rock Lake, about an hour south, is one of the most popular of the man-made lakes. It was one of the catalysts that assisted in creating the Entertainment Capital that Branson, Missouri has become today.
With close ties to the traveling public its not a surprise that two of Missouri's most well-known attractions are located in Springfield. Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World has it's first store and international headquarters located in south Springfield. Fantastic Caverns, North America's Only Ride-Thru Cave, is located just outside the city. Also close by is Wilson's Creek National Battlefield commemorating the first major Civil War battle west of the Mississippi. In addition to the battlefield, a stretch of the original Old Wire Road can be seen running through the parks borders. The Springfield Cardinals, owned by the major league St. Louis Cardinals, host their home games at their downtown stadium.
All of this, set in the gently rolling Ozarks, has made the Queen City very popular with travelers for generations. So, whether you are just passing through or staying awhile, Springfield will be ready.