The state of Missouri is affordable, offers city living and rural retreats in equal measure, has an abundance of waterways, and is home to friendly, unassuming people who will always greet you with a neighborly smile. So, the fundamentals are all in place, but we want to dig a little to uncover a few of the hidden gems and lesser-known attractions that make Missouri such a great place to live.
1. Missouri has more shoreline than California
Who needs the Atlantic or the Pacific to have a good time? The great state of Missouri has more miles of shoreline spread across its many lakes, rivers, and waterways than the state of California. The Lake of the Ozarks alone has more than 1,150 miles of shoreline, which is 200 miles more than the Golden State. You’re also much more likely to find a quiet piece of shoreline that you can enjoy all to yourself, without having to share it with those selfie-happy Californian types.
2. St. Louis is a startup haven
You might not associate Missouri with the fast-moving world of startups, but St. Louis has a thriving hub for all kinds of new businesses. It has 19 startup incubators and 11 accelerators ready to supercharge your business’s growth. There are also plenty of other organizations that can provide mentorship, networking, and funding opportunities, all of which make Missouri a very welcoming base for your new business.
3. It’s home to the Glore Psychiatric Museum
Thankfully, mental health treatment has progressed significantly over the last century. You can see just how far it has come with a visit to the fascinating Glore Psychiatric Museum in St. Joseph. It traces the treatment of mental illness back 130 years to the beginning of the State Lunatic Asylum. It houses replicas of the devices used in the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries to treat mentally ill patients and includes the wheel, lobotomy instruments, and Benjamin Rush’s Tranquilizer Chair.
4. You can keep your beer cool in the Devil’s Icebox
Missouri is known as the ‘Cave State’ for good reason, but none of the other 6,400 caves are quite like the Devil’s Icebox in the city of Columbia. This one-of-a-kind cave, which can be found in the Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, retains a cool 56-degree temperature all year round. It also houses a flowing river and acts as an entrance to two other caves, which makes it perfect for tours. The cave can be visited on trekking tours guided by park rangers, with tours of four difficulty levels to choose from.
5. See the largest collection of pre-Civil War artifacts
In 1856, the expansive steamboat Arabia hit a submerged walnut tree during a tour of the Missouri River and sank with 200 tons of cargo. Despite several efforts to recover the boat and the cargo, both lay undisturbed for more than a century, until Bob Hawley and his sons found and excavated the sunken beast in 1987. It contained pristine pre-Civil war treasures such as guns, tools, and food, which are now displayed for all to see in the Steamboat Arabia Museum in Kansas City.
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