Bonne Terre Tourist Attractions
Bonne Terre in St. Francois, MO is a city that has a rural feel, with only 7,065 residents as of July 2009.* That said, this relatively small city has a big heart; its people hospitable and warm so that tourists are easily drawn in.The City of Bonne Terre and its surrounding areas are home to various unique tourist attractions and energizing recreational activities that are ideal for the whole family. Below are just some of them:
Bon Terre Family Fun Center
Featuring 15,000 square feet of action-packed activity space, the Bonne Terre Family Fun Center is indeed a great way for families to spend time together. Their outdoor activities include gas-powered Go-Karts, batting cages, water bumper boats, 18-hole mini-golf, horseshoe pits and washer pits. There are also indoor activities offered such as the 20 bowling lanes, 9-hole mini-golf, 2-seater electric Go-Karts, large arcade area, party room and pool table area.
Bonne Terre Mines
Perhaps the most famous tourist attraction in the whole of Bonne Terre is the Bonne Terre Mine, one of the earliest lead mines in Missouri and once the largest producer of lead ore in the world. Today, guided walking tours are conducted through the first and second levels of the mine along the old Mule Trail, while guided boating tours of the Billion Gallon Lake with its crystal clear water are also offered. Bonne Terre Mine is also home to the world's largest fresh water diving resort, and this is what makes the mine so famous. It has been listed as one of America's Top 10 Greatest Adventures by the National Geographic and is the only inland scuba resort in the United States.
Bee Rock Outdoor Adventures
Any hunter will find Bee Rock Outdoor Adventures a haven, for its more than 7,000 acres of Ozark forest which has been transformed in to a low-impact, free-range trophy hunting paradise. Among other things, Bee Rock Outdoor Adventures offer accommodations ranging from bunkhouse/lodge and campers, to off-site motels. It is known to be the home of White-tailed Deer and Eastern Wild Turkey.
The Space Museum
Boasting of the largest privately held collection of space memorabilia and artifacts in Missouri, The Space Museum offers kids a unique perspective of space exploration. It offers one-of-a-kind exhibits such as a flag that was brought to the moon on the Apollo 17 exploration, as well as space suits and other items previously owned by astronauts. The museum aims to inspire the next generation of astronauts.
St. Francois State Park
St. Francois State Park offers the perfect family getaway with its three hiking trails, equestrian activities, trekking trails and picnic and camping spots. The easy access it provides to the Big River makes it ideal for canoeing and fishing. The park has more than 100 campsites, and amenities include modern restrooms, hot shower facilities and laundry services – just right for those who want to escape the busyness of life but do not want to let go of modern necessities.
The Cave House
What's unique about the Cave House is that it is a home built around a cave entrance near St. Francois State Park. The house features three bedrooms, two baths, and a full kitchen and its beauty is highlighted by natural limestone formations, an indoor pond with waterfalls. It sleeps up to eight people comfortably and is ideal for entertaining up to a maximum of fifty people for any kind of event.
St. Joe State Park
Consisting of over 8,200 acres with 2,000 acres reserved for off-road vehicles (ORV), St. Joe Park is the largest ATV park in Missouri. There are two campgrounds which can accommodate campers with ORV's and horses. In addition, visitors can find hiking/biking trails, equestrian trails, picnic sites as well as lakes where they can swim or fish.
The Old Rectory
The Old Rectory is a memorial to the religious and early members of the St. Joseph parish. It is believed to be the first brick structure in the whole of Bonne Terre, its bricks made on the property and then dried in the sun. It was built around 1880 to serve as a home for St. Joseph parish priests until its closure in 1980 due to disrepair. It was then purchased by parishioners from the Archdiocese and restored and reopened in 1999. The first floor is home to a museum filled with souvenirs of the church history, while the second floor is now a luxury apartment rented to support the maintenance of the Old Rectory.
There are a number of golf courses available in Bonne Terre, such as Terre Du Lac Golf & Country Club, Valley Golf Course, Skyview Golf Course and Lead Belt Golf Club.