Brick & Mortar Coffee
I always like to start off with coffee and I knew this coffee would be delicious when I saw how pretentious the baristas were (well one was pretentious, the other was quite nice). Honestly, of the several coffee shops I went to in Springfield this was the best one. (Though do not call it a coffee "shop" you will be corrected and told it is a roastery with a tasting room...no joke.) The coffee is good, like actually good.
Bass Pro Shop
This was my first ever Bass Pro Shop and goodness it was an experience! They have fish, and alligators, a full restaurant (with a delicious buffet), and a coffee shop. Plus an endless variety of outdoor products and fake taxidermy. This place was crazy and.even as a Californian I definitely think it was worth a visit (and it's an easy lunch stop).
After lunch we went over to Fantastic Caverns. This probably isn't worth the price but for how much adverisiting they do on your way in it would be a bummer not to check it out. I went in the spring and was receiving flash flood warnings on my phone so as you can imagine I was a bit horrified when they told me that this is not the place you want to be in a flash flood. Don't worry, I survived. It was a quirky/fun experience and if money isn't an issue for you then go check it out.
This place is a cool place to hang out and a perfect destination for your happy hour cocktail. They make their own liquors (and they are good!), have interesting cocktails and when I went they were playing Sharknato on a giant screen. My friend (who isn't drinking for a year) got a mocktail and said it was one of the best ones she has had in her life. This place is the real deal.
Springfield Brewing Company
This is right next door to Missouri Sprits so if you want you can try a locally brewed beer here, but also they make their own root-beer, so get a root-beer float.
This was my second favorite coffee. And it is an actual "coffee shop". Ask them for something interesting and walk away with a delicious beverage. Get a coffee here before getting back on the road...it will help you stay awake while driving.
On your way in-to or out-of Springfield, Bonus Stop: Precious Moments
If you're driving in from the Southwest and want to do something legitimately creepy be sure to stop at Precious Moments. It's free and super strange. When we told the people of Springfield that we stoped there on the way in they all laughed and said "ya, that place is creepy"...they were't wrong.
Any other recommendations for how to spend a day in Springfield? Or things I should check out next time I visit? Let me know in the comments section!