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10 Interesting Places to Visit in Missouri
Missouri has More to Offer than the Arch
The Gateway Arch in St. Louis is perhaps the most recognized place to visit in the state. But if you travel beyond the city of St. Louis you will also find a host of wonderful places to visit.
Did you know that the town of Fulton is home to a piece of the Berlin Wall and a Winston Churchill Memorial?
In Missouri you will find a presidential library, the place where Jesse James died, and Mark Twains boyhood home.
This and many other interesting facts about Missouri will be uncovered as you browse through my ten interesting places to visit in Missouri.
photo by Mary Beth Granger
great small town attractions
Although I have lived in Missouri my entire life, I have lived at various times on both sides of the state(St. Louis and Kansas City) and right in the middle in Columbia.
I was lucky to have a career that allowed me to travel throughout the state. At one point I was a franchise director for a major retailer and traveled to many of the small towns within the state.
In my traveling I was able to discover the rich history and interesting places that Missouri has to offer.
Here are ten of the places that I found the most interesting. Some are places I have visited once or twice but others like Wine Country Gardens, Hermann and The Butterfly House are place I visit again and again.
Winston Churchill Memorial
Winston Churchill Memorial- Fulton
A Piece of the Berlin Wall
Fulton has a piece of Berlin
The Winston Churchill Memorial in Fulton, Mo was founded in 1969 to honor the life and legacy of Winston Churchill.
On May 5, 1946 Winston Churchill gave the famous "Iron Curtain" speech at Westminster College in Fulton. Forty-five years later on May 6, 1992 Mikhail Gorbachev came to the Churchill memorial in Fulton and gave a speech announcing the end of the Cold War
When the Berlin Wall came down, the granddaughter of Winston Churchill acquired a piece to have a sculpture made to honor the "Iron Curtain" speech. The sculpture entitled "Break Through" can be seen on the campus of Westminister College in Fulton.
this photo and the previous photo by pictophile from Creative Commons
Books on Missouri - small town traveling
I hope this page has made you curious about the fun and interesting places to visit in Missouri.
If you would like to read more here are some books that will be helpful in planning your trips.
I have used the "Off the Beaten Path" series in the past. These books are always a great way to find interesting, out of the way, places to visit.
There are so many interesting small town and out of the way places in Missouri. This book gives you a great guide to finding interesting places to spend a day!
Wine Country Gardens
Great Day Trip from St. Louis
Wine Country Gardens is a great way to escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life and enjoy a relaxing afternoon in the country.
Located just 45 minutes from downtown St. Louis in Defiance, MO, it features 42 acres of beautiful flowers, a view of the Missouri river valley, great wine tasting, and a wonderful patio cafe.
You can view menus, get directions and view more photos at their web site Wine Country Gardens
For a wonderfully unique experience spend an afternoon at Wine Country Gardens
Wine Country Gardens- Peaceful and Serene
Hermann, MO- Missouri's Rhine Valley
built along the banks of the Missouri river
Hermann is a wonderful small town with old world charm. It is nestled in the hills in Missouri wine country and is the home to many festivals and events througout the year.
Visit Hermann and enjoy their Bed and Breakfasts, stroll the old time streets, browse their shops or enjoy the many wineries serving Missouri wines.
I have found it a great way to pass a weekend afternoon.
You may also want to go to Hermann during one of their many festivals. There are several throughout the year and a stop at their website will tell you which ones are coming up. The photo to the left shows their Kristkrindl Market sign, which is held in the beginning of December. It is a delightful time with great shopping from wonderful craftsman, good food and plenty of Christmas music. The photo below shows carolers in their period costumes.
Kristkindl photos by mbgphoto.
Carolers at Kristkrindl Market
The Butterfly House
The Butterfly House - photos from my collectionClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Butterfly House is in a suburb of St. Louis and has a wonderful conservatory that is home to nearly 2000 butterflies. On any given day there are between 60-80 different species of tropical butterflies.
The inside hall features a "Butterflies of the World" exhibit along with exhibits of many other types of insects. At the present time there is a great exhibit that children can walk under that is full of orange headed roaches. It is quite intriquing.
The outdoor garden is host to many of the local species of butterflies.
More information is available at the web site Butterfly House
Harry Truman Library
Statue of Harry Truman outside the Library
Harry Truman Library -Independence, MO
The Harry Truman Library and Museum is a wonderful place to visit . The museum has two major ongoing exhibits Truman:The Presidential Years and Harry S. Truman: His Life and Times In addition it will have various traveling exhibits. You can check the website for the current exhibits Truman Library.
There is a library for research and an ongoing educational program in addition to the museum exhibits.
St. Joseph, Missouri
Pony Express, St. Joseph, MO
first rider leaves St. Joseph in 1860
If you are interested in seeing a great old western town, St. Joseph is the place to come. Their website claims that they are "Where the west official started getting wild" Stjomo
St. Joseph has 13 distinctive museums and over 50 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Come to St. Jo and see where the Pony Express started and Jesse James ended.
Alley Springs, MO
Alley Mill at Alley Springs
Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Ozark National Park
I have many fond memories of Alley Springs as a young girl. My friend and I used to go camping there with her parents and spent many a summer swimming in the spring fed waters or sitting and talking by the old mill.
The old red mill makes Alley Springs a very picturesque site. For more information or directions you can visit their website at Stateparks
home of Mark Twain
Children always seem to enjoy a visit to Mark Twain's hometown. In Hannibal you can explore Mark Twain's cave, visit his boyhood home and museum, or take a nice relaxing riverboat ride down the Mississippi.
For more information go to the website VisitHannibal
Hannibal and Mark Twain - inspiration for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer
Samuel Langhorne Clemens lived from 1835-1910. When he was 4 years old his parents moved to Hannibal, Missouri and this became the inspiration for many of his novels.
Writing under the pen name of Mark Twain he wrote many popular novels. Two of the most famous are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn .
These novels have become the favorites of children. I can remember my son reading and rereading Twains novels and being so excited when we were able to visit Hannibal and see the setting for the books.
Along with his novels, Mark Twain was also known for his quotations. I am sure you will enjoy this book full of his wonderful wit.
Precious Moments Park, Carthage, MO
Precious Moments Park
studio, chapel and much more
Carthage, Missouri is a small town just east of Joplin. It has turned an interest in Precious Moments figurines into a wonderful park. I visited there a few years back when there was just the Chapel and Studio and at that time it was well worth the visit.
From looking at their website Precious Moments today it has even more to offer. Along with the welcome center, chapel, and studio, it now offers several different shows and a nice little shuttle bus takes you between the various attractions.
Bid on a Precious Moment Figurine
You can get lots of good buys on collectibles on eBay.
Historic Clarksville, MO
Clarksville, MO - Mississippi River Town
Clarksville is a wonderful small town on the banks of the Mississippi. It was founded in 1817 and today you can wonder the streets and find many small shops full of antiques and artisans.
I took this photo on a fall visit to Clarksville. For more information visit Clarksvillemo