August 10th is Missouri’s 197th birthday! On this day in 1821, Missouri became the 24th state in the Union. To celebrate our great state, here are 12 reasons why Missouri is the BEST state in the nation!
1. Our state capital is stunning.
Nestled on the banks of the Missouri River, our gorgeous state capitol is made from Missouri limestone. Atop the awe-inspiring capitol dome, 260 feet above the ground, is a bronze figure of Ceres, goddess of grain, who represents our state's agricultural heritage. Free guided tours are given seven days a week, except Christmas Day, New Year's Day, Easter and Thanksgiving.
2. We have a whole world to explore underground.
If you think Missouri is beautiful, just wait till you get below the surface. There are more than 6,000 magical and mysterious caves in Missouri. Many people refer to our state as the Cave State. There are many caves, owned both publicly and privately, that are open throughout the year for tours.
3. We're still a prairie state.
Hundreds of years ago, more than a third of the state was covered in native tall grasses. Today conservationists are working to preserve our prairies. If you visit Prairie State Park in Mindenmines, you can see these beautiful prairie lands for yourself. Keep an eye out for bison too!
4. Missouri is the Gateway to the West!
Missouri is the birthplace of the American West. Without Missouri and our mighty rivers, our country would not be what it is today. The Arch celebrates our pioneer heritage and is one of the most recognizable landmarks in the county.
5. You can have a blast in our many state parks.
Missouri State Parks might just be one of our best resources. We have more than 90 state-owned parks and historic sites waiting to be explored. Your can hike, swim, bike, fish, camp, boat, and much more in our parks. Best of all, park access is always free!
6. Our barbecue is outta this world.
If you haven't had barbecue from the Show Me State then you're missing out! Kansas City is regarded as one of the best cities for barbecue in the nation! They even invented burnt ends. You can find amazing barbecue all over our state — believe us you can never have too much barbecue.
7. You can find nationally acclaimed attractions in Missouri.
Have you ever wondered where the best zoo in the nation is? It's in Missouri! Year after year, the Saint Louis Zoo is voted as the best free zoo in the U.S. We also have one of the largest wildlife attractions in the world (Wonders of Wildlife in Springfield). Other nationally recognized attractions include the City Museum in St. Louis, Union Station in Kansas City, the St. Louis Art Museum, and the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City. That's just the beginning — the list of amazing attractions goes on and on.
8. Missouri is wine county.
If you think Napa Valley is the best place for wine enthusiasts, you're missing out! Some of the best, award-winning wines are made right here in Missouri. In fact, Missouri was the first established viticultural area in the nation. Visit Hermann, Augusta, Ste. Genevieve, or Weston, for a taste of Missouri's wine culture.
9. We know good baseball.
Missouri has TWO world champion baseball teams. Whether you're loyal to the Royals or the Cardinals — you're going to see some great baseball. Plus, both stadiums have been renovated and offer some pretty awesome entailment, food, and drinks.
10. We've invented some pretty important stuff.
From ice cream cones and sliced bread to the microchip and the lear jet, Missouri is the birthplace of many incredible things.
11. Missouri rivers were made for floating.
You can't call yourself a true Missourian if you haven't spent time on our rivers. Missouri is one of the most popular destinations for all-day float trips. We have tons of great little rivers that are cool and calm all summer long.
12. Our state is gorgeous and full of history.
There are so many beautiful places to see in Missouri. From stunning parks to ancient history, we have a little bit of everything. You can spend your whole life exploring the Show Me State and that's just what we plan to do! Get out and see something new in your home state.
How do you plan to celebrate being a Missourian? What makes you proud to be from the Show Me State? Tell us in the comments below!