Stories, things to do, and one of a kind tips from downtown Cape Girardeau.
Explore a Secret Garden, Historic Parks, and Inspiring Outdoor Spaces

“Give every day the chance to become the most beautiful day of your life.” – Mark Twain

May Greene Garden
A hidden oasis

Located on the corner of Themis and Fountain, the May Greene Garden is a well-kept secret by local residents. Many downtown regulars are unaware of this garden’s existence. I only discovered it while exploring the area and accidentally stumbling upon it. Bordered by the beautiful, historic homes on Themis and within sight of the Marquette Tower, this is the perfect place for a peaceful lunch or to simply relax in some fresh air.

Murtaugh Park
One park historic, one park modern

Situated in front of the Red House, Murtaugh Park is a two-for-one deal. The well-kept, patriotic Melvin Gateley Vision 2000 Garden and sitting area is located within this green space. Also, the Red House provides an historic garden on site that features plants that were commonly grown at the beginning of the 1800s (around the time the Lewis and Clark expedition passed through the area).

Old Mississippi River Bridge & River Campus Trail
Re-live history with artistic views

As a popular prom photo destination, the remnants of the original bridge exude feelings of power and timeless beauty. The bridge directly butts up against the River Campus and its trail. Located within the greenspace is a unique, centuries-old Beech tree. This open space is perfect for relaxing in the shade of age-old trees and watching riverboats pass by in true Mark Twain style.

Fort A
Cape’s forgotten Civil War fort

Perched atop a hill at the end of Bellevue, the site of the first Civil War fort of four in Cape Girardeau offers my personal favorite view of downtown. A flag, small cannon, and copy of an original sketch of Fort A on a reader board are all present in this natural space. The preservation of this historic site is all thanks to Judge Stephen Limbaugh, who has made this space accessible to interested visitors.

Peace Park
Angel Wings and Bookish Things

The newest expansion of Downtown Cape’s greenspace came at the beginning of the summer with the First Presbyterian Church’s Peace Park. With sculptures that resemble angel wings created by a River Campus professor and student and a beautiful wooden pergola, this shady spot right on Broadway offers a unique vantage point of passing riverboats. This sweet little park also holds a Little Free Library for the enjoyment of any downtown goer.


As fall approaches, remember to enjoy the remarkable outdoor spaces in Downtown Cape and learn from the words of Mark Twain: “I think that to one in sympathy with nature, each season, in turn, seems the loveliest.”

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