Joplin serves as a cultural, commercial and medical center for southwestern Missouri and parts of Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas. This historic mining town, population 45,500, is often listed as one of the best places to live in the United States. It is a stopping point for travelers entering and leaving Missouri along Interstate 44. Home to Missouri Southern State University, and two other four-year higher-education institutions, Joplin is a college town with big city amenities.
There are many opportunities for serious shopping in Joplin, including Northpark Mall. Downtown Joplin offers shopping, dining, arts and entertainment in an historic setting. Theaters, art galleries and a Thomas Hart Benton mural are a few of the cultural attractions.
Joplin has several eclectic entertainment venues. The Joplin 66 Speedway offers some of the best dirt track racing in the state. Precious Moments Park in nearby Carthage is a popular stop for figurine collectors. The largest waterfall in Missouri, Grand Falls is located in the city.
Joplin is located in the southwestern corner of Missouri. It is 168 miles south of Kansas City and 290 miles southwest of St. Louis. It is accessible via Interstate 44 and U.S. Highway 71. Many lodging options are available including bed and breakfasts and national chains.