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Missouri in United States.svg
Flag of Missouri.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Jefferson City
Government U.S. State
Currency US dollar (USD)
Area 180,533 km2
Population 6,044,171 (2013 est.)
Language Official:English
Regionally Spoken:French
Religion Christian 77%, No-Religion 15%, Other 7%
Electricity 120V/60Hz (North American plug)
Time Zone UTC -7/-6

Missouri is a state in the American Midwest and it is known as the "Show-Me State". The name may be pronounced "missouri" or "missouruh", although the latter is very seldom used or heard outside of Missouri.



Other destinations[edit]

  • Mastodon State Historic Site Imperial, +1 636 464-2976
  • Ste. Genevieve -- first settlement and oldest brick building still intact today west of the Mississippi River
  • Lake of the Ozarks has both natural and manmade attractions
  • Truman Lake
  • Table Rock Lake
  • Mozingo Lake Recreation Park -- Maryville, Mo.
  • Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
  • Ozarks
  • Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail - Between May 1804 and September 1806, 32 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from th[e plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery
  • Ozark National Scenic Riverways-- Missouri's only national park consists of the Current and Jack's Fork Rivers. This is the best area in the state for an International Backpacker. The park has numerous places to camp. There are many canoe and float trip operators that will provide transportation to and from the river for a reasonable price. While canoeing or floating down the rivers there are many caves that one can explore, but be careful as bats and the occaisional poisionous snake call these home (IMPORTANT! ALL CAVES IN THE OZARK RIVERWAYS ARE NOW CLOSED TO VISITATION (Except for Guided Tours of Round Spring Cave). This is due to the discovery of White Nose Syndrome, a disease that kills bats, in Shannon County. Please respect these closed caves for the protection of the bats). If you decide to swim in the rivers, be careful and wear some kind of shoe that will stay securely on your feet. The river is full of rocks that are very painful to the feet and the current of the rivers could sweep the shoes right off your feet. It is still a great place to go swimming, especially the Current River. The water on a 6 foot man only rises about neck high in most places and it is spring fed and very cold even on the hottest day. Note: Be prepared if you have an emergency on the river as your cell phone will not work on the river or near it. There are pay phones located at some stores along the river. Bring everything you think you may need. Hospitals are scarce and a good drive to get to in this area.
  • Montauk State Park - Located approx. 20 miles from either Salem or Licking. The top end of the Current River (not located within the boundaries of the national park). Contains a fish hatchery where you can feed the trout being raised there. Also has a lodge, general store, a full service diner-style restaurant, camping and cabins for rent.
  • Mark Twain National Forest - Located in various parts of the state from south central to the east. Features many campgrounds, hiking trails and lakes. Some sites of note: Council Bluffs on Highway DD about 3 miles north of Hwy 32 in Iron County. Features a full campground, beach swimming, boat rentals and concessions. Loggers Lake approx. 10 miles from highway 72 in Bunker, follow signs as this place is not on any kind of paved road. Features everything mentioned above except concessions.


According to William Least Heat Moon, in Blue Highways, St. Louis is the last Eastern city and Kansas City is the first Western city.

Missouri is known as the "Show Me State"--meaning one should back up talk with proof. The slogan is not official, but it does appear on the license plates. It is an endearing statement that people from Missouri say, "I'm from Missouri, you have to Show Me!".

Travellers may not have heard much of Missouri, but rest assured that a welcome awaits all. Tourism is a trickle compared to the western or eastern-most states, and this is reflected in the treatment of tourists and travellers: strike up a conversation with any Missourian in line at the store, a museum, or a cafe and if you smile and tell them you're "not from around here" you'll have a fount of information all for you.


Most areas of Missouri use the traditional Midwestern dialect of English. In the boot-heel region, mainly from Sikeston south, the accent of the people has a southern drawl to it.

English is the official language of state business in Missouri by law.

A few town pronunciations:

Rolla (Raw-Luh)

Japan (Jay-Pan)

Hayti (Hay-Tie)

Nevada (Nuh-VAY-Duh)

Unique words & pronunciations:

insurance (IN-sure-ance)

vehicle (ve-HIC-le)

A common verbally used word to refer to one's mischievous or impish actions is pronounced like [AWN-ery], though it doesn't appear to be recorded/found in English dictionaries, yet. Related to "ornery," having an irritable or cantankerous disposition.

Get in[edit]

Many major airlines serve both Kansas City (KCI) and St. Louis (STL). There are a few flights from these two airports to Mexico, Canada, and Reykjavik, Iceland. Springfield, Columbia, Cape Girardeau and Joplin also have airports that provide passenger service. Note: A cab ride from the Kansas City airport to downtown is very expensive, costing 35-40 dollars. There are numerous public busses providing minimal stop service that will take you there for much less. Inquire about schedules before you arrive, it will save you a lot of money. From the St. Louis airport you can take Metrolink trains into downtown for $3.75 and it includes 1 transfer. The metrolink stops at many popular destinations such as the Delmar Loop, Forrest Park (zoo), Union Station shopping center, Busch Stadium, The Gateway Arch, Lacledes Landing, and the Casino Queen which is located in Illinois. This is a very economical way to get around.

Amtrak service is provided to St. Louis and Kansas City from Chicago. Also trains provide service to St. Louis from San Antonio, Texas via Dallas and Arkansas, and to Kansas city from Los Angeles. St. Louis has a brand new intermodal station for train and bus passengers, which is easily accessible to public transportation.

Greyhound and Jefferson Lines bus also serve Missouri and provide regular service to and from many destinations. Jefferson Lines serves Kansas City from Fort Smith, Arkansas, Dallas, Oklahoma City, Omaha, Minneapolis, Fargo, and Winnepeg, Manitoba. Greyhound will bring you in from just about everywhere else. St. Louis is also served by Burlington Trailways from Iowa. Megabus serves Kansas City, Columbia, and St. Louis from Chicago; St. Louis is also served from Bloomington-Normal and Memphis.

Get around[edit]

Numerous interstates and highways cross the state.

  • Interstate 70 connects St. Louis and Kansas City via Columbia.
  • Interstate 55 runs from St. Louis along the Mississippi River south towards Memphis. It serves the cities of Cape Girardeau, Sikeston, and Hayti located in the bootheel region.
  • Interstate 44 runs from St. Louis to Springfield, Joplin, and on into Oklahoma. Most of the route parallels Historic Route 66. It also serves the cities of St. Clair, Sullivan, Rolla, Waynesville/St. Robert/Fort Leonard Wood, and Lebanon.
  • Interstate 35 runs from Kansas City to the northeast towards Des Moines and to the southwest towards the Kansas suburbs of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area and later on into Wichita, Kansas. The section of the route from the Cameron interchange, with US 36, to the NE corner of the Interstate 435 loop is part of the Chicago-Kansas City Expressway and is co-signed as State Route 110.
  • Interstate 29 runs from Kansas City to the northwest towards Omaha/Council Bluffs. The route begins in Downtown Kansas City and parallels US Highway 71 to the north.
  • Interstate 49/ US 71 runs north-along the western part of the state from Iowa to Arkansas, and connects Kansas City and Joplin.
  • Interstate 57 runs a short 20 miles and serves Sikeston and Charleston, then onward to Chicago.
  • Interstate 64 runs through the St. Louis metro area and ends at I-70.
  • Interstate 72/ US 36 runs through the northern part of the state from Hannibal to Saint Joseph
  • US Highway 50 runs east-west through the middle of the state. Cities along include: Lee's Summit, Warrensburg, Knob Noster, Sedalia, Jefferson City, and St. Louis. The portion from Sedalia to Lee's Summit is all freeway. There is new freeway being built West of Jefferson City.
  • US Highway 60 runs along the southern portion of the state running from Kentucky to Oklahoma. Between Sikeston and Springfield, all but 60 miles is divided highway. West of Springfield, a short connector route (Missouri Highway 360) connects the road with Interstate 44.
  • US Highway 61 north of the St. Louis area (wentzville)is a four lane highway that is called Avenue of the Saints. It is a combination of highways linked together that will take you to St. Paul Minnesota. Most of this route is open expressway, except for Hannibal. It serves Troy, Bowling Green, and Hannibal.

Other notable well traveled highways include:

  • US 36 is an expressway running east and west from St. Joseph to Hannibal. The portion of the highway from the Cameron interchange with Interstate 35,eastward to Hannibal, is part of the Chicago-Kansas City Expressway. It is co-signed State Route 110, to match the Illinois section of the CKC route. Main cities on the route include St. Joseph, Cameron, Chillicothe, Brookfield, Macon, Monroe City.
  • US 54 which will take you from I-70 to Jefferson City via an expressway and to the Lake of the Ozarks tourist destination via a four lane highway from there. This is the fastest way to get to these popular destinations from the east (St. Louis, Chicago, Indianapolis).
  • US 63 is being upgraded in many sections. It cuts pretty much through the middle of the state, north to south. It has a considerable amount of freeway. It serves Kirksville, Macon, Columbia, Jefferson City (all of the aforementioned are on a expressway) Rolla, Houston, Cabool, and West Plains.
  • US 67 will take you from St. Louis to Poplar Bluff and then onward to Little Rock. This is expressway from Fredricktown to Interstate 55, just south of St. Louis.
  • US 65 serves as an expressway from Interstate 44 at Springfield to Branson.
  • MO 7 and 13 provide expressway service from Kansas city to Springfield via Interstate 49 at Harrisonville.

By train[edit]

There is twice daily Amtrak service from St. Louis to Kansas city. Stops include Kirkwood, Washington, Hermann, Jeferson City, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Lee's Summit, and Independence. These trains are tax subsidized with state funds and fares are reasonable. The on-time performance of these trains has improved greatly recently with the building of new sidings as this line has heavy freight traffic. Amtrak Operates 2 other lines,

By bus[edit]

Greyhound runs Interstate 44 from St. Louis to Joplin with stops at Rolla, Fort Leonard Wood/St. Robert, Lebanon, Springfield, and Joplin. They run Interstate 70 from St. Louis to Kansas City, stopping in Columbia and Boonville along with other intermediate stops. Both of these lines stop at the St. Louis airport going either way. They also run Interstate 55 south of St. Louis stopping in Cape Girardeau and Sikeston. Jefferson Lines runs from Kansas City to Joplin and Kansas City to points north. Please check schedules as not all busses stop at all intermediate destinations. Bus travel can be expensive within the state with a ticket from St. Louis to Rolla running $31-$37 dollars for the 1 1/2 hour trip.

See[edit][add listing]

Kansas City

The Country Club Plaza - The nation's first shopping center, designed for the automobile. It offers high-end shops and restaurants in a quaint European atmosphere. The architecture is modeled after Seville Spain and includes a replica of the Giralda Tower.

The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art - A world class art collection housed in a beautiful 1930s building and a new, critically acclaimed modern wing by Steven Holl.

Liberty Memorial - The Nation's official World War 1 Museums

Union Station - The Nation's second largest train station with ceiling over 100 feet tall!

Crown Center - Home of Hallmark Cards and the Hallmark Visitors Center and Museum.

The Crossroads - Kansas City's art district, called the SoHo of the Midwest by the New York Times. This area offers some of Kansas City's more unique shops and restaurants alongside hip art galleries. Come on a First Friday and see the area come to life with a street part atmosphere.

City Market - A neighborhood of lofts centered around a large farmer's market. Best to visit on a weekend morning

Downtown and the Power and Light District - Downtown Kansas City houses many beautiful art deco buildings as well as examples of mid-century design and modern glass towers. Companies such as H+R Block and AMC (Movie Theaters) have their offices downtown. The Power and Light district is a new development housing restaurants and rowdy bars/clubs.

18th and Vine - Historic Jazz district and home of the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ward Parkway - A tree-lined Boulevard, just south of the Country Club Plaza, that takes you past stately homes. The houses are home of some of Kansas City's elite including the family that owns Russel Stover's Candies and the Applebee's family among others. The historic houses were built in many different styles, inspired by European architecture.

Do[edit][add listing]

Hiking, Horseback riding, and floating (canoeing or kayaking) are all popular activities in the Ozarks region whenever the weather is pleasant.

Explore Kansas City and Saint Louis. They are both very interesting cities.

Attend a First Friday art crawl in Kansas City's bohemian Crossroads Art District

Eat[edit][add listing]

Kansas City is known for its barbeque and it has many different places to choose from. Don't pass this up!!!

St. Louis has a neighborhood known as "The Hill". There are many authentic Italian restaurants to chose from. The Hill is located south of Interstate 44 between Hampton Avenue and Kingshighway in St. Louis City.

For the rest of the state, expect your typical midwestern fare. Burgers, Steaks, Pork.

Drink[edit][add listing]

The legal drinking and purchasing age of alcoholic beverages is 21. Under age drinking is taken very seriously so if you are in a club or bar and appear to be under 30 you should be ready to present identification showing your age. However, there are exceptions. The only exception to allow under age consumption of alcohol is for educational purposes (Example: students in culinary school, but in Missouri the student must be at least 18).

Missouri has some of the most permissive alcohol laws in the country. All types of alcohol are available virtually everywhere including grocery stores, gas stations and even drive up liquor stores are common as Missouri law does not permit dry towns or counties. Open container alcohol in plastic glasses is permitted in the Power and Light district of Kansas City. The Delmar Loop in St. Louis has many bars of many different types and live music is common, especially on the weekends. St. James is home to the St. James Winery. They offer free tours and samples. That area also has various other wineries and they are easily accessible from Interstate 44.

Be sure to visit the Anheuser Busch plant in south St. Louis, they offer tours and free samples. It is very easy to get to from Interstate 55.

Be sure to also visit the Boulevard Brewing Company plant near downtown Kansas City, they offer tours and free samples. This is a regional brewery with a more organic taste. It is easily accessible from Interstate 70.

Stay safe[edit]


Follow the guidelines you would normally follow for city safety.

If you are visiting the rivers in the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, Salem (population 5,000) is the city that most people have to travel through on the way to the rivers and they have 3 lodging facilities, including 1 major national chain. Lock your doors and take anything, and I mean anything you don't want to have stolen from your car inside your room with you. This city has a very high theft rate, especially from automobiles parked in the hotel parking lots. Chances are your stuff will be missing if you leave it in your car overnight. Also lock your car tight and make sure that if you have an alarm it is turned on as a few vehicles have been stolen in the past year.

Severe weather[edit]

Although not officially a part of the country's tornado alley, Missouri does experience tornadoes during the spring and summer months of the year. Weather conditions can change rapidly and it is important to stay informed during tornado season as to the current weather outlook while travelling across the state.

If you are planning on travelling to Missouri during the spring or summer months, refer to the Tornado safety page for important precautionary information.

Get out[edit]

  • Kansas - Located to the west of Missouri, Kansas is generally considered the center of the country, at least in geographical terms, and is nicknamed "the Heart of America."
  • Nebraska - Missouri's northwestern neighbor has a rich agricultural heritage, offering visitors a glimpse into America's heartland.
  • Iowa - Rural Iowa lies along Missouri's northern border and provides the opportunity to explore America's agricultural heartland.
  • Illinois - Home of the Midwest's largest city, Chicago, Illinois is located to the northeast of Missouri.
  • Kentucky - Missouri's neighbor to the southeast is known for its rolling hills, horses, and rural inhabitants, offering travelers a less-visited but tremendously beautiful destination.
  • Tennessee - Located to the southeast of Missouri, Tennessee offers natural wonders such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • Arkansas - Missouri's southern neighbor is "the Natural State", home to the Ozark Mountains in the northwest while the south and east of the state has flatter land and shows more of its agricultural heritage.
  • Oklahoma - The state's southwestern border is shared with Oklahoma, which has been a state since only 1907 and retains some of the pioneer spirit from its early days as a frontier, along with a lot of Native American history and culture.

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