Fun things to do in Missouri

  • Approach to Liberty Memorial Tower
    Approach to Liberty Memorial Tower
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  • ENTRANCE TO  THE HARD ROCK CAFE  ST.LOUIS
    ENTRANCE TO THE HARD ROCK CAFE ...
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  • THE SOLDIERS MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM  ST.LOUIS
    THE SOLDIERS MEMORIAL AND MUSEUM ...
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Most Viewed Things to Do in Missouri

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    Liberty Memorial

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 25, 2008

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    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.

    Liberty Memorial
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    Former Champ

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Nov 27, 2004

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    When it was built in 1931, the 482-foot Kansas City Power & Light building was the tallest west of the Mississippi River. For the city, this Indiana limestone-clad building also represented a style change with its Art Deco features. These include stylized geometric surface decorations and stepbacks that allow it to be floodlit at night. In addition, the 6-storey shaft at the building's apex features prismatic glass panels and alternating multi-coloured lights designed to showcase the excitement of electricity. One quirk is that the building does not have any windows on its west side because an identical tower was to be added there. The Great Depression, which struck during the building of the first tower, put a stop to that plan!

    The KCP&L building was a nice sight to behold on the evening skyline!

    Kansas City Power & Light Building
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    Liberty Memorial Tower

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 25, 2008

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    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.

    Approaching Liberty Memorial
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    Now This is a Room!!

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Nov 27, 2004

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    This interior view of Union Station shows the Grand Hall, with it's 95-foot ceiling and three 3,500-pound chandeliers. The huge arched doorway leads into another long room that today is once again handling rail traffic.

    Thanks to the recent renovations, this Hall is surrounded by small restaurants and shops as well as the bar area visible on the elevated platform. Out of sight, just to the right of where I'm standing is Pierpont's, a posh restaurant where I enjoyed a great meal. Other parts of Union Station hold live and 3D theatres as well as a science centre.

    This building is also noted for the '1933 Union Street Massacre' as a result of a gunfight that broke out when friends of mobster Frank Nash tried to free him while he was being transported through the station. Four law enforcement officers and Nash himself died. The eventual long-time director of the FBI, J. Edgar Hoover, first came to prominence as a result of this event.

    Union Station's Grand Hall
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    Union Station

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Nov 27, 2004

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    Built in 1914 to handle the increasing rail traffic serving the American mid-west, the Beaux-Arts style Union Station handled 220 trains in a single day during its peak years. This 5-storey building encompasses 850,000 square feet and originally had 900 rooms.

    The building had a waiting room that could hold 10,000 people, it's own power plant and various restaurants and shops. However, with the increasing popularity of air-travel, the rail traffic gradually dwindled away until the building was finally abandoned by Amtrak in 1974.

    In 1999, Union Station was brought back to life as one of the main meeting places in Kansas City, thanks to a $258 million refurbishment project. I was really impressed by the building on my two visits (see next Tip for an inside view).

    The Majestic Union Station

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    Saint Louis: Is It a Big City or a Small Town?

    by deecat Updated May 9, 2004

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    Even though Saint Louis has 350,000+ population, it still has a small town flavor.Two Interstates can bring you to St. Louis, I70 or I55
    Why visit St. Louis? For starters, it is the GATEWAY TO THE WEST. Where the Mississippi & Missouri Rivers meet, is where Meriwether Lewis & William Clark started their expedition to open up the west.
    Another reason to visit St. Louis is to see the largest collection of mosaic art in the world at the St. Louis Cathedral Bacilica. Or perhaps because it has one of the most well respected BOTANICAL GARDENS in the world. Could it be to see the nation's tallest manmade monument, THE GATEWAY ARCH? While there, don't forget to see the museum tucked beneath the arch called the MUSEUM OF WESTWARD EXPANSION. Maybe you are a railroad enthusiasts. Then see the 102-year-old UNION STATION, a two-block-long gray limestone building with a red-tiled roof & a Watch Tower that is 230 feet high. Even though it closed in 1978, it has been refurbished as a shopping, dining, hotel-staying extravagaza.
    Animal lovers won't want to miss one of the country's finest zoos, ST. LOUIS ZOO The zoo is located in one of the largest, most beautiful parks called FOREST PARK where the Art Museum, History Museum, The MUNY, & a Public Golf Course all reside!
    There are also the Riverboat Cruises, Casino Boats, The Anheuser-Busch Brewery Tour, The Cardinal Baseball Team, or The Rams Football Team.
    If you have children, see GRANT'S FARM, THE MAGIC HOUSE, PURINA FARMS, ST. LOUIS SCIENCE CENTER, THE MINIATURE MUSEUM OF GREATER ST. LOUIS, or THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB MUSEUM OF THE DOG.
    If cusine is why you travel, then you must eat at TONY'S RESTAURANT, go to one of the authentic Italian Restaurants onTHE HILL, or try the famous TED DREWES FROZEN CUSTARD

    There's something for everyone in St. Louis, Missouri.

    Union Station, Saint Louis, Missouri
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    Missouri's State Capitol: Jefferson City

    by deecat Updated May 10, 2004

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    Right in the MIDDLE of the state on Highway 50 is Missouri's capitol, Jefferson City. It dominates the bluffs of the Missouri River in Jefferson City. The city used to be called Jefferson Landing. The Landing still exists today; one of the busiest centers where the Amtrak station, the Lohman Building, the Union Hotel, and the Maus House all reside.
    Many people come to "Jeff City", as it is affectionately called, as they ride the KATY Trail. Some people come here for the beautiful Bed & Breakfasts. A favorite is JEFFERSON INNat 801 West High Street. The Innkeeper, Geri Sims, welcomes her guests to her 1920s brick home that is five blocks from downtown. There are three rooms with private baths. Guests use the spacious common areas and enjoy the antique furniture and decor. A full breakfast is served. (573)635-7196 or (800)5305009. Rates: $75.00 per night.

    If you love ice cream go to CENTRAL DAIRY at 610 Madison Street for old-fashioned ice cream at reasonable prices.
    State government in Missouri takes place inside the domed State Capitol which rises hundreds of feet above ground level and is topped by a bronze statue of Ceres, goddess of agriculture. It an architectual delight with its 48-foot columns on the north side, its 30-foot wide grand stairway, and its bronze front doors, each 13 by 18 feet (the largest cast since the Roman era!)
    On the first floor of the Capitol is the State Museum with paintings and sculptures.
    This Capitol was completed in 1917, but it is the third Capitol in Jefferson City. (the other two burned down!) Believe it or not, it was constructed for about $4,000,000, including the site and the furnishings. Statically speaking, it is "five stories high, 437 feet long, 300 feet wide in the center and 200 feet wide in the wings. The dome is 238 feet high and the height of the wings is 88 feet. It includes 5000,000 sq. feet of floor space."
    Don't miss this magnificent building while in Jefferson City.
    Photo from State Pamphlet

    State Capitol, Jefferson City, Missouri
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    Branson, Missouri: "Neon and Nature"

    by deecat Written May 10, 2004

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    Branson's Chamber of Commerse dubs Branson as "a unique combination of neon and nature". I have to agree with them. When I first saw Branson, I thought that I was entering "little Vegas"! It has a "strip" just as Vegas does; there are neon flasing signs; gawking tourist abound; it's building after building of Theaters or Hotels.
    Branson boasts of forty "magnificent theaters, three spectacular lakes, twelve championship golf courses, three exciting theme parks, dozens of family entertainment centers, hundreds of restaurants...all nestled in the majestic Ozark Mountains..." All of this is true. Some people have the idea that Branson is all Country Music...that is not true. When we were there in 2003, we attended three shows, and none were country music.
    We stayed at a Time Share on a golf course and golfed four times that week.
    We did eat out several times; most places are casual and inexpensive. However, in my restaurant tips, I write of one really special Greek Restaurant.
    I realize that many people go back to Branson year after year to see the new shows; once was enough for my husband and I. It is not that we disliked it; we arrived we saw shows, ate out, golfed, shopped and feel there is no need to do it again.
    My suggestions for shows to see:
    The Branson Variety Theater with SPIRIT OF THE DANCE and BROADWAY!THE STAR-SPANGLED CELEBRATION.

    The Grand Palace offers "Biggest Stars" Concert Series.

    Historic Owen Theatre with Elvis and the Superstars.

    Starlite Theatre Lost in the 50's.

    Musical Palace Theatre "1 Hits of the 60's.

    Branson Mall Music TheatreOsmond Brothers Morning Show.
    I think everyone should experience this American heartland Vegas just once!

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    The Great River Road

    by deecat Updated May 11, 2004

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    We did not have enough time to do it all, but if we had more time, we would have done the entire trip on the GREAT RIVER ROAD. What is it, you ask? It is the nation's oldest and longest scenic road....3,000 miles along a network of highways that begin in Canada as it follows the Mississippi River from Lake Itasca, Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico. There is really one "official" route, but the Great River Road is now marked on both sides of the river.
    Seven Great River Road Interpretive Center scattered along the route in the state of Missouri:
    1. Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal.
    2. Great River Road Interpretive Center and Clarksville Eagle Center in Clarksville.
    3. Jefferson National Expansion Memorial (The Gateway Arch) in St. Louis.
    4. Golden Eagle River Museum in St. Louis.
    5. Great River Road Interpretive Center in Ste. Genevieve.
    6. Trail of Tears State Park in Jackson.
    7. New Madrid Historical Museum in New Madrid.

    The idea for the road began in Missouri with A.P. Greensfelder who wanted to make a wonderful roadway along the mississippi River; he persisted until it became reality. In 1938, all 10 Mississippi River states joined together to form the MRPC, the Mississippi River Parkway. The road has parks, bikeways, and recreational trails because the MRPC has supervised it.
    The ten river states are: Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, MISSOURI, Tennesee, Wisconsin, and the province of Ontario, Canada.
    In Missouri the route includes Hannibal,Clarksville, West Alton, Saint Charles, Saint Louis, Imperial,Kimmswick,Herculaneum,Sainte Genevieve,Kaskaskia Island and Saint Mary,Perryville,CapeGirardequ,New Madrid,Caruthersville. There are other places in Missouri too numerous to mention.
    Photo taken from newspaper.

    Great River Road
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    Northeast Missouri Offers Something For Everyone

    by deecat Updated May 14, 2004

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    Northeast Missouri covers a wide area which includes Kahoka,Hannibal, Columbia, Fulton, Saint Charles, Clarksville, and Louisiana.
    My favorite is Saint Charles because it's living proof that with dedication & hard work, complete restoration is possible.
    BOONE'S LICK TRAIL INN%advertises "Sleep just 50 yards away from where Lewis and Clark slept!" It's an 1840's Federal Style inn on the Missouri River that is decorated in antiques. 1000 South Main Street (800-366-2427) is an excellent location right in the HISTORIC DISTRICT surrounded by shops & restaurants.
    {Note: Along St. Charles County, the Missouri River flows north!}
    The AMERISTAR CASINO ST. CHARLES is located at 1260 South Main (636-940-4300). It is quite beautiful & inkeeping with the "flavor" of the town. Open from 8 am until 5 am during the week & 24-hourson Friday, Saturday, and holidays.
    MOTHER-IN-LAW HOUSE is located at 500 South Main Street(636)946-9444. This is an "antiques-filled restaurant" that has original oil lamps, fresh flowers, & a staff dressed in dainty pinafores.
    There are about 100 shops & restaurants that are unique, quaint, & friendly. Don't miss this delightful town.
    CLARKSVILLE, since 1987 when it mounted a preservation effort, has become a popular place to visit. But, the real reason to visit is to observe wintering eagles (January is best). The Clarksville Eagle Center is where you can get information & see the museum. (573)242-3132.
    If you want to see LOUISIANAin Missouri, you'll find that the entire town called Louisiana is on the National register of Historic Places. It has lots of antique shops, two museums, dozens of Victorian historic homes, & a town square.
    Another favorite is HANNIBAL with the Mark twin Boyhood Home, the Margaret Tobin Brown's House, the riverboat (Mark Twain), the Becky Thatcher House, Hammon Glass (glass blowing), and many art shops, antique shops, and an old-fashioned post office.

    Boone's Lick Trail Inn
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    Washington Park

    by Bwana_Brown Updated May 25, 2008

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    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.

    Washington Park
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    Glass-Covered Walkway

    by Bwana_Brown Updated Nov 27, 2004

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    I can imagine what the howling wintery blasts must be like in the mid-west so, as with many Canadian cities, it makes sense to travel indoors as much as possible! That was the idea behind a very nice elevated glass-covered walkway in the Crown Center area, connecting the Hyatt and Westin hotels as well as the shopping centre and Union Station. It is no problem to stoll above the streets enjoying the view as you walk!

    Located at strategic spots along the way are displays that point out historical facts on some of the buildings that you can see from that spot. In this case, I've got the park area of Washington Square just below while off on the left horizon is the art-deco style Kansas City Power & Light building. To the right is the 1952-built Western Auto building with one side incorporating a sweeping curve as it parallels the railway tracks. It's sign with 10-foot high letters and 150-foot long flashing arrow is another eye-catcher during the night hours!

    A View From the Walkway
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    Laclede's Landing

    by traveldave Updated Nov 6, 2010

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    Laclede's Landing has become the principal entertainment district of Saint Louis. Named after Pierre Laclède, the founder of Saint Louis, the area has the feel of the nineteenth-century riverfront with restored century-old brick buildings and cobbled streets. The nine-block district is located on the riverfront at the site where Pierre Laclède founded the first settlement that would become Saint Louis.

    The district is notable for its warehouses with brick and cast-iron façades that date from the 1850s to the early 1900s. These warehouses were used to store goods, such as coffee, leather goods, whiskey, tobacco, and machinery, that were to be shipped by barge to various towns and cities up and down the Mississippi River.

    Nowadays, Laclede's Landing features numerous specialty shops, restaurants, bars, nightclubs, outdoor cafes, and theaters. Visitors can take carriage rides around the district and enjoy live music at night. Laclede's Landing also hosts several larg-scale events, such as the Big Muddy Blues Festival, Rocktoberfest, Mardi Gras, the Big Bloody Booze Festival, and Saint Patrick's Day and Independence Day festivities.

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    The Saint Louis Floral Conservatory

    by traveldave Updated Nov 6, 2010

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    The Saint Louis Floral Conservatory, also called the Jewel Box, is a floral conservator that features a permanent collection of hundreds of flowers supplemented by changing displays of seasonal flowers and plants. There is also a collection of tropical trees and plants. The interior features a large fountain and a water feature, and outside the greenhouse sits in pleasant surroundings which include rose gardens, lily ponds, statuary, and monuments.

    The Art Deco conservatory was designed by William Becker, an engineer with the city's Board of Public Works, and was completed in 1936. The building is 50 feet (15 meters) high, and has 16,664 square feet (1,548 square meters) of glass plates over 4,000 panes. The interior contains 7,500 square feet (697 square meters) of floor space. Because it was believed impossible to place a heavy metal roof on top of a glass greenhouse, most greenhouse builders refused to submit bids for its construction.

    The Saint Louis Floral Conservatory is commonly called the Jewel Box because after construction, someone observed that the building "looks like a jewel box."

    The Saint Louis Floral Conservatory has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

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    The Gateway Arch

    by traveldave Updated Oct 18, 2010

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    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.

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Missouri Things to Do

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