Last updated: 10:00 PM ET, Sat June 25 2022
Historic route 66 highway sign in Missouri, USA. (photo via StockPhotoAstur / iStock / Getty Images Plus)


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A view from a bluff on Monegaw Springs, Missouri overlooking the Osage River at dusk. (photo via tomofbluesprings / iStock / Getty Images Plus)
A view from a bluff on Monegaw Springs, Missouri overlooking the Osage River at dusk. (photo via tomofbluesprings / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

“Missouri Loves Company” is more than a tag line on the popular T-shirt. The Show Me state proves that it is an expert on hospitality almost as soon as you step off the plane or close your car door. And, throughout the region, you’ll be amazed at the number and variety of things to see and do on vacation here.

In Jamesport, for example, you’ll find a wealth of Amish culture and history; the quiet warmth of a community that enjoys the simple things in life. You can shop for their produce and crafts and witness their horse-drawn transportation and a farming-style of years gone by. Of course, you could spend many vacations exploring St. Louis alone, from the Arch, the tallest national monument in the United States, to the Science Center, to the Anheuser Busch Brewery; from the St. Louis Children’s Aquarium, with its many hands-on exhibits and more than 10,000 animals to Six Flags St. Louis.

Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.
PHOTO: Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri (Photo via f11photo / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Or, how about a visit to one of the top adventure travel spots in the U.S. - Bonne Terre Mines. The lower three levels of the mine, which operated from 1860 to 1962, now form a seventeen-mile-long illuminated underground "Billion Gallon Lake." The lake was made famous when it was filmed and dived by Jacques Cousteau, and now is home to the world’s largest inland diving resort. Boat tours also are available on the “Billion Gallon Lake” and the two upper levels of the mine are lighted and used for one hour guided walking tours. You can also delve into the underground with a trip through the Mark Twain Cave Complex in the Hannibal area, 120 miles from St. Louis. You can even take a trip to the Edge of Hell at the Edge of Hell Haunted House in Kansas City. Among the many scary sites to see here is a live 24-foot Reticulated Python; fed regularly, the contented serpent generally just winks as harried guests of the haunted house hurry past.

Missouri also is home to the "Live Music Show Capital of the World," Branson, MO, with its 50 live performance theaters, three pristine lakes, 12 championship golf courses, an international award-winning theme park, dozens of attractions and museums, a Historic Downtown district and much more.

In Kansas City, you’ll find everything from swinging Jazz to fantastic food, fascinating museums and some of the best shopping anywhere. And just 15 miles from Kansas City is Fleming Park. The vast array of recreational activities here center at Lake Jacomo, Blue Springs Lake, two campgrounds, picnic grounds; Native Hoofed Animal Enclosure and living history museum, Missouri Town 1855. In Independence, Missouri you’ll enjoy historic homes, the National Frontier Trails Museum, the fascinating Leila’s Hair Museum, and the Truman Presidential Museum and Library.

Missouri has a continental climate, but with considerable local and regional variation. The average annual temperature is 50° in the northwest, but about 60° in the southeast. Kansas City has a normal daily mean temperature of 54°, ranging from 26° in January to 79° in July; St. Louis has an annual mean of 56°, with 29° in January and 80° in July.