friday favorites personal travel

FF09: Springfield, MO

October 12, 2012

This weekend some friends and I are driving down to my old college stomping grounds, Springfield, Missouri! Our friend Nicole still lives there, but next week she and her boyfriend are making the gigantic leap to San Francisco! He just got an awesome new job there! It’s insane and so exciting for them, but also sad, of course, because they’ll be very far away. :( We have to go down there and give her a nice, big send-off, so we’ve planned a long day of shopping and eating on Saturday that I’m excited to share with you next week!

I’m a big city girl at heart and didn’t really like Springfield much when I first started school there. I ended up living there for almost 6 years and especially after a brief but amazing gig at their local lifestyle magazine, I kind of fell in love with the place. There’s a lot of surprisingly awesome diamonds in the rough there that I often miss, so this week I’m sharing some of my favorite things about Springfield!

The thing I probably miss most about Springfield is the amazing thrift shopping! There are flea markets, antique malls, vintage shops, and resale shops galore! They have more hidden treasures and lower prices than in St. Louis and seem to be clustered closer together, so it makes a day of hopping from shop to shop super easy and fun. And yes, STD Central is this place’s actual name.

448 Elm is this adorable doll house my friend Kelsea and I were lucky enough to live in during our last year at Missouri State University. Apologies for the crappy Google screencap photo, but I think it’s all I have! We were lucky enough to rent the first floor apartment with the original front door and dreamy windows! We were totally in love with the charm of the place, so we happily lived awkwardly in the four room apartment. The whole thing was a big L shape–I slept right next to the front door and to the left was the living room, through a doorway was Kelsea’s room where the bathroom was, then through her room was the kitchen. We had no closing doors–or privacy–but we loved each other and the house enough to make it work. Plus, it was a very boy-free time in our lives. ;)
Before we lived there, I always enjoyed seeing it as I drove or walked by. Of course, after living there, seeing it conjures happy memories. Springfield has a number of charming little historic homes like this, especially on Walnut Street.

There’s a super tiny, hole-in-the-wall restaurant that was right across the street from 448 Elm called Grad School. Pictured above is the most delicious, perfect burger and fries I’ve ever had. I dream of this burger! Grad School also has amazing sandwiches, pastas, and chicken dishes. If you’re ever in Springfield, take this recommendation seriously. GO! Go twice!

Andy’s frozen custard. So delicious. Another beyond serious Springfield rec. I’m a total St. Louis traitor and think it’s even better than Ted Drewes.

Okay, what blogger/vintage enthusiast can possibly talk about Springfield and not mention Red Velvet/A Beautiful Mess? I lived in Springfield long enough to see Elsie and the girls’ amazing project grow from a booth at a local arts festival to a little art shop to a giant vintage dream store to one of the most popular blogs online. Elsie and Emma are kind of friends-of-friends. I’ve met them multiple times but wouldn’t expect them to remember me. They’re both just as unbelievably sweet as they seem online and although I often feel a bit creepy–since I have met them and know people who are friends with them–I’ve always rooted for them, supported their business ventures, and followed their progress online. It’s been so amazing and inspiring to see and definitely makes my heart swell with Missouri pride!

This is really strange and random, but Springfield has awesome sushi. I know, right? What? It’s very random, but the sushi selection in Springfield is so much better than in St. Louis and the prices are uniformly cheaper. There are so many really nice Japanese restaurants! Some of my favorite places are Sakura, Haruno, and Mijuri!

Finally, there are clusters of small southwestern Missouri towns all around Springfield. They each have unique surprises–amazing restaurants, cute tea rooms, flea markets full of strange goodies, and outdoor activities to do. You can easily take weekend adventures to neighboring towns and find something interesting. You’re less than an hour away from the hilarious, ridiculous Branson, Missouri, where you can see tacky variety shows, go to a theme park, or indulge in outlet shopping.

This weekend I plan on revisiting pretty much everything on this list–especially Grad School and Branson outlet shopping! :) I’m excited for my sentimental little trip! Have a good weekend, everyone! xo

  • Ah, this post makes me want to conjure a 4-day weekend out of nowhere and go back to visit McPherson, KS.

  • Aaaah! I can’t wait! Let’s do all of these things!!

  • I love this mini-tour of Springfield. I’ve never been, but it’s not too far of a drive from here! I need to make a visit soon. I’ve always wanted to go to Red Velvet, and everything else sounds amazing, especially the good thrift shops! :)

    • Michelle

      Girl, you should definitely visit Red Velvet and do a thrift tour! It makes for a great day trip! Red Velvet is such a gorgeous shop.

  • Wow, Springfield sounds like an amazing place. I should probably visit sometime considering I live in southern Iowa! (southeast to be exact) That house is ssooo adorable, too!

    • Michelle

      It makes for a nice day/weekend trip for sure! :) I like your blog! You’re too cute. <3

  • Delicious sushi is the only reason I need to visit a place. haha