Evolution of Music
Timeless Tunes in The Show-Me State
From the blues and jazz that helped define American music to the country, bluegrass and rock ‘n’ roll that sprouted from their roots, Missouri’s music scene has it all. This is especially true for St. Louis, which offers countless chances to find your musical groove, from headliners to local talent. Its undeniable role in blues history comes alive at spots like the legendary BB’s Jazz, Blues & Soups and the National Blues Museum, with exhibits and performances highlighting the impact of this distinct sound. Live rock reigns at the landmark Blueberry Hill, where the “Father of Rock and Roll,” Chuck Berry was a regular performer, or at one of the city’s newest concert venues, Delmar Hall. Don't miss the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site where the "King of Ragtime" wrote many of his famous piano classics.
Missourians Who Left a Mark on American History
Journey along Missouri’s Way of American Genius (Highway 36) for a deep dive into some of the Show-Me State’s most famous—and infamous—residents. In Hannibal, you can tour the small frame house where Samuel Clemens (aka Mark Twain) spent his boyhood years, visit Tom Sawyer’s cave and ride aboard a riverboat—like Clemens once piloted—on the mighty Mississippi. Walt Disney lived his early days in Marceline, about a two-hour drive west of Hannibal. See gifts from Disney himself, including remnants of the original Midget Autopia, at the Walt Disney Hometown Museum, or stroll the thoroughfare that inspired Disneyland’s Main Street U.S.A. Hamilton is the birthplace of J.C. Penney and home to Missouri Star Quilt Company, made famous by quilting legend and YouTube personality Jenny Doan. Over in St. Joseph, the Pony Express National Museum honors the riders who provided the first fast mail delivery service across North America. The town also houses the Greek Revival home where American outlaw Jesse James lived and met his fateful demise.
Brew + BBQ
Missouri’s Most Perfect Pairing
Kansas City is home to a thriving craft beer scene, thanks in part to Boulevard Brewing Company. This forward-thinking beer maker has been forging the path with both time-honored techniques and modern methods since 1989. Their pilsners and pale ales make the perfect pairing for the city’s culinary masterpiece: slow-cooked, thickly sauced barbecue. Follow the taste buds of former presidents with a trip to Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque, one of the most renowned barbecuers in history, or indulge in the award-winning rubs and seasonings of Gates Bar-B-Q. Jack Stack Barbecue boasts one of Kansas City’s most extensive selections of hickory-smoked meats, while the more modern Q39 is hailed for its wood-fired grilling. Afterwards, track your favorites on the KC BBQ Experience app. Then wash your meal down with a dry gin or whiskey from J. Rieger & Co., Kansas City’s first distillery since Prohibition.
Travel back in time on this iconic highway
America’s most iconic highway features several Missouri stops, each with ample ways to experience the nostalgia of the Mother Road. Pose for pics in front of the colorful tile images and mock Corvette that make up the Route 66 Mural Park in Joplin or catch an outdoor film at the historic 66 Drive-In Theatre in Carthage (open seasonally) with juicy burgers from the old-school Whisler’s Drive-Up. A couple of miles northeast sits the recreated town Red Oak II, late artist Lowell Davis’ homage to simpler times. Springfield’s role as the birthplace of Route 66 is on full display at the History Museum on the Square. But when it comes to classic cars—from compact roadsters to spacious station wagons—the garage-style Route 66 Car Museum is your place. For food and lodging, Springfield boasts popular spots like Route 66 Steak ‘n Shake and the revived Red’s Giant Hamburg, thought to be the world’s first drive-thru restaurant, as well as the 1950s-themed Best Western Route 66 Rail Haven.
Stunning views and family fun awaits
It’s one of the state’s most beloved vacation destinations, and for good reason. From leisurely floats along the cool, clear waters of Ozark National Scenic Riverways to swimming and hiking at the spectacular Echo Bluff State Park, Missouri’s highlands offer endless opportunity for fun and adventure. Along the Lake of the Ozarks, Ha Ha Tonka State Park has a cave for exploring and the ruins of a turn-of-the-century stone castle overlooking a massive spring. To the south, Branson’s trio of lakes are perfect spots for kayaking, boating and water sports. However, it’s the dozens of live performances that really put this entertainment capital on the map. Catch the outstanding outdoor drama highlighting Ozark life at Shepherd of the Hills Adventure Park or ride the world’s tallest and fastest-spinning coaster at nearby Silver Dollar City. The 1880s-themed amusement park includes entry to Marvel Cave, a subterranean treasure that features the largest cave entrance room in the United States.