ST. LOUIS – Rising gas prices might make it tough to plan out a long summer road trip. Fortunately, for those who live around the St. Louis area, you might not need more than one fill-up to explore many interesting destinations around Missouri and Illinois.

Whether you’re looking for a weekend excursion or just one spontaneous day of travel, there are several close options worth considering. Depending on your car and the route for transportation, experts at say a full tank can get you anywhere from 300-400 miles.

Based on that projection, FOX2 picked out 10 locations from downtown St. Louis that drivers could visit and return from comfortably on just one tank of gas. To truly consider it a road trip, each of the selected locations is at least 50 miles away or located in a county that does not surround St. Louis County.

Consider these spots as some of your next destinations for summer travels:

Mark Twain National Forest

Endless opportunities for nature-lovers include hiking, fishing, kayaking, camping, and more. You can cool off at Johnson Shut-Ins State Park and take on some rugged trails at Elephant Rocks State Park. The forest covers nearly 1.5 million acres with the main headquarters stationed in Rolla.

Distance: 75-105 miles one-way (depending on primary destination within the forest)


Meramec Caverns

The largest commercial cave in Missouri stretches 4.6 miles in Franklin County. Guests can participate in guided walking tours to check out some unique cave formations. Pre-Columbian Native American artifacts have also been spotted in the caverns.

Distance: 65 miles one-way


Hermann, MO

Wineries drive this small town just off the Missouri River. Stone Hill Winery, Hermannhoff Winery and Hermann Wine Trail are among the top tourist spots. Visitors can also check out several museums, like the Deutschheim State Historic Site, and climb the rocks at Roadside Park.

Distance: 75-85 miles one-way


Hannibal, MO

The childhood home of famous author Mark Twain is the inspiration for classic novels like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer, and there’s even a museum dedicated to him. Fans can also participate in a Mark Twain Cave tour, a haunted ghost tour or ride the riverboat along the Mississippi River. Also. keep an eye out for Hannibal’s spot among the 50 Miles of Art corridor through northeast Missouri.

Distance: 115-125 miles one-way


Columbia, MO

Summer might just be the best time to avoid large crowds in the college-heavy town. If you visit Mizzou, make sure to stop by The Columns, The Francies Quadrangle and Faurot Field. Columbia is also well-known for its parks, including Rock Bridge Memorial State Park and Stephens Lake Park. Grab a bite at one of many locally-owned eateries, like Shakespeare’s or Booche’s.

Distance: 120-130 miles one-way


Cape Girardeau, MO

On the western bank of the Mississippi River, this history-enriched community offers the Fort D Historic Site, Trail of Tears State Park and more renowned landmarks. Cape Rock, part of a 21-acre park, is considered to be the only inland bay in the world. There are also a variety of restaurants specializing in Italian, Cajun and barbeque.

Distance: 115-125 miles one-way


Shawnee National Forest

Another spot for nature lovers to do just about anything, including kayaking, fishing, biking, hiking and ziplining. Two of the forest’s most-photographed spots are the Garden of Gods and Cave-In-Rock, which looks over the Ohio River. The forest is the single-largest publicly-owned body of land in Illinois.

Distance: 140-165 miles one-way (depending on primary destination within the forest)


Quincy, IL

With more than 60 arts and culture institutions, visitors can enrich their taste in music, dance, theater and visual arts. Outdoor attractions also draw people to the Quincy area, including the Clat Adams Bicentennial Park off the Mississippi River, Indian Mounds Park and Bill Klingner Trail. Plus, it’s less than half an hour north of Hannibal.

Distance: 140-150 miles one-way


Springfield, IL

The longtime home of President Abraham Lincoln has several sites to make sure you remember that. The Lincoln Presidential Museum holds more than 40,000 square feet worth of historic displays. The National Park Service maintains Lincoln’s New Salem and his 1860s home. People also touch Lincoln’s nose at the Lincoln Monument Association for good luck. Make sure to swing by the Illinois State Capitol and enjoy several locally-owned restaurants and breweries.

Distance: 95-105 miles one-way


Metropolis, IL

Heroes and history meet on the shores of the Ohio River. A 15-foot statue of Superman celebrates the fictional “Metropolis” town in comics. Fans can see one of the nation’s largest Superman collections at the nearby Super Museum. Mermet Springs, a full-service scuba diving site, and the Kincaid Mounds historic site are just outside city limits.

Distance: 160-170 miles one-way