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Graham Cave Campground lies inside the nearly 400-acre Graham Cave State Park in central Missouri and is a fantastic RV campground. Sites are rather basic, with only electrical hookups, but there’s a fair amount of public amenities inside the campground. Flush toilets and showers allow you to conserve the water in your RV rental’s holding tanks. If you need to do a load of laundry while you’re here, there are facilities available for a fee. A dump station on the edge of the campground will be a lifesaver if you need to empty your tanks (the nearest truck stop is about 20 minutes' drive away in Kingdom City).
Since you’ll be camping inside a state park, there’ll be no shortage of outdoor recreational opportunities either. The centerpiece cave is a 60-foot-wide by 100-foot sandstone dome nestled into the side of a hill. Unfortunately, you can’t enter the cave, as it’s a sensitive archeological site that was used by indigenous groups for thousands of years. However, some easy hiking trails ranging from just a few minutes to nearly an hour in length should definitely be explored while you’re motorhome camping at Graham Cave State Park.
The state park is just off Interstate 70, which makes it a convenient place to camp with your RV rental if you want to check out St. Louis (less than a 90-minute drive away) during your stay. While there’s nothing natural about it, you can visit America’s smallest national park while you’re in the city. The 630-foot-tall Gateway Arch, the largest arch of its kind, was designated as a national park in 2018.
The cave is the primary outdoor attraction when camping at Graham Cave Campground, but there’re still plenty of other ways to enjoy nature in central Missouri. A zipline park near New Florence is one such option, allowing you to ride through the treetops at the height of almost 200 feet. The course is designed to be as natural as possible, utilizing live trees and minimizing human-made structures. This attraction is certainly not for the faint of heart but will be a blast for adventurous tourists.
Central Missouri is also an underrated kayaking destination, with a wealth of navigable rivers to excite paddlers of any experience level. Calmer rivers like the Meramac are great for newbies, while the narrow rivers and creeks of the Ozarks have exciting whitewater opportunities for more experienced paddlers. Several boat shops in Columbia or St. Louis can hook you up with equipment if you don’t have your own.
There are dozens of good hiking trails near Graham Caves State Park and Columbia, with some of the more interesting routes found at Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. The park is about 10 minutes' drive south of the city and is named for a collapsed cave that formed a natural rock bridge over a small stream. Hiking and biking trails crisscross the park, but one of the more exciting features is the scrambling trail up the limestone karst above the cave formation.
When you book an RV in Montgomery County, the nearest city with attractions is the college town of Columbia – nicknamed the Athens of Missouri. Home to the University of Missouri (Mizzou), along with a few small private colleges, the city has a decidedly progressive vibe compared to the rest of the state.
The annual True/False documentary film festival in March is one of the more exciting events in Columbia, with organizers attempting to remake the town into something of a utopian society with artist-led parades, busking events throughout the city, and DIY projects. The festival has earned praise for building an arts community in central Missouri.
If you’re looking for a great museum to check out when renting an RV near Graham Cave Campground, head to the Museum of Art and Archaeology at the University of Missouri. It’s one of the most fascinating museums in the Midwest with all sorts of antiquities from Greek and Roman society, along with an amazing collection of more contemporary artwork.
Sports fans will have plenty of options when they camp in an RV near Columbia, with Mizzou fielding exciting football, basketball, and baseball teams. Check out the university’s schedule to see what’s happening during your time in Columbia.
For a little retail therapy, there’s the Columbia Mall, Rock Bridge Shopping Center, and the Broadway Shops. Unique independent stores can be found by browsing through the neighborhood just north of the university. However, for a big shopping trip, it’s better to take the time to go to St. Louis.