If you are looking for a place to explore nature, hike, camp or just cool off on a hot day, check out Meramec State Park. It's located about an hour from St. Louis in Sullivan, MO and offers the opportunity to slow down and soak in the quiet and serenity of the outdoors. The park is well maintained and peaceful. We began with a walk to the river where the kids found all kinds of things to occupy their time -- from watching puddling butterflies and catching toads to wading in the water and collecting shells. Later we headed over to the visitor center which provided all kinds of hands on exhibits for our entire family to enjoy.