America is truly a beautiful country. I’m not sure Missouri gets enough credit for its contribution to that. These places prove that even in the middle states, without beaches and constant sunshine, the USA is a beautiful place. Mountains, fields, rivers and streams, amazing history displayed through unique and wonderful architecture…America, Missouri, the beautiful.
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Waterfall at Dillard Mill
The Dillard Mill is a privately owned State Historic Site on Huzzah Creek in Crawford County. The mill preserves a water-powered gristmill.
2. Capital Building, Jefferson city
This 1917 building houses the legislative and executive branches of the government of Missouri and the Missouri General Assembly. It is located at 201 West Capitol Avenue. It is the third capitol building since the start of Jefferson City. The other two burned down. The beautiful domed building was designed by the New York architectural firm of Tracy and Swartwout. The dome rises 238 feet and is topped by a bronze statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture. Rising above the bluffs of the Missouri River, it is the first view of Jefferson City for travelers arriving from the north.
3. Alley Spring and Mill, in the Ozark National Scenic Waterways in southeastern Missouri
Bluffs along Alley Spring
Alley Spring is located six miles west of Eminence on Route 106. The scenic Alley Mill, or "Old Red Mill" is located on the springs and is part of Ozark National Scenic Riverways. It is operated as an Ozarks history museum.
4. Chain of Rocks Bridge, St. Louis
The Chain of Rocks Bridge spans the Mississippi River on the north edge of St. Louis. For a time, it was used as part of historic Route 66 to cross over the river. Once a motor route, it now only takes walkers and bikers over the river.
The Gateway Arch is visible downriver from the bridge. In addition, there are two castle-like water intakes for the St. Louis Waterworks.
5. Trail of Tears State Park
Covering 3,415 acres along the Mississippi River in Cape Girardeau County, this state park stands as a memorial to the Cherokee Nation Americans who died on the Trail of Tears.
6. Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Castle ruins at Haha Tonka State Park
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a 3,700-acre state park on the Niangua arm of the Lake of the Ozarks about five miles south of Camdenton. The park’s most notable feature is the ruins of a stone castle. The gorgeous park also features caves, sinkholes, and bluffs overlooking the lake.
7. Cathedral Basilica, St. Louis
The Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis is a cathedral of the Roman Catholic Church located in the Central West End. The 1914 architectural marvel is the mother church of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the seat of its archbishop. The cathedral is named for Saint Louis. It was designated a basilica by Pope John Paul II in 1997.
8. Country Club Plaza, Kansas City
Locally referred to as “The Plaza,” the Country Club Plaza is officially a privately owned American shopping center in the Country Club District of Kansas City. It consists of 18 separate buildings built in a distinctive Seville Spain theme and are on different blocks. The Plaza is located mostly west of Main Street, north of Brush Creek and blends into the Country Club neighborhood around it.
Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza is named in the Project for Public Spaces' list 60 of the World's Great Places, and is an internationally recognized tourist location.
9. Meramec Caverns
Jungle Room - Meramec Caverns
Meramec Caverns is a 4.6-mile cavern system in the Ozarks, near Stanton. They were formed from the erosion of large limestone deposits over millions of years. This tourist attraction boasting Pre-Columbian Native American artifacts is considered one of the primary attractions along the former U.S. Highway 66. More than fifty billboards along Interstate 44 will make sure you are one of the annual 150,000 visitors, making it the most-visited cave in Missouri.
10. Dusk in the hills at Meramec State Park
Meramec State Park is located near Sullivan, about 60 miles from St. Louis, along the Meramec River. The park has diverse ecosystems such as hardwood forests and glades. In addition, there are over 40 caves located throughout the park. The most famous is Fisher Cave, which is located near the campgrounds. The park borders the Meramec Conservation Area.
11. Bonne Terre Mine
One of the world’s largest producers of lead ore until its closing in 1962, the Bonne Terre Mine is one of the world’s largest man-made caverns. It was founded in 1860 as one of the earliest deep-earth lead mines. It maintains a constant 65-degree temperature year-round, never affected by the weather.
The lower three levels of the mine form a one billion gallon, seventeen-mile long lake. It is illuminated by more than 500,000 watts of stadium lighting, and boat tours are available. It is also home to the largest fresh water scuba diving venue in the world.
12. Taum Sauk Mountain State Park
11.7 square miles make up Taum Sauk Mountain State Park in the Missouri Ozarks. It is adjacent to John's Shut-ins state park, nature’s water park. Within, it contains Missouri's highest waterfall, Mina Sauk Falls.
13. Courtois Creek
Huzzah Conservation Area near Onondaga Cave State Park. Bourbon.
14. Roaring River State Park
The Roaring River Hatchery
Roaring River State Park is a 4,093-acre park located about 8 miles south of Cassville in Barry County. It offers trout fishing on the Roaring River, hiking on seven different trails, and the Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center, open seasonally.
15. St. Louis Gateway Arch
The legendary Gateway Arch is a 630-foot monument in St. Louis. Built as a monument to the westward expansion of the United States, it is the world’s tallest arch, tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere, and Missouri’s tallest accessible building. It is the centerpiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial. It has also become the symbol of St. Louis worldwide.
16. Lake of the Ozarks
The large reservoir that is the Lake of the Ozarks was created by impounding the Osage River in the northern part of the Ozarks in central Missouri. It has a surface area of 54,000 acres and 1,150 miles of shoreline. The main channel of the Osage Arm stretches 92 miles from end to end.
What are your favorites sites that represent Missouri? Have you been to any of these places? Would you like to go? Share your opinions, photos, and comments below.