Missouri is known as the Show Me State. According to legend, the state got that name because of a speech given by Congressman Williard Vandiver at the turn of the 20th century. In that speech, Vandiver spoke of the no nonsense attitude of the people living in Missouri. Vandiver said, “Frothy eloquence neither convinces me or satisfies me. I’m from Missouri. You’ve got to show me.”
There are plenty of places to see in Missouri and much to do. Missouri is home to the picturesque Ozark Mountains as well as the iconic St. Louis Arch. In order to really understand the beauty of Missouri, you have to see these sights for yourself! Here are the top six best places to visit in Missouri.
The St. Louis Arch
The St. Louis Arch or the Gateway Arch is symbolic of Missouri’s status as the gateway to the west. This nickname came because many of the pioneers who went west seeking riches started their journey in St. Louis. Visitors to the arch can take an elevator 630 feet to the top of the structure and see the stunning views of St. Louis and the surrounding area.
The Missouri Botanical Garden
This Victorian Garden is also known as Shaw’s Garden by the locals. Henry Shaw, who founded the garden was a well known botanist. The garden takes up almost 80 acres of land and also features a rain forest themed garden, an English garden, and a Japanese garden. There are also a number of festivals held each year at the park.
Branson is one of the most popular places to visit in Missouri besides the St. Louis Arch. In fact, more people visit Branson each year than visit the Grand Canyon! Although this town is well known for its music shows and theater, there’s truly something here for everyone.
Even if you aren’t fond of shows and concerts, you might enjoy the town’s other attractions like Marvel Cave, Silver Dollar City theme park, and the historical exhibits on Ozark culture.
Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Ha Ha Tonka State Park is located near the Lake of the Ozarks. This park has beautiful scenery and also features its own mansion. The mansion was built over a century ago and has been described as looking like a European castle. The castle got its name from the many springs on the property which are said to be “smiling waters”.
Visit Mark Twain’s childhood home in Hannibal
In the mid 1840’s, a young man named Samuel Clemens lived in Hannibal, Missouri. When he grew up, Sam would take on the pen name Mark Twain and write stories about the adventures of children. Some people believe that their adventures were loosely based on the ones that he had during his childhood.
Visitors to this town can learn about the Pony Express, which was begun in the town. They can also see the home where well known outlaw Jesse James once lived. The town has no less than 13 museums and hosts a number of popular festivals each year.