Springfield, Missouri

Springfield is a city on the rise. A $960 million MGM casino complex, opened in 2018, is at the heart of a major regeneration of the formerly run-down city center, and at weekends the city swells with visitors who come to try their luck at the slot machines and gaming tables.
Downtown, you’ll find some striking reminders of the city’s 19th-century wealth, including some excellent museums, a grand symphony hall and stately Romanesque Revival buildings at Court Sq. The Amazing World of Dr Seuss museum and sculpture garden will delight visitors young and old, and up the hill, there’s an intriguing armoury dating back to the American Revolution. And, as all local grade-schoolers know, basketball originated in Springfield, which explains the presence of the Hall of Fame.

What’s more, Springfield also supports a lively night scene, not to mention one of the best Cajun eateries this side of New Orleans.