I lived in Joplin, MO for about two years with a friend of mine. While I was living there, I saw some of the worst storms I have ever seen. I will never move back out west because of the number of tornadoes I saw in the city. With that said, I did enjoy the quiet that the country life offered. There were enough shopping centers to keep me happy, and I could usually find a good place to eat.
One of my favorite places to go was Richardson Candy Factory. This large building was covered from floor to ceiling with all types of candy. If you can't find it here, then you won't find it anywhere. The back of the factory is where the candy is made. You can walk through the factory on a tour and get a free scoop of ice cream. I love animals, and the Reptile World Zoo was one of the places that I found unique. The zoo does not have the typical animals that you would find in an ordinary zoo. The only thing the zoo has is reptiles. I didn't mind this because I like snakes and lizards, but I would much rather see a cute tiger or an elephant instead.
When you visit the city, you should be prepared to bring a good bit of money. Not everything is expensive, but if you want to spend a night on the town, some of the restaurants can get pricey. You should also plan to use public transportation unless you are staying in the city. Most of the houses are located on the outskirts of the city, and it takes about 30 minutes to get to the shopping centers and attractions. There are a few parks in the area including Cunningham Park. I enjoyed walking through the park and seeing all of the beautiful flowers and children playing.