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Art, history, entertainment and culture await you in Missouri’s Northeast Region. From charming riverside communities to endless activities in the state’s largest metropolitan area, this region boasts much to explore.
St. Louis is a great place to start your trip, where your first glimpse of the 630-foot Gateway Arch is a reminder of the city’s historic role in the westward expansion of America. Visit the Museum of Westward Expansion underneath the monument, then soar to the top for a not-to-be-missed view of the city below. Once you’re back on the ground, plenty of activities beckon, including the City Museum, Forest Park, the Fox Theatre, Union Station and the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis, which houses the world’s largest collection of mosaic art.
Travel north of St. Louis along Route 79, a National Scenic Byway, through the towns of Clarksville, Louisiana and Hannibal. This district is fast becoming an artist’s haven. Twice a year, the area hosts 50 Miles of Art, where visitors can travel along 50 fantastic miles to visit the many art galleries and shops and watch the artists at their trade. This area also is known for its large number of wintering bald eagles and is a top spot for viewing these majestic creatures. Hannibal continues to delight visitors looking to recreate the famous stories of Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn. Explore Mark Twain Cave or visit Twain’s boyhood home and museum to find the inspiration for his adventurous tales.
Visitors heading west along the Missouri River are in for a tasting pleasure at one of the numerous wineries in the region. Sip an award-winning vintage while you gaze at the towering river bluffs in Augusta, Dutzow and Berger, or bring the water’s edge a bit closer as you bicycle along the Katy Trail. German culture is preserved in the town of Hermann, sometimes referred to as “Little Germany” and featuring several popular festivals each year. Choose a quaint area bed and breakfast and visit for Wurstfest, Maifest or Octoberfest.
Travel to the northeast corner of Missouri to visit the Battle of Athens State Historic Site to picnic, hike and camp beside a Civil War battlefield. In Memphis, a truly tall tale awaits you at the Downing House and Boyer House Museum. The museum spotlights Ella Ewing, nicknamed "Missouri's Giantess" due to her extreme height of 8 feet 4 inches.
The great outdoors surrounds Kirksville, including two large state conservation areas (Big Creek and Sugar Creek), muskellunge fishing at Hazel Creek Lake and Thousand Hills State Park. Plenty of water fun awaits visitors at Long Branch Lake near Macon and Thomas Hill Reservoir near Moberly.
Whether staying for one day or a week, each adventure will show you why there are so many reasons to enjoy the Northeast Region.
See Missouri Tourism for more information about attractions in the state.
- Zimmerman's General Store, Craft Supplies and Cafe
- Zimmerman's is run by a local Mennonite family. It features a phenomenal selection of quilting fabric. They also carry dry goods (bonnets and rubber boots, anyone?), bulk food, some produce. They also have a small cafe. Open Monday – Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Main St & Highway M, Rutledge, MO (660) 883-5766
- Rutledge Flea Market
- A spectacle not to be missed, this flea market features 60 acres and a clientele ranging from Amish folks on horseback to farmers riding ATVs (although we prefer to walk). Parking is $2 per vehicle.
Open Fridays and Saturdays, second weekend of each month, March – November, rain or shine. We recommend that you get there by 9:00 a.m. on Saturdays, as it gets a bit crowded. Have fun!
- Scotland County Chamber of Commerce has more information about the Memphis area. They even have this somewhat-helpful map of Memphis.
- Lake Show-Me
- 250 acres of beautiful lakes and woods for boating, hunting, fishing, shelter houses for group picnics, camping, trap shooting, skeet and rifle range.
- Old City Lake
- A smaller lake, with shelter house fishing, and boating (no motors).
- Timber Ridge Golf Course
- Rural nine hole course with views of the surrounding Missouri cropland.
- Downing House Museum
- Stately 14 room brick mansion in Greek revival style built in 1858. It offers exhibits and memorabilia of 8'4'' Ella Ewing, known as 'Missouri's Giantess.' The Boyer House displays items of county history and period furnishings. Open seasonally, April-September.
- Milton Creamery
- Located just 20 miles north of Memphis at the junction of Highways 15 and 2 is some of the best cheese in the country. Milton's Prairie Rose, Prairie Breeze and Prairie Dawn are international award winners and absolutely worth the drive.
Milton Creamery LLC, 202 East Highway 2, Milton, Iowa 52570 (641) 656-4094
Keith's Cafe 470 S Market St (660) 465-8581
Pizza Hut Memphis Highway 136 E (660) 465-7049
Gingerbread House 303 N Clay St (660) 465-2128
Shelly B's 361 Grand Ave (660) 465-7269
Junction Cafe Highway 136 (660) 465-8638
Catfish Place Highway 136 Arbela, MO (9.5 mi E) (660) 945-3917
There's plenty to see in Kirksville (Home of Truman University) including Thousand Hills Park, yummy restaurants and a movie theater! Check out Kirksville's website for more information.
- Thousand Hills State Park
- The cool waters of Forest Lake offer a wide variety of recreational opportunities, including swimming, fishing, boating and skiing. Hiking, mountain bicycling and nature study are popular on-land activities. An interpretive shelter displays the park's petroglyphs - rock carvings left behind by the area's inhabitants more than 1,500 years ago.
- Still National Osteopathic Museum and National Center for Osteopathic History
- The only museum in the country dedicated to the national history of osteopathic medicine. The collection of artifacts, photographs, documents, and books trace the history of the osteopathic profession throughout the United States and the world.
Check out Explore St. Louis for more information about attractions in that area.