FOLLOW US

World Travel Guide > Guides > North America > United States of America > Missouri

Missouri travel guide

About Missouri

Sophisticated cities, lazy summer road trips and adventures in the Ozark Mountains: all this, and more, awaits in Missouri.

Arrive in St Louis, the state’s largest city, and the distinctive Gateway Arch, which soars above the Mississippi River, might be the first thing you spot. But the city is also home to the stunning Forest Park, a fantastic art museum and more microbreweries than you can shake a stick at.

On the other side of the state lies Kansas City. Your mouth starts to water as you approach this western Missouri metropolis and snatch a whiff of its legendary barbecue joints, hickory-smoked meat and dry-rub ribs. It’s a sports-mad city that also lays claim to a thriving arts scene and terrific live music.

Away from the hustle and bustle, Missouri is ripe for road trips and outdoor adventure. You won’t find it marked on any modern maps, but historic Route 66 slices southwest from St Louis, mostly replaced today by I-44. Explore underground caves, snap colourful murals, stroll through turn-of-the-century towns, and pull up for the night at vintage motels.

Missouri has its share of quirky roadside attractions, too. The biggest is surely the rather incongruous Titanic Museum Attraction in Branson, a half-scale replica of the ship (complete with iceberg poking into its hull) where you can walk the Grand Staircase and cabins, stand on a sloping deck and touch chilly water for the full sinking experience.

For a smaller-scale (and more realistic) floating adventure, you can raft or canoe the Current or Jacks Fork Rivers. On dry land, scramble over billion-year-old boulders in Elephant Rocks State Park, bike the old Missouri-Kansas-Texas railroad on the 386km (240 mile) Katy Trail, or saddle up and ride through the stunning Mark Twain Forest.

Key facts

Area:

180,533 sq km (69,704 sq miles).

Population:

6.1 million (2015).

Population density:

33.7 per sq km.

Capital:

Jefferson City.