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Whether you’re getting away for a day or enjoying a weekend retreat, the journey is part of the fun when you ride Amtrak’s Missouri River Runner.
Traveling across the Show-Me State and paralleling the Missouri River, the train route takes you through a variety of charming small towns, with the state’s two largest cities as bookends.
Cities on the route include Kansas City, Independence, Lee’s Summit, Warrensburg, Sedalia, Jefferson City, Hermann, Washington, Kirkwood and St. Louis.
Below are a few examples of the types of trips available when you use the Missouri River Runner, but remember to check Amtrak’s schedule for a full slate of departure and arrival times as you plan your rail-riding adventure.
See Missouri’s Statehouse
Hermann to Jefferson City (45 minutes) – A late-morning train out of Hermann gets you to Jefferson City right about lunch time, which is ideal, since no visit to Missouri’s capital is complete without filling your plate (well, multiple plates) at Arris’ Pizza.
From there, amble over to the statehouse for a tour and to view exhibits in the Missouri State Museum. Then it’s time for a stroll past the Governor’s Mansion, followed by a banana split at Central Dairy and seeing the Soldiers Memorial Plaza at Lincoln University.
You might even have time for locally crafted drink at Prison Brews.
The train to Hermann departs shortly after the end of the business day and has you back home in time for a late supper – which is fine after a day of pizza and ice cream.
Explore Campus and Beyond
Kansas City to Warrensburg (80 minutes) – The train leaves Kansas City shortly after 8 a.m., so you have all day to spend with your favorite University of Central Missouri (UCM) student.
While in town, see sights like the Old Drum Monument and Johnson County Courthouse. You might even find time for a game at the UCM Bowling Center.
For lunch, have a casual meal at Fitter’s Pub or Old Barney’s.
Take time to relax for a spell in Blind Boone Park before you see fine examples of creativity on display at the UCM Gallery of Art and Design.
An early afternoon departure means you’ll be out of your kid’s hair before you embarrass them too much – and that you’ll be back in Kansas City in time to enjoy burnt ends at one of the city’s barbecue restaurants.
Escape to Wine Country
St. Louis to Hermann (94 minutes) – A mid-morning departure and short ride time mean you’ll have almost a full first day exploring the historic German settlement.
When you hop off the train, much of the city is literally steps away. Within a few blocks you find food and drink at Tin Mill Brewery, Hermann Wurst Haus and Hermannhof Winery, to name a few.
A little farther from the station are the Historic Hermann Museum, Deutschheim State Historic Site and abundant shopping options.
Spend the night at one of the town’s adorable inns, like Hermann Hill Vineyard Inn and Spa or Murphy’s Bed and Breakfast.
On day two, make your way out to the Hermann Farm Museum for an interesting sightseeing experience and to learn more about the area’s German heritage. Or perhaps you’d rather spend the day sampling vino, which is easy when you follow the Hermann Wine Trail (check to see about the trolley’s availability).
Sleep in on day three before renting a bike and checking out a scenic stretch of Katy Trail State Park, which also runs parallel to the Missouri River as it meanders across the state, before catching your late afternoon train back to St. Louis.
These are just a few of the adventures waiting for you along the Missouri River Runner’s route. Plan your getaway at VisitMo.com and consult the Amtrak schedule for special deals and the most up-to-date schedules.