Experience Soulard Mardi Gras aka St Louis Mardi Gras 2020

St Louis Mardi Gras 2020If you think New Orleans has the lock on the country's fun and exciting Mardi Gras celebrations, think again! Soulard Mardi Gras, aka St Louis Mardi Gras, is one of the largest Mardi Gras celebrations in the world!

Mardi Gras, a primarily Roman Catholic event, is celebrated all over the world. The first American Mardi Gras was celebrated in 1703 in the town of Mobile, AL, when it was still the capital of French colonial Louisiana. When the capital moved to New Orleans in 1723, so to did the Mardi Gras tradition.

While St Louis was founded by the French in 1764 and has a significant French Catholic past, that's not when the city's Mardi Gras tradition began.

Soulard Mardi Gras

The St Louis Mardi Gras tradition - really Soulard Mardi Gras - began in 1980. Five friends in the Soulard neighborhood were looking for a way to fight the winter blues. How about an impromptu festival for 200 of their closest friends on Mardi Gras weekend?

That first weekend was such a success that it became an annual tradition. A tradition now grown well past its grass roots origins to big name recognition and branding.

Soulard Mardi Gras kicks off every year on January 6th with a series of 11 events carrying through to Fat Tuesday. These include the popular Family Carnival, a Cajun Cook-off, a Weiner Dog Derby, and the Grand Parade.

The Soulard Mardi Gras Grand Parade is hugely popular, typically drawing a crowd running well into the thousands. And no wonder! It includes Krewes throwing over 10,000,000 bead strands, live Cajun music, more than 100 floats, and a whole lot of fun. Why, you can even ride a float!

St Louis Mardi Gras 2020 Event Schedule

st Louis Mardi Gras 2020January 6 -
12th Night
- 5:15pm

January 11 -
Family Winter Carnival
- 12pm to 3pm

February 1 -
Bacchanalian Ball: Hollywood Nights
- 7pm to 11pm

February 8 -
Cajun Cook-Off
- 12pm to 4pm

February 15 -
Missouri Lottery 5k Run For Your Beads
- 9am
Taste of Soulard - 11am to 5pm

February 16 -
Soulard Mardi Gras 2020Taste of Soulard
- 11am to 5pm
Purina Pet Parade - 1pm
Tito’s Wiener Dog Derby - 1:45pm

February 21 -
Mayor’s Mardi Gras Ball
- 7pm to Midnight

February 22 -
Bud Light Party Tent
- 9am to 6pm
Blues Alumni Experience - 9am to 5pm
Corporate Village VIP Experience - 9am to 5:30pm
Bud Light Grand Parade - 11am

Visit stlmardigras.org for tickets and more information. You can also follow the event on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Missouri Lodging

Whatever it is that brings you to the great state of Missouri, don't let mediocre accommodations ruin your experience. A Missouri Inn is your best bet for real service, value, and the kind of warm and friendly hospitality you simply won’t receive at a chain establishment. Find the Missouri bed and breakfast for your getaway today!

Explore Laumeier Sculpture Park

Laumeier Sculpture ParkArt and nature come face-to-face at Laumeier Sculpture Park in Sunset Hills, Missouri. The free, 105-acre park includes nature trails and greens interspersed with over 60 large-scale, outdoor sculptures.

If you have the feeling that someone - or something - is watching you as you walk around Laumeier Sculpture Park, don't be alarmed. It's just that giant, nearly 40 foot diameter eyeball on the lawn over there. The Tony Tasset "Eye" is just one of the many large-scale sculptures that will arrest your attention at the park.

Laumeier (rhymes with "now higher") Sculpture Park was founded in 1976 on land donated to St Louis County by Matilda Laumeier. This makes it one of the first and oldest sculpture parks in the United States. An initial gift of 40 artworks by local artist Ernest Trova kicked off the park's collection.

Visiting the Sculpture Park

Laumeier has the distinction of being not only one of the country's first sculpture parks but also one of the largest.

The 105 acre park is home to works by Vito Acconci, Mark di Suvero, Donald Baechler, Jonathan Borofsky, Anthony Caro, Niki de Saint Phalle, Jackie Ferrara, Donald Judd, Sol LeWitt, Alexander Liberman, Robert Morris, and Beverly Pepper, to name but a few.

Paved walkways and hiking trails crisscross the property, allowing for self-guided tours of the installed works.

Laumeier Sculpture Park Tony Tasset EyeThe Central Pathway offers a .64-mile loop that will take you past some of the Park's most popular sculptures. The Art Hike Trail is the longest trail in the park at .77 miles. The short, .15-mile Western Woodland Trail provides a quick and pleasant hike along the west side of the park.

Laumeier presents a variety of educational programs, special events, art classes, workshops, and art camps throughout the year.

The park is free, open daily and a great place to view art, take a walk, or enjoy a picnic. You can bring your (leashed) dog, let the kids blow off some steam, or just enjoy a nice hike through the woods!

Laumeier Sculpture Park

12580 Rott Road, Saint Louis, Missouri 63127

Park hours are 8am to 30 minutes past sunset, 365 days a year. Aronson Fine Arts Center hours are 10am to 4pm, daily.
Learn more at the park website. You can also visit the park on Facebook.

Missouri Lodging

There are endless reasons to reward yourself with a Missouri getaway, especially if you acquire accommodations at a Missouri bed and breakfast. A Missouri bed and breakfast is your answer to a good night’s sleep, followed by a nutritious breakfast, and a host of top-shelf amenities in between. Find the perfect Missouri inn for your getaway today!

Meramec Caverns - Missouri's Largest Show Cave!

Meramec Caverns in Sullivan MODiscover a subterranean world of wonder along Route 66 at Missouri's famous, seven-level Meramec Caverns. Enjoy guided cave tours, riverboat rides, gold panning, seasonal zip lines, and more!

Meramec Caverns is Missouri's largest show cave - and that's saying something in a state with a more than 6,000 surveyed caves. The 4.6-mile cavern system is located in the Ozarks, near Stanton, Missouri.

The cave was well known to natives, with a number of Pre-Columbian Native American artifacts found inside. In fact, it was Osage stories of the cave that led the first European here in the early 1700's.

Since then, the cave has served as a saltpeter mine, a Union gunpowder facility, heat shelter, party venue, and a movie set. Some even say it was a hideout for Jesse James.

Today, it's more simply known as Missouri's biggest and most famous show cave!

Visiting the Caverns

Meramec Caverns were formed over millions of years by the steady erosion of limestone and accretion of minerals. This type of cave is known as a "living cave" because it is still being formed.

Meramec Caverns has around 18 miles of passageways and chambers to explore. The complex of caverns is taller than a 7-story building and decorated with naturally occurring stalactites, stalagmites, and other weird stone shapes.

Meramec Caverns Color WallGuided cave tours are conducted along well-lighted walkways by trained rangers. The 80 minute tour will take you to some of the rarest and largest cave formations in the world. Stone formations in the Wine Room, the Mirror Room, and The Greatest Show Under the Earth, to name but a few, will take your breath away.

More Than Caverns

Warm weather visitors to Meramec Caverns will discover there's lots more to do after you're done touring the cave.

Caveman Zipline - March-October
Fly through the air with the greatest of ease on this 90 minute canopy adventure. Three swinging sky-bridges and four zip rides. www.cavemanzipline.com.

Riverboat Rides - April-September
Enjoy a half hour long, canopy-topped riverboat tour on the Meramec River. Relax and enjoy the ride as your guide describes the river's rich history and wildlife.

Canoe Floats - April-October
Kick back in a canoe, kayak, or raft during a six or eleven mile float trip down the scenic Meramec River. Shuttle to and from the launch and pick up included. This attraction is weather dependent. www.caverncanoeandraftrental.com

Panning for Gold - June-September
Kids love gold panning and here they can net fool’s gold, fossils, and other gemstones. Such excitement and fun!

Meramec also has a gift shop, a full service restaurant, and Granny's snack shack. Pick up some souvenirs during your stay and, for gosh sakes, don't leave hungry!

Meramec Caverns

1135 Hwy W, Sullivan, MO 63080

Meramec Caverns is open year 'round, except for Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Be sure to visit the caverns' website for hours and other details. You can also visit the caverns on Facebook.

Missouri Lodging

Meramec Caverns are wonderful - but they won't let you sleep there! For the best in Missouri lodging, we suggest booking your nest stay at a locally owned B&B! A Missouri Bed and Breakfast offers superior hospitality, top-tier amenities, and insight into what to see and do in the area. Make the most of your next vacation with a stay in a Missouri inn!

Glore Psychiatric Museum at Saint Joseph Museums

Glore Psychiatric MuseumThere's nothing quite like the award-winning, Glore Psychiatric Museum in Saint Joseph, MO. The facility houses the largest collection of psychiatric treatment history in the country. Four full floors of it, in fact!

Glore Psychiatric Museum began in 1967 as a series of historical replicas created for a mental health open house at St. Joseph State Hospital. The replicas were so impressive that they sparked the idea for an ongoing psychiatric museum. The museum is named for occupational therapist George Glore (1937-2010), who was instrumental in the creation of the original replicas.

The museum started out as part of St. Joseph State Hospital. When the hospital was converted to the Western Reception Diagnostic Correctional Center in 1994,  the museum moved across the road to its current location.

Visiting the Museum

3406 Frederick Avenue, St. Joseph, MO, 64506
Open 7 days a week. Monday through Saturday: 10am to 5pm, Sundays: 1pm to 5pm
Visit www.stjosephmuseum.org for more information.

Visitors to the museum today can still see George’s replicas - plus a whole lot more!

Fascinating displays and exhibits can be found on all four floors of the museum. You'll stare in mute wonder at the giant hamster wheel, the shock therapy room, and ice-picks modified for use in lobotomies. There are also more mundane exhibits of hospital furnishings, nurse uniforms, personal notes, and other items.

straight jacket Glore Psychiatric MuseumBeyond the ill-advised and seemingly abusive treatments of the past, patients left behind many of the most interesting items at the museum. Artwork and beyond - like the quilt used by a mute schizophrenic to stitch out her thoughts - is always fascinating. So, too, are the collections, such as the 108,000 cigarette packs one hoarding inmate amassed. Or how about the patient who swallowed 1,446 indigestible objects?

All this and much, much more are on display at the Glore Psychiatric Museum, the country's largest exhibition of psychiatric treatment history.

Glore Psychiatric Museum

3406 Frederick Avenue, St. Joseph, MO, 64506
Open 7 days a week. Monday through Saturday: 10am to 5pm, Sundays: 1pm to 5pm
Visit www.stjosephmuseum.org for more information. You can also find the museum on Facebook.

Saint Joseph Museums

Saint Joseph MuseumsThe Glore Psychiatric Museum isn't the only place you'll want to visit while you're at The Saint Josephs Museum complex. The multi-floor and wing building also houses a Doll Museum, the Black Archives Museum, and the Native American and History Galleries. You can also learn about Civil War Medicine,  the Story of Jesse James through photos and news clippings, and browse The Eckel Collection.

This latter contains thousands of Edmond Jacques Eckel's (1845 - 1934) architectural drawings, photographs, correspondence, and even some furniture. Edmund Eckel, born in Strasbourg, France, was St. Joseph, MO's leading architect for sixty-five years. It is estimated that 75% of the buildings in Saint Joseph, including the Wyeth-Tootle Mansion, were designed by Eckel or one of his firms.

The Wyeth-Tootle Mansion is the final piece of The Saint Josephs Museum pie. The late-19th-century mansion full of wonderful period furnishings and art is located just a short drive away at 1100 Charles Street.

Learn more at www.stjosephmuseum.org

Missouri Lodging

Exploring Glore Psychiatric Museum sounds incredible - but you won't want to spend the night there! For the best in St Joseph MO lodging, look to the locally owned and operated Missouri Bed and Breakfast inns! A Missouri inn is your source for the kind of personal service and deep-dish amenities you can find nowhere else. Find your Missouri home away from home today!

Missouri State Penitentiary Tours – Go Directly To Jail

Missouri State Penitentiary Tours

Missouri State Penitentiary opened in 1836, the same year as the Battle of the Alamo. It celebrated its 98th birthday the year Alcatraz opened. The prison was named “bloodiest 47 acres in America” in 1967 by Time magazine. Before closing it doors for good in 2004, the Missouri State Prison was the oldest penal facility operating west of the Mississippi River.

Now you can tour the infamous prison and get a feel for what it must have been like for the both the inmates and their guards! Tours visit the prison’s oldest remaining cellblock (Unit 4), control center, work area, exercise yard, dungeon cells, and – ulk – even the gas chamber.

Missouri State Prison Tours

Missouri State Penitentiary offers a wide variety of ways to explore the historic facility. There are History Tours, Photography Tours, and spooky Ghost and Paranormal Tours. In fact, there are currently 18 different kinds of tours available.

Tour guides at the prison are former corrections officers, guards, and wardens who worked here. You’ll know the stories they tell are on the level. Some of the more popular tours include:

The 2-Hour History Tour – This tour digs into the prison’s intriguing history. You’ll learn about escape attempts, riots, famous inmates, and much more.

2-Hour Ghost Tour – Hear the strange, unusual, and unexplained things that have occurred behind the Missouri State Pen’s walls. This tour visits Housing Units 1, 3, and 4, the dungeon cells, and the gas chamber. Brrrrr!

3-Hour Photography Tour – Shutterbugs will love this 2-hour exploration of some of the most photographed parts of the prison.

Other tours offered include the 3-Hour Mystery Tour, 8-Hour Overnight Paranormal Investigation, and the 3-Hour In-Depth History Tour.

Missouri State Penitentiary Museum

Hungry for more Missouri State Pen history?

The Missouri State Penitentiary Museum in Jefferson City continues the story of the prison with a wealth of penitentiary memorabilia. Exhibits highlight prison industries, contract labor, life inside the walls, and more. There’s even a replica jail cell.

The museum is located in the lower-level of the Col. Darwin W. Marmaduke House at 700 E Capitol Ave, in Jefferson City. Admission is $2 or free with purchase of a prison tour. Open Monday through Friday, 10am to 4pm, and Saturdays, 10am to 3pm.

Jefferson City Prison Tours

115 Lafayette Street, Jefferson City, MO 65101

Tour season runs from March to November. No children under 10 permitted. Tours are not wheelchair accessible. Still photography is allowed but no video. No smoking. Reservations are required for all tours. Special and group tours may be arranged. Visit www.missouripentours.com to learn more. You can also follow the Missouri State Penitentiary on Facebook.

Missouri Lodging

Touring the State Pen sounds like a great time – but you don’t want a room there! For your best answer  to a good night’s sleep, try a Missouri bed and breakfast! You’ll net unbelievably comfie accommodations,  nutritious breakfasts, an insider’s info on the area, and a host of luxurious amenities on top. Why wait? Find your perfect Missouri inn today!

Go Back in Time at Fort Osage National Historic Landmark

Fort Osage National Historic LandmarkHistoric Fort Osage was built when Missouri was still considered the far west. Now you can visit the reconstructed site, designed to appear as it did in 1812, with authentically attired living-history interpreters. Step back in time and walk on ground once trod by William Clark, Sacagawea, Daniel Boone, and many, many others.

Fort Osage, overlooking the Missouri River, was established, by William Clark (of Lewis & Clark fame) in 1808. It was one of the first military outposts in the territory, built to protect the newly established Louisiana Purchase.

The forts served double duty as both trading posts and military encampments. One of the forts' main purposes was to help foster better relations with the native peoples via fair trade. Unregulated commerce from private fur traders were a constant contributor to unrest with the natives and something the forts hoped to mitigate.

Fort Osage closed due to a variety of factors in 1822. The War of 1812 had ended, the Osage had ceded more of their land, and trade was moving to newer bigger forts. Fort Osage served as a landmark on the Santa Fe Trail for a while but eventually faded back into the grass, leaving nothing but a rock foundation by 1850.

Archeologists rediscovered the fort’s foundations in the 1940s and the historic site's reconstruction soon followed. The historic fort now looks as it did in 1812. Reconstruction hewed as close to the original specifications as possible, using original surveys created by William Clark and others.

Visiting the Fort Today

Now you can visit Fort Osage as it appeared in the early 1800's, complete with costumed interpreters who make the past come to life. Tours of the facility provide fascinating insight into the daily life of the military, civilian, and Native American populations that lived and worked here.

The Fort Osage Education Center at the site includes a number of interactive exhibits. Learn about the area's geology, early 19th century flora and fauna, and the Missouri River. Other exhibits focus on the Hopewell Indians, Osage Indians, Lewis and Clark, and the fort, itself.

Special Events at the Fort

The fort also hosts a number of special events throughout the year. Some of the upcoming include:

Annual Fall Muster - October 26 – 27, 9am to 4:30pm
Cannon practice, musket practice, and infantry drills - this annual event is nationally recognized as one of the most authentic.

American Fur Trader's Encampment - November 9 – 10, 9am to 4:30pm
Discover how traders and mountain men survived with demonstrations of daily activities from camp life to Native American sign language.

​Fort Osage Candlelight Tour - December 14, 4:30pm to 9:30pm
Experience the holiday season through the eyes of soldiers officers, government agents, and civilians at the fort.

Fort Osage National Historic Landmark

107 Osage Street, Sibley, MO 64088

Visit the fort online at www.fortosagenhs.com or makeyourdayhere.com for more information.

Missouri Lodging

Missouri has lots of historic sites to visit. We also have galleries, museums, shopping, parks, rivers, lakes, wonderful towns and cities, a friendly populace and lots of warm and welcoming B&B's. A Missouri inn is your answer to a good night's sleep, followed by a nutritious breakfast, and plenty of hospitality and top-tier amenities in between. So go ahead, the next time you're enjoying a Missouri getaway, give yourself the gift of supreme comfort and value with lodging at a Missouri bed and breakfast!

Explore Bridal Cave at Lake of the Ozarks

Bridal Cave at Lake of the OzarksDiscover a hidden world of crystal, water, and stone at Bridal Cave and Thunder Mountain Park on Lake of the Ozarks near Camdenton, MO!

No one needs an excuse to visit central Missouri's stunning Lake of the Ozarks. The huge, 92 mile-long reservoir was created by impounding the Osage River. Activities include boating, fishing, water skiing, jet-skiing, and other forms of recreating. The lake's 1,150 miles of shoreline offers golfing, shopping, dining, state parks, and attractions like Bridal Cave.

The Cave Legend

Bridal Cave gets its name from an old Osage legend.

A maiden from one local tribe married a brave from another in a room in the cave that is filled with beautiful stalactites and stalagmites. Though quite probably apocryphal, the name stuck and the legend has lived on since at least the early 1800's.

Not only that but the cave can still be reserved for weddings. In fact, over 3,000 couples have exchanged vows in the cave!

Cave Tours

Guided tours of the cave follow easy to navigate concrete pathways from room to room. Your guide will point out formations of interest as well as relate the history and legends of the cave.

The cave remains a constant 60° and filled with incredible mineral deposits. You'll see giant columns of stone, delicate soda straw formations, massive draperies of limestone, and crystal clear Mystery Lake. All formed by water percolating down from the surface above. As it drips and flows, the water wears away some minerals and leaves deposits from others behind. The process takes millions of years, leaving behind treasures your eyes will never forget.

limestone formations in Bridal Cave2General tours last approximately one hour and leave every few minutes. Bridal Cave also offers special Lantern Tours!

Lantern Tours will take you back to a time when caves were explored with hand held lanterns. Imagine the excitement and mystery as you plunge into the inky black with only your lanterns lighting the way! This tour also includes a souvenir LED lantern that you get to keep. Space is limited and Lantern Tours are only offered seasonally. Learn more at the cave website.

Thunder Mountain Park

Done touring the caverns? Visit Thunder Mountain Park! Thunder Mountain offers a lakeside gift shop, decks, nature trails, picnic areas, a public boat dock, observation tower, and snacks.

The park also includes Thunder Mountain Mining Company, a unique shop specializing in rocks, minerals, gemstones, gifts and tools for rock hounds. You can also pan for semi precious minerals to take home. Loads of fun.

Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park

526 Bridal Cave Rd, Camdenton, MO 65020

Located two miles North of Camdenton, MO on State Highway 5 and at the 10 1/2 mile marker of the Big Niangua arm of Lake of the Ozarks. Hours vary by season. Check the cave website for hours, directions, and other information. You can also find it on Facebook,Twitter, and Instagram.

Missouri Lodging

No matter where your Missouri adventures take you, you're going to need somewhere to call your home base. Luckily, there are locally owned Missouri inns and B&B's all across the state, offering the very best in Missouri lodging. A Missouri bed and breakfast offers uncommonly comfortable amenities, nutritious breakfasts, and an insider’s knowledge of the area. Choose your Missouri accommodations now!

Hermann Oktoberfest 2019 - A Full Month of Celebration!

Hermann Oktoberfest 2019Whether you’re a big fan of beer, pretzels, and oom-pah music, or are just wanting to celebrate the season, Hermann Oktoberfest has the gemütlichkeit you’re after with related events and celebrations every weekend through the month of October!

Oktoberfest is a fun, fall celebration of life, expressed through food, drink, music, dancing, and more. The tradition began in Munich over 200 years ago with a royal wedding celebration that was such a screaming success they decided to make it an annual event. Oktoberfest is now celebrated all over the world, including right here in Hermann, MO.

Hermann takes their Oktoberfest celebrations more seriously than most other American cities. How seriously? In Hermann, the event is celebrated weekends, all month long.

Now that’s what I call an Oktoberfest!

A Month Long Celebration?

In Munich, Oktoberfest can last as long as 18 days. Most other Oktoberfest celebrations, however, are restricted to a single weekend or even just an afternoon. That simply wasn’t enough for Hermann MO!

Hermann has a sizeable German community that came here during the 1930’s and 40’s. The influence of this unique heritage left a permanent, positive impression on the community. The month-long Oktoberfest celebrations are but one example of this influence – but what an example!

Any weekend in October is a good weekend to come and experience Hermann Oktoberfest. Though each weekend may have its own set of special events, they all feature live music, and authentic German food and drink. Prost!

Special Events

Hermann Oktoberfest is so much more than just lederhosen and pretzels. That’s because the community behind the annual event is celebrating its own heritage, not just aping someone else’s for fun.

Visitors to Hermann during Oktoberfest are encouraged to visit the Historic Hermann Museum and the Deutschheim State Historic Site. Both detail the town’s German roots and offer special programs during Oktoberfest. You may as well know what you’re celebrating, right?

Hermann is also known for its many wineries and breweries. They all take part in the celebrations with live music, food, and other special events throughout the month.

The center of the action is always the Jaycee Bier Garten, which is open from noon to 11pm, every Saturday in October. Here you can enjoy beer (natch), wine, food, and excellent live music, which begins at 1pm. The Bier Garten is also the site of stein hoisting contests, which occur several times a day. This is also where you can pick up your commemorative, Hermann Oktoberfest beer steins.

The Arts and Crafts Festival at Hermann Middle School (Oct 8-9) always includes a wide variety of wonderful, locally handcrafted items. Come see all the unique, handmade items and maybe even get a little early holiday shopping done!

Hermann Oktoberfest 2019

Every weekend in October in Hermann MO

Visit visithermann.com for more information.

Missouri Lodging

For true comfort and value, plus an insider’s knowledge of the area, stay at a Missouri Bed and Breakfast. Make the most of your Missouri getaway with a stay at a locally owned and operated, Missouri inn!

St. Louis National Blues Museum - History, Live Music, & More

National Blues Museum in St Louis MOYou don’t have to be a blues fan to appreciate the National Blues Museum. This “don’t miss” attraction in downtown St. Louis MO shows how the uniquely American art form remains an important part of our lives, our nation’s history, and continues to influence musicians worldwide.

Jazz, folk, country, rock, and rap all owe some or much of their existence to the Blues. Emotional and heartfelt, the art form has been a bedrock for virtually all American popular music since its birth.

Missouri’s National Blues Museum occupies the first level of the marble-floored, 1906 Grand-Leader/Dillards building, located downtown. It’s fitting that the city should be home to the museum. St. Louis, after all, is one of the main cities where blues first took hold outside of the South.

Visiting The Museum

The museum presents the history of the blues chronologically, beginning with its origins in the rural South. Visitors learn about factors important to the spread of blues, such as the great 1927 Mississippi River flood. Other exhibits detail the Blues’ effect on popular culture and, ultimately, the very fabric of our nation.

Popular and influential Blues musicians, both past masters and more recent artists, are highlighted throughout the museum. Muddy Waters, Buddy Guy, Bessie Smith, Chuck Berry, Eric Clapton, the Allman Brothers, Rolling Stones, and many others are included.

The museum exhibits are fun and interactive, engaging and entertaining as much as they educate. One of the most popular allows you to create a blues persona and record your own song!

The National Blues Museum also hosts a variety of special events and concerts, with an event calendar that always seems full. Howlin’ Fridays, held 7pm to 10pm most Friday nights, sees live Blues concerts at the museum. Tickets are only $15 and seating is first come, first served. Doors open at 6pm. Don’t miss out.

National Blues Museum

615 Washington Ave, St Louis, MO 63101

Be sure to visit the museum website for hours, special events, and more information. You can also follow the museum on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Missouri Lodging

Missouri is home to a lot of fascinating history, amazing people, and beautiful places. Why settle for less when it comes to accommodations? A locally owned Missouri Inn offers superior hospitality as well as inside info on what to see and do in the area. For the best in amenities, service, and comfort, book your next stay in a Missouri bed and breakfast.

Up, Up, and Away at Great Pershing Balloon Derby 2019!

Great Pershing Balloon Derby 2019Labor Day weekend is almost here and that means it’s almost time for Great Pershing Balloon Derby 2019! 3 days, up to 45 balloons, and the US Women’s National Hot Air Balloon Championship: August 30th through September 2nd, 2019 just outside Brookfield, MO.

If you’re a fan of hot air balloons, you DO NOT want to miss the 43rd annual Great Pershing Balloon Derby!

This beloved, annual hot air balloon festival has been held every Labor Day weekend since 1977. In fact, the event has been recognized as the longest running, continually sanctioned ballooning event in the country. The popular three-day festival draws balloonists from every corner of the country; from Florida to the Pacific Northwest.

The 43rd annual Great Pershing Balloon Derby promises to be as exciting as ever with up to 45 balloons on hand. This year’s event is also hosting the 2019 US Women’s National Hot Air Balloon Championship. The Championship kicks things off on August 30th with competitive morning and evening flights.

South Main Night Flame & Nite Lites

August 30th is also the date for this year’s South Main Night Flame. South Main Night Flame is a special, evening event held in downtown Brookfield, MO. Hot air balloons are brought in to line the street for a night burn. If you’ve never had the pleasure of seeing a hot air “balloon glow” or night burn, you’re missing out.

During a night burn, pilots fill their balloons with just enough hot air to inflate them. The burners light the balloons and, against the contrast of the night sky, the colors pop magnificently. It really is a magnificent spectacle, especially with more than one balloon!

Saturday and Sunday night’s planned Nite Lite events will provide a similar “balloon glow” scene.

The derby also includes vendors, a flea market, food and drink, parade, and more. Visit www.pershingballoonderby.com for further details. You can also follow this event on Facebook.

Great Pershing Balloon Derby 2019 Schedule of Events

South Main Night Flame at Great Pershing Balloon Derby

Friday, August 30th
7:15am – National Hot Air Balloon Championships
6pm – National Hot Air Balloon Championships
7:30pm – South Main Night Flame

Saturday, August 31st
7:15am – Balloon Derby,  John Petrehn Memorial Cup Flight, National Hot Air Balloon Championships
9am to 3:30pm – Vendors, flea market, food, drink, and more
9:30am – “Lil Tykes Rolling to the Derby” Decorating Contest
12pm – Balloon Derby Parade
4pm – Launch site gates open
6pm – Balloon Derby, National Hot Air Balloon Championships
7pm – Nite Lite

Sunday, September 1st
7:15am – Balloon Derby, National Hot Air Balloon Championships
4pm – Launch site gates open
6pm – Balloon Derby, National Hot Air Balloon Championships
7:30pm – Nite Lite

Monday, September 2nd
7:15am – Balloon Derby, National Hot Air Balloon Championships

Missouri Lodging

Missouri’s a big state. No matter where you are, there’s always something amazing and fun to see or do. The same is true of Missouri lodging. No matter where your Missouri getaway takes you, you can rest assured that there’s a Missouri Bed and Breakfast somewhere nearby. A Missouri Inn is your best bet for real service, value, and the kind of honest hospitality you simply won’t receive at a chain hotel or motel. Book your Missouri home away from home today!


Get Set for Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout 2019!

Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout 2019Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout 2019 is two days of powerboat races - the largest unsanctioned powerboat racing event in the nation! August 24th and 25th, 2019.

There are no end of reasons why you should visit Missouri's stunning Lake Of The Ozarks.

Lake of the Ozarks is a large reservoir in central Missouri created by impounding the Osage River. The lake has 1,150 miles of shoreline with a main channel stretching some 92 miles.

The lake offers a wide variety of activities and attractions, including boating, fishing, golfing, shopping, dining, state parks, and more. With so many options, you can enjoy as relaxed or exciting a time as you wish. If you're looking for excitement, however, the annual Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout is hard to beat!

Largest Unsanctioned Boat Race in the U.S.

The first Lake Of The Ozarks Shootout was held in 1988 as a simple event between locals. As the years passed, the event grew. Profits from the race were directed towards water rescue services and the race was dubbed the Lake Fire Rescue Shootout.

By the 2000's, the event had grown well past the "local race" stage and was drawing hundreds of boats and tens of thousands of spectators. Now in its 31st year, the Shootout is officially known as the country's largest unsanctioned boat race. It helps raise funds for 8 rescue teams and other Lake area charities. Last year's event raised more than $300,000!

Though the race itself is but a 2-day event, Shootout events occur all week prior to the race. There's an R/C Mini Powerboats Shootout, golf tournament, treasure hunt, street party, auctions, poker runs, and more.

This year's event will once again take place at Captain Ron’s Bar & Grill in Sunrise Beach.

2019 Lake of the Ozarks Shootout Schedule

Saturday, August 24th
Captain Ron’s breakfast - 8am to 11am
Racer Registration, Safety Inspections, Class Identification - 8am to 4pm
Vendor Village and Racer Village open - 9am to 5pm
PWC Classes Run - 9am to 10am
Opening Ceremony - 9:45am
Non-Professional Class - 10am to 11am
Manufacturer Class - 11am to 12:30pm
Professional Class - 12:30pm to 2pm
Non-Professional Class - 2pm to 4pm
Open Class Runs Class - 4pm to 5pm
Entertainment at Captain Ron’s - 7pm to 1am
Super Cat Festival - 8pm

Sunday, August 25th
Captain Ron’s breakfast - 8am to 11am
Racer Registration, Safety Inspections, Class Identification - 8am to 3pm
Vendor Village and Racer Village open - 9am to 4pm
National Anthem - 10am
Professional Class - 10am to 11am
Manufacturer Class - 11am to 12pm
Non-Professional Class - 12pm to 2pm
Open Class for Final Runs - 2pm to 3pm
Awards Ceremony, Vendor Village and Racer Village Close - 4pm

Lake of the Ozarks Shootout 2019

August 24th and 25th
82 Aloha Ln, Sunrise Beach, MO 65079

Visit the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout website for more information and details. You can also follow this event on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Lake of the Ozarks Lodging

Whenever and where ever you are in Missouri, you don't have to look far for good accommodations. Just keep you eyes open for a Missouri bed and breakfast. A locally owned and operated Missouri Inn is your very best bet for value in service and amenities. Fresh, nutritious breakfasts, a local's knowledge of the area, and the kinds of creature comforts you'll never find at a hotel or motel. Find your Missouri home away from home today!

Visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder House Museum in Mansfield, MO

Visit the Laura Ingalls Wilder House Museum in Mansfield MOThe Laura Ingalls Wilder House Museum in Mansfield, MO may not be the "Little House On the Prairie" she wrote so famously about - but it is where she wrote about it! Come discover Rocky Ridge Farm, where Laura Ingalls Wilder wrote many of her books.

Tales of Laura Ingalls Wilder's childhood have thrilled numerous readers - both young and old - since first being published in 1932. "Little House in The Big Woods" was the first of 8 books detailing the Ingalls family pioneering adventures from 1871 to 1885.

The Ingalls family wandered all across the Midwest during these years. From Pepin, WI to Independence, KS, Walnut Grove, MN to Burr Oak IA, De Smet, SD to Vinton IA and often back again. When Charles Ingalls confesses to having an itchy foot for travel in Laura's books, you have to smile. Yes, we know!

Readers - or even those who watched the television series - know that Laura ended up marrying Almanzo Wilder. What they may not know is that Wilder's ended up settling in Mansfield, MO.

Rocky Ridge Farm

Though Laura and Almanzo did some similar hopping from place to place at first, mostly in the hunt for stability, they eventually settled in Mansfield, MO. Here, in 1894, they purchased Rocky Ridge Farm and settled down for good.

It was here, some years later and at her daughter's urging, that Laura turned her memoirs into the book series that went on to sell more than 41 million copies.

Today, Rocky Ridge Farm is the site of the Laura Ingalls Wilder Historic Home and Museum.

Visiting the Laura Ingalls Wilder House

The museum preserves both Laura and Almanzo's original white clapboard farmhouse and the Rock House Rose Wilder Lane built for them. “Laura’s Vegetable Garden," is another on-site attraction.

The museum preserves items that will be of particular interest to fans of the Wilder's "Little House" books. Pa’s fiddle is on display, along with Mary's Braille slate, Laura’s needlework, and Almanzo’s tools. The museum is loaded with items readers of the books will find familiar.

Laura's handwritten manuscripts for the Little House books are here, too - along with the writing desk she wrote at. Another portion of the museum is dedicated to Rose Wilder Lane, a successful author in her own right.

Laura died in Mansfield, in 1957, at the age of 90. Laura's grave, and those of Almanzo and Rose, are minutes away at Mansfield Cemetery.

Laura Ingalls Wilder House Museum

3060 Highway A, Mansfield MO 65704

Open March 1st through November 15th: Monday through Saturday, 9am to 5pm | Sundays, 12:30pm to 5pm. Closed Easter Sunday. Visit lauraingallswilderhome.com to learn even more. You can also visit the museum on Facebook.

Missouri Lodging

Finding excellent lodging during your Missouri vacation is easy – all you need do is visit the Find An Inn tab above. Here, you can search for a Missouri bed and breakfast by amenities and features, city, region, Civil War sites, and more. Plan your Missouri getaway today, made even better Missouri inns and B&B's!

KC RiverFest 2019 - Independence Day on the Berkley Riverfront

KC RiverFest 2019Looking for a fun and fabulous way to spend your Fourth of July? Experience Northwest Missouri's premiere Independence Day celebration at KC RiverFest 2019! Wednesday, July 4th, 3pm to 10pm on the Berkley Riverfront.

KC RiverFest is not only a great way to celebrate the Fourth, it's a Kansas City tradition. If you're in the area and don't attend, well, we hope you have a good excuse because you are most definitely missing out!

The festival is not only notoriously inexpensive (tickets are only $5 and kids under 12 are FREE) it's also endlessly entertaining!

Three stages of live music, food trucks, a craft fair, and more - plus it's held at the beautiful Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park. The Berkley Riverfront is the perfect location to witness an awe-inspiring 4th of July Fireworks extravaganza.

4th of July Fireworks & Much More

Kansas City RiverFest definitely has a fireworks show worth watching - but that's hardly the extent of the festival.

Along with the pyrotechnics, you'll also be treated to a flyover by the U.S. Navy Blue Angels! That's not the only airborne derring-do of the day, either. Attendees will also enjoy the aeronautic antics of the Aeroshell Aerobatic Team.

Looking for some distractions that are a little more down to earth?

RiverFest also includes a Strawberry Swing Indie Craft Fair pop-up market, a Cornhole Tournament, and street performers.

KC RiverFest 2019 Lineup

Speaking of performers, the lineup for this year's entertainment features DJ Joe and his KC Riverfest Dance Party Jukebox. Strolling entertainment will be provided by the amazing Jason D'Vaude. Todd Lamanske will amaze you with his magic show.

Boom KC Main Stage
4:25pm Jake Wells
5:55pm On The One
7:25pm The Zeros
8:55pm Marcus Lewis Brass & Boujee

Friends of the River KC Stage
3:30pm Eems
4:30pm Barnaby Bright
5:30pm Deshtet
6:30pm Rachel Mallin
7:30pm Jessica Paige

Food and Drink

You certainly won't go hungry at KC RiverFest 2019!

KC’s best food trucks will be on hand and offering everything from hot and sticky bb-q to cool and refreshing ice-cream. Beverages will include local brews and crafts on tap, as well as non-alcoholic offerings like fresh squeezed lemonade, iced-tea, soda varieties, and bottled water.

Don't miss out!

KC RiverFest 2019

July 4 - 3pm to 10pm
Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park
110 Berkley Plaza, Kansas City, MO 64120

Learn more at the RiverFest website. You can also follow the event on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Missouri Lodging

No matter where your Missouri adventures take you, you'll want somewhere comfortable to call home. Luckily, locally owned Missouri inns and B&B's can be found all across the state. A Missouri bed and breakfast offers the very best lodging with uncommonly comfortable rooms, nutritious breakfasts, and an insider’s knowledge of the area. Discover your Missouri home away from home now!

Onondaga Cave State Park - Two Caves, Hiking, and More

Onondaga Cave State ParkOnondaga Cave State Park is a Missouri state park on the Meramec River. The park includes opportunities for hiking fishing, swimming, and touring not one but two natural caves!

Charles Christopher discovered Onondaga Cave in 1886 while inspecting the outlet of Onondaga Spring. He realized that a cavern must lay just beyond its flow.

Eager to explore his find, Christopher collected two friends and a boat. Working their way through the narrow opening, they discovered a hidden world of wonder. Weird shapes loomed up out of the darkness. Towering stalagmites, fang-like stalactites, convoluted flowstone, and many other subterranean formations.

Onondaga Cave is one of Missouri’s most spectacular caves, with 1.5 miles of formation-filled passages and caverns. Some of the more amazing attractions are the Twins, the King’s Canopy, Rock of Ages, the Big Room, and the Lily Pad Room.

Onondaga Cave Tours

Onondaga Cave almost became an onyx mine. Luckily for us, tourism proved the better option. Access to the caverns was improved over the years  and electricity was added for illumination.

Tours of Onondaga Cave are just under a mile in length and take about an hour and 15 minutes. Visitors follow along on a paved walkway with a railing and lights to help illuminate your way. The cave stays a constant is 57ºF (13ºC) all year 'round, so dress accordingly.

More Than One Cave?

Cavers will be amazed to learn that Onondaga Cave isn't the only cave in the park. Stunning and famous Cathedral Cave is located in the park, too!

Big holes in the ground aren't the only reason to visit Onondaga Cave State Park. But you'll have to come back up to the surface to see the rest.

Onondaga Cave State Park

9136, 7556 Hwy H, Leasburg, MO 65535

Onondaga Cave State Park includes access to the Meramec River for canoeing, swimming, and fishing. Visit the top of Vilander Bluff Natural Area for stunning, panoramic views of the Meramec River Valley. Picnic areas, camping, and more than six miles of hiking trails round out the park's offerings.

Visit mostateparks.com to learn more about Onondaga Cave State Park.

Missouri Lodging

After a day of fun at Onondaga Cave State Park, you're going to be hankering for some shut-eye. For the best comfort, quality, and value, book your stay at a locally owned and operated Missouri Bed and Breakfast! Missouri B&Bs are your source for personal service, an insider's knowledge of the area, and delicious, hearty breakfasts. Do yourself a favor and look us up the next time you're planning a Missouri getaway - you'll be glad you did!

Wonders Of Wildlife Aquarium and National Museum

Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium and National MuseumWonders Of Wildlife Aquarium and National Museum is one of Springfield, MO's newest attractions. The 350,000 square-foot museum contains a 1.5-million-gallon aquarium aquarium and a mile and a half of exhibits.

Wonders Of Wildlife Aquarium and National Museum opened in late 2017 and has been wowing visitors ever since. 1.6 million people came that first year - and who can blame them?

The aquarium is home to more than 35,000 live animals, including exotic fish, mammals, reptiles, and birds. The museum's immersive wildlife galleries contain a vast collection of game animals in stunning, highly detailed dioramas.

Wonders Of Wildlife (WOW) is the brainchild of Johnny Morris of Johnny Morris' Bass Pro Shops. The museum is adjacent to the Springfield Bass Pro Shops National Headquarters.

Wonders Of Wildlife Museum

The WOW Museum starts off with 1.5 miles of trails that lead you through a variety of immersive diorama vignettes and habitats. You'll visit the polar regions and the African savanna, America's National Parks and the Amazon rain forest. You'll even feel the temperature change as you travel from climate to climate through the different galleries.

The dioramas are spectacular, featuring hand-painted backgrounds and a loving attention to detail. Many of the dioramas are excitingly staged, feeling more like scenes from a wildlife film than a museum subject.

The museum is home to the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame and the International Game and Fish Association Hall of Fame. You can also visit a mock-up of Johnny Morris' first Bass Pro Shop, started right here in Springfeield.

Wonders Of Wildlife Aquarium

If you think the museum sounds amazing, wait until you see the Wonders Of Wildlife Aquarium.

The WOW aquarium is home to more than 35,000 animals, including over 800 species of sharks, rays, jellies, eels, and other fish. Attractions include the Bait Ball, a three-story, tubular aquarium filled with thousands of herring and some accompanying sharks. Tide pool tanks allow for hand-on experiences with horseshoe crabs, small sharks, and even stingrays!

Perhaps most exciting is WOW's Shark Dive. See real live sharks, barracuda, and other aquarium creatures from the safety of a submerged shark cage. State-of-the-art air helmets allow you to enjoy this experience without diver certification.

The WOW aquarium is much more than fish, though. You'll also see eagles, owls, otters, brown bears, bats, and more. Some of the newest arrivals include a Linnaeus's two-toed sloth and some tiny, common marmosets.

Visit Wonders Of Wildlife

500 W Sunshine St, Springfield, MO 65807
Most folks spend four to five hours during their first visit to WOW, so prepare accordingly.

Learn more about Wonders Of Wildlife online at www.wondersofwildlife.org. You can also follow the museum on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Missouri Lodging

Missouri is home to a lot of fascinating history and wonderful places but the quality of your accommodations is just as important. With that in mind, we suggest lodging at a locally owned B&B during your next Missouri getaway, A Missouri Bed and Breakfast not only offers superior hospitality but is also a great resource for what to see and do in the area. Make the most of your next vacation with a stay in a Missouri B&B!

Grant's Farm - Home of the Budweiser Clydesdales

Grants Farm in MissouriGrant's Farm, south of St. Louis, MO, is home to the Busch family and their iconic Budweiser Clydesdales - but that's not all. This historic farm is also home to 100's of exotic animals and was founded in the 1850's by President Ulysses S. Grant!

Grant's Farm started off as an 1848 wedding present for the then newly married Ulysses S. Grant. The future general and President set about sawing logs to build the two-story cabin that can still found here.

Grant moved away from both farming and the farm in 1858. After years of renting the property out, the Grant family let it go in 1885. August Busch Sr. bought the property in 1907 and it's remained in the Busch family ever since.

If the name "Busch" looks familiar to you, it should. It's often seen in conjunction with the name "Anheuser," as in "Anheuser-Busch," brewers of Budweiser beer.

The Busch family has turned the farm into a wildlife preserve. 100's of species of animals live here, including buffalo, antelope, elephants, kangaroos, ostriches, camels, and yes: Budweiser Clydesdales.

Visiting Grant's Farm

Visitors to Grant's Farm will find a wide variety of things to see and do.

History buffs will thrill at the tour of "Hardscrabble," the two-story cabin President Grant built with his own hands. Be sure to check out the fence near the cabin that is made from 2,563 Civil War rifle barrels!

Animal lovers will enjoy up-close and personal animal experiences in the Tier Garten amphitheater. A tram ride through Deer Park will take you to even bigger and more exotic animals on the farm.

The famous Budweiser Clydesdale Stables are here, too, housing world’s largest herd of Clydesdales.

Hungry? The farm offers a variety of snacks, like bratwurst, pretzels, pizza, and chicken strips. Those over the age of 21 may also drop by the hospitality room for complimentary samples of Anheuser-Busch products.

Grant's Farm

The farm is located at 10501 Gravois Rd, St. Louis, MO 63123. Admission to the farm is free but some of the attractions are not.

Grant's Farm operates seasonally, May to October every year. Visit the Grant's Farm website for more details. You can also follow the farm on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Missouri Lodging

No matter where your Missouri adventures take you, you're going to need somewhere to call your home base. Luckily, there are locally owned Missouri inns and B&B's all across the state, offering the very best in Missouri accommodations. Missouri B&B's offer uncommonly comfortable amenities, nutritious breakfasts, and an insider’s knowledge of the area. Choose your Missouri bed and breakfast now!

Roaring River State Park - Fishing, Swimming, Hiking & More!

Rainbow trout at Roaring River State ParkRoaring River State Park, located West of Branson in southwest Missouri, is probably most famous for the rainbow trout found in its namesake's clear waters. But that's not the only reason to visit!

Roaring River State Park is a 4,093-acre park about 8 miles south of Cassville, MO. It is nestled in a deep, shady valley surrounded by the rugged Ozark Mountains. The park offers hiking trails, fishing, swimming pool, picnic tables, store, and a nature center with information about the park.

The park's most striking feature, however, is also the source of the Roaring River.

Roaring River Spring

Roaring River Spring produces an average daily flow of 26 million gallons of cool, clear spring water. More interestingly, the spring emerges from the base of a limestone cliff, forming a pool that spills out to feed the Roaring River. A smaller spring on the cliff above creates a waterfall that splashes down into the main pool. It's a really special and unique place.

Fishing at Roaring River State Park

One of the first thing's you'll notice about the Roaring River Spring pool is all the fish!

The spring's cool, clear waters are perfect for rainbow trout and Roaring River is one of only three state parks stocked with the fish. You can even tour the trout hatchery while you're here. Most folks enjoy feeding and watching the trout in the spring pool. Anglers, of course, love catching them in the river.

If you want to do some trout fishing, you'll need a Missouri Fishing License, and a daily tag. Luckily the Roaring River State Park Store has all you need to get started. Before you know it, you'll be back at the river and catching your limit.

Take your catch to the park's handy cleaning and fillet station and you'll have those fish ready your next meal in no time!

Hiking, Picnicking, Swimming, & More

Roaring River State Park also offers seven nature trails equaling ten miles for hiking and biking. The trails are open year-round, providing excellent experiences, no matter the season.

The park also has over 50 picnic sites scattered throughout, along with a children's playground, and a swimming pool. The swimming pool, located across from the park office, is open from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.

Be sure to check out Ozark Chinquapin Nature Center's exhibits and programs on the park's natural history while you're here, too.

Roaring River State Park

12716 Farm Road 2239, Cassville, Missouri, 65625
Visit mostateparks.com for more information.

Roaring River State Park Lodging

You can camp at the park, and there's a big old hotel nearby, too. For real comfort and value for your accommodation dollar, however, neither can beat a Missouri Bed and Breakfast. Deep dish amenities, personal service, uncommonly comfortable guestrooms, and delicious breakfasts. No matter whether you're in Southwest Missouri or some other part of the state, you can bet that, nearby a locally owned and operated Missouri B&B is waiting for you.

The National Museum of Transportation Will Move You

National Museum of Transportation in Kirkwood MOIf you're a fan of planes, trains, and automobiles (boats, too!) then you should come to Kirkwood, MO and explore all 42 acres of the National Museum of Transportation!

The National Museum of Transportation (NMOT) is a private museum dedicated to the preserving the history of transportation vehicles. The collection is displayed in more than 190 exhibits over 42 acres and includes over 70 locomotives, 200 road vehicles, two planes, and a tugboat!

The museum’s collection started in 1944 with a mule-drawn streetcar named "Bellefontaine" and continues to grow. The grounds use more than four miles of historic track to display and move the collection.

Those among you with a sharp eye will will note that 2019 marks The National Museum of Transportation's 75th birthday. A variety of special events are planned to celebrate this event throughout the year.

Trains at the NMOT

The National Museum of Transportation has one of the most complete American locomotive collections around. Over half of the collection represents either a “one-of-a-kind” or is the last remaining example of that type.

Two such highlights include the world’s largest steam locomotive, the Union Pacific #4006 Big Boy, and "The Whale," an 1833 B&B&PR Passenger Coach - the largest tank car ever built. Many, many other unique trains are on the premises. The collection also includes freight cars, passenger cars, maintenance cars, and interurban and city transit vehicles, such as streetcars and trolleys.

There's even a full-scale miniature railroad on the grounds, plus a restored, full-sized trolley you can ride in spring and summer.

Automobiles and More

The National Museum of Transportation's auto and road vehicle holdings are also extensive, with more than 200 different vehicles in the collection Come see the one of a kind, 1963 Chrysler Turbine Car, the Bobby Darin "Dream Car," and one of only 9 still existing 1901 St. Louis Motor Carriage Company automobiles.

The NMOT collection also includes a Douglas Aircraft C-47A, a Lockheed T-33, and the HT Potts Tugboat. The museum's collection is ever growing - you never know what you'll find during your visit!

National Museum of Transportation

2933 Barrett Station Rd, St. Louis, MO 63122
Hours vary by season. Visit transportmuseumassociation.org for current information on times, special events, and more.

Missouri Lodging

Whether you're in Missouri on business or just here to see some trains, you'll want some place comfortable to rest your head. When it comes to accommodations, look no farther than a locally owned and operated Missouri B&B. Some of the best lodging in the state is found at Missouri Inns and B&B's. Book your stay at a Missouri Bed and Breakfast today!

The Mark Twain Museum & Boyhood Home in Hannibal, MO

Mark Twain MuseumStep back in time to the house and town that inspired Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn, and much more at The Mark Twain Museum & Boyhood Home in Hannibal, Missouri.

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835 – 1910), better known by the pen name Mark Twain, is an American literary icon. His novels “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” are just two classics from a body of work that included poetry, short stories, essays, and non-fiction. Author William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature.”

Clemens was born in Florida, MO but spent his formative years – ages 4 to 18 – in Hannibal, MO. It was here that he gained inspiration for some of his most popular novels. The fictional characters of Tom Sawyer, Huck Finn, Becky Thatcher, and many others had their roots in the real-life Hannibal of the 1800’s.

Luckily, for fans of the legendary author, Samuel Clemens’ boyhood home still stands and has been preserved as The Mark Twain Museum.

The Mark Twain Museum & Boyhood Home

Samuel Clemens lived at 120 North Main Street, in Hannibal, from 1844 to 1853. It opened as a museum in 1912 and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.

One of the first things you might notice about the house is its whitewashed, picket fence. If it makes you think of the fence-painting scene in “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” you’re in good company. It made Sam Clemens think of it, too; the fence and memories of it inspired the scene.

The Mark Twain Museum collection includes many of Samuel Clemens’ personal artifacts. These include his famous white jacket, one of his pipes, writing desk, chair, and typewriter. It also houses an extensive collection of printed materials, including first editions of all his major works personal letters, handwritten manuscripts, and more.

One of the most stunning inclusions is 15 original Norman Rockwell oil paintings, created for special editions of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. The paintings are on display along with a variety of original Rockwell sketches and lithographs. Fascinating.

The Mark Twain Museum is made up of includes five historic buildings, two museums, and three museum shops. These include the Mark Twain Boyhood Home, The Becky Thatcher House, John M. Clemens’ Justice of the Peace Office, Grant’s Drug Store, and the Huckleberry Finn House.

The Mark Twain Museum & Boyhood Home

120 N Main St, Hannibal, MO 63401
The Mark Twain Museum & Boyhood Home is open year ’round. Visit the museum website for events, directions, and hours. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Missouri Lodging

Missouri's a big state and, no matter where you are, there's lots to see and do. The same is true of Missouri bed and breakfast inns. No matter where your Missouri getaway takes you, you can rest assured that there's a locally owned and operated Missouri B&B somewhere nearby. Stay at a Missouri Inn for the kind of personalized service, value, and hospitality you simply can't get at a hotel or motel. Find your Missouri home away from home now!

Leila's Hair Museum - the World's Only Hair Museum!

Leila's Hair Museum in Independence, MOIndependence, Missouri is home to the world’s only hair museum. Leila’s Hair Museum displays thousands of works of art, all made from real human hair!

Hair art? Hair museum? Are we pulling your leg with all this hairy business? Absolutely not.

Hair art has been with us a long, long time, at least since the 16th century – but it flourished most during the Victorian era (1800-1900). People wove hair into intricate and beautiful wreaths, domes, jewelry, and more. Hair was also pulverized to powder, then mixed with medium to create the "sepia" painting technique.

Most of this art and jewelry was created before the age of photography as a memento of a loved one. Whether they were departed, distant, or just someone whom you always wanted to be close too, hair art and jewelry served as a reminder of their physicality. It goes without saying that the practice has become more an oddity than a hobby since.

So much so that, despite all art created with it, there’s only one museum in the world dedicated exclusively to hair. And it’s here in Missouri!

World's Only Hair Museum

Leila Cohoon was fascinated with hair from a very early age, becoming hairdresser in 1949. Her passion for the stuff became even greater in 1956 when she saw her first human hair wreath at an antique shop. This small wreath was the very first piece in what was to become a huge collection.

Since that fateful day, Leila’s collection has grown to include over 600 hair wreaths, over 2000 pieces of hair jewelry, and the world’s only hair museum.

Visitors to the museum will be stunned by the fascinating collection. The museum includes works involving the hair from Queen Victoria, four United States presidents, and a number of celebrities, including Michael Jackson and Marilyn Monroe.

The museum also exhibits works of sepia: paintings made using pulverized hair. The oldest piece in the museum is a brooch from 1680 containing a piece of hair encased in crystal. The museum also has reliquaries of Mother Mary, the cross, and St. Anne.

Leila’s Hair Museum

1333 S Noland Rd, Independence, Missouri 64055
Open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9am to 4pm
Closed Sundays and Mondays
Learn more with a visit to the museum website. You can also visit on Facebook.

Missouri Lodging

There are endless reasons to reward yourself with a Missouri getaway, especially if you acquire accommodations at a Missouri B&B. A Missouri bed and breakfast is your answer to a good night’s sleep, followed by a nutritious breakfast, and a host of top-shelf amenities in between. Find the perfect Missouri inn for your getaway today!

The Steamboat Arabia Museum - 200 Tons of Pre-Civil War Artifacts

artifacts at the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas CityThe steamboat Arabia sank on the Missouri River near Kansas City in 1856. Its rediscovery in 1988 revealed 200 tons of remarkably preserved, pre-Civil War artifacts - the largest collection in the world. Come see it at Kansas City's Arabia Steamboat Museum!

The Missouri River claimed numerous steamboats during their heyday in the 1800's. Prior to the addition of dams, the Missouri's unpredictable and sediment clouded flow proved quite treacherous. The steamboat Arabia was just one of some 300 vessels lost to the river in those days.

The Arabia, built in 1853, was a side wheeler with paddle wheels that were 28 feet across. Her boilers could consume up to thirty cords of wood per day - all to average an upstream speed of about 5 miles per hour. Originally used as transport on the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, it began plying the waters of the Missouri in 1855.

The Sinking of the Steamboat Arabia

On September 5, 1856, the Arabia hit a submerged tree at Quindaro Bend, near the town of Parkville, Missouri. The tree ripped open the Arabia's hull and she began to rapidly fill with water. Luckily the boat settled into the Missouri's mud, leaving the upper decks above water for evacuation. A poor, lone mule, accidentally left tied to sawmill equipment, was the only casualty.

Salvage attempts were largely useless and, within a few days, the boat sank below the water and deep into the river bed's soft mud.

The Arabia stayed hidden in its unmarked grave for more than 130 years. During that time, the river shifted its course. The sunken steamboat was now a half a mile to the west of the river, resting some 45 feet beneath a farmer's cornfield.

Rediscovery of the Arabia

The Arabia went down fully loaded with 200 tons of goods meant for general stores and homes in frontier towns across the mid-west. Imagine, if you will, a pre-Civil War floating Walmart. Legends of her cargo contained promises of whiskey and gold and many hoped to find her.

In 1987, armed with maps, old newspaper clippings, and a metal detector, David Hawley finally did. Careful excavations commenced and, by 1991, the recovered ship and cargo became the basis for the Arabia Steamboat Museum.

As it turned out, thanks to the mud of the Missouri River, the Arabia was an unwitting time capsule of pre-Civil War life on the American frontier.

The mud had not only swallowed the ship, it had protected it from the destructive effects of light and oxygen. Much of her cargo was found remarkably preserved. Ready-made clothing, tools, guns, medicine, and dishes, were all discovered looking none too worse for the wear. Some sealed foodstuffs were even found to still be edible!

The Arabia Steamboat Museum

The Arabia Steamboat Museum, in Kansas City, offers a one-of-a-kind opportunity to examine the wreck's long-hidden and well-preserved treasures.

The museum's vast collection will fascinate visitors. Artifacts are still being preserved and added to the collection on a regular basis. In fact, there are so many items from the steamboat Arabia that the museum isn't big enough to display it all! You can even watch the preservation process during your visit.

The Arabia Steamboat Museum
400 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64106
10am to 5pm, Monday-Saturday - noon to 5pm on Sundays
The last tour starts at 3:30pm
Learn more at 1856.com

Missouri Lodging

Looking for the best in Missouri lodging? Look no further! A locally owned Missouri Bed and Breakfast is your key to hospitality, comfort, and value. Make the most of your Missouri getaway with the kind of personal service and top-tier amenities you'll only find at a Missouri B&B. Find your Missouri home away from home today!

Come Play For The Day At St. Louis City Museum!

stLouisCityMuseumIf you're really just a big kid disguised as an adult, or someone fascinated by the unusual, the St. Louis City Museum is for you! Its nooks, crannies, slides, caves, giant chains, and more - all created from locally reclaimed materials - are enough to bring out the kid in anyone!

The name of the St. Louis City Museum is rather misleading. The old shoe factory houses less a museum than a bizarre fantasy world.

A hodgepodge of seemingly random objects - a ferris wheel, a school bus, an old fighter jet - jut unexpectedly from its exterior. Inside is even zanier, with tunnels, caves, even a circus and a life-sized whale to walk through. The St. Louis City Museum has thousands of square feet of things to explore and many experienced visitors quite seriously suggest taking kneepads.

Yet this is NOT a children’s museum. In fact, children who visit must be accompanied by adults to enter!

The St. Louis City Museum, which opened in 1997, was the brain child of founder Bob Cassilly. Cassilly, who died in 2011, envisioned the City Museum as a space for his imagination's artistic creations. City Museum was built by Cassilly and a team of 20 artists, using locally salvaged materials.

Visitors are encouraged to play with, climb on and explore the museum's various exhibits. You'll find old chimneys, salvaged bridges, and a 10-story spiral slide that starts at the roof! The outside exhibit "MonstroCity" features a castle turret, a ball pit for adults, and two suspended jets!

The museum is one of St. Louis most popular attractions - and without advertising! More than 11 million visitors have walked through the doors since it opened and, yes: it can be crowded. There is often a line waiting to get in every morning. Folks wishing for a less busy visit should consider visiting on a weekday or after 5pm on weekends.

If you plan on visiting, tips include taking a flashlight, wearing closed shoes, and, as we said above: knee pads are suggested. Luckily, the City Museum gift shop has the latter for sale!

St. Louis City Museum is an active installation - an “ever-expanding collection of architectural relics” - so you never know what you'll find when you visit!

St. Louis City Museum

701 North 15th St., St. Louis, Missouri, 63103
Monday through Thursday: 9am to 5pm
Friday through Saturday: 9am to Midnight
Sunday: 11am to 5pm
Learn more by visiting www.citymuseum.org.

Northeast Missouri Lodging
Whether you're in Missouri on business or to get your knees dirty at St. Louis City Museum, you're gonna want somewhere comfortable to call home. When it comes to the best lodging in Northeast Missouri, look no farther than a locally owned and operated Missouri B&B. In fact, excellent lodging in the form of Missouri Inns and B&B's can be found all across our fair state. So go on, the next time you're in Missouri, treat yourself to the best lodging there is: book your stay at a Missouri Bed and Breakfast Inn!