When you think of summer vacation you might not immediately think of Missouri, but in fact the “Show-Me State” is a hidden gem in the heart of America that offers an incredible array of experiences for visitors. From the iconic Gateway Arch in St. Louis to the charming small towns of the Ozarks, Missouri offers a diverse range of attractions that cater to every interest. Steeped in history, culture, and natural beauty, Missouri is the ideal destination for travelers seeking a truly authentic American experience. Whether you’re a foodie, a history buff, someone seeking outdoor adventure, or just simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Missouri has something for you. We’ll highlight just a few of the wonderful places to visit throughout the state and discuss some of the unique experiences they offer.
The second-largest city in Missouri, St. Louis is a must-visit destination for tourists. At the heart of the city lies the iconic Gateway Arch, the world’s tallest, which offers stunning views of the Mississippi River and the surrounding area. The city features a world-class arts and culture scene, and is home to, among many other notable museums, the Missouri History Museum, which was originally constructed as the first national monument to Thomas Jefferson. There is so much vibrancy to St. Louis that you can find attractions to suit every interest, from beer lovers who want to learn about the history of beer in the US and the early days of Anheuser-Busch to those craving live music or a night at the symphony, St. Louis has something for everyone.
An Ozark town located in the southwestern part of the state, Branson is a charming destination with a historic downtown that is home to hundreds of local businesses. From March through December, a free trolley operates downtown offering convenient rides around town. Explore the local boutiques, attractions and restaurants or hop aboard the Showboat Branson Belle and enjoy family-friendly live entertainment aboard America’s most entertaining lake adventure! Branson is also home to Silver Dollar City, a theme park set in the 1880s which offers over 40 rides and attractions and which hosts numerous special events and festivals throughout the year.
A trip to the Show-Me state would not be complete without a visit to its largest city, Kansas City. Situated on Missouri’s western edge, the city straddles the border into the state of Kansas. A vibrant and dynamic city that offers a wealth of attractions for tourists, the whole family will delight in all it has to offer. Foodies will appreciate the city’s famous barbecue, which has been ranked among the best in the country, as well as its craft breweries and elevated culinary scene. History buffs will delight at such attractions as the Arabia Steamboat Museum, which provides a fascinating look into the history of steamboat travel in America. The museum is home to the remains of the Steamboat Arabia, which sank in the Missouri River in 1856 and was rediscovered more than a century later.
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The city is also home to the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the world’s most comprehensive collection on the subject. Sports fans can cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium or the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. We’ve just scratched the surface of this multi-faceted city, but suffice it to say that with its rich cultural heritage and diverse range of attractions, Kansas City is a fantastic destination for travelers of all ages and interests.
While there are numerous towns and cities we didn’t get to highlight, such as Independence, Jefferson City, and Columbia, the options for exploring Missouri are endless. From outdoor activities for adventure-seekers looking for a thrill to those looking for a cultured night out on the town, you won’t be disappointed with all the Show-Me state has to offer.