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Sampling local beer, wine, and spirits is fun and rewarding in the Missouri Ozarks thanks to a program developed by the Springfield Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Ozarks Tap and Pour Craft Beverage Tour provides opportunities for patrons to check in digitally at participating breweries, wineries, and distilleries. Once participants have checked in at a minimum of 10 locations, they’re eligible to receive a free commemorative T-shirt!

Launched in 2018, the program is a popular activity for locals and tourists in southwest Missouri.

This year, about 20 businesses from Springfield and the surrounding area are participating in the program. Each is locally owned and provides unique beverages and flavors, including tried and true favorites and seasonal blends.

The craft beverage tour is just one of many reasons people enjoy exploring Springfield and the Ozarks. The CVB is also launching the Ozarks Coffee Tour this fall and people who fulfill the requirements and check in at participating coffee shops will be eligible to receive a free commemorative mug.

The city is home to the first and largest Bass Pro Shops store in the world, an outdoor shopping mecca visited by more than 4 million people annually. Adjacent to the store is the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum & Aquarium. This world-class, award-winning wildlife experience provides up-close views of live animals and fish along with hundreds of displays showcasing creatures from all over the world. The area’s attractions also include Springfield Cardinals AA baseball, Dickerson Park Zoo, Fantastic Caverns – the only cave in North America you can ride through, Smallin Civil War Cave, Wild Animal Safari, history and art museums, a strong performing and visual arts community, and many others.

A trip to Springfield isn’t complete without sampling some of the amazing chef-owned restaurants found throughout the city. In downtown Springfield alone, more than 50 restaurants offer everything from handcrafted sushi to succulent steaks and everything in between. Cuisine from all over the world is available, such as Greek, Peruvian, Italian, Argentinian, Lebanese, and others.

Along with all the international flair, the city offers its own take on food. Springfield’s signature dish is Springfield-style cashew chicken. The distinctive blend of fried chicken, covered in oyster sauce, green onions and cashews is found on menus all over the country. The family that created it back in 1963 still operates a restaurant – Leong’s Asian Diner – and serves the original recipe daily.

Another iconic restaurant is Red’s Giant Hamburg, a restaurant that originally was on old Route 66 in Springfield and became known as the first restaurant with a drive-through window. While the original Red’s is gone, a new Red’s showcases the original menu and retro decor, making it a must-see when you’re looking to experience some old-style Americana.

Outside the city, the Ozarks is filled with charming small communities along with all the music shows and activities in Branson, just a few miles south of Springfield. Surrounding the city, visitors can explore lush forests, rivers, and lakes that provide ample opportunities for fishing, hiking, and other outdoor activities.

That’s just a small sample of all there is to see and do in the Springfield area. Learn more and request a free Springfield Guide at SpringfieldMO.org or call the Convention & Visitors Bureau at 800-678-8767.

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