Missouri is a Southern state covered by grassy plains and the forested Ozark Mountains. Take a road trip along the famous Route 66, absorb culture at the famous Gateway Arch, visit one of the 92 state parks and historical sites, and don't forget to tuck into a plate of slow-cooked barbecue – Missouri has everything you need. Here is our guide to some of the top experiences you can enjoy.

Explore the Famous Route 66

Route 66 secured its famous name in Springfield, Missouri, in 1926. Prior to this, Missouri was just one of many states that the original highway passed through, connecting Chicago to Los Angeles. Today, a trip to Missouri wouldn’t be complete without exploring some of the attractions that line the Mother Road. 

Stop by the Route 66 Museum in Lebanon, which features re-creations of a 1950s gas station and diner. Voted the number one Best New Attraction in 2019 by USA Today, the History Museum on the Square in Springfield has six permanent galleries depicting historical events in Springfield. Take a ride in the Trolley Time Machine, then immerse yourself in a re-creation of the first Wild West shootout. 

Watch out for quirky roadside attractions such as the Route 66 Rocker in Cuba and the Thomas Hart Benton Mural (along with a display that shows the evolution of this mural) in the Joplin City Hall. Step back in time with a classic Route 66 drive-in movie experience in Carthage. 

Get Cultured at The Gateway Arch 

The St. Louis skyline is distinctive due to the Gateway Arch that rises over the city. Standing at 630 feet tall and built in the 1960s, the Gateway Arch is an experience that never fails to delight. Attractions include a tram ride to the top of the arch; the Museum at the Gateway Arch, which depicts 201 years of history about the westward expansion of the United States; the Arch Café coffee shop; shopping at The Arch Store; and a range of exciting cruises aboard the Riverboats at the Gateway Arch.

Tuck into Slow-Cooked BBQ 

Kansas City, Missouri, has more than 100 barbecue restaurants known for the thick, molasses-based sauce unique to the city. You won’t just find the popular cuisine here, though; travellers will be delighted to find delicious barbecue across the state, from beef to chicken to pork – and even fish!

Pappy's Smokehouse in St. Louis and St. Peters specialises in ribs that have been dry-rubbed and slow-smoked over apple and cherry wood. The late Jim ‘Pappy’ Emerson, who the restaurant is named after, kept things simple and created an atmosphere for great food and good times. And that is very much witnessed at Pappy’s today. 

Visit Missouri State Parks and Historic Sites

With 92 Missouri state parks and historical sites, there’s something to suit every interest. The state park system includes homes of famous Missourians and Civil War battlefields. It protects and preserves the state’s beautiful landscapes, including deep forests, prairies, glades, crystal clear lakes and streams. The parks offer an abundance of outdoor activities such as fishing, hiking, biking, boating,  and swimming, to name a few. 

Hit a High Note at the National Blues Museum

The National Blues Museum celebrates the history and development of the blues music genre and tells the story of how it became the foundation of all modern American music. You will immerse yourself in the museum’s impactful technology-driven experiences, artefact-driven exhibits, and state-of-the-art theatre.