Missouri is one of the twelve Midwestern States in the US. It is the 24th state to be included in the American Union and joined the federation on August 10, 1821. It is the 21st largest state in US and shares boundaries with Arkansas, Oklahoma, Iowa, Kentucky, Tennessee, Nebraska, Illinois, and Kansas. The state has a population of 6,010,688 and is spread over an area of 69,704 sq miles. It has 114 counties and its capital is Jefferson City. The Missouri River runs through the state dividing it into two parts. The state is at the confluence of three prominent rivers of North America, namely Mississippi, Missouri, and Ohio. Missouri is nicknamed ‘The Show Me State’.
About 32 million people visit Missouri every year and the state earns about $670 million from the tourism sector alone. Jay Nixon is currently the Governor of Missouri.
Important Cities in Missouri
Kansas City is the largest city of Missouri located at the confluence of Missouri and Kansas rivers. It has 214 parks, 105 tennis courts, 49 fountains, 5 golf courses, 10 community centers, and 5 museums among other attractions. The largest park Swope Park has a zoo and a museum. Sea Life Aquarium, unveiled recently, houses over 5000 aquatic animals and has become an important attraction for tourists. It has the Legoland Discover Center and hosts the Titanic Artifact Exhibition. The city has a number of museums including the National World War I Museum, Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, and The Steamboat Arabia Museum. Visitors should not miss out on the Harley Davidson factory tour. The city is replete with shopping Malls such as the Oak Park, Zona Rosa, Metro North, and Crown Center Ice Terrace. In Kansas City, the best places to dine are the Capital Grille, La Bodega, Glace Artisan Ice Cream, and Bristol Seafood.
St. Louis is the second largest city of Missouri. The Forest Park Jewel Box, Gateway Arch, Apotheosis of St. Louis statue, and zoo are frequently visited places in the city. One can also visit the Anheuser Busch Brewery and Bonne Terre Mine. For the more adventurous sort there are haunted places such as Lemp Mansion, Powell Symphony Hall, and Jefferson Barracks. Lo Russo’s Cucina, Crown Candy Kitchen, Blueberry Hill Restaurants, and Hooters are among the most popular restaurants in St. Louis. Tourists can shop at St. Louis Galleria, Michael Kors Plaza Frontenac, Chesterfield Mall, and St. Louis Union Station.
Springfield is located in the Springfield Plateau of Greene County and is the third largest city of Missouri. In the city one must visit the Fantastic Caverns, Nathanael Green Park, and Springfield Conservation Nature Center. Tourists in search of peace should try the Mizumoto Japanese Stroll Garden. History enthusiasts can visit the Air and Military Museum of the Ozarks or Pythian Castle. Tourists looking for trails may contact Springfield Conservation Nature Center or Ozark Greenways. The Battlefield Mall is the largest shopping mall in the city. Others include Bass Pro Shops, Simon Malls, and Montclair Center. The best places to have a sumptuous meal in St. Louis are Bruno’s, Kai, Flame, and Maria’s Mexican Restaurant.
Situated in Cole County, Jefferson City is the capital of Missouri. Here, you must visit the Missouri Veterans Memorial, the Renaissance style Supreme Court, Jefferson Landing State Historic Site, and Lohman Building. Tourists interested in books and museums must head to the Missouri State Archives, Missouri River Region Library, Cole County Historical Society, or Missouri State Museum. Children find the Jefferson City Park, Cedar Creek, Amusement E & K and other theme parks in the city very attractive. Capital Mall, Capital Plaza, Wildwood Shopping Center, and Southridge Shopping Center offer a gamut of recreational facilities and shopping options. Jefferson City boasts of numerous restaurants and culinary fares including Madison’s Cafe, Prison Brews, El Jimador, and Alexandro’s.
Columbia is the fifth largest city of Missouri located midway between St. Louis and Kansas City. It was in the past a hub of Mississippian Culture. Nature lovers find ample interest in Columbia in the form of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, Three Creeks Conservation Area, Shryocks Callaway Farms, and Finger Lakes State Park. The Columbia Missouri Historic Walk and the State Historical Site of Missouri, and the Masonic Home offer much historic perspective. Going Bonkers Incorporated and Little Gym Columbia are theme parks which also cater to the children and young adults. Tourists can satiate their craving for sumptuous fares at Shakespeare’s Pizza, Flat Branch Pub and Brewing, Okii Mama, Heidelberg Restaurant and many other restaurants in Columbia. Best places to shop in the city include the District, Columbia Mall, Prange Intimates, and the Broadway Shops.
Other prominent cities of Missouri include Independence, Florissant, Chesterfield, Oakville, and Blue Springs.
Places of Interest
The museums in Missouri focus on fine arts, historic items and archaeological artifacts, professions, and articles of Popular Culture. Displays pertaining to natural and cultural history can be found in Museum of Anthropology, Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum, Bollinger County Museum of Natural History, Bolduc House Museum, and Missouri History Museum. The Commemorative Air Force Missouri Wing Museum, Fire Department Museum of Missouri, Glore Psychaitric Museum, and Jefferson Landing State Historic Site Museum, generally concern themselves with artifacts specific to various professions.
Missouri is the home of amazing amusement parks which are coveted by kids and adults alike. The most famous among the countless are Oceans of Fun, Silver Dollar City, Worlds of Fun, Six Flags, and White Water.
Missouri has 37 National Historic Landmarks. The most important among them are the Louis Bolduc House, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, Liberty Memorial, Graham Cave, and Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield.
Trails and National Parks
For nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts Missouri offers some of the best trails for hiking across ridges, wilderness, and wooded terrain. Among these Berryman Trail, Lewis and Clark Trail, Greenwood Trail, Castlewood State Park, Hawn State Park Trail, Bell Mountain Wilderness Area Trail feature on the top of the list. Missouri’s rich cultural heritage is reflected in its state parks and state historic sites. Most renowned among these are Confederate Memorial State Historic Site, Battle of Carthage State Historic Site, Bothwell Lodge, Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic Site, Missouri Mines State Historic Site, Johnson’s Shut-Ins State Historical Park, and Onondaga Cave State Park.
Travel Agents of Missouri have a complete understanding of the place and customer requirements. Their travel packages are crafted keeping the best of traveler’s interest in mind. The most experienced and best among the players are Brentwood Travel (Tel 314.439.5700 or 800.527.1059 1022), Best Travel Inc (Tel 314.361.2555), Travel Haus (Tel 314.842.7313), and Superior Cruise And Travel (Tel 866.694.8516).