Missouri is full of towns with historic, thriving main streets. Especially this time of year when there are holiday lights and celebrations going on, it’s a wonderful way to spend the day visiting shops, grabbing a bite to eat, or learning about the history of the town. Here are a few examples of Missouri’s Main Street or downtown culture.
1. St. Charles
Historic downtown St. Charles is always a great place to visit, especially this time of year when they have their annual Christmas Traditions festival. Shopping, historic buildings, great restaurants and charming decorations make St. Charles a must-visit. But here’s a summary for you:
Visit historic downtown Parkville for the eclectic shopping choices featuring art, antiques, boutiques, home décor, fashion and so much more. You’ll also have some great food choices, and enjoy festivals like Christmas on the River and Santa’s House (going on right now!)
for more information.
Lexington is a tribute to the past with four unique historic districts. The Downtown Historic district is a great place to shop in antique and specialty shops, dine in charming restaurants, and stay in an interesting inn or bed and breakfast. They offer walking and driving tours and many of the buildings go back as far as the middle 1800s, even from the time of the 1861 Battle of Lexington during the Civil War. The 1847 Greek Revival Courthouse is the oldest of its kind in continuous use west of the Mississippi River, complete with a cannonball that has become a symbol of the town. Visit
Downtown Chillicothe is unique for their Main Street Murals, a total of 18 original, hand-painted pieces of art depicting the town’s history on the downtown buildings. Besides the best in food, shopping, and amazing murals, you’ll also want to check out the Silver Moon Plaza. The plaza is a multi-use outdoor gathering space complete with fountains, benches, and plenty of room for concerts, events, and special occasions. There are two historic districts in Chillicothe; the Courthouse Square Historic District and the Commercial Historic District, with buildings dating as far back as the town’s founding in 1837. For more information, visit
Clinton's Historic Downtown Square is Missouri's largest, and is quite charming. Browse along the Victorian setting enjoying unique shops, a historical museum, and all centered around the 1893 Henry County Courthouse. Don’t miss the Memorial Bandstand, the Soldiers Memorial and the granite Historic Fountain. During the holidays, enjoy Christmas lights, banners, lighted snowflakes and other décor depicting the Christmas season. Check out this video for more information.
6. Lee's Summit
Over 40 locally owned specialty shops and boutiques are just some of what you will find in downtown Lee’s Summit. Amazing and varied types of restaurants to choose from appeal to any palate. The Lee’s Summit Historical Society Museum in the old train depot built in 1905 is also a must-see featuring maps, photographs and artifacts from Lee’s Summit’s past. Special events such as Santa Visits Downtown Lee’s Summit, and Farmer’s Market Holiday Mart, both occurring now, are planned throughout the year. Visit
for more information.
The Downtown Riverfront and Main Street Retail District in Warsaw covers a 36 square block area. Featuring unique shops, antiques, and a variety of local restaurants, this district is sure to provide a remarkable experience.
Historic Main Street in Weston features a large variety of shops, restaurants, entertainment and attractions. Don’t miss the Main Street Galleria, a unique and special shopping experience, offering an array of antiques, decor and giftware. The McCormick Country Store is the place to go for McCormick products and gift items, and you can’t leave without checking out the National Silk Art Museum, The Farmer’s House Market, the Tin Kitchen or the West Historical Museum. Grab a bite to eat at the Avalon Café or the St. George Hotel. For more information, visit
9. Ste. Genevieve
Previously featured in great detail in
a previous post
, beautiful historic small town Ste. Genevieve is filled with amazing architecture, old world culture, wineries, shopping and so much more! Care has been taken to preserve the past, celebrated through re-creations, celebrations, and lots and lots of food. Don’t miss the Ste. Genevieve Museum, home to everything from Native American Indian artifacts, a scale model train, an 18th century French flute, and even some of John J. Audubon’s stuffed birds. Visit
for more information.
Joplin is a beautiful and dynamic community in southwest Missouri with much to offer. The vibrant downtown provides opportunities for great shopping, dining and just wandering. Visit Joplin Hope Wall, a graffiti mural, a memorial for a horrible terrible that hit Joplin. You can also see the Murals at City Hall, visit the Local Color Art Gallery or Phoenix Fired Arts, see a concert at Pro Musica, or check out the antique and collectible mall Reclaim It America. For more information, visit
Historic Downtown Branson is a destination with a wide variety of restaurants, retail shops, entertainment, and unique attractions. With special events like Branson’s Downtown Christmas, and so much to see, well, let’s let Sparky tell you about it…
Historic uptown Jackson, centered around the stately courthouse square has remained a thriving commercial hub throughout Jackson's history. It features a variety of specialty stores, businesses, restaurants, and so much more. Uptown Jackson Revitalization Organization is dedicated to preserving the history and supporting local uptown businesses, and puts on events like Small Business Saturday, and a grand Holiday parade. For more information, visit
What is your favorite Main Street to visit in Missouri? Have you been to any of these towns? Are there others we may not have included this time? Share in the comments below.