Named for the Missouri River, and bordered by 8, count em, eight states (Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas and Nebraska), the “Show Me State” is the 18th most populous state with nearly six million residents.

It’s interestingly influenced by northern and southern settlers, and acts both geographically and culturally as the “gateway”  between the easten and western United States. In fact, it claims both the ”western-most eastern city” in St. Louis and the “eastern-most western city” in Kansas City. Even its weather and geography is diverse with cold winters and hot humid summers featured in its northern portion lying in the plains, as well as the southern portion which lies smack dab in the Ozark Mountains.

Our late June visit will hopefully feature stays with friends in St. Louis, BBQ in Kansas City and cheese (and I don’t mean dairy) in Branson. Here’s a starter list for the show-me state!

St. Louis Gateway Riverfront Park and Arch: The Gateway Arch is the largest man-made monument in the United States at over 600 feet and represents America’s entrance into western settlement. Built in 1963.  More info here: http://www.gatewayarch.com/


Anheuser-Busch Brewery and Beermaster Tour: Perhaps a bit pricey, but we’re quite excited to take both the free brewery tour AND the beermaster tour at the St. Louis Brewery. Apparently, according to their website the  Beermaster Tour “is a unique opportunity to experience a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing of Budweiser. The Beermaster Tour includes a visit to the Primary Fermentation Cellar, historic Brew House, Lager Cellar, Bevo Packaging Facility, Finishing Cellar, including sampling directly from a Finishing Tank, and the Budweiser Clydesdale Stable and Tack Room. To commemorate your experience, a variety of gifts are provided for each guest.” Did we hear free beer? Yep. Here’s the link for more info: http://www.budweisertours.com/toursBeermaster_stl.htm

Man with Briefcase at #2968443, 1986 Laumeier Sculpture Park: Suggested to us by my good friend Charlie who lives in St. Louis, Laumeier looks like an art lover’s dream! Featuring more than 70 outdoor sculptures on the former land of Henry and Matilda Laumeier that was willed to the city parks and rec by Matilda as a memorial for her husband. Today it represents a sexy piece of St. Louis tourism. More here: http://www.laumeiersculpturepark.org


Arthur Bryant’s BBQ: Billed as the KING OF RIBS, the late Arthur Bryant established his first restaurant in Kansas City and gave the city its reputation as the unofficial BBQ capital of the United States. It will be our first rack of ribs in more than seven years… hopefully it will be worth the wait! More here: http://www.arthurbryantsbbq.com/


Branson, MO: I mentioned cheese earlier… while the Branson Chamber of Commerce might disagree, I provide as evidence the following: Yakov’s Dinner Theater (featuring Mr. Yakov “What a Country” Smirnoff), Andy Williams and Roy Clark’s Celebrity theaters and more “tribute shows” (Elvis, Legends, Beatles, Red Skelton) to mention. Pretty much enough delicious, delicious cheese to go around!
More here: http://www.explorebranson.com/

Other Stuff: