It’s hard to beat Missouri’s outdoors at any season: gorgeous lakes, majestic rivers, deep forests, abundant wildlife, hills to climb, caves to delve. But when the sun goes down on a day of outdoor activities, that’s when the fun really heats up.
Finish off a day of touring in and around St. Louis with a relaxing evening at Mandarin Lounge’s roof-top retreat in the Central West End. The chic Asian vibe transposes into their drink menu, which features such exotic wonders as the Ruby Dragon, Buddha Bliss and Blue Lagoon. Can’t decide? Opt for a cocktail tree.
Part music club, part music museum, once a house of ill repute and just south of Busch Stadium – you can’t go wrong making BB’s Jazz, Blues and Soups a stop on a long winter’s night. Check out the angry hushpuppies, smoked ribs, collard greens and sweet potato pie. With live music nightly, featuring the best in great jazz and blues, you’ll be hard-pressed to explain whether you come for the music and stay for the food, or vice versa.
If you like your music the way you like your food – local – you’ll love The Phoenix Jazz Club in the Central Business District in Kansas City. Stop in for a Lemondrop Martini or Elderflower Rita during happy hour, the Jazz Brunch every Saturday and for great jazz every day with open mic nights, open jam sessions, guest performers and regulars.
Looking for a unique music venue? Look no farther than Cafe Acoustic – St. Joseph’s original Absinthe Bar. Only craft seasonal beers are on tap and every Friday, Saturday and Sunday musicians from all over the world perform. It’s not hard to find: look for the A Christmas Story leg lamp in the window.
Mid-Missouri is hopping, too. Enjoy nightly cocktail specials and delicious small plate selections at Columbia’s speakeasy, The Vault. On the lowest level of the Tiger Hotel, the Vault offers classic, “proper” cocktails, like the powerful “Satan’s Whiskers,” which dates back to pre-prohibition times.
When you’re in the mood to stay out past your bedtime for some great live entertainment, Columbia’s Blue Note is still the place to go. The iconic venue boasts a remodel and a new logo, yet retains its amazing repertoire of music genres. Stand by for some added fun from the new owners, such as Blue Note dance parties and theme nights.
On a more intimate level, but still ranked high on the music-and-fun scale, stop in at Ernie Biggs Dueling Piano Bar in Springfield (other locations in Branson and Kansas City). Sit back with a dirty martini and enjoy live music every Wednesday thru Saturday.
Many people think the prettiest spots in Missouri are in the southeast area of the state. If you wait until spring, not only can you enjoy the natural beauty, you can indulge your taste for great bluegrass, country and gospel music at Ozark Mountain Jamboree. Every Friday night and some special Saturday nights since 1985, Ozark Mountain Jamboree has been entertaining visitors during camping season on the grounds of Ozarks Mountain Springs RV Park & Cabins, five minutes west of Mountain View.
Another great music venue catering to the outdoors-lovers is the Meramec Music Theatre in Steelville. From April through December, this rustic Ozark town offers a variety of entertainment: country, oldies, gospel and bluegrass music with a dash of comedy and concerts by top name headliners.
‘Tis the season for cabin fever, but the Show-Me State has the cure: the winter blues (and jazz and rock and...). So pick your favorite kind of music and get out and enjoy the nightlife.