Missouri is America’s quintessential midway crossroads. The cities here combine classic southern charm and style with the sophisticated industriousness of the north. The state is also considered the cultural halfway point between east and west in America, but really it has a feel to its own.
St. Louis, called the ‘Gateway to the West’, is located on the eastern border of the state across the Mississippi from Illinois. This cultural center is home to the famous Gateway Arch, a 630 foot. high stainless steel arch beside the Mississippi, it is meant to symbolize the country’s westward expansion. Also in Saint Louis is the great Forest Park, which contains an open-air theater, an art museum, a zoo, and a planetarium.
Kansas City, actually two cities of the same name, one larger in Missouri, and one smaller in Kansas, has one of the most happening nightlife scenes in the Midwest. This city is all about Jazz. Here you will find some of the best jazz and swing clubs in the country, numerous jazz and blues fests, and the great Jazz Museum.
Besides the Jazz, Kansas City also has two good art Museums, the Nelson-Atkins and Kemper, a great symphony orchestra and a fascinating Huron Indian Cemetery. The capital of Missouri, Jefferson City, is noted for its Italian-Renaissance Capital, made of Carthage Marble and its murals by Thomas Hart Benton.
Branson Missouri is rapidly becoming one of the most popular tourist destinations in the heartland of America. Running the tourists in by busload, this city is home to over 80 shows of country music, comedy and magic every day. And as if that isn’t enough, it also has a spectacular amusement park, the Silver Dollar City. This historic ‘crossroads’ state is well served by the US Interstate System and has some wonderful places to see if you get out and about.