Get your kicks on Route 66. Missouri is the birthplace of the historic American highway. Drive from St. Louis to Springfield and on to Joplin, hitting the classic stops and eclectic roadside attractions along the way. These include Fanning 66 Outpost general store and the World’s Largest Rocking Chair, the 75 year old Wagon Wheel Motel and the opulent, Spanish Colonial Revival style Gillioz Theatre in Springfield.
Mississippi Corridor Forming the eastern border of Missouri, the Mississippi River has long been a focal point of life and commerce in the Show-Me State. Author Mark Twain grew up in Hannibal, along the Mississippi River, and it inspired much of his life and work. St. Louis is one of the largest cities found along the river and is part of the famous Blues Highway that runs to the south. Small river cities such as Ste. Genevieve have rich history and welcome visitors to experience life at a slower pace while enjoying modern amenities.
History and Heritage
History lovers enjoy traveling in Missouri, where they’ll find everything from historic sites and homes to museums and points of interest focusing on people such as author Mark Twain, outlaw Jesse James, animator Walt Disney and musician Scott Joplin. The Pony Express started in Missouri – St. Joseph, to be specific – and the first loaves of sliced bread sold on American store shelves were sold in Chillicothe.
There are several things for which Missouri is famous, one of which is music. Missouri is an important center of the jazz, blues, bluegrass and gospel genres. The state also played a major role in the evolution of both ragtime and, later, country music. Learn about the history of one of Missouri’s most famous genres, jazz, at the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City, which showcases the sights and sounds of this uniquely American art form. Activities include interactive exhibits, films and recorded music.
Home to the most free attractions in the U.S., outside the nation's capital, and of course, the Gateway Arch, the tallest national monument in America, St. Louis has an impressive collection of free, family-friendly attractions, including several found inside Forest Park. The park, which is larger than New York’s Central Park, is home to the Saint Louis Zoo and Saint Louis Art Museum amongst others. The new National Blues Museum celebrates this musical genre as the foundation of all modern American music.