Heartland Weekend Getaway: Perry County, Missouri

One tank trips are the perfect Heartland Weekend Getaway.

You can sip on pop culture, bask in the beauty of our past, and marvel in mother nature in Perry County, Missouri.

Grab a cup of coffee at Villainous Grounds

Every good adventure starts with a little caffeine.

We suggest stopping at Villainous Grounds on the square in Perryville.

Owner Mary Jo Bammel explained the shop’s name: “We really feel that villains don’t get enough credit because without a good villain you don’t need a superhero.”

Here’s how it works: get your coffee then head upstairs and pick a comic book to read while you enjoy your java.

“Art is a huge part of the industry, making coffee is an art but having the comic books is kind of going down a different path but it’s all in the same family,” said Bammel.

You can stop by for a cup of joe Monday-Saturday from 6 a.m. until 7 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. until 3 p.m.

Take a spiritual walk at Saint Mary’s of the Barrens Church

From Villainous Grounds, take a short drive west to Saint Mary’s of the Barrens Church.

Saint Mary’s served as a seminary. It dates back to 1823.

According to the history books, it is the oldest institution of higher learning west of the Mississippi in the United States.

There you can explore the beauty of our past and stroll along the half-mile rosary walk.

“We encourage people of any faith to come out here and just take a nice, peaceful, reflective walk,” said Don Fulford, president and CEO of the Association of the Miraculous Medal.

The Shrine Visitor Center and Gift Shop are open Monday-Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 5 p.m. and from noon until 4 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.

Regular guided tours are offered at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday-Friday and at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on the weekends.

CLICK HERE for directions.

Take a hike and discover the beauty of the Ball Mill Resurgence

Top off your adventure with a visit to the Ball Mill Resurgence.

Conservationists say it’s the best examples of a resurgence in the state!

It’s really incredible to see in person.

You’ll hike a beautiful trail dominated by oak and maple trees to get to it.

When it’s raining really hard, the water will back up in the sinkhole.

The fast-moving water sort of polishes the rocks inside, hence the name “ball mill.”

The overflowing water fills into nearby Blue Spring Branch.

The coolest part about this park? It sits on top of an extensive network of underground streams and caves.

There are actually more caves in Perry County Missouri than any other place in the state!

To get to Ball Mill Resurgence from Perryville, head north on Highway 61 then take a right on Highway V.

You’ll be on V for about 3 miles until you reach Saline Junction.

Head east (right) on County Road 916.

Travel just over a mile and look for the parking lot on your left.

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