Missouri — Overview
The Show Me State is far from bashful when it comes to touting its wealth of attractions and amenities. Missouri’s rich, colorful history is evident from the folksy modesty of the Ozarks to the buzzing jazz of Kansas City. There are outstanding natural attractions all over the state, particularly in the south where the Ozark Mountains take over.
Its two main cities, St Louis and Kansas City, are both hotbeds of youthful vigor and activities that appeal to a wide range of visitors. The Ozarks are anchored by the town of Branson, Missouri’s version of Disneyland meets G-rated Las Vegas. You’ll have no trouble finding a place to slip away for a forest hike, day on the lake or a round of golf.
The folks in Missouri take tremendous pride in their hospitality. Simply mention you’re visiting and you'll get an instant history lesson and tour guide all in one. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how far your dollar stretches, especially in terms of eating out. If you enjoy hearty Midwest comfort food then you’re in the right place. Even fancy spas and resorts can be found in Ozark towns like Eureka Springs.
There is so much to see and do in Missouri that you’ll probably find yourself planning a few days of travel. There are thousands of caves to check out, an entire protected Scenic Waterway system and 49 excellent state parks. Most of the action is centered around the southern part of the state where the Ozarks have created mineral hot springs, caves and hundreds of picturesque lakes. Everything is open to recreation, which is what makes Missouri such a popular outdoor destination.
The state can be easily traversed if you have your own car. Major interstates provide quick access across Missouri in all directions, making it feasible to enjoy both Kansas City and St Louis at opposite ends. Most of the natural and historic sites are well outside the big cities, which is why it’s essential to have your own transportation to reach these magical Missouri spots with maximum efficiency.
- Discover your personal favorite Kansas City barbecue joint among the many blue ribbon contenders
- Tour the underworld of Missouri in one of its amazing cave systems like Mark Twain Cave or Bridle Cave
- Go boating on the Lake of Ozarks, which boasts more shoreline than California’s coast
- Get your All-American entertainment fix in Branson, the tourist capital of Missouri
- Spend an afternoon in St Louis’ Forest Park for a tremendous mix of nature and culture
- Have a big night out in Kansas City’s slick new Power & Light District, an eight-block oasis of dining and drinking
- Soak in a resort spa in Eureka Springs after hiking a woodland trail through the Ozarks