George Washington and the state of Missouri have a lot in common. Both avid supporters of the mule – Missouri's state animal – and producers of whiskey – our craft distillery scene is booming – it only makes sense to celebrate the birthday of our nation's first president in, well, Washington, MO.
Washington traveled by trusty steed, but you can arrive in town aboard an iron horse. Amtrak's Missouri River Runner services the charming river town daily, dropping you off in their beautiful downtown district. Countless shops and attractions will keep you entertained until your ride home.
From the station, it's a short walk to the Missouri Meerschaum Corn Cob Pipe Museum. As the first major cash crop Washington grew was tobacco, one can't help but imagine these old-fashioned-looking pipes dotting the New England states - though their creation came long after the passing of our Founding Father. Today, a small retail shop and museum offers a look back at the history of this still-thriving company.
A recognizable figure, Washington's profile has been immortalized in numerous portraits, including on the $1 bill. You can also appreciate paintings portraying nature and river life by famed local artist Gary Lucy at the Gary R. Lucy Gallery.
When hunger calls, make your way to Cowan's Restaurant, home of the famous Mile-High Pies. Splurge on your favorite flavor and rest easy knowing that, due to modern dentistry, you won't have to worry about turning out like Washington who only had one tooth left when he became President. Sounds like an excuse to have two slices!
The rolling hills and beauty of WashMO would have captivated a master surveyor like George Washington, and you can appreciate the scenery too at John G's Bier Deck. Grab a Missouri-brewed beverage, socialize and enjoy sweeping views of the Missouri River.
When it's all said and done, you board your horse and set off into the sunset with fond thoughts of BOTH Washingtons.
Photos by Emily Wasserman (@emily_m_wasserman)