Take a ‘World Tour’ in Missouri

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Do you dream of traveling the world but thoughts of lost luggage and long lines at the airport keep you at home? Here’s an idea – stay in the Show-Me State for a tour of towns named for faraway places, such as Rome, Milan and Athens. You can even visit Oregon, Louisiana, Washington and Nevada without crossing the state line. So if you’re looking for adventure closer to home, grab a map and plan a trip “around the world” in Missouri.

Say adios to a plane ride and visit Mexico, home to several museums including the American Saddlebred Horse Museum. Enjoy authentic Mexican cuisine at Casa Del Sol before catching a show at Presser Performing Arts Center.

The setting sun shines through the trees next to Union Covered Bridge in Paris, Missouri.
Union Covered Bridge, Paris

Faire un voyage (take a trip) to Paris and see the Union Covered Bridge, one of four remaining covered bridges in Missouri. Built in 1871, the bridge may not be as tall as the Eiffel Tower, but it is older by 18 years.

You can check out the beach as well as some literary history in Florida. The town is the birthplace of author and humorist Mark Twain and home to Mark Twain State Park where you can swim, boat and fish at Mark Twain Lake.

Take a bike ride on the Katy Trail and stop in Rhineland for a burger. Tour the Shrine of Our Lady of Sorrows at beautiful St. Martin’s Church.

Near Versailles (pronounced ver-SAILS here in Missouri), Jacob’s Cave holds the largest swap meet in the Midwest three times a year in April, June and October. You can find practically anything – from chickens to hand-made quilts. North of town, explore Mennonite country for fresh produce, baked goods and spices.

Located in the central part of the state, California may not always be sunny, but it is home to Burgers’ Smokehouse and arguably some of the best smoked meats in the state.

Cruise down Route 66 to Cuba, Missouri’s “Mural City.” Visit the historic Wagon Wheel Motel and stop in at Missouri Hick Barbeque for a savory pile of pulled pork.

Other globally named cities in the Show-Me State include Cairo, Lisbon, Amsterdam, Lebanon and Sweden.

Pack your bags and get ready to go, because all these destinations and many others can be yours simply by driving the state’s winding roads.