Missouri is often called the gateway to the west. After crossing the Mississippi River, pioneers felt as if they were on the brink of a new world. Many people from the southern states settled in Missouri and brought their slaves with them. They settled along the Missouri River in the central, fertile part known as Little Dixie. Missouri was important to the political scene of the United States because of the Missouri Compromise

which regulated slavery in the Louisiana purchase and areas west.

The Show Me State nickname refers to the practicality of its citizens. In other words, they believe what they can see. Missouri is the 24th state of the United States. The state animal is the Missouri mule and the state musical instrument is the fiddle. It is a mid-western state with a large southern state influence. Largely agricultural, the main crop is soybeans. And Missouri is the starting point for both the Oregon Trail and the Pony Express.

Our first stop has to be Branson. It is the Live Music Show Capitol of the World. A lot of the theaters are either built to showcase famous stars or have a specific theme. If you like music at all you'll find at least one theater to enjoy. But that's not all you'll find in Branson. There is also a wide array of water sports, biking, hiking, horseback riding, caves, and scenic tours. The Butterfly Palace and Rainforest Adventure has thousands of butterflies, the Emerald Forest Mirror Maze, and a coconut tree climb. Table Rock State Park is next to Table Rock Lake. Lots of water activities. There are the usual outdoor fun things to do too. And there are a couple of zipline tours of Branson.

The Missouri Botanical Garden in St Louis was founded in 1859 as a place to study and display plants. It is the oldest botanical garden in the United States and a world leader in botanical research. It covers 79 acres with gardens, fountains, statues, and buildings. They recommend a minimum of three hours for a complete tour. They offer gardening classes as well as help with your gardening challenges.

At Prairie State Park is Missouri's largest tallgrass prairie. It's a good place for birders and you might see some bison while you're at it. Ritter Springs Park is good for barred owls and pileated woodpeckers.

Bonne Terra Mines were a source of iron ore until 1962 when the owners abandoned the mines. The mines filled with water creating the Billion Gallon Lake. 500,000 watts of light illuminate the lake. There are a total of 24 diving trails to explore in this lake. There are more than 6,000 mapped caves in Missouri, including Marvel Cave and Bridal Cave. Taum Sauk Mountain is the highest point in Missouri and is great for climbing.

Missouri has such a wide variety of things to see and do. Choose your favorites and see and do them. Then let me know what you did. I'm always up for a new adventure. I'm trying to decide whether to see the Beverly Hillbillies car, the place where Jesse James was killed, or the world's largest ball of string. I know! I'll see them all. Plenty of links below to find you own places to explore. Have fun!


Official Missouri Site
Travel Guide
Branson Vacation Guide
Missouri State Parks
Department of Conservation Field Guide
Missouri Botanical Garden
National Parks
Legends of The Show Me State
Offbeat Tourist Attractions


  1. The clarity at Table Rock is very nice for diving.When they have a sign that says hill in the southern part, be ready for a big one.Lots of nature to explore.

  2. Looks like a beautiful place to visit :O)


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