Missouri

Missouri

Missouri is the Gateway to the West with the Oregon Trail, Route 66, and Louis and Clark’s expedition are all inextricably linked to the state. It was the last truly hospitable stop before crossing the great prairies. Plus, the Ozark Mountains (more hills really) are a little taste of the mountains of the West in the flats of the Midwest.

Table of Contents

Price point levels scaled for a 7-day visit for a couple and anchored on research and personal experiences.

$ - up to $1500
$$ - $1500 - $3000
$$$ - $3000 -$5000
$$$$ - $5000+
Price Point
$$-$$$
Language(s)

English

Currency

US Dollar

Reported for the US traveler with foreign countries rankings based on the US State Department's travel advisories.
Safety
Exercise Increased Caution

Reported for three representative cities within the destination via Weather Spark.

Climate (°F)
Summer Winter
Kansas City 90 24
Branson 91 29
St Louis 89 28
Outlets
Type-A
Type-B

Best Time to Visit

Springtime is flower season, particularly dogwoods and redbuds. Summers, are hot, long, and muggy so look to escape to lakes, rivers, and the state’s many show caves. Fall is beautiful as the summer heat breaks and the trees put on a show. Winter gets bitterly cold without any significant snow sports. The record low temperature of -40 was set in Warsaw, Missouri in 1911. Fun fact, -40 is the same temperature in Fahrenheit and Celsius.

Fun Facts

  • Missouri is the ‘Gateway to the West’ and the eastern starting point for the Pony Express
  • Both ice tea and the ice cream cone were invented in Missouri at the 1904 World’s Fair
  • Missouri is home to the first successful parachute jump (1912)
  • Missouri’s Brothel Law makes it is illegal for more than four unrelated people to live together
  • Kansas City has more boulevards than Paris and almost as many fountains as Rome

Bucket-List Activities

  • Visit the historic Anheuser-Busch brewery (St. Louis)
  • Bike across the state on the 440-mile Katy Trail, the country’s longest recreational rail trail (St. Louis to Kansas City)
  • Hike and camp along the Ozark Trail (Leasburg)
  • Go wine tasting at Les Bourgeois Vineyards (Rocheport)
  • Rent a houseboat on the Lake of the Ozarks
  • Dive the Billion Gallon Lake in the Bonne Terre Mine (Bonne Terre)

Natural Wonders

  • Elephant Rocks State Park (Belleview)
  • Grand Gulf State Park (Koshkonong)
  • Mina Sauf Falls (Arcadia Township)
  • Clifty Creek Natural Bridge (Dixon)
  • Blue Springs (Kansas City)
  • Johnson’s Shut-Ins (Middle Brook)
  • Rocky Falls (Joplin)
  • Ha Ha Tonka State Park (Camdenton)

Major Attractions

  • Gateway Arch (St. Louis)
  • Silver Dollar City (Branson)
  • Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum (Hannibal)
  • Harry S. Truman Library and Museum (Independence) 
  • Nelson Atkins Museum of Art (Kansas City)
  • America’s National Churchill Museum (Fulton)

Native Foods

  • St. Louis-style pizza (edge to edge toppings on a very thin cracker-like crust)
  • Toasted ravioli (created St Louis in 1947)
  • Gooey butter cake (a fortuitous St Louis cooking creation)
  • Kansas City barbecue (seasoned with a dry rub, slow-smoked then served with a thick tomato-based barbecue sauce)
  • St Paul sandwich (a sandwich with an egg foo young patty and dill pickle slices)
  • St Louis-style ribs (the meatiest cuts from spare ribs, bonus points if they’re grilled)

General Travel Tips

Common Phrases

  • Show Me – Missouri is the Show Me State for a reason
  • Hoosiers – A term for rednecks in eastern Missouri, but it supposedly has nothing to do with people from Indiana
  • Rolla – A city in central Missouri spelled phonetically for the founder’s hometown in North Carolina, when you account for the accent
  • Como – A nickname for Columbia Missouri

Enplanements scaled by the number of commercial passenger boardings that occurred at the airport in calendar year per Wikipedia

🛩 - Limited commercial air service

✈ - 25,000  - 100,000

✈✈ - 100,000 - 500,000

✈✈✈ - 500,000 - 1,000,000

✈✈✈✈ - 1,000,000+

Major Cities / Airports

  • St. Louis / Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL ✈✈✈✈) – The ‘Gateway to the West’ that’s split between Missouri and Illinois
  • Kansas City / Kansas City International Airport (MCI ✈✈✈✈) – The largest city in Missouri by population and split between Missouri and Kansas
  • Springfield / Springfield-Branson National Airport (SGF ✈✈✈) – Springfield is the capital city located in the middle of state. Branson is the ‘Live Entertainment Capital of the World’
  • Columbia / Columbia Regional Airport (COU ✈✈) – Home to the University of Missouri
  • Joplin / Joplin Regional Airport (JLN 🛩) – The ‘Main Street of America’ located on Route 66
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