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Family travel in Missouri: the 50 state series

Kids at the Gateway Arch, St Louis MO (courtesy Wendy Piersall at Flickr CC)Every week or so until we run out of states, I’ll be posting about family-friendly vacation ideas, attractions and events in each one of the US states plus the territories, taking input mostly from Twitter and Facebook.

Yes, I know how to search for travel ideas on a destination or attraction website, but a tweet or a Facebook Wall recommendation is a much more engaging and public way to spread the word.

Please don’t email suggestions to me; that’s nice but it is one-to-one communication. Tweet me and/or Facebook me, so that all of our networks can see what’s cool about your state.

We’re going in alphabetical order but started with the end, so our first state for the series was Wyoming, then we investigated WisconsinWest Virginia,  Washington,  Virginia,  Vermont,  UtahTexas,  Tennessee,  South Dakota,  South Carolina,  Rhode Island,  Pennsylvania,  OregonOklahoma,  OhioNorth Dakota,  North CarolinaNew YorkNew MexicoNew JerseyNew HampshireNevadaNebraska, Montana and now we’re moving on to…Missouri!

The state is busy on all the major social media channels: they have multiple fun and engaging Twitter voices including @VisitMissouri plus @MoTravelMama, @MOTravelGuy, @MOPhotoGirl, @KatiesTrail, @MissMOitAll (awesome name!) and fishing updates from @VisitMOFish.  There is a Missouri tourism Facebook Page, a nice blog called The VisitMO Bistro and plenty of photos in @MOPhotoGirl’s  Missouri Flickr pool.

When I asked for Missouri travel ideas, here’s what came in….

Twitter Travel Tips for Missouri

***  From Sarah V. via @Wandering_Off on Twitter – I’m originally from MO! Columbia is a great college town.  St. Louis Zoo is phenomenal & free. Also, STL art museum.

***  From Sharlene via @DoubleAdventure on Twitter – Loved Main Street in St Charles when I was there earlier this month. And of course the arch.

***  From MoTravelMama via @MoTravelMama on Twitter – St. Louis offers many free attractions in Forest Park including an amazing zoo, history and art museum and science center. Kansas City also has a lot of free attractions: Money Museum, Kaleidoscope, Hallmark Visitors Center, great shopping and food. Branson ideas: Dixie Stampede, Silver Dollar City, Acrobats of China, Butterfly Palace, Titanic & Branson Landing, perfect for fams. Hannibal is a great family town. 4th of July is a great time there, Mark Twain Cave, Paddle Boat, Twain Home & downtown shopping.

(Can you tell she’s the Director of Communications for Missouri tourism?)

(cont.) Lake of the Ozarks has great family resorts, indoor/outdoor waterparks, shopping, water sports, mini golf and go-karts, and more! Jefferson City is has the State Capitol Building with museum, historic prison tour, Central Dairy Ice Cream, conservation center. St. Joseph is full of historical treasures. Pony Express , Patee House, Jesse James Home, Glore Psychiatric & Black Archive Museum. Hwy. 36 is the Way of American Genius. Disney, JC Penney, John Pershing, Mark Twain, Jesse James all lived along this highway. Springfield has a great Discovery Center, Jump Mania, Dickerson Park Zoo, Fantastic Caverns, Candy House & many historic theaters.

***  From Miss Dazey via @Miss_Dazey on Twitter – George Washington Carver National Park….families can learn history, explore science, hike and much more  https://nps.gov/gwca/index.htm Precious Moments Chapel, Carthage, MO  (town is neat too)  https://preciousmoments.com/content.cfm/park_chapel

***  From MASchweers via @MASchweers on Twitter – in St Louis – the Steam Ship Arabia…rather interesting.

***  From Andrea Torres via @AustinAndrea on Twitter – Never been, but my Missouri friends all reminisce about Silver Dollar City in Branson.

***  From Jared James via @count_01 on Twitter – Consider Elephant Rocks State Park, down in southeast MO, not too far from Ste Genevieve, which is itself worthy of mention.

***  From Allie Dillon via @AllieDillon on Twitter – Powell Gardens, 30m east of KC, MO on Hwy50. “Great place to grow family memories.” My sister loves this place. @powellgardens

***  From St. Joseph, Missouri via @StJoMo on Twitter – Visit the Pony Express Museum; all exhibits kid friendly including Play Area just for kids. www.ponyexpress.org St. Jo (MO) boasts 13 museums & 50+ listings on Nat’l Register of Historic Places (2000+properties) https://dld.bz/eQ6s This summer cool down at the St. Joseph Aquatic Park: enclosed water slides, lazy river & zero degree entry https://bit.ly/bFE4te Help celebrate the opening & dedication of the four-lane US Hwy 36 across the State of Missouri https://bit.ly/ddNGGL Remington Nature Center sits on the banks of the Mighty MO. Lots of kid-friendly attractions and activities https://bit.ly/cbOLlt

***  From Matt Flener via @mattflener on Twitter – Try fitz’s root beer in st. louis…great root beer fun! https://www.fitzsrootbeer.com Also if you like outdoor adventures…try devil’s ice box in columbia, mo https://www.mostateparks.com/rockbridge/cave.htm

***  From Mike via @VistaVision on Twitter – Kids like Lambert’s Cafe, Sikeston, Mo., where they throw much of the meal at you. https://bit.ly/aZ8G9r

***  From Jacqueline Conrad via @jhandleyconrad on Twitter – St Louis Zoo (excellent, well known and free,) Cardinal Baseball Game, Grants Farm, Lake of the Ozarks (huge,beautiful lake with tons to do.)

Facebook Travel Tips for Missouri

***  From Dara Quackenbush on Facebook – Visit Chillicothe, the home of sliced bread. While you’re there, go to the Hy-Vee and get a tenderloin sandwich. Evidently, it’s THE thing to do. 😉

***  From Jen Miner on Facebook – Kansas City! The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

***  From Michel Hudson on Facebook – The University of Missouri in Columbia has a bunch of museums with a wide variety of things – all for free admission. Here’s a link to a page with current info: https://mizzouwire.missouri.edu/stories/2010/summer-fun/index Oh, and the Buck’s Ice Cream mentioned on that page is REALLY good – made on campus by one of their colleges.

***  From Todd Randall Jordan on Facebook – Missouri History Museum has large schedule of events – https://www.stlouiskidsmagazine.com/story/ice-cream-and-other-stories-history-museum

Get the Scoop: July 16 and 17 – Did you know the ice cream cone has a connection to 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis? Come learn about the history of this delicious dessert.

Aunt Katie’s Visit: July 23 and 24 – In 1990, local author Katie Rodriguez Banister survived an auto accident that left her paralyzed from the chest down. In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, she will read her book Aunt Katie’s Visit. She will also demonstrate some assistive technology.

Backyard Buddies: July 30 and 31– Listen to the adventures of the critters found in your own backyard.

And more throughout August.  ‎

Thanks so much for the contributions, everyone!

The BootsnAll Travel Network has some Missouri travel articles as well.

The next state in the series is Mississippi.

Send your Mississippi highlights to @SheilaS on Twitter or write them on my Facebook Wall (please tell me you’re a 50 state-er if you want to friend me.)

My purpose for this series is not only to highlight worthy kid-friendly vacation destinations in all 50 states, but by using Twitter and Facebook I want to also encourage tourism organizations to learn more about connecting with their visitors using social media and online networks.

Please add your own Missouri suggestions in the comments below, if we’ve missed anything. Thanks!