Take in the Sights, Savor the Tastes of Missouri

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Article Tags:

Restaurants , Tours , State Historic Site , National Park
The Show-Me State is an ideal destinations for sightseeing.
Author: Stephen Foutes
Missouri is a sightseer’s paradise. Only in the Show-Me State do you find things such as the tallest national monument in the U.S., the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, and the only Precious Moments Chapel in the world, located in Carthage.

From interesting museums to beautiful caves, Missouri is an excellent spot for a sightseeing adventure.


Of course, a day exploring the sights works up an appetite, which is fine, considering Missouri’s restaurants are always ready to showcase their creations and a generous dose of Midwestern hospitality.


One of the best places to begin your Missouri adventure is Joplin, a Route 66 city in southwest Missouri. Learn about the region’s history at the fascinating Joplin History and Mineral Museum, which includes the Everett J. Ritchie Tri-State Mineral Museum and the Dorthea B. Hoover Historical Museum. The mineral museum focuses on the area’s mining industry and includes an amazing collection of lead and zinc ores, while the Hoover Museum offers information on how mining affected the area. If you like quirky, don’t miss the Hoover Museum’s National Historical Cookie Cutter exhibit.


When meal time rolls around, Joplin’s Red Onion Café is hard to beat. Entrees include pastas, steaks, chicken and seafood. Red Onion also has a nice selection of burgers, sandwiches, salads and desserts. How does caramel fudge pecan cake sound?


About 45 minutes west of Columbia, the village of Arrow Rock is home to several sights of historical importance and a collection of delightful dining stops.


Make the Arrow Rock State Historic Site your first stop, as it includes a visitor center, the former home of renowned Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham, a one-room jail and the circa 1860 J. Huston Tavern, a popular dining spot.


The Arrow Rock African-American Experience Museum is another fine repository for local history. Located in the Brown Lodge building, the museum details African-American life in Arrow Rock, which was a thriving center for commerce along the Missouri River.


Delicious meals are served up at Catalpa – which has been named the Best Restaurant in Missouri for four of the last five years by Rural Missouri magazine – and Chez Trappeur, noted for its French-inspired cuisine and extensive wine list.


A fabulous meal at Der Essen Platz marks the perfect end to an afternoon exploring Bridal Cave and Thunder Mountain Park in Camdenton.


The formations inside Bridal Cave are truly jaw-dropping, with one room of amazing stalactites having been dubbed the Bridal Chapel. More than 3,000 weddings have been performed there.


After your tour underground, head up Thunder Mountain to take in scenic views of Lake of the Ozarks, or maybe give your Fit Bit a workout when you utilize one of the park’s hiking trails.


At Der Eseen Platz, the menu offers German, French and American cuisine, with choices ranging from frog legs to Schnitzel cordon bleu to hickory-smoked pork. The German chocolate cake with coconut frosting is totally yours if you hit those trails earlier!


Other fun sightseeing and dining options are found in Washington and Bloomfield.


In Washington, history buffs enjoy the Fort Charrette Historic Village and Museum. The village is a restored, 1790s French and American Indian trading post that includes five log homes furnished with antiques dating to the 1700s.


When it’s time to dine, Cowan’s Restaurant is a long-time local favorite. Serving up comfort food like fried chicken, Cowan’s is perhaps most well-known for its assortment of super-sized homemade pies.


In Bloomfield, the Stars and Stripes Museum and Library chronicles the history of Stars and Stripes, a publication that focuses on news pertaining to members of America’s armed forces.


Stars and Stripes
was founded during the Civil War, when soldiers camped in Bloomfield stumbled across an empty newspaper office. Several of them worked together to put together stories of their activities, and Stars and Stripes was born. The museum’s collection focus on the Civil War, both World Wars, Korea, Vietnam and other conflicts.

Among the displays is an original copy of that first, Nov. 9, 1861, Stars and Stripes.


From Bloomfield, it’s a short drive south to Dexter, home of Fiddler’s Fish House. Along with its famous buffet, the menu at Fiddler’s features catfish dinners, prime rib, T-bone steaks and seafood.




  The Gateway Arch
The Museum of Westward Expansion is closed, pending installation of all new museum exhibits. During ...

  Precious Moments Chapel and Gardens
Explore the world's only Precious Moment's Chapel and new Timmy's Tower. The Chapel contains paintings ...

  Joplin History and Mineral Museum
The museums focus on the history of Joplin, the heritage of southwest Missouri and the story of lead ...

  Arrow Rock African-American Experience Museum
"Reflections of African-American Arrow Rock, 1865-1960," is a permanent exhibit located in ...

  Arrow Rock State Historic Site
The Santa Fe Trail crossed the Missouri River here. Landmarks include artist George Caleb Bingham's ...

  Catalpa
Voted Best Restaurant in Missouri by Rural Missouri Magazine in 2012 and 2013. Catalpa is a small, fine-dining ...

  Chez Trappeur Bar and Bistro
At Chez Trappeur, world-class wines from Missouri join French, Italian, Spanish and California wines, ...

  Bridal Cave/Thunder Mountain Park
Cave tours travel over concrete pathways, through the cave's 60-degree Fahrenheit environment. One-hour ...

  Fort Charrette Historic Village and Museum
This restored 1790s French and American Indian trading post and village includes five log houses, all ...

  Cowan's Restaurant
Cowan's Restaurant is known as the home of the mile-high pies and for serving a hearty breakfast. Fried ...

  Stars and Stripes Museum and Library
Stars and Stripes, the newspaper for men and women in the U.S. military, started here with the publication ...

  Fiddler's Fish House
Home-style buffet with fried green tomatoes, farm-raised catfish, fried chicken and chicken livers, ...