Ozark hill country spreads across southern Missouri and extends into northern Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. Flashy Branson receives the lion's share of tourists, though the region's true charms lie further afield.
North of US 60, in the state's south-central region, the Ozark National Scenic Riverways (www.nps.gov/ozar) – the Current and Jack's Fork Rivers – boast 134 miles of splendid canoeing and inner-tubing (rental agencies abound). Weekends often get busy and boisterous. The park headquarters, outfitters and motels are in Van Buren. Eminence also makes a good base. There are many campgrounds along the rivers. Sinuous Hwy E is a scenic gem.