The Gateway Arch is an iconic symbol of Saint Louis, and is recognizeable worldwide. It is made of stainless steel which shines and glimmers in the sunlight. The arch is the tallest structure in Saint Louis, and rises to a height of 630 feet (192 meters).
Because Saint Louis is the "Gateway to the West," city planners wanted to construct a monument to the spirit of the pioneers who departed from the city on their way west. A nationwide competition for the design of the monument was held in 1948. The soaring arch designed by Finnish architect, Eero Saarinen, was chosen as an appropriate monument to westward expansion.
Construction did not begin until 1963, but the project was completed only two years later, in 1965. Designed to last 1,000 years, the arch is anchored into the bedrock 60 feet (18 meters) into the ground, and is able to withstand high winds and earthquakes.
This young couple are dancing in the streets in downtown St. Louis over Labor Day Weekend at the Blues Festival. There is beer-food-music, and a good time. If you are ever in St. Louis over Labor Day, check out the Festival.
Hannibal is in a great location for a day trip from St. Louis.
Famous for being home to Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), it is located right on the Mississippi River and has much to offer visitors.
Besides Mark Twain's boyhood home, there's also a museum (which has original Norman Rockwells), a lighthouse built in honor of Twain, and several businesses on Main Street that are historic buildings in their own right. This main business district is but one of several historic districts in the town and county.
There is also a statue of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn on a hill with great views of the river.
Don't pay for the boyhood home visit - you can't actually go in - but just enjoy the town's historic buildings and river views.
The Museums at 18th & Vine are a pair of museums in Kansas City dedicated to the city's rich African-American history. They are fascinating. One museum is dedicated to jazz. The other half of the museum is the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. This part tells in glorious detail the history of the Negro Leagues, the teams, the players, the struggles the players went through just to play America's national pasttime.
In between the two museums are some pieces from general African-American history. It has amazing pieces such as actual slave chains. It is troubling yet interesting to see.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has classic European artists, contemporary artists, Asian art, & on the surrounding land, a fantastic sculpture garden including. This museum and its sculpture garden are pictured on my Missouri Overview page.
Harry S Truman was the USA's 33rd President and a very popular guy. He grew up in a small town just outside Kansas City near the Missouri-Kansas border. This town has not only the home to which he retired but also the church where he married Bess and the store where he had his first job. His presidential library is here as well.
Quaint is a word that is oftentimes over used for small, midwest towns but it is true of Independence. Besides President Truman's home, other homes are well-kept and stunning examples of several different eras of architecture.
The library shows his life as politician but the house, church, and shop show the average, small-town man behind the world stage.
Located just a couple of blocks from the Pony Express Museum, this home was the famous outlaw's home where he lived with his wife and kids under an assumed name. His notorious past caught up to him however, and he was shot and killed in this home in 1882.
This museum is educational and perfect for children who are learning or have learned about the wild west in school. But we adults find it pretty interesting too:-)
For a short while in American history brave young men raced their horses back and forth between Missouri and California. The Pony Express is one of those iconic pieces of America that lasts over the decades and centuries. Everyone has heard of it and in St. Joseph, you can learn all about it in the actual stables the real riders used.
The museum (which costs ~$4 to get in) is housed in the old Pony Express stables. You can see maps of their routes, their equipment, information about the riders, how and why the express came to an end, and finds from an archeological dig done in the 1990s.
Kids will love it especially because most riders weren't that old, making it easy for boys to imagine themselves in the riders' role.
It's located in an area of St. Joseph with lots of other historic stops all within walking distance so it makes a great stop on any road trip and, after reading what those riders went through, you'll be grateful you're riding through town in a car, not a horse.
Considering that Kansas City is the largest city in Missouri, to put anything else in front of it on things to do would be a stretch.
If you are heading to this great city, then you will find plenty to entertain you. Kansas City has many different options, from the sports teams like the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs, but also some of the best meat eating in the country is available here. Most premium steakhouses brag about their "Kansas City Bone-in Strip", well, here they just call it a strip.
There is also plenty of western heritage in Kansas City, including Fort Osage and the National Frontiers Trail. Also, don't miss the Mahaffie Stage Coach Stop and Farm. I am sure you can run into some mention of Jesse James somewhere in the mix. A little further north is the home of the Pony Express in St. Joseph.
Photo #1: Downtown Kansas City from Westin Crown Center.
Food and Family fun are a go in KC, so for more information, check out the link below to the Kansas City Tourism Board.
you have to see the cards if you visit st. louis and they are playing. people of st. louis pride themselves on being the #1 baseball fans in the country, and at their games, they are louder and more enthusiastic than any single crowd i've seen at a game. everyone gets into it, and there's no shame...just pure admiration for the home team.
This park is lovely, and it changes throughout the seasons, so you will always see it in a new way. When it's springtime, many people, especially those who live in the area, will exercise in the park. But there is more to do than rollerblade, bike, walk and jog on the paved trail that encircles and cuts through the park. There is a science museum, an art museum, a botanical garden with greenhouse, a memorial site, a lake to fish from, golfing, a restaurant, horseback riding, a soccer field, fountains, a theater and more.
Forest Park was one of my all time favorite places to visit when I was off from work or didn't want to go to class. By far, it is one of the best parks I have grown to love.
The Liberty Memorial is the only national monument in the USA officially dedicated to those who fought and died in the First World War between 1914-18 (although the USA only entered the war in 1917).
This modified-Greek design was the inspiration of New York architect H. van Buren Megonigle. Built of Indiana limestone, it features a 217-foot (66-m) tower and two Halls, one for a museum on WWI and the other as a meeting place for vetern's organizations. The tower has an 'eternal flame of freedom' that produces 'smoke' in the form of steam. The Memorial was dedicated on Nov. 1, 1921 in the presence of luminaries such as Vice-President Calvin Coolidge, General Pershing (America), Admiral Beatty (England) and Marshal Foch (France).
I took this photo from the glass-walkway near Union Station, looking into the western sun, so I later drove up to the Memorial itself for a closer look and more photos.
The best way to appreciate the Liberty Memorial is to approach it from the west along its manicured grounds as seen in this view.
Near the top of the Tower are four 40-foot tall statues representing honour, courage, patriotism and sacrifice.
On either side at the bottom are two hooded sphinx-like figures. 'Memory' faces east toward Flander's Fields in France while 'Future' faces west where the 1921 architect thought new empires would grow.
As it turned out, I was here the day after Canada's official November 11 Remembrance Day holiday, in which the sacrifices of those involved in World War I are acknowledged at 11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month - the exact moment when the Peace Accord took effect in 1918.
Located adjacent to the Crown Center shopping area and between the Hyatt Hotel and Union Station, Washington Park is a nice oasis of green in the downtown core of Kansas City. It was not very busy when I was there in November, but the grass was still green and it was nice to sit down for a bit on one of its many benches. That is the top of Union Station poking up out of the trees in the middle of the photo, so, if you don't feel like getting there inside the covered glass-walkway, you can take the scenic route like I did on this occasion!
The most prominent feature of the park is a bronze statue on a pedestal, dedicated to George Washington, America's first President. The statue depicts Washington during his War of Independence days while he was directing the actions of his army. It was erected in 1926 after more than 100,000 local citizens raised the necessary funds.
Great park. However, there are many hotels that claim to be "across the street." They are actually across a main road that is impossible to walk across to get to the park. So, you will have to drive over and pay to park or take a taxi anyway.
Expensive show, but I found it to be well worth the money. The food was great and extremely filling! I actually got to participate in the show. It is south versus north and you are seated on a side depending on where you're from.
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