More Than Saint Louis: The Best Cities in Missouri to Visit

When you think of Missouri, one place probably comes to mind: Saint Louis. Home of the famous Saint Louis Cardinals, the Gateway Arch, and beer producers like Anheuser-Busch, the city of Saint Louis is world-famous. 

And while Saint Louis is undoubtedly a wonderful place to visit, Missouri has a ton of cities to explore and enjoy. With amazing historical sites, haunted houses, and all of the delicious food you can eat, there some incredible cities in Missouri that everyone can enjoy. 

In this article, we’ll go over the best cities to visit in Missouri, their history, and the things to do there.

Kansas City  

While you might think that Kansas City is in Kansas, it is actually in Missouri! This confusing conundrum is a result of the city’s long history. The city of Kansas City was established in the 1830s, over thirty years before the Kansas territory became a state. By the time Kansas became a state, the borders for Missouri had already been drawn and the name of the city stuck. 

But this old city has a lot more to offer than just it’s fascinating history. Kansas City is home to some of the greatest sporting venues and teams in America. You can catch a Kansas City Royals game at Kauffman Stadium and enjoy the incredible food and beer on offer there. You can also watch the Kansas City Chiefs dominate the gridiron at Arrowhead Stadium, one of America’s most iconic stadiums. 

If you’re a NASCAR fan, you can see some heart-pounding racing action at the Kansas City Speedway. With these all these sports teams and stadiums, there is something for everyone to enjoy. 

And if you love food and drink, Kansas City will like heaven on earth for you and your family. Kansas City is home to the world-famous Kansas City-style barbeque, which is defined by a wide variety of smoked meat and delicious sauces.

If you’re looking for an authentic Kansas City-style barbeque experience, be sure to visit Joe’s Kansas City Barbeque and Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque. These two restaurants have established themselves as the authority of KC BBQ and cannot be missed. 

You can also visit nearby Independence, MO for great food, museums, and outdoor activities. There are plenty of things to do in Kansas City, so make sure you set aside enough time to fully explore!

Springfield

Located in the Ozark mountains, this city has the perfect blend of modern living and rich history. With three universities located in Springfield, the town has a young, hip vibe and has plenty of college bars, sports bars, and good food. However, this town also has a rich history that cannot be ignored.

Civil War Battles, Famous Gunfights, and Terrifying Ghosts

The city of Springfield, MO was the site of multiple civil war battles. This means there is a ton of history surrounding this city and its significance in the war. But that isn’t its only claim to fame. The city also hosted a shootout between the famous Wild Bill Hickok and Davis Tutt, a former Confederate Soldier. 

The two men met in the town square, stood 75 yards apart, drew their pistols and each fired a shot. When the smoke cleared, Hickok was standing, and Davis was not. This famous scene has been recreated by Hollywood many times, but this was the first time a gunfight like that happened. A bronze plaque decorates the sight of the shooting, which is very popular with tourists. 

And with its long history, Springfield is a hot spot for paranormal activity. There are plenty of ghost tours available for those looking for something supernatural. You can tour Pythian Castle, a long-standing building that has been the scene of grisly suicides and torture. 

Amazing Natural Landmarks

If you love exploring the natural beauty and wonders of the Earth, Springfield has an amazing secret hidden underground. Named the “Fantastic Caverns”, Springfield is home to a large cave system. These hold lots of stalactites and other incredible formations.

This is a great trip for the family, especially on a hot Missouri day. The caves are cool and offer great sights. The cave tour is also presented on a Jeep-pulled tram, which makes it easy for everyone to enjoy. 

Jefferson City

If you’re a big history buff, then you’ll love Jefferson City. This city is the home to the Gateway Arch, which is known as the gateway to the west. Not only can you enjoy Jefferson City’s unique architecture, but you can also visit the infamous Missouri State Penitentiary

Built in 1836, this prison was still in operation as recently as 2004. This prison was host to a number of terrible fires, suicides, murders, and held some of the most dangerous men in history. It was home to “Pretty Boy” Floyd, who was one of the more famous bank robbers in history. It also held James Earl Ray, who would later assassinate Martin Luther King Jr. 

For those who are extremely brave, you can take an overnight ghost tour. You can hear the disembodied voices of prisoners talking in the cells, and see the ghostly doctors walking the halls for yourself!

And if you’re looking for a truly unique experience, you can even get your scuba certification at Scuba Adventure! 

Hannibal

For fans of the work of Mark Twain, Hannibal is a must-see destination. Mark Twain was born and raised in Hannibal, and many of his stories take place there. Stories like Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer take place in Hannibal, and you can visit the landmarks in these stories for yourself. 

One of the great attractions is the cave system from Huckleberry Finn. With cool temperatures, its a great option for a hot day. You can also experience some of Jefferson City’s riverside cuisine, and sample some of the great markets and boutiques during your shopping. 

See More than Just Cities In Missouri

As you can see, there are plenty of interesting cities in Missouri that you can visit. Whether you’re looking for good food, great history, or just a relaxing trip with beautiful sights, there is something for everyone in Missouri’s cities. 

You can also check out Missouri’s incredible wildlife, fishing, and hiking as well for an amazing outdoor adventure!