It is the unique goal of travel adventurers to visit all fifty states in America. To boost this objective, each week we shall explore one state. Alphabetically, the 25th to visit is none other than Missouri, abbreviated MO. Regardless of the order in which you explore them, MO, The Show Me State, is super appealing.
Visit state # 25 – Missouri
|State Motto||Salus populi suprema lex esto (The welfare of the people is the supreme law)|
|State Flower||The white blossoms of the Hawthorn tree|
|State Bird||The bluebird|
|State Capital||Jefferson City|
|Famous Foods||St. Louis-style pizza, toasted ravioli, gooey butter cake, KC barbecue, concretes, pork steaks, St. Paul sandwich, slingers, St. Louis-style ribs, red hot riplets, ice cream cones, snoots.|
Missouri is situated in the western edge of the north-central United States. It is bordered by Illinois to the east and to the west by Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma. Missouri is bound by Arkansas to the south and Iowa to the North. Arkansas and Louisiana sit between the state and the Gulf of Mexico, and the state is double-landlocked. Missouri was admitted to the U.S. as the 24th state in 1821 as part of the Missouri Compromise.
Early in its history and prior to the arrival of Europeans, Missouri was inhabited by three major tribes, the Osage, the Missouri, and the Illini. Europeans settled in Missouri in the late 1600s. French explorer Father Jacques Marquette used the name Missouri when he mapped out the area. However, the land would be claimed for France as part of the Louisiana Territory. In the mid-1800s, Missouri became known as the “Gateway to the West,” and settlers would seek out the Santa Fe or Oregon Trail, which began in the state.
A visit to Missouri must begin in St. Louis. There, the Gateway Arch dramatically meets the sky and curves at more than 600-feet above the city skyline. A ride to the top of the arch’s observation deck is a phenomenal experience. From the top its possible to see glistening buildings, abundant bridges, sprawling parks, and expansive panoramas as far as the eyes can see. A visit to Forest Park, site of the 1904 World’s Fair, is also on the list of things to do. The park encompasses 1,371 acres of the western part of the city and is host to a plethora of activities and cultural attractions, including the Missouri History Museum, the St. Louis Art Museum, Science Center, and Zoo. Citygarden, located in the city’s bustling downtown district, is another great attraction featuring a park and sculpture garden, waterfall, pool, spray jet fountain and more.
Nature lovers will enjoy Meramec Caverns near St. Louis and in the Ozark Mountains. This cave system boasts nearly five miles of underground passageways and caverns fit for exploration. It was originally known as Saltpeter Cave due to potassium nitrate found in abundance in the 1720s. The cave was mined for 144 years with its material used to make gunpowder. The mines have an interesting history as it is understood that Jesse James and his gang used the caverns as a hideout. Today, families can enjoy guided tours of the area.
Branson, Missouri, is another favorite place for visitors. It is often called the Orlando of the Midwest. In addition to an abundance of great resorts, there are beautiful freshwater lakes, vast forest lands, family-friendly amusement parks, championship golf courses, tons of shopping options, exciting museums, and world-class live entertainment shows. A trip to Branson draws vacationers toward outdoor activities to include hiking, biking, horseback riding, canoeing, kayaking, jet skiing, camping, rock climbing and more. Regardless of whether you head to Branson for a memorable outdoor experience in the Ozarks, or choose to stay indoors to shop, dine, be entertained, and appreciate the finer things in life, there is something for everyone.
‘The Show Me State’ has much to offer in terms of uniqueness and variety, from its arches and caves to its country music shows and top-notch museums. For even more fun, consider watching Dolly Parton’s Stampede in Branson, where the whole family can enjoy time together. Not only are guest served a four-course homestyle meal, but they’ll enjoy outstanding entertainment featuring incredible horses, teams of cowboys and trick riders, and more. Missouri is also noted for its amazing natural areas and parks. Not to be missed are Elephant Rocks State Park, a rugged park known for its gigantic boulders, Ha Ha Tonka State Park, beloved for its lakeside charm, trails and caves, Taum Sauk Mountain State Park, relished for hiking and camping, and Lake of the Ozarks State Park, appreciated for its boating, fishing and beauty. Of course, this is just a sampling of the many great things to do in this noteworthy state, so be sure to plan your visit soon.
Up next: Montana