From the apex of the iconic Gateway Arch to the rollicking productions in Branson to the caves and forests in between, a visit to Missouri is like a buffet of the American experience.
Clients can enjoy a little bit of everything here, from the state’s scenic wonders to big city life. Cruise down Route 66 for vintage Americana. Put on your dancing shoes for nights of jazz, blues and more. Visit one of more than 50 state parks for outdoor adventure. And then tuck into a plate of slow-cooked barbecue to top off the experience.
Home to the Ozark Mountains and 81,000 hectares of public green space, Missouri lends itself to outdoor adventure.
Book a treehouse cabin to immerse yourself in nature, or visit a state park to enjoy hiking, canoeing, biking or horseback riding.
Known as the ‘Cave State,’ Missouri is home to some 6,400 caverns, with more than 20 available for curious travellers to tour.
Spend a relaxing time at the Lake of the Ozarks, with its 1,770 kilometres of shoreline, which beckons travellers for fishing and boating, as well as golfing, helicopter tours and zipline adventures.
COUNTRY MUSIC, BLUES & BROADWAY SHOWS
Fans of country music, rock and pop won’t want to miss a trip to Branson, known for its signature brand of family-friendly, over-the-top live shows that bolster its reputation as the so-called ‘Live Entertainment Capital of the World.’
Big-city St. Louis boasts the National Blues Museum and more than 40 professional theatre companies, as well as a grand movie palace, The Fabulous Fox Theatre, which hosts touring Broadway shows.
In the summer, visit The Muny – the largest outdoor theatre in the USA – to see a musical. In Kansas City, it’s all about jazz; the city is home to the American Jazz Museum and the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District. On weekends, listen in on midnight jam sessions at the Mutual Musicians Foundation.
BARBECUE AT ITS BEST
Meat grilled low and slow, infused with the flavour of wood smoke, is the cuisine for which Missouri is most celebrated. Each area of the state has its own type of barbecue, and locals will tell you theirs is best.
Kansas City, with more than 100 barbecue restaurants, is known for serving spice-rubbed meats slathered with a thick, tomato-based sauce that’s a blend of sweet and spicy.
In St. Louis, barbecue pitmasters specialize in slow-cooked pork spare ribs covered in a sweet-acidic glaze. Sample offerings from around the state to get a true taste of this classic cuisine, from smoky “burnt ends” of brisket to the side dishes that round out the plate, including macaroni and cheese, coleslaw and cornbread.
THE ICONIC GATEWAY ARCH
Historic Route 66 runs more than 480 kilometres through Missouri. Follow the “Mother Road” to explore nostalgic sites or stroll the limestone corridors of Meramec Caverns. Learn about the origins and Golden Age of Route 66 at the History Museum on the Square in Springfield. Refuel with stops at diners and eateries of a long-ago era, like Ted Drewes Frozen Custard in St. Louis, which dates to the 1930s.
While in St. Louis, board the tram to the top of the awe-inspiring Gateway Arch, the tallest national monument in the USA. There’s plenty of history in the state as well: from presidential (Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum) and pop culture (Walt Disney Hometown Museum) to literary (Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum) and legendary (Jesse James Home Museum).