Show-Me History: The Missouri History Museum is a great spot to take in a broad range of historical topics as they relate to Missouri; current exhibits include the Civil War and the history of the Olympics. The Seeking St. Louis exhibit is an interactive display representing more than 200 years of the city's history. The Missouri History Museum is located at 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis, Mo., 63112. Admission is free. Visit mohistory.org or call 314-746-4599.
Westward Ho! Capture the excitement and adventure of the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the Lewis and Clark Boat House and Nature Center, located at Bishop's Landing, 1050 S. Riverside Dr., St. Charles, Mo., 63301; admission is $4 per adult and $2 per child (636-947-3199). The museum is just a short walk from First State Capitol State Historic Site, located at 200 S. Main St., St. Charles, Mo., 63301 (636-940-3322). Tours of the First State Capitol are $4 per adult and $2.50 per child. Visitors can also enjoy artifacts from the expedition and learn more about American Indian history and culture at the Museum of Westward Expansion, located at the Gateway Arch in downtown St. Louis (314-655-1700).
Stars and Stripes: A former U.S. Army Post and a gathering point for soldiers and supplies, Jefferson Barracks Museums and Historic Site provides a look back at military history. Jefferson Barracks is located at 345 North Road, St. Louis, Mo., 63125 (314-615-4386). Soldiers Memorial Military Museum was constructed as a monument to lives lost in World War I and contains various military memorabilia. Soldiers Memorial Military Museum is located at 1315 Chestnut St., St. Louis, Mo., 63103 (314-622-4550). Admission to both museums is free, though donations are accepted.
And Freedom For All: As the site of the first two trials of the Dred Scott case, the Old Courthouse remains a monument to emancipation and the Underground Railroad, as well as a turning point in women's right to vote. The Old Courthouse is located at the intersection of North Broadway and Market Street, St. Louis, Mo., 63101 (314-655-1700).
Diggin' Archaeology: Those with an interest in the prehistoric can head up an expedition to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site and Mastodon State Historic Site. At Cahokia Mounds, visitors explore the remnants of one of North America's most sophisticated ancient civilizations. The mounds are located at 30 Ramey St., Collinsville, Ill., 62234. Visit cahokiamounds.org or call 618-346-5160. Admission is free, though donations are accepted. Dinosaur lovers are sure to dig Mastodon State Historic Site, which is home to Kimmswick Bone Bed, an extensive ice age deposit of fossils and mastodon bones. Mastodon State Historic Site is located at 1050 Charles J. Becker Dr., Imperial, Mo.,63052. Call 636-464-2976 or visit mostateparks.com. Tickets are $4 per adult; children are free.
Field Trip: The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill., includes presidential documents and photographs, dishes from the White House and other artifacts. The museum is located at 212 N. Sixth St., Springfield, Ill., 62701 (217-558-8844). Admission is $12 per adult and $6 per child. The riverboat, cave and river views in Hannibal, Mo., are sure to spark the imagination of its visitors, just as it inspired its native son, author Samuel Clemens. Those interested in the Titantic will also enjoy a visit to the Molly Brown Museum.
Other Historical Destinations:
- Holocaust Museum and Learning Center, 12 Millstone Campus Dr., St. Louis, Mo., 63146, hmlc.org
- The Griot Museum of Black History and Culture, 2505 St. Louis Ave., St. Louis, Mo., 63106, thegriotmuseum.com
- Daniel Boone Home, 1868 Hwy. F, Defiance, Mo., 63341, danielboonehome.com
- Fort Belle Fontaine, 13002 Bellefontaine Rd., St. Louis, Mo., 63138, http://www.stlouisco.com/ParksandRecreation/ParkPages
- Historic Village at Faust Park, 15185 Olive Blvd., Chesterfield, Mo., 63017, http://www.stlouisco.com/ParksandRecreation/ParkPages
- Gateway Arch Riverboat One-Hour Sightseeing Cruises, visit gatewayarch.com for detailed directions. Best Bets articles represent the views and the research completed by St. Louis Sprout & About journalists and are not driven by advertising or requests by vendors or venues. Best Bets do not imply an endorsement of a business or activity.