Missouri has much to offer the tourist. It has scenic diversity as well as a colorful history. Some towns retain their early architecture. Sainte Genevieve has the largest collection of French Creole architecture in the United States. Altenburg, Westphalia, Hermann, and other small towns along the Missouri River still retain much of their original German character.
Principal attractions include the two largest cities—Kansas City and St. Louis—and the Ozark region, with its many scenic gorges, caverns, and large reservoirs, which provide ample opportunities for recreational activities. Cities in the Ozarks of particular interest to tourists include Branson, which offers country-music concerts by a variety of performers, and Silver Dollar City, which is a replica of a late-19th century Ozark mining town.
The Jefferson National Expansion Memorial Historic Site, extending along the St. Louis riverfront, includes the Gateway Arch, which has a sweeping curve that reaches 192 m (630 ft) above the city and commemorates the westward expansion of the United States; the Old Courthouse, site of the Dred Scott slave trial; and the Lisa Warehouse, the oldest building in the city. The George Washington Carver National Monument, near Diamond in southwest Missouri, marks the birthplace of the famous scientist. Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield, near Springfield, preserves the site of an important American Civil War battle for control of Missouri. The Harry S. Truman Home and the Truman Library and Museum, both in Independence, contain exhibits on the life and career of the 33rd president.
The Mark Twain National Forest provides recreation areas and wildlife refuges in southern Missouri. The Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the first national riverway, protects the free-flowing Current and Jacks Fork rivers and a number of caves and springs.
Many of the natural attractions of Missouri are concentrated in the Ozarks. There, state parks have been developed around such scenic features as caves, giant springs, rugged canyons, creeks, and large constructed lakes. Scattered throughout the state are others of the state’s 79 parks and numerous state forests. Among the historic landmarks are the birthplace of Mark Twain in Mark Twain State Park, east of Paris.
The Arrow Rock Tavern at Arrow Rock State Historical Site, near Marshall; the Anderson Home, which served as a field hospital for the Union army in the Battle of Lexington in the Civil War, at Lexington; and the boyhood home of General John J. Pershing, at Laclede. "Missouri" © Emmanuel BUCHOT, Encarta, Wikipedia
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