Joplin is the "hub" of the southwest corner of Missouri, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma. The population of Joplin proper is 45,504, but, with several "suburbs" around Joplin, the population of the Joplin metro area is near 100,000.
Officially, the "Joplin metropolitan area" (the 4th largest in Missouri)is Jasper and Newton Counties in Missouri. However, given its location at the confluence of three states, it is quite common for many people in Kansas and Oklahoma (as well as other parts of southwest Missouri) to frequent Joplin, for work and pleasure.
Other cities and towns that comprise the Joplin area include:
Automobile. This is the main method of transportation, other than walking, in the city. They recently began a bus/trolley system called the "Sunshine Lamp Trolley" that services most of the busiest commercial areas of the city.
The "main business drag" of Joplin is Range Line Road (aka, "Business 71"). The heaviest concentration of commerce and business is located along Range Line Road (along with the heaviest concentration of traffic). Other "business drags" include 7th Street, Main Street, and 32nd Street. Main Street is currently undergoing a revitalization effort, with several of the historic buildings being renovated, a new Farmer's Market, and the "Third Thursday" Art Walk.
Antique Malls. There are several antique malls (sometimes called Flea Markets, but with no swap meet) that cater specifically to people on their way to Branson or the craft fairs in Northwest Arkansas. The largest is Connie's Flea Market on Rangeline between Joplin and Webb City, with several others on the eastern side of Highway FF(32nd Street). Prices go often go up during craft fair season (April and October.)
J-Town. 2505 S. Main St. Sports Bar, poolhall, and restaurant.
Wilder's. 1216 S. Main. A very old restaurant and piano bar specializing in steaks and pasta. Still has "Recommended by Duncan Hines" on their sign.
Ichiban. Japanese food and sushi. 2914 E 32nd St, just west of Rangeline.
Kinnaree. 1227 E 32nd St, next to Dollar General. Thai food.
Mucho Mexico (in Webb City).
Cafe Del Rio.
Bradbury Bishop Deli. 201 N. Main St. in Webb City. A diner with decore dating from the '30's on through the '60s, serving classic American food and drinks. Very reasonable. Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Saturday, and dinner Thursday through Saturday.
Babe's. Fast food. Several locations in Joplin.
Granny Schaffer's. Southern food. Noted for fried chicken. Locations on Rangeline between Joplin and Webb City, 7th St, and in Airport Drive, northwest of Joplin.
Big R's 1220 E. 15th St. Barbeque. Huge portions.
Baxter Springs Smokehouse 2320 Military in Baxter Springs
Several national hotel chains have locations in Joplin. There are also several private "mom and pop" hotels in Joplin. Practically every hotel is located around the junction of I-44 and Range Line Road (Exit 8).
Holiday Inn Joplin, 3615 Range Line Drive, Joplin, Missouri 64804, ☎ +1 417-782-1000, . edit
Microtel Inn & Suites Joplin, 4101 Richard Joseph Blvd., ☎ +1 417-626-8282, . $47-53 (Doubles). edit
Homewood Suites by Hilton Joplin, 2642 E 32nd Street, Joplin, Missouri, 64804, ☎ 417-623-1900, . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12pm. Suites with separate kitchens, hot full breakfast each morning and evening dinner and drinks* Monday through Thursday, 24-hour convenience store, complimentary WiFi, fitness center, heated saltwater pool and a 24-hour business center. edit
Hampton Inn Joplin, 3107 East 36th Street, Joplin, Missouri, 64804, ☎ 417-659-9900, . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12pm. Features free hot breakfast daily, free high-speed internet in every room, business center, fitness center and outdoor pool. edit
Hilton Garden Inn Joplin, http://hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com/en/hotels/missouri/hilton-garden-inn-joplin-XNAJPGI/index.html, ☎ 417-206-6700, . checkin: 3pm; checkout: 12pm. Features event/meeting space for up to 116 guests, complimentary high-speed internet, fitness center, indoor pool, room service and more.edit
Residence Inn by Marriott-Joplin, 3128 E. Hammons Blvd (Just north of Exit 8 on Range Line), ☎ 417-782-0908, . checkin: 3:00pm; checkout: 12:00pm. All suite non-smoking hotel with full kitchens and sofa sleepers in all rooms. Full hot breakfast buffet every morning included in rate, evening social with light fare, wine and beer service, M-W 5:30-7:30pm, 24 hour fitness center & business center. Sport court, outdoor patio courtyard, outdoor heated pool and whirlpool. Complimentary wifi!$99-$159. edit
Most crime that occurs in the Joplin area are "petty". The biggest crime problems in the area recently have been gas station drive-offs (due to recent spikes in gas prices) and convenience store robberies. Violent crime is quite rare, but it does occur on occasion. The rough side of town for Joplin is generally considered west of Main Street. Like most other places, most of the more serious crime happens in the middle of the night. Typical common sense will enable most anyone to avoid problems.
Red light running is a growing problem. Range Line Road is notorious for motorists running red lights, especially well after it has turned red for their direction. Motorists should exercice caution and not dart into intersections immediately when their light turns green.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!