If Nashville is the ‘Music City', Missouri may be justified in calling itself the ‘Music State.’ From Kansas City, whose thriving jazz scene earned it the nickname "Paris of the Plains," to Branson's polished musical revues and the Ozarks' down-home folk, Missouri has been a humble incubator for America's most cherished musical genres.
Those looking for things to do and beats to tap to should try Blueberry Hill, a legendary St. Louis club where native son Chuck Berry often performs. Jazz fans can pay respects to the father of bebob at the Charlie Parker Memorial, located behind the American Jazz Museum in Kansas City's historic 18th & Vine Jazz District. Finally, no guide to Missouri would be complete without mentioning Dolly Parton's Dixie Stampede in Branson, where rollicking musical shows include stunt horseback riders.
Of course, with two large metropolises, there's more to do in Missouri than listen to music. Looming high above St. Louis, the iconic Gateway Arch allows visitors to spy the Mississippi River from 630 feet before getting a closer look at Old Man River from aboard a Gateway Arch Riverboat Cruise. Visual art and performance collide at Kansas City's Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts, where the Kansas City Symphony and Lyric Opera perform. And at Arthur Bryant's BBQ, hungry diners can savor the famous slow-cooked ribs beloved by both celebrities and presidents.
Sports fans will also find plenty to do in Missouri. In warmer months, crowds flock to Busch Stadium to root for their beloved St. Louis Cardinals. During football season, there are few stadiums rowdier than Arrowhead Stadium, where the Kansas City Chiefs play. Kansas City is also home to the Negro League's Baseball Museum, a good place to soak up history before heading to Kaufman Stadium to watch the Royals take the field.