The Mississippi
The Mississippi © Andrew Balet

Named after the Native Americans who inhabited the fertile lands around the Mississippi and Missouri tributaries, the state became part of the USA after a long colonial tussle between French and Spanish forces.

European settlers drove the original tribes out, founding the two fur trading centres of St Louis and Kansas City. The state's central location on the Mississippi River's north-south trade route and east-west railroad made it an important crossroads for trade and transport.

Both cities established themselves as major gateway to the western frontier during the 19th century. Today, Missouri is associated with historical figures like Mark Twain, the gun-slinging outlaw Jesse James, pioneers Lewis and Clark, and the former president Harry Truman.

Images representative of the state include its small river towns, the stockyards of Kansas City, and the jazz and blues clubs of St Louis. The brown waters of the great Mississippi River flow by, dotted with iconic paddle steamers.

St Louis is the dominant city, recognisable for its Gateway Arch and is the 'Home of the Blues'. Kansas City is the only other significant metropolis, famous for its steaks and barbecues and its hearty jazz.

In contrast, the south of Missouri features the beautiful hillsides and lakes of the Ozark Mountains, providing great recreational areas and the conservative country-and-western tourist town of Branson.


Travel Guide powered by Word Travels, copyright © 2019 Globe Media Ltd. All rights reserved. By its very nature much of the information in this guide is subject to change at short notice and travellers are urged to verify information on which they're relying with the relevant authorities. Neither Globe Media nor The Global Travel Group can accept any responsibility for any loss or inconvenience to any person as a result of information contained above.