Missouri

United States of America
Missouri State Capitol which includes an administrative building and heritage architecture

In the Show-Me state, visitors explore two major rivers. The region has played important roles in history, both factual and fictional.

Much of the excitement and lore of Missouri centers on the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. As part of the Louisiana Purchase, the state represented a starting point for travelers making major westward migration.

St. Louis is a bustling city on the Mississippi River. Appreciate the city’s diverse attractions, from the majestic Cathedral Basilica to the more earthly factory tour of the Anheuser-Busch brewery. Along the way visit the St. Louis Zoo and the kid-centered City Museum or relax in Forest Park.

The showpiece of St. Louis is the Gateway Arch. Ride the tram to the top height of 630 feet (192 meters). On clear days, you’ll see for 30 miles (48 kilometers) in any direction. The arch represents the role St. Louis played over 200 years ago as a gateway for pioneers traveling westward in the Louisiana Territory. Take a riverboat cruise to see daytime or evening views of the city’s modern skyline. Travel to the mouth of the Missouri River to investigate the workings of the locks and dam.

Visit the small northern town of Hannibal to see the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum and appreciate how the nearby Mississippi River inspired the adventures of the author’s well-known fictional characters, Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. Several blocks away, tour the Hannibal History Museum, with an exhibit about another local resident, the “unsinkable” Molly Brown, who survived the sinking of the Titanic.

In the southern part of the state, Branson has evolved as a major center for live music and wholesome family fun. At the more than 50 theaters you can find music from ABBA to Dolly Parton to fantastic tenors, along with comedy and magic.

Not far away are Missouri’s Ozark Mountains, fantastic for hiking and fishing. Get a guide and go spelunking or cave exploring. Marvel Cave lives up to its name, especially on a tour led by a guide in period costume carrying a lantern for light. Visit the Silver Dollar City theme park to access the cave.

Popular cities in Missouri

St. Louis
St. Louis
From paddleboats to sculpture parks, and breweries to the blues, it’s easy to catch the spirit of St. Louis.

Reasons to visit

  • City Museum
  • Fox Theater
  • Citygarden
Union Station showing landscape views, a city and a park
Kansas City
With art galleries, farmers markets, jazz clubs, state-of-the-art sports stadiums, theaters and a zoo, there’s never a dull moment in this city, whose residents love barbecue and sports.

Reasons to visit

  • Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Swope Park
  • Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
Sight and Sound Theatres which includes outdoor art, heritage architecture and a garden
Branson
With over 50 theaters putting on as many as 100 shows at any one time, this city calls itself the Live Entertainment Capital of the World.

Reasons to visit

  • Branson Landing
  • Sight and Sound Theatre
  • Highway 76 Strip
Missouri State Capitol which includes an administrative building, heritage architecture and a fountain
Columbia
Encounter sinkholes and caves in the city’s outskirts and see the majestic buildings of the magnificent Red Campus in the historic university.

Reasons to visit

  • University of Missouri
  • Rock Bridge Memorial State Park
  • Shelter Gardens
Pythian Castle which includes heritage architecture and a park
Springfield
Visit Springfield to see why it is known as the Queen City of the Ozarks and considered the birthplace of Route 66, one of the first major highways in the country.

Reasons to visit

  • Fantastic Caverns
Joplin
Joplin
At the heart of the Four State Area, this city on the iconic and famous Route 66 offers chic cafés, public art displays and a glimpse of the Ozarks.