There is so much to see and do in the foothills of the Ozarks. Hop on your favorite mode of transportation and let the adventures begin. Find out about Tater Patch and Randy’s Roadkill. Fugitive Beach and the fifth-largest spring in the state are out there waiting for you.

NESTLED IN THE FOOTHILLS of the Ozarks, timeless beauty awaits. Experience the rich history, cultural diversity, and outdoor adventure in Rolla and the surrounding area. Recreation activities abound with local parks, caves, and waterways just a short distance away.

Start your route at the historic Tater Patch in Rolla, where you’ll experience the comfortable hometown charm of a rustic restaurant and bar with a spacious outdoor deck along with great food and nightly entertainment.

Rolla is on Historic Route 66, home to several iconic landmarks on the Mother Road. Enjoy your cruise through nostalgia before heading south and east to Rolla’s favorite swimming hole, The Fugitive Beach. The beach features a 60-foot waterslide, a 15-foot and 20-foot cliff jump, and a beach bar and grill.

Photo Courtesy of Rolla Tourism

When it’s time to hit the road again, loop down and around on Routes 72, FF, and 68 through rolling hills and farmland, peppered with a few open-throttle straights. Just off Route 68, you’ll come upon one of the most beautiful spots in Missouri: Maramec Spring Park. The park contains the fifth-largest spring in the state.

While in the St. James area, enjoy the “Little Italy of the Ozarks” and sample some great Missouri wines at St. James Winery or Prairie Barn Winery. If you prefer beer, check out the fare at Public House Brewing Company.

Journey northwest through the picturesque Ozark Highlands and join up with Highway 63, then Route A, where you can turn south and take the scenic route to Randy’s Roadkill BBQ & Grill, just north of Rolla. Don’t let the name put you off; it’s some of the best barbecue in the area. Randy’s provides a true country dining experience with a view to match.


1. Missouri S&T Stonehenge Replica, Rolla
2. Rob & Kricket’s Tater Patch, Rolla
3. Leach Theatre, Rolla
4. A Slice of Pie, Rolla
5. Public House Brewing Co., Rolla
6. Alex’s Pizza Palace, Rolla
7. Ozark Actors Theatre, Rolla
8. The Fugitive Beach
9. Maramec Spring Park, St. James
10. Public House Brewing Co., St. James
11. St. James Winery
12. Prairie Barn Winery, St. James

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Article originally published in Missouri Life’s Scenic Rides and Drive Guide 2023.