From the vast expanses of the prairies and plains, to the rugged river valleys of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers that meander the state’s borders, history lovers will be pleasantly surprised by the wealth of intriguing spots and notable places here in Missouri.
For discerning travelers who enjoy the bed and breakfast experience, Select Registry offers several premier properties that are a perfect vacation spot and base from which to explore the footprints and influence of foreign statesmen such as Winston Churchill and Napoleon, to the founding father Thomas Jefferson to intrepid explorers Lewis and Clark.
The middle American state that gave birth to the great Western migration and the Oregon Trail is flecked with fascinating historical tidbits and highlights that complement its natural beauty, friendly faces and hometown hospitality, and the elegant bed and breakfasts here are the way to experience it all.
Soothing Stopover at Yates House Bed and Breakfast
On your very own road trip, Rocheport is a charming and tranquil stopover worth a visit – it has even been named “One of America’s Top Ten Coolest Small Towns” by Frommer’s Budget Travel Guide. And there is no better place to stay the night than Yates House Bed and Breakfast, selected by Midwest Living Magazine in its “Where to Stay” category as “2010 Best In the Midwest.” This picturesque red brick, slate-shuttered bed and breakfast gem is located within a block of the most scenic section of the Katy Trail State Park, a haven for hikers and nature lovers. Even for locals from the urban centers of Kansas City and St. Louis on opposite sides of the state, Rocheport is a fabulous weekend trip or short break. Readers of the Kansas City Star call this charming spot their “Favorite Day Trip.”
The Yates House Bed and Breakfast offers a distinctive option to the urban lodging in nearby Columbia. This lovely house features modern conveniences alongside small-town friendliness and big-city gourmet cuisine with local ingredients courtesy of Dixie, the Yates House resident chef. Several of the rooms feature large flat-screen TVs, DVD players and a DVD library, luxury linens and bathrobes, and jetted tubs – all the opulent accouterments that discerning travelers appreciate.
Antiques buffs will enjoy the many quaint shops and boutiques as well as the early 1800s architecture of the Historic District. Gourmands will appreciate the local vineyards and winery just a few blocks up the hill – one of middle Missouri’s premier cultural and recreational attractions. The Les Bourgeois family-owned and operated winery offers visitors a dégustation of the finest award-winning wines, exquisite bistro cuisine, and beautiful scenery in the Midwest.
In nearby Fulton, the Westminster College campus is the site of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech. The British Bulldog, traveling alongside President Harry S. Truman, delivered the charismatic postwar address in 1946, and a memorial erected in 1969 honors the life and legacy of one of the greatest statesmen of all time. History buffs will also revel in the Arrow Rock State Historic Site, a formerly thriving old-time river port town, still dotted with architectural treasures, graceful storefronts, and charming landmarks.
Explore between the Missouri and Mississippi rivers, in the footsteps of famed explorers Pike, Lewis and Clark
Located just outside the center of the Columbia metropolitan area, Rocheport is a charming small town that includes the Rocheport Historic District – with buildings dating all the way back to the 1830s and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Even before it was officially incorporated, this storied spot was mentioned in the diaries of the legendary Meriwether Lewis and William Clark as they passed through in summer of 1804. At the convergence of the Missouri River and the Moniteau Creek, they noted their surroundings and the local flora and fauna, as well as the native pictographs they found on bluffs near the fluvial plain – likely the art of the Sauk, Ioway, or Meskwaki first nations tribes native to the area.
Just two years later, the famed US Army captain Zebulon Pike led his expedition through the region to explore and document the southern portion of the Louisiana Purchase territory, which had recently been acquired by President Thomas Jefferson from French Emperor Napoleon. After passing through Rocheport, Pike continued his hunt for the headwaters of the Red River, during which time he recorded the discovery of the Colorado summit that would later be named after him – Pikes Peak.
Nowadays, Rocheport is a sleepy yet enchanting small town amidst sylvan forests and rolling plains that once were crisscrossed by herds of bison and convoys of covered wagons. Today, it is home to Missouri native son and acclaimed travel writer William Least Heat-Moon, whose works include “River Horse: The Logbook of a Boat Across America,” his account of a four-month coast-to-coast boat trip across the United States retracing Lewis and Clark’s frontier exploration using almost exclusively the nation’s waterways.
Select Registry properties: Home bases for Missouri travel and tourism highlights
Rocheport is not the only charming spot to enjoy the bed and breakfast experience in Missouri. Travelers visiting the Gateway Arch in St. Louis can visit another Select Registry standout – the Fleur-de-Lys Mansion in the Compton Heights Historical District. This meticulously restored 1913 Tudor mansion has won numerous accolades for its urban refinement and period style. The Fleur-de-Lys, with its European elegance yet all-American service, is a perfect base from which to visit the nearby unique Cahokia mounds – for a real taste of history.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site takes travelers back in time to the prehistoric native civilization, which nearly a millennium ago was one of the largest and most sophisticated cultures in the Americas, with a larger population than any European city at the time, and one that would not be eclipsed on the North American continent until the Industrial Revolution.
Across the state in the sparkling Kansas City, the Southmoreland on the Plaza brings visitors all the fun of this jazz, blues and barbecue capital with an elegant flair. Just one and a half blocks of K.C’s famous Country Club Plaza, visitors are in right in the middle of the exciting downtown buzz, yet can come home to a relaxing retreat with features such as a treetop deck, Jacuzzi tubs, wood burning fireplaces, and complimentary wine and hors d’oeuvres.
Travelers heading for the relaxing leisure time activities at the Lake of the Ozarks can kick back and enjoy a peaceful stay at the beautiful Inn at Harbour Ridge in Osage Beach. Golf lovers will be in heaven with the selection of fourteen championship courses, and a lazy afternoon of sailing or fishing is just a stone’s skip away on the water.