Cape Girardeau is a warm-hearted city on the Mississippi River. Beautiful red-brick buildings and Victorian mansions in the Old Town Cape district recall more than 250 years of history. Walk around the charming downtown district, admire an enormous street mural and explore a Union stronghold.
Things to do in Cape Girardeau
The Old Town Cape district brims with historic charm. Handsome red-brick buildings line the streets and house cafes, galleries and antique shops. The neighbourhood embraces the Main Street America movement and swaps big box retailers for mom-and-pop stores. You can learn more about the rich history of the city at the Cape River Heritage Museum, which occupies a beautiful historic building that’s served as a courthouse, police station and jail over the decades.
Trail of Tears State Park recalls one of the darkest chapters in American history. It’s located at the site where multiple Cherokee Indian groups were forced to cross the Mississippi River during a forced relocation to Oklahoma in the 1800s. Learn more at the visitor centre and visit the Bushyhead Memorial to pay your respects to those who lost their lives. The park also features hiking trails and picnic sites, many with beautiful views over the Mississippi.
An enormous flood-wall stands between downtown Cape Girardeau and the Mississippi River. It’s decorated with the larger-than-life Mississippi River Tales mural that chronicles the people, places and events that have shaped the city over the centuries.
Learn about the city’s role in the Civil War at Fort D, a military stronghold on the banks of the Mississippi. You can see the original earthen walls, read informational plaques and retrace the footsteps of Union soldiers.
Getting around Cape Girardeau
Downtown Cape Girardeau and the Old Town Cape district are pedestrian-friendly and easy to get around on foot. The city is a two-hour drive from St. Louis and 2.5 hours from Memphis. St. Louis Lambert International Airport is a 2.5-hour drive away.