Trip Ideas: Honor Tour - Part Three
Explore Missouri's rich military history and heritage along the eastern side of the state while honoring her veterans.
Day One
A visit to the Commemorative Air Force Missouri Wing is like taking a step back in time. The Wing's facilities, located at St. Charles County Airport (Smartt Field), house a collection of historic World War II aircraft, museum, and gift shop. The museum displays a unique assortment of WWII artifacts and memorabilia. The gift shop offers a variety of aviation souvenirs including caps, t-shirts, hat pins, model aircraft, DVD's, and videos. Rides may be purchased for a flight on the Wing's 1944 B-25J Mitchell Bomber. Please call ahead for flight times and schedules. Tickets must be purchased in advance with flights subject to weather conditions and availability of the aircraft.
6390 Grafton Ferry Road, Portage Des Sioux MO 63373, 636-250-4515
Hours: Thur. and Sat., 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
Try a change of pace from the tour with little lunch and rock 'n' roll at the Hard Rock Cafe. The cafe offers timeless rock-star memorabilia and the outdoor patio, overlooking the lake at Union Station, is summer dining.
1820 Market St., St. Louis MO 63103, 314-621-7625
Hours: Sun.-Thur., 11 a.m.-midnight; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
The Jefferson Barracks Historic Site is recognized as the oldest active military installation west of the Mississippi River. Designated a National Cemetery in 1866, the 331-acre site is still in use. Burials from the War of Independence through the present have been conducted here. It is the final resting place for some 16,000 Civil War soldiers from both the Union and the Confederacy. The Jefferson Barracks 1905 Post Exchange Building has been converted into what will become Missouri's largest and finest Civil War museum, library and educational center. The facility’s focus is entirely on Missouri's role in the American Civil War. Museum admission is $5-$7. Active duty military personnel and children younger than 5, free.
2900 Sheridan Road, St. Louis MO 63125, 314-845-8320
Hours: Grounds are open dawn-dusk. The Civil War Museum is open daily 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Indulge in a little more history during your Honor Tour with an overnight in a beautifully restored 1891 Queen Anne Victorian just an hour and 45 minutes south, in the Old Town Cape Girardeau historic district. The four guestrooms, all with private baths, offer an inviting alternative to hotel lodging. A hot, three-course breakfast is served. Fine restaurants, antique shops, boutiques, and art galleries are within three blocks.
312 Bellevue St., Cape Girardeau MO 63701, 800-768-6822
Hours: Office: 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m
Day Two
In the summer of 1861, four forts were built around the strategic city of Cape Girardeau. Fort D was designed by German-American engineers and built by soldiers Fort D featured as many as five cannons, the largest of which could fire a 32-pound cannon ball. The fort was manned throughout the Civil War. Of the four earthen forts, only Fort D remains. It is located four blocks south of the intersection of Route 74 and Sprigg Street.
920 Fort St., Cape Girardeau MO 63701, 800-777-0068
Hours: Open sunrise-sunset.
Stars and Stripes, the newspaper for men and women in the U.S. military, started here in 1861. Museum exhibits focus on the people who have produced this legendary publication over the years. It contains exhibits from conflicts from the Civil War through Operation Iraqi Freedom. The hours shown are the regular summer hours; please call or visit our website to verify off-season hours.
17377 Stars and Stripes Way, Bloomfield MO 63825, 573-568-2055
Hours: Mon., Wed.,-Fri., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sat., 10 a.m.-2 p.m.; Sundays by appointment only.
This cemetery holds 150 markers of soldiers who died during the Civil War. Each marker includes a brief account of where, when and how that soldier died.
County Road 517, Bloomfield MO 63825, 573-624-5447
Hours: Dawn-dusk