Take Your Pick
Branson, MO
At Shepherd of the Hills
Branson - Country Western music and live entertainment are the cornerstone of Branson, MO. There are more than 50 theaters featuring current stars, tribute/legend bands (Elvis is alive and well in Branson), comedians, magic acts, family entertainment, and on and on. The shows and all-you-can-eat buffets are geared a little more towards the 50+ crowd, but if you are younger than that there is still plenty to see and do. The best time to visit Branson is during the Christmas season, Nov 1 through Dec 31. The town is lit up with its Festival of Lights and theater shows are changed to include a Christmas theme.
Branson, MO
I'm King of the World!!!
Titanic Museum - The real Titanic may have sunk on April 15, 1912, but you can still board the Titanic Museum in Branson. The Titanic Museum is billed as the "World's Largest Museum Attraction". Upon entry, boarding passes are handed out by British stewards. These passes include the name of a person on the ship that fateful night, and at the end of the tour you find out if they survived or perished. Inside the Titanic is a replica of the Grand Staircase, an iceberg, props from the movie, 1st and 3rd class cabins, several videos, replicas of the Titanic on the ocean floor, hundreds of documents and more. An audio tour is recommended and it includes narrations from actual survivors. At the end of the tour I found out my guy survived. Whew!!!
Carthage, MO
At the Precious Moments Inspiration Park
Precious Moments Inspiration Park - On the grounds of the Precious Moments Inspiration Park is a Visitor Center, Gift Shop, Garden, and Chapel. The Chapel was inspired by Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy. It contains murals depicting Biblical scenes with Precious Moments' caricatures. The gift shop, the largest Precious Moments store in the world, contains thousands of items. This is a nice place to bring the family and enjoy a precious moment.
Diamond, MO
Carver Found 300 Uses for Peanuts
George Washington Carver National Monument - George Washington Carver was born a slave around 1864 on the Moses and Susan Carver farm. Early on he acquired a great interest in plants and was sometimes called "The Plant Doctor". Through perseverance and will, George went to high school and then earned a Bachelors and Masters Degree. He is certainly best known for his discovery of more than 300 uses for peanuts. At the George Washington Carver National Monument is a Discovery Center filled with information about George's life as well as a one mile nature trail with the 1881 Moses Carver House.
Fort Leonard Wood, MO
Atop the River Boat Patrol
John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex - The John B. Mahaffey Museum Complex is one of the nation's best military museums. The complex combines the Engineer Museum, the Chemical Corps Museum, and the Military Police Corps Museum. You are able to walk through 12 WWII temporary mobilization buildings to see what the life of a soldier was like in the 1940s. Inside exhibits include a special weapons gallery, a land mine gallery, and a display on tactical bridging. You are also able to get up close and personal with various military equipment used in war.
Fulton, MO
Winston at Westminster
Winston Churchill Memorial and Library - Winston Churchill came to the Westminster College campus a year after the end of WWII and gave his now famous "Iron Curtain" speech. In the speech he said, "I spoke earlier of the Temple of Peace. Workmen from all countries must build that temple." The Winston Churchill Memorial and Library is dedicated to the man some consider one of the greatest leaders in the 20th century and a strong seeker of peace. The museum chronicles his life with photos, films, and dozens of well designed and interesting exhibits.
Hannibal, MO
Tom and Huck
Mark Twain - Mark Twain is best known for his two greatest novels, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn". Born Samuel Clemens (1835-1910), the adventure writer and humorist choose the name Mark Twain because of its meaning, "two fathoms". Throughout the small town of Hannibal, MO you will find anything and everything Mark Twain. A Tom and Huck Statue, the Mark Twain Home and Museum, the Becky Thatcher House, the Twainland Express Depot, the Mark Twain Cave, and dozens of others. Being in Hannibal makes you feel very close to the writer because you can see the inspiration for his stories. It warms this sock monkey's little heart. Oh, there is one other famous figure from Hannibal, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" of the Titanic fame. You can visit her house too.
Independence, MO
Truman Statue in the Presidential Museum
Harry S Truman Presidential Museum and Library - The Harry S Truman Presidential Museum and Library highlights the accomplishments and triumphs of our 33rd President. Truman came to the White House in 1945 as Franklin D Roosevelt's Vice President and after only 82 days in office, he became President when FDR passed away. Within weeks of taking office President Truman saw the WWII victory in Europe, and after only six months he made the decision to drop atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and witnessed the surrender of Japan. The museum hosts permanent and temporary exhibits and in the courtyard are the grave sites of Harry and Bess Wallace Truman. A few miles away you can tour the Truman's "Summer White House" where the couple lived.
Jefferson City, MO
Show Me the Capitol
State Capitol Building - The Missouri State Capitol is one of the prettiest in the nation. Sitting atop a bluff overlooking the Missouri River and surrounded by fountains, a Veterans Memorial, monuments and meticulously manicured gardens, this Renaissance-style structure encompasses over three acres. On the first level of the Capitol is the Missouri Museum with artwork depicting the history and people of the Show Me state. The second level hosts bronze statues of prominent Missourians, and to top it all off (the dome that is), is a bronze statue of Ceres, the goddess of grain. While there, walk down the street to the Jefferson Landing State Historic Site and Museum, a rare surviving Missouri River landing.
Kansas City, MO
Thousands of Historic Artifacts
Steamboat Arabia Museum - The Steamboat Arabia Museum contains the world's largest collection 1856 steamboat artifacts and cargo. The Arabia was a side-wheeler steamboat sailing down the Missouri River when it hit a large sycamore log in the water. All the passengers escaped unharmed, but the steamboat slowly sunk in to the muddy river. Then in 1988 four regular guys searched for and found the wreck. Located about a 1/2 mile from the current river (the Missouri River often changes course) they devised a way to unearth and remove the Arabia's treasure. On board was a time capsule of 1856 items including, china, nails, beads, boots, hats, hardware and guns. They are all on display in the museum.
Kansas City, MO
Arthur Bryant's BBQ - Kansas City is synonyms with BBQ and Arthur Bryant's BBQ made it that way. The original, is still the best BBQ in the city, not only will you love the taste, there is no way you will leave hungry. My favorite is the pulled-pork sandwich with fries. You get 5 slices of bread, a handful of pickle slices, as many fries as a human can carry and a heaping mound of deliciously BBQ'd pork. In one meal there is certainly enough food for two people, your dog, and a half dozen sock monkeys. But I ate it all.
Kansas City, MO
That's One Big Shuttlecock
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art - Looking for the world's largest shuttlecocks? That's not all you will find at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Outside there are some monster shuttlecocks along with other creative works of art in its expansive 22 acre sculpture garden. And inside you will find more than 33,500 works of art from artists, Van Gogh, Monet, Rembrandt and all the greats. This is one of the finest art museums in the country inside and out. Spend the day, have a picnic and monkey around. You'll love the Nelson-Atkins for its art and sense of humor.
Mansfield, MO
Little House on the Prairie
Rocky Ridge (Home of Laura Ingalls Wilder) - Rocky Ridge was the home of Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867-1957) and her husband Almanzo where she wrote all nine of her "Little House" books. The house looks as it did in 1957, with a coal cook stove, Laura's writing desk, and even a calendar hanging as it did the day she was rushed to the hospital. Next to the farm house is a museum containing "Pa's Fiddle", many of Laura's dresses, and other treasures of prairie life.
Marshall, MO
This Dog Knew Chinese!!!
Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial Park - Jim the Wonder Dog Memorial Park was established to commemorate the smartest dog in the world. Jim (1925-1937) an English Llewellyn Setter, could understand and perfectly execute instructions in any language including Morse Code, he could read, and even predict the future. He picked the Kentucky Derby winner seven years in a row. Jim had a book written about him and was featured in "Ripley's Believe it or Not" and "Reader's Digest". His grave in Marshall Ridge Park Cemetery is still the most visited grave in the cemetery.
Marthasville, MO
Daniel Boone's Grave?
Daniel Boone - While alive, Daniel Boone was best known for his traveling ways. The same may be said after his death. Daniel Boone died at age 85 in 1820 and was buried in Marthasville, MO next to his wife Rebecca. Twenty five years later, because he did so much for Kentucky, a few Kentuckians dug him up and took him back to the Bluegrass state. Or so they thought. Before reburying him they took a plaster cast of his skull. This cast, when examined by a forensic specialist was determined to be that of a large African American. According to the Missourians, Daniel's grave marker had been placed on the wrong grave and the Kentucky folks took the wrong body. Down the road is one of Boone's houses, at least we can be sure of that. Or can we?
St Louis, MO
Dred Scott v. Sanford
Old Courthouse - Within a stones throw of the Gateway Arch is the Old Courthouse. Many suits were heard here, but none more significant than the one brought before it by Dred Scott in 1857. In the Dred Scott v. Sanford case, Dred Scott sued for his freedom from slavery based on the fact that he had lived in a free state for seven years. The court ruled against Mr. Scott, heightening tensions between the north and south, and sowing the seeds for the American Civil War.
St Louis, MO
King of Beers
Anheuser-Busch Brewery (InBev) - The "King of Beers" is brewed in many locations, but the Anheuser-Busch World Headquarters is located in St Louis. Eberhard Anheuser purchased the brewery in 1860 and partnered with his son-in-law Adolphus Busch in 1869. The company went on to become the largest brewing company in the world. Tours include a stop at the Clydesdale Stables where you can catch a glimpse of these impressive animals, a first-hand look at the brewing and packaging facilities and a trip to the Beachwood Lager Cellars. If you are of legal drinking age, at the end of the tour you can enjoy your choice of beers at the Hospitality Room.
St Louis, MO
The Gateway Arch
Gateway Arch - The Gateway Arch is not only one of the most widely recognized National Monuments in the U.S., it is also the tallest. The glistening stainless steel symbol of westward expansion stands an impressive 630 feet tall. Completed in 1965, this 17,000 ton structure attracts more than a million people to the top of its indoor observation area every year. Trams on either side of the arch whisk people to the top for one of the best views of the city. And speaking of westward expansion, at the base of the arch is the Museum of Westward Expansion, with exhibits of Lewis and Clark's 1803-1806 expedition. As impressive the arch is during the day, it is even more so at night.
St. Joseph, MO
Were Jesse James Died
Jesse James Home - The Jesse James Home is where the infamous outlaw Jesse James lived and was killed. The Ford brothers, Robert and Charlie, were considered to be the only two people Jesse trusted and were guests of the James family. Unbeknownst to Jesse, Robert conspired with the Missouri Governor, Thomas Crittenden, to bring him in. The day he was shot, Jesse James was standing on a chair straightening a picture and Robert Ford shot him in the back of the head. You can still see the hole in the wall left by the deadly bullet (the size has grown from souvenir hunters pulling pieces off). Other family items and items from the 1995 exhumation of his body are on display in the house also.
Stanton, MO
Jesse James Hideout
Meramec Caverns - With over 6,000 caves between its borders, Missouri is often called the "Cave State". Sure, it's also called the "Show Me State", so I think they should combine them to be the "Show Me the Cave State". Anyway, one of the most famous caves in the show me the cave state is Meramec Caverns. A tour guide will escort you along an underground river to view stalagmites and stalactites and to see where Frank and Jessie James' hid out. The highlight of the tour is saved for the end. Here stands a 78 million year old, 70 foot tall, 60 foot wide and 35 foot think mineral deposit called "The Stage Curtain". By itself it is beautiful. Then comes what's called the "Greatest Show Under the Earth" a mini light show with Kate Smith singing "God Bless America".