Missouri’s 5 Best Places
Missouri, with a population of over six million people, has had a reputation for being the perfect state to live and create for centuries. Residents have little interest in politics, focusing on self-development and career. It was Missouri that gave the world such talented people with out-of-the-box thinking as President Harry Truman, writer Mark Twain, cartoonist Walt Disney and rock ‘n’ roll legend Chuck Berry.
Therefore, if you live in a noisy and politically active state like New York, but are thinking of pure relaxation in your old age, go to Missouri. It is simply an ideal environment for creativity and self-development. Moreover, this state is incredibly beautiful.
Here are the best places to visit (or relocate to) in Missouri and when to see them:
1. Saint Louis
St. Louis’s main attraction is the Gateway Arch, which reaches almost 630 feet in height. The arch symbolizes the junction of the east and west and is dedicated to the first inhabitants who settled in the western part of the country. Go to the viewing platform—there are special elevators for this. The panoramic views are truly impressive. From above, you will see not only the entire city but even the nearby state of Illinois.
In the center of St. Louis, there is a huge Forest Park, one of the most visited Missouri state parks. There is a lot to see here, including the St. Louis Zoo, three large museums, the Muny concert venue and the McDonnell Planetarium. Also, free tours of the largest brewery in the United States, Anheuser-Busch, which produces the famous Budweiser beer, are very popular. Theater fans can also visit the luxurious Fabulous Fox Theater.
Springfield is one of the most common city names in the United States—and one of them is located in Missouri. No, this is not the residence of the famous Simpsons family, but there are also a lot of interesting things here. For example, Fantastic Caverns, Nathanael Greene/Close Memorial Park, exotic Japanese Mizumoto Gardens or the Dickerson Park Zoo. Moreover, Springfield has a rather interesting Sculpture Garden, open on the territory of the Museum of Art, and Route 66, one of the best private collections of rare cars in the state.
Branson is famous for Silver Dollar City, located on its territory. In fact, this is a park, but it has its own municipal offices, post office and shops. It was created on the site of a silver mine—the raw materials mined were used to mint dollar coins, which became the basis of the nascent U.S. financial system. The main decoration of the park is flowers, but there are attractions and numerous workshops where you can watch the making of jewelry and wax candles, as well as the process of baking bread.
Branson also has plenty of other entertainment options. You can go on an excursion to the Marvel Cave, go to a play in one of the 40 theaters in the city, visit the Titanic Museum or go fishing on Table Rock Lake. A perfect place for a honeymoon trip.
Hannibal is a small but popular town northwest of St. Louis. Fans from around the world come to see the birthplace of the famous writer Mark Twain. Not only did he grow up here, but he was inspired to write his most famous novels, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn here. Now, there is a museum in the former home of Mark Twain. Almost all the sights of this city are associated with the personality of the writer and his literary heroes, including Mark Twain’s lighthouse, Becky Thatcher’s house, the monument to Tom and Geck and Mark Twain’s cave.
5. Osage Beach
Osage Beach is a small resort town located on the Lake of the Ozarks. It became famous after the release of the TV series “Ozark.” This is perhaps the most picturesque place in the entire state—and also the most popular. The nature here is stunningly beautiful and, besides the lake, there are many small rivers flowing into Missouri. Most people choose RV traveling and come here in the summer to sunbathe and swim on the beaches or fish or boat. The city has everything tourists need: hotels, campgrounds, restaurants and cafes and amusement parks.
Checklist of things to do before traveling to Missouri:
- Take a raincoat. There are a lot of rainfalls, regardless of the season. Missouri weather is unpredictable and often produces severe storms and tornadoes. So, prepare in advance and take a raincoat and boots.
- Turn the camera on. Such beauty as in Missouri cannot be seen anywhere else. Be sure to shoot everything in your path, then trim footage, merge short clips and photos into one trip movie. And since there is often a strong wind here, the camera may wobble and the author’s story may not be heard. Therefore, be sure to find out how to voice over a video and how to stabilize footage.
During the trip:
- Take a ride on one of the old steamers on the Mississippi. They depart from the port of St. Louis and bear the names of Mark Twain’s literary characters.
- Climb to the observation deck of the tallest structure: Gateway Arch. From here you can see not only the entire city but also the lands of the state of Illinois.
- Visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Some Chinese art critics fly to Kansas City to see the exhibits of this museum related to the ancient history of China.
- Go on an excursion to the oldest prison west of the Mississippi, Missouri State Penitentiary. It was built in 1836 in Jefferson City.
- Try food specialties: St. Louis-style pizza (a pizza that looks more like a salad with crackers) and Missouri Toasted Ravioli (toasted dumplings).
- Missouri is unfairly described by foreigners as a sleepy state. And there is no real purpose for that. After all, this state has some of the most interesting vacation spots. Life is in full swing here. You definitely won’t regret your Missouri time.