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The Best Field Trip Spots in Missouri

September 13, 2014 at 3:57 am

field tripField trips are always fun. Students look forward to field trips with their teachers and classmates. These trips are not just enjoyable, but also offer different learning opportunities and the chance to increase one’s knowledge in ways that are vastly different from classroom instruction. Field trips are not limited to school-sponsored trips, of course. Families can also schedule their own field trips and explorations to sites that are both educational and also enjoyable.

The state of Missouri offers different field trip destinations ranging from historical to nature-inspired. You will not have to travel too far to find something that piques the interest of your family. Probably one of the more popular destinations for tourists is Branson, Missouri, known all over as the Midwest’s live entertainment capital. Branson has no shortage of different theatrical and musical shows and performances year-round, and you are guaranteed to find a few shows that would appeal to you.

wax museum.jpgBranson also boasts of the Hollywood Wax Museum, the only museum in the United States with a celebrity-only wax figure display. This wax museum just completed a million-dollar renovation, and features wax figures of the most iconic Hollywood celebrities from past and present. Also in Branson is the BoxCar Willie Theatre, home of Gold- and Platinum-awarded recording star BoxCar Willie of the Grand Ole Opry.

Historic trails are popular field trip destinations in Missouri. Part of the California National Historic Trail is here, where you can retrace about 1,000 miles of trail ruts traveled in the 1840′s by gold-seekers headed to California. Also in Missouri are the Lewis and Clark National Historical Trail and the Oregon National Historic Trail, both pathways to the West Coast.

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In Kansas City, there are also different field trip opportunities, such as The City Market which features galleries, restaurants, the Arabia Steamboat Museum, and an outdoor farmer’s market which you will find to be very interesting especially on Saturdays. Kansas City also has the second most number of fountains in a city next to Rome, and the many fountains such as Spirit of Freedom, Firefighters, and J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain can be toured by driving or walking through.

Parents and educators who want to take this opportunity to teach financial basics to the young would want to look into touring the Federal Reserve Bank Visitors Center or The Money Museum. Located in Kansas City, this museum features interactive exhibits and galleries that depict the American economy, banking history, and other workings of the financial system. There is no admission or parking fees required to visit this highly educational site.

statepark.jpgNature lovers would find no shortage of scenic routes and state parks in Missouri. The Castlewood State Park offers a great view of the Meramec River and its surrounding areas, while the Elephant Rocks State Park focuses on giant granite rocks formed millions of years ago. A lot of people who loves to drive through the wilderness with their Jeep Wrangler equipped with a Safari Jeep bikini top like this will enjoy the St. Francois State Park or the Ha Ha Tonka State Park, both offering beautiful trails for hiking, biking, and camping as well.

There are many other great field trip destinations all over Missouri. Check with the local tourism offices for brochures and other information that can assist you in planning a trip that really gives you the chance to explore this beautiful state.

Fun Facts about Missouri

September 12, 2014 at 2:05 pm

funfactsallMissouri is undoubtedly a very interesting place. It boasts many tourist attractions that are unique and some are simply unrivaled. The majestic Liberty Memorial Tower, the simply stunning Gateway Arch, and the lovely Ozarks Mountains are just some of these.  These are more than enough reasons to want to visit the state of Missouri.

However, what makes Missouri much more interesting are some facts that are surely worth knowing and yet we hardly knew about. Knowing these facts, some of which are related to history, is truly entertaining. So let’s get ourselves educated with these fun facts:

 

A State of Firsts

There is no shortage of genius and ingenious inventors in Missouri. During the 1904 World’s Fair held in St. Louis, some seriously technologically advanced machines, during that time, were introduced. These are the X-Ray Machine, electric typewriter and the telephone answering machine. Food items like the ice cream cone, iced tea, pancake flour, cotton candy and Dr. Pepper were also invented by Missourians. Sliced bread was also invented in Chillicothe, Missouri. You probably heard the phrase “greatest thing since sliced bread”? It was actually a modified version of its original which is “greatest thing since Missouri”.

 

“Show Me” State

The name of the state came from a tribe called Missouri Indians which means “town of large canoes”. It is nicknamed “Show Me State” which, according to tales, began in 1899 when a congressman named Willard Duncan Vandiver stated “I’m from Missouri and you’ve got to show me.” It’s also serves as a testament to the character of Missourians who are often stubborn and devoted to the use of common sense.

 

A State as Happy as Disneyland

Walt Disney spent his childhood in Marceline, Missouri and the rural life had major influence on his career.  Actually, the full tagline for Disneyland is “The Happiest Place on Earth (Aside from Missouri)”.

 

The Cave State and the City of Fountains

Missouri is known as The Cave State because of its no less than 6000 known caves. At the same time, Kansas City which has 200 fountains just in the metropolitan area, is called the City of Fountains. The statistics doesn’t count the other fountains located in private garden and homes and office atriums.

 

BBQ, Steak and the Happy Meal

Kansas City, being the third-largest capital in the United States is home to the most savory BBQ and Steak. Kansas City’s barbecue is distinctive for its molasses-spiked sweet tomato sauce. The McDonalds Happy Meal was first introduced in Kansas City in the year 1979.

 

Some of the famous people who came from Missouri are Maya Angelou, T.S. Elliot, Harry S. Truman, Mark Twain and Brad Pitt.

In addition to all these, here are some of Missouri’s official state symbols:

State song: Missouri waltz

State Motto: “Salus populi suprema lex esto.” It translates to “The welfare of the people shall be the supreme law”.

State musical instrument: Fiddle

State folk dance: Square Dance

State Rock: Mozarkite

State animal: Mule

 

All of these just prove how colorful and interesting Missouri is and it’s worth a visit from you and your family or friends.

“Show Me” Missouri: The Top Tourist Attractions

September 12, 2014 at 1:59 pm

 

If you are searching for a place where you can bring your whole family for a fun vacation, Missouri is surely the place to go.

Missouri’s unofficial nickname is “Show Me” state. Although there are several stories on how the interesting nickname came about, it is probably safe to assume that it has something to do with its people.  Missourians have a generally conservative attitude and are often reluctant to believe in something without sufficient evidence.  Just how perfectly fitting that it also makes total sense as their tourism slogan as one would never get to appreciate how beautiful Missouri is if you don’t actually visit and give the state a chance to show you its sheer beauty. So let’s take a quick virtual trip to some of the best tourist attractions in Missouri.

 

The Gateway Arch

archKnown to be the world’s tallest arch and the largest man-made monument in the Western hemisphere, the 630-foot-high monument Gateway Arch is in St. Louis. It was built to be the centrepiece of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial and became St. Louis’ famous symbol. Although solidly built of steel and concrete, the arch can sway as much as 18 inches, and therefore can withstand an earthquake. Tourists are also allowed to see the arch from its inside and the view is awe-inspiring particularly during early mornings.

 

 

LMT.jpgThe Liberty Memorial Museum

Missouri has numerous museums but if time would limit your visit to only one museum then I suggest you choose The Liberty Memorial Museum. The Liberty Memorial is a museum which was built in the memory of the soldiers who fought and died during the World War I. During the evenings, the grand 66-meter tall Liberty Memorial Tower becomes even more majestic as steam is emitted from the top while being illuminated by bright orange lights, thus giving off the illusion of a burning pyre.

The museum has two theatres dedicated to showing educational narratives about the war. It also houses exhibits, interactive displays and a research center and library museum

 

The Elephant Rock State Park

elehantrock_state.jpgIf you’d rather spend your vacation hiking, bird watching and having picnics, then you’d have to go to the Elephant Rock State Park. The park got its name because of the giant granite boulders standing end-to-end like a train of circus elephants. The park boasts a first of its kind Braille Trail which makes it possible for people with visual and physical abilities to explore the park.

 

 

The Ozark Mountains

ozarksIf you are a serious outdoor adventurer, then you have to spend your vacation somewhere in the Ozark Mountains where you’ll find a number of state parks. Visitors would be able to enjoy physically demanding activities like canoeing, hiking, biking, horseback riding and hunting. Since it would take you a couple of days to do all these activities, you’ll find many cabins, inns and campgrounds for your lodging and accommodation needs.

 

 

These tourist attractions are just one of many in Missouri which just prove how beautiful the state is and that it’s worth visiting.

How to Make the Most Out Of Your Missouri Scenic Drives Trip

September 9, 2014 at 3:24 am

scenicdriveAs a destination, Missouri has much to offer to those looking for a unique vacation and travel experience. Even just driving through the picturesque sceneries and idyllic towns and rural countryside of Missouri provides the traveller with endless opportunities to discover the hidden, often underrated gems of the state.

Popular destinations and scenic routes among the nature lovers include Busch Conservation Area, Shaw Nature Reserve, Millstream Gardens Conservation Area, Onondaga Cave State Park, Prairie State Park, and of course, the Ozark hill country and plateau. If historic towns and spots are more to your liking, you will enjoy driving through the French settlements of Ste. Genevieve along the Mississippi River, Missouri River Valley, Hermann, and Arrow Rock.

Missouri’s main population centers are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia. Driving through these busy cities will be not much different from the hustle and bustle of any other American city. But the charm of the state is the rich natural resources, scenic views of the Ozarks, and its rich cultural heritage in the heartland of America.

Driving through Missouri’s scenic byways and roads will be more enjoyable if you know ahead of time what to expect, particularly points of interest along the way, as well as weather and road conditions in the area. These days, you can make use of a variety of apps for smartphones or tablets that give you real-time traffic and weather updates for virtually any point in the country. It is a good idea to have a reliable mobile device with Internet connection with you when you travel, especially if you are driving to areas you are not too familiar with.

As with any driving trip you are taking, you should also check the condition of your vehicle prior to travelling. Have a checklist of the essentials and make sure that tires, brakes, lights, oil, water, battery, and other components are working and in tip-top condition. It would be best to have a professional do the maintenance and routine check-up for you. For instance, if you have Tires Plus Coupons just like these, printed from the Web, you can use them for a variety of services offered at your local Tires Plus location.

In case of emergencies on the road, it is also a good idea to have these Tires Plus Coupons with you for use if you need new tires, or any other repairs or services offered at Tires Plus. They have branches all across the country, so you know that you have the convenience and great deals from these coupons you have with you on the trip.

You should also make the right preparations for lodging and accommodations ahead of time, especially if you are travelling to a popular tourist destination or if you are travelling around Missouri during peak seasons, such as summertime. You can also check online for hotel reservations and deals, or look for the less popular local hotels and inns with the local flavor for a more authentic Missouri experience.

When travelling with your family, always make sure that you have emergency supplies and a first aid kit with you in case of any emergencies or untoward incidents. It is also a good idea to review your insurance policies or travel insurance coverage, as these may come in handy during your trip.

Missouri Tourism and Imagery

June 20, 2013 at 3:42 am

During fiscal 2009/10, the state hosted 35.8 million domestic travelers, which represented more than 19 million households. Both number of travelers and expenditures were lower than the previous year due to the recession that began in 2008. Just over $6 billion was spent on travel-related expenditures, which was 3.5% lower than in fiscal 2008/09. Missouri’s tourism industry supported 281,255 jobs in fiscal 2010.

With hundreds of attractions and seven national landmarks and monuments, Missouri has much to offer vacationers. The most popular vacation areas are the St. Louis region (40% of all visits) and the Kansas City area (23%). The principal attraction in St. Louis is the Gateway Arch. At 630 feet (192 meters) it is the tallest humanmade national monument in the United States. In the Kansas City area are the Truman Sports Complex, Jesse James’s birthplace near Excelsior Springs, and Harry Truman’s hometown of Independence.

Branson is considered the “Live Music Show Capital of the World.” Memorabilia of Mark Twain are housed in and around Hannibal, while the birthplace and childhood home of George Washington Carver is in Diamond.

Missouri has 51 state parks and 35 historic sites. Lake of the Ozarks State Park is the largest, covering 16,872 acres (6,828 hectares). The 1,375 miles (2,213 kilometers) of shoreline and swimming, fishing, and boating opportunities ke Lake of the Ozarks a popular vacation spot in mid-America.

In 2009, Missouri’s 150 public libraries had nearly three million borrowers and a circulation of 51.5 million. TheMissouri State Library, in Jefferson City, is the center of the state’s interlibrary loan network. The University ofMissouri-Columbia has the leading academic library. The federally administered Harry S Truman Library and Museum is at Independence.

The Missouri Division of Tourism lists about 200 museums in the state. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City and the St. Louis Art Museum both house distinguished general collections. The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal has a collection of manuscripts and other memorabilia. The Harry S Truman Library and Museum is in Truman’s hometown of Independence. Also notable are the Pony Express National Museum, City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis Center Museum of Science and Natural History, and McDonnell Planetarium. The Steamboat Arabia Museum, located in Kansas City, displays the treasures recovered from a steamboat that sank in the Missouri River in 1856. Buried for more than 130 years, the Arabia contained well-preserved artifacts, including bottled foods, china, supplies, and the like.