Top 10 Most Famous Missouri Landmarks Travelers Talk About
Although Missouri is not often the first place people think of when contemplating travel destinations, there are numerous reasons why the Show-Me State is worth visiting. From natural wonders like caves and lakes to thrilling amusement attractions and famous Missouri landmarks honoring our Nation’s past, there is something for everyone here, and past travelers have helped us put together a list of the ten best somethings to consider.
1. Gateway Arch: Not only is this stainless steel structure the tallest of the man made monuments in the country, it’s also one of the most popular of all accessible St. Louis Attractions. Included as a part of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, the arch is positioned on the Mississippi River on the west bank where the city was once founded. Not only is this over six hundred foot high monument the most well known of all Missouri landmarks, it’s one of the most famous in the United States, and attracts millions of visitors each year.
2. Anheuser Busch Brewery: Situated at the corner of 12th Street and Lynch Street in St. Louis is the center for tours of the famous brewery. The over 150 year old brewery showcases each step through which the company’s famous alcoholic beverages are made. Guests who are of legal age even get a chance to sample the wares of this most iconic of Missouri landmarks, as the tours cap off with a tasting.
3. Meramec Caverns: About an hour from St. Louis’ iconic arch can be found an attraction that might be considered its polar opposite. Crafted by nature and situated underground instead of towering above it, the caverns found beneath the Meramec Valley are a tourists delight, attracting visitors from all over the country with colorful limestone and intricate mineral formations. Exploring these Missouri landmarks requires a skilled tour guide or ranger, however the trek through the caves is pleasant and occurs along accessible and well lit paths.
4. Historic Ste Genevieve: South of St. Louis, travelers are invited to take a trip back in time where it seems the 18th century is alive and well in this charmingly modern yet historic town. A unique atmosphere awaits visitors here, as well as a wide array of activities. Many come to tour some of the most popular Missouri landmarks found here, historic homes and buildings that are known internationally for their authentic French Colonial authenticity. Shops, museums, malls, wineries, art galleries and lodging options are all available for visitors wishing to stay in the historic district for a spell.
5. Mark Twain National Forest: Outside of St. Louis lies the state’s one and only National Forest, named for famed and beloved author Mark Twain. It’s around a million and a half acres of limestone mountains, streams and wooded paradise that keeps nearly three quarters of a million guests heading back to it annually. The forest is unique amongst Missouri landmarks, because it almost wasn’t a landmark at all. Previously the forest, found largely in the Ozark Plateau, was given up on entirely. However, conservation efforts revived the natural area that now plays residence to an incredibly diverse array of plant and wildlife.
6. Liberty Memorial: Kansas City is home to this dual memorial and museum that honors the soldiers who perished in the first World War. A towering Egyptian style limestone pillar accented with travertine and stone are highlights of the building, but at night when orange lights catch steam emitted from it’s top, the sight is truly awe inspiring. The National World War I Museum, one of the most well known of all Missouri landmarks, is also found here, and shocks entering guests with a red poppy field of 9,000 heads that represent the lost lives in the war.
7. Kansas City Scout Statue: There is a bit of an interesting history behind this Sioux Indian statue. The ten foot tall man on horseback is said to watch over Kansas City, but it didn’t start out here. First debuted in San Francisco, The Scout then traveled to Penn Valley Park, just south of downtown St. Louis. However, it wasn’t until some fundraising took place that the statue became one of the most beloved Missouri landmarks. Small change was collected totaling $15,000 to purchase the piece that now serves as an Indian tribe memorial.
8. Lake of the Ozarks: Away from the hustle and bustle of Kansas City can be found the biggest lake destination in the state, boasting an impressive 1,150 miles of coastline, part of which is situated along the massive 92 mile primary channel. It should come as no surprise that outdoor activities are what draw thousands upon thousands of visitors to the watery retreat each and every year. Unlike many other Missouri landmarks, there are numerous ways to explore the lake area including by boat or on horseback. Restaurants, hotels, shops, golf courses, wineries and more are also found in the area, ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy.
9. Silver Dollar City: Although abundantly modern in terms of thrilling technology, the theme of this most popular of Branson tourist attractions is the 1880’s. While roller coasters and thrill rides are of course what brings guests in, the history of the park itself is also worth paying attention to. The theme park is built upon one of the most beautiful of all Missouri landmarks, Marvel Cave, which is a National Natural Landmark.
10. Fantastic Caverns: North of the Branson area lies a truly special place. It’s a cavern system, which is not unusual to find in the state. In fact, many Missouri landmarks are caves and cave systems. However, these “fantastic” underground features are unique because visitors can explore them in style, riding through on a wagon toted jeep. This mobile journey is made possible thanks to an ancient river that once cut its way through the caverns, providing a natural paved pathway for guests to enjoy.