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It’s fair to say that most of you probably don’t think of Missouri as a state that’s packed full of entertaining things to do as a tourist. But, it could end up being one of North America’s most hidden gems. You’ve got the big names like Florida and New York who steal all the headlines, but this state has plenty going for it as well.
To prove this point, here are some pretty persuasive reasons to visit Missouri in the future.
You have to see Kansas City
Kansas rose to fame thanks to that quote from Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. Okay, maybe it didn’t, but I bet that’s what most of you thought of as soon as you saw the word Kansas! Contrary to what many believe, this is one of the best cities in the entire country. There is so much for you to do here; it’s a tourist’s paradise! There are loads of excellent museums for you to explore, including the widely acclaimed National World War I Museum. Bring some tissues with you because it gets very, very emotional. There’s so much beauty in this city as well, there are some massive fountains that people even take a dip in when the suns out.
If you like art and history, then you’ll love Kansas City with all the fantastic museums and places that you can visit for free. Plus, the food is pretty damn amazing as well – but we’ll get onto that later!
There’s an impressive wine country
A lot of people don’t know this, but some of the best vineyards in the US can be found in Missouri. The wine country here is primarily located in Hermann, and it’s packed full of exciting things to pass the time. You could go on one of the many wine trails in this area and take a tour around the different farms with their dark wine cellars full of delicious treats. Of course, there will be plenty of taste testing as well, so it’s basically just a more adventurous way of drinking wine all day long. It’s frowned upon in a bar on your own, but it’s celebrated out in wine country!
There are other events on throughout the year as well, and you will get to enjoy plenty of fun activities on one of the trails through wine country. So, if you love the great outdoors and have a passion for wine, then this is a pretty good reason to visit Missouri.
The Arcadia Valley
This is a region in Missouri that can be found near St Louis. It’s one of the most scenic places in the state, with some glorious natural sights for you to marvel at. It’s a bit of a mountainous area, so make sure you wear appropriate climbing for some long walks and heights. There are loads of places you can visit here, but my top pick has to be Elephant Rock State Park. You will find absolutely giant boulders that are quite literally the size of elephants – hence the name. These are safe to climb as well, so you’ll have loads of fun trying to get to the top. It also happens to be a wonderful park area with picnic tables and loads of stunning wildlife.
Again, the Arcadia Valley proves that there’s some gorgeous natural beauty in Missouri that you just can’t afford to miss. Give it a visit, and you may as well spend some time in the impressive city of St Louis while you’re at it.
Visit Forest Park in St. Louis
Speaking of St. Louis, it has so much to offer any tourist that’s got a few days to kill. Similarly to Kansas City, there are plenty of free museums and attractions for you to take it. So, it’s a relatively cheap place to visit – as is Missouri in general. But, the main thing to see is the massive Forest Park. If you’re unaware, it’s recognized as one of the largest park areas in the entire country. This is going to shock you, but it’s around 500 acres bigger than Central Park in New York. So, picture how big that is, then think about how big that makes Forest Park! There’s a fantastic zoo there as well, along with a host of nearby restaurants and museums. Trust me when I say you can spend a day or two here and still leave a few stones unturned.
As a city, St. Louis is a beautiful place to say with a range of lovely sights and scenes. As mentioned, everything is reasonably inexpensive here as well, so it’s well worth stopping off at for a few days during a tour of this state.
Taste authentic Missouri BBQ
I touched upon the food in Missouri when speaking about Kansas, but I had to save the best til last. Missouri is famous for having some of the best BBQ in the world. It’s fastly becoming a hotspot for foodies, taking over from many of the other classic BBQ spots in the US – like Texas. An authentic Missouri BBQ is best experienced in Kansas City, and it has a distinct flavor and style. It’s all about rich sauces that cover succulent meat that’s been slowly smoked for hours on end. This brings out an intense flavor that you’ve probably never had before. I suggest bringing a spare pair of socks as this food will quite literally knock your socks off.
It will please you to know there are some BBQ trails in this state, but you don’t have to go BBQ crazy. All I’ll say is that you can’t leave without trying traditional burnt ends. It might not seem like an appealing name, but the delicious crispiness – combined with the smokey flavor – it’s something you’ll dream about for years on end.
I hope you found this helpful, and I’m almost certain it’s convinced you that Missouri is not a place to be scoffed at. If you’re planning a trip this year, then maybe it deserves a spot on your travel list.