Last year, for the first time ever, we decided to ask our readers about their favorites in the state of Missouri … and we received more than 35,000 votes! In 2020, our readers blew us away yet again by submitting 2,743 nominations and 43,172 votes for scrumptious bakeries, exciting attractions, fun festivals, famous folks from the Show-Me State, and more.

When we tallied everything up, we had a lengthy list: a guide for Missourians, by Missourians, of the places and experiences everyone should seek out in 2021. Here are this year’s winners.

OUTDOORS

Photo courtesy Tyler Beck Photography.

Running Trail

KATY TRAIL
The Katy Trail offers runners fantastic views over relatively flat terrain.
SECOND PLACE: ROTHWELL PARK, COLUMBIA

RV Spot

ARROW ROCK STATE PARK, ARROW ROCK
The main draws are the features of a historic town—the J. Huston Tavern is located there—but campers can also enjoy picnic areas, hiking trails, and nearby restaurants and shops.
SECOND PLACE: THOMPSON CAMPGROUND, MOBERLY

Unique Caverns

MERAMEC CAVERNS, SULLIVAN
Visitors can take guided tours of the incredible natural structure, visit the Meramec Caverns restaurant, rent canoes and kayaks, and even go ziplining.
SECOND PLACE: ONONDAGA CAVE STATE PARK, LEASBURG

Float Trip Outfitter

HUZZAH VALLEY RESORT, STEELVILLE
With canoeing, kayaking, rafting, and tubing options available, this Ozarks destination is the place to go for those looking to tour the Huzzah and Courtois Rivers.
SECOND PLACE: AKERS FERRY, SALEM

Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, Arrow Rock

Little Theater

ARROW ROCK LYCEUM THEATRE, ARROW ROCK
With 416 seats it is, indeed, a “little theater”—but in the performing arts world, it’s a big deal.
SECOND PLACE: 4TH STREET THEATER, MOBERLY

Hiking Trail

KATY TRAIL
Rich in history and even richer in scenery, the Katy Trail is rife with opportunities for those looking to explore nature. Hikers can enjoy plenty of scenic views along the Missouri River.
SECOND PLACE: HA HA TONKA STATE PARK, CAMDENTON

Best Kept Secret

KATY TRAIL
We’re betting this isn’t a secret everywhere—after all, plenty of the destinations on this list are located on the trail!—but the paths less traveled on its 240-mile long stretch are wondrous to behold.
SECOND PLACE: ROTHWELL PARK, COLUMBIA

State Park

KATY TRAIL
Missourians love biking, hiking, walking and riding the Katy Trail, for good reason. There’s so much to see and do, from birdwatching to wayside exhibits and much, much more.
SECOND PLACE: Forest Park, St. Louis

Trail System

KATY TRAIL, NORTH JEFFERSON CITY SPUR
This segment of the Katy Trail is known for its gorgeous views of the Capitol Building, as well as access to the Jefferson City waterfront.
SECOND PLACE: Rothwell Park, Columbia

Food


Diner

BROADWAY DINER, COLUMBIA
Known for tasty breakfasts, the Broadway Diner is a Columbia classic with a heart of gold—the owners have given away thousands of free meals during the pandemic to those in need.
SECOND PLACE: MAIN STREET DINER, BOONVILLE

Romantic Restaurant

LES BOURGEOIS BISTRO, ROCHEPORT
With stunning views and an equally stunning menu, you’re sure to feel the sparks flying if you take your date to this Rocheport gem.
SECOND PLACE: ALPENHORN GASTHAUS, HERMANN


Italian

CHARLIE GITTO’S ON THE HILL, ST. LOUIS
If you’re looking for authentic Italian in the St. Louis area; Charlie Gitto’s has you covered with a variety of mouthwatering dishes like shrimp scampi, homemade manicotti, and, of course, toasted ravioli.
SECOND PLACE: MADISON’S CAFE, JEFFERSON CITY

Chef

LIZ HUFF, CATALPA, ARROW ROCK
Catalpa has morphed from a fine-dining destination to a burgers-and-fries stand, but Liz Huff doesn’t have any regrets. Rather, she’s elevated American classics to a culinary art form, and the result is beyond scrumptious.
SECOND PLACE: ROB AGEE, MADISON’S CAFE, JEFFERSON CITY

Best Kept Secret

FULTON CAFE, FULTON
Missourians interested in expanding their palate will savor the bold flavors and unique dishes here.
SECOND PLACE: LULA’S TAVERN, MOBERLY

Photo by Travis Ewart.

Outdoor Patio

CATALPA, ARROW ROCK
Catalpa’s food offerings might look a little different now, but the patio seating is extraordinary. Formerly a fine-dining destination, Catalpa is now a burger hotspot offering al fresco eats.
SECOND PLACE: FLAT BRANCH PUB & BREWING, COLUMBIA

Destination Restaurant

FULTON CAFE, FULTON
Fulton Cafe has earned rave reviews for authentic Cuban food, including Fricassee de Pollo and Salmon a la Plancha.
SECOND PLACE: CATALPA, ARROW ROCK

Local Coffee

SHOP ESPRESSO LAINE, HERMANN
Serving house-roasted beans brewed into coffee, espresso and specialty drinks, it’s no wonder its site deems it a place “where the locals hang out.”
SECOND PLACE: DERAILED COFFEE BAR & CAFE, BOONVILLE

Chocolatier

RICKY’S CHOCOLATE BOX, HERMANN
Boasting an impressive array of handmade, small-batch treats, you’ll find classics like pecan turtles to more adventurous fare like rum chatta truffles.
SECOND PLACE: RUSSELL STOVER, VARIOUS LOCATIONS


Taco

MISSION TACO JOINT DELMAR LOOP, ST. LOUIS
With a variety of tacos like spicy chorizo and Baja fish, there’s certain to be something to suit every taste.
SECOND PLACE: 44 CANTEEN, COLUMBIA

Sushi

ROLL LOVE SUSHI, COLUMBIA & JEFFERSON CITY
Offering dozens of rolls and delectable fish, chicken, and beef entrees, Love Sushi is the place to go for those who, well, love sushi.
SECOND PLACE: KAZOKU HIBACHI & SUSHI BAR, MARSHALL

Food Truck

OZARK MOUNTAIN BISCUIT COMPANY
No words can adequately describe the mouthwatering majesty that is Ozark Mountain Biscuit Company’s biscuits. The truck travels across mid-Missouri, offering affordable biscuits, high-quality jams, and scrumptious sides.
SECOND PLACE: THE BIG CHEEZE, COLUMBIA

Buffet

DON’S FAMILY STYLE BUFFET, HUNTSVILLE
With a menu consisting of comfort-food classics plus lunch and dinner buffets, we think it’s safe to say we wouldn’t be leaving with an inch of room in our stomachs.
SECOND PLACE: THE CORNER RESTAURANT-BAR-CATERING, RHINELAND

Fried Chicken

STROUD’S OAK RIDGE MANOR, KANSAS CITY
Stroud’s pan fries chicken “the old-fashioned way” and they’ve received plenty of coveted culinary awards, including the James Beard Award for Excellence and the Zagat Award for Best Restaurant.
SECOND PLACE: DON’S FAMILY STYLE BUFFET, HUNTSVILLE

Chinese Restaurant

CHINA KING, VARIOUS LOCATIONS
Sometimes we just need some good Chinese food, and when the craving strikes, China King delivers. Offering familiar favorites like Kung Po Chicken and spring rolls, there’s sure to be something you’ll savor on its extensive menu.
SECOND PLACE: HUNAN RESTAURANT, JEFFERSON CITY

Donuts

YUMMY’S DONUT PALACE, BOONVILLE
With a name like “donut palace,” you know it’s gonna be good. And that’s exactly what Yummy’s is: it offers a smorgasbord of donuts in various shapes, sizes and flavors (and they even had blueberry icing!).
SECOND PLACE: BATOCLETTI BAKE SHOPPE, HERMANN

Hamburger

Fulton Café, LLC
With all the acclaim it’s gotten and the tastiness of its food, Fulton Café deserves a second first-place ranking. The Frita Burger is a powerful testament to what a burger can be when done right, boasting onions, shoestring potatoes, a succulent burger patty and a perfectly done bun.
SECOND PLACE: MAGGIE’S BAR AND GRILL, BOONVILLE

Roadside BBQ

BUERKY’S BBQ, BOONVILLE
Technically, Buerky’s is also trail-side; it’s a stone’s throw from the picturesque biking, walking and running destination. For those wanting to refuel after a long ride—car or bike—Buerky’s is there for you.

Small Towns

Historic Small Town

BOONVILLE
Whether you’re a history buff, a bicyclist, or a birdwatcher, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for in this small town with huge offerings.
SECOND PLACE: HERMANN

Small Town Dining

MAGGIE’S BAR & GRILL, BOONVILLE
The menu, consisting of a variety of appetizers, a plethora of burgers, sandwiches, salads, and drinks, is sure to please anyone who walks in the door.
SECOND PLACE: LULA’S TAVERN, MOBERLY


Most Unusual Business in a Small Town

NEVER THE SAME, BOONVILLE
If you’re looking for unique crafts and one-of-a-kind furniture, stop by Never the Same. They make all of their furniture, from cabinets to steampunk-inspired lamps, on-site.
SECOND PLACE: DOXIE SLUSH, HERMANN

Small Town Newspaper

THE FAYETTE ADVERTISER, FAYETTE
Serving Howard County since 1840, the Fayette Advertiser is a standout for its quality, local coverage as well as its status as an independent newspaper.
SECOND PLACE: HANNIBAL COURIER-POST, HANNIBAL

Best Kept Secret

BOONVILLE
Is it really a best-kept secret when it’s appeared on this list as often as it has? Regardless of whether Boonville is well-known, its wide array of shopping and outdoor activities make it a perfect destination for travelers, families and couples.

Small Town Art Gallery

BOONVILLE RIVERS, RAILS & TRAILS MUSEUM, BOONVILLE 
Located next to the Boonville Katy Trail head, the Rivers, Rails & Trails museum is a popular destination for those looking to learn more about this splendid river town’s history. Exhibits include a half-scale replica Keel boat, wagons and model train displays.
SECOND PLACE: Capital Arts, Jefferson City

Small Town Shopping

THE WINDY NEST, BOONVILLE
The Windy Nest has earned a passionate fanbase as a result of its unique fashion offerings and unique, eye-catching jewelry.
SECOND PLACE: Hermann

Friendliest Small Town

BOONVILLE
Boonville’s website says it offers “small-town charm and hospitality,” and based on its ranking in our awards, we completely agree.
SECOND PLACE: Hermann

Small Town Sports

BOONVILLE PIRATES, BOONVILLE 
2020 was quite a bit different than previous seasons for small-town-favorite teams, but fans still love rooting for the Boonville Pirates.
SECOND PLACE: Springfield Cardinals, Springfield

Lore & Legend

Most Notorious Missouri Outlaw

Jesse James wanted poster
JESSE JAMES

This fearsome train, stagecoach, and bank robber has gone down in history as one of the most famous outlaws in the American West—and he was from Kearney.
SECOND PLACE: CALAMITY JANE

Haunted House

LEMP BREWERY HAUNTED HOUSE, ST. LOUIS
Legend has it that the Lemp family, many of whom met tragic fates, still roam the halls in this spooky St. Louis haunt.
SECOND PLACE: OLD COOPER COUNTY JAIL & HANGING BARN, BOONVILLE

Most Famous Missouri Athlete

STAN MUSIAL
Musial served as first baseman and an outfielder for the St. Louis Cardinals for twenty- two seasons; from 1941–1944 and 1946–1963.
SECOND PLACE: PATRICK MAHOMES, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS QUARTERBACK

Best-Known Missouri Family

BUSCH’S OF ANHEUSER-BUSCH
Again, not too surprising of a result. Adolphous Busch and his family founded a brewery loved throughout America—and Missouri, or course—for more than 165 years.
SECOND PLACE: The Truman Family

Re-enactor

CAPTAIN SCALAWAG, LAKE OF THE OZARKS
Fun is guaranteed if you take your family out on the “high seas” with Captain Scalawag to search for buried treasure. Featuring unique props and exciting stories, voyages with this pirate are a treasure all their own.
SECOND PLACE: “Whoever Does Mark Twain.”

Best Kept Secret

BOONVILLE
While it doesn’t get the press and the pageantry of St. Louis, Kansas City or Columbia, Boonville offers visitors plenty of adventure, shopping, fine dining and outdoor activities on the beloved Katy Trail.
SECOND PLACE: Booniebrook Home & Museum, Walnut Shade

Notable Historic Hotel

HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE
While today the Hotel Frederick bustles with modern convenience, it has worn many hats throughout its nearly 120 years of existence; it has been a weekend restaurant, a bus depot and a retirement center.
SECOND PLACE: The Elms Hotel & Spa, Excelsior Springs

Notable Missouri Figure

OMAR BRADLEY
Born in Clark, Bradley served as a heroic senior officer during World War II and was awarded the five-star rank of General of the Army.
SECOND PLACE: U.S. Grant

Culture

Jeweler

CRESCENT JEWELRY, HANNIBAL
Customers rave about Crescent’s high-quality merchandise and outstanding customer service. They offer bridal and engagement rings, gifts, repairs, and engraving. SECOND PLACE: MOLLY’S JEWELRY DESIGN & REPAIR, BOONVILLE

Natural History Museum

ARROW ROCK STATE HISTORIC SITE, ARROW ROCK
With buildings dating back to 1834, displays and experiences include taking in historic furnishings and strolling through the Old Courthouse; you can even have a meal at Missouri’s oldest continuously operating tavern.
SECOND PLACE: WONDERS OF WILDLIFE NATIONAL MUSEUM & AQUARIUM, SPRINGFIELD

Art Gallery

ST LOUIS ART MUSEUM, ST. LOUIS
Founded in 1879, the Saint Louis Art Museum has held works by Van Gogh, Dali, and more. There’s something for fans of every creative expression inside its walls, from oil paintings to sculptures.
SECOND PLACE: ORR STREET STUDIOS, COLUMBIA


Best Visual Artist

ADRIENNE LUTHER, ST. LOUIS
She manages social channels, creates logos, designs for small businesses, does custom chalkboard art for special events, and, somehow, still finds time to draw for fun.
SECOND PLACE: ANN SCHAFER, FAYETTE

Outdoor Theater

ST. LOUIS MUNY THEATER, ST. LOUIS
Patrons have been returning for more than 100 seasons to The Muny. Even in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Muny offered virtual programming for its loyal fans. SECOND PLACE: STARLIGHT THEATRE, KANSAS CITY

Movie Theater

B&B MOBERLY DRIVE-IN, MOBERLY
Given the state of movie theaters in 2020, perhaps it’s unsurprising that a drive-in should rank first. But even in a non-pandemic year, this drive-in provides hours of unique fun.
SECOND PLACE: RAGTAG CINEMA, COLUMBIA

Historical Museum

MARK TWAIN BOYHOOD HOME & MUSEUM, HANNIBAL
See first editions of Twain’s works, his father’s law office, and the inspiration for his books in a reproduction of Huck Finn’s house.
SECOND PLACE: HARRY S. TRUMAN LIBRARY & MUSEUM, INDEPENDENCE

Culinary School

COLLEGE OF THE OZARKS, POINT LOOKOUT
Offering both a major and a minor in the discipline, the school instructs students in topics like baking and pastry decorating, cooking meat, seafood, and poultry. SECOND PLACE: NICHOLS CAREER CENTER, JEFFERSON CITY

Concert Hall & Venue

THE FABULOUS FOX, ST. LOUIS
This 4,500-seat theatre has been presenting the “Best of Broadway” for decades and celebrated its 90th anniversary in 2019.
SECOND PLACE: THESPIAN HALL, BOONVILLE

Family Show

MO JAZZ MUSIC FESTIVAL, COLUMBIA
Set in Columbia’s gorgeous Rose Park, this event gets toes tapping and tunes twanging—and best of all, it’s free! Presented by Rose Music Hall and Jazz Forward Initiative, Inc., MO Jazz Music Festival offers family friendly fun and highlights the unique splendor of jazz with a multiple-artist, several-hours-long lineup.
SECOND PLACE: THE MUNY, ST. LOUIS

Best Outdoor Festival

MO JAZZ MUSIC FESTIVAL, COLUMBIA

SECOND PLACE: BOONVILLE HERITAGE DAYS, BOONVILLE

Music Festival

BIG MUDDY FOLK FESTIVAL, BOONVILLE
There’s plenty to hear, see and do at this celebration of all things folk music. Take a master class from professional artists, munch on some mouthwatering barbecue or listen to the incredible tunes; no matter what you do, you’re sure to have a rockin’ good time.
SECOND PLACE: MO JAZZ MUSIC FESTIVAL, COLUMBIA

Best Musical Artist

ZACH SIMPSON
If it’s a weekend in mid-Missouri, you can expect Zach Simpson to be out playing his country tunes—and we wouldn’t have it any other way.
SECOND PLACE: OZARK MOUNTAIN DAREDEVILS, SPRINGFIELD

Best Kept Secret

MO JAZZ MUSIC FESTIVAL, COLUMBIA
Secret no more, perhaps. MO Jazz Music Festival offers hours of family-friendly fun with an impressive lineup of jazz artists. Admission is free!
SECOND PLACE: BRICK ROOM, BOONVILLE

Shopping

Quilt Shop

THE HICKORY STICK, HANNIBAL
Visitors are drawn to its stunning, intricate window displays; and for those who aren’t quilters, the store offers regular ol’ gifts, too.
SECOND PLACE: HUNTER’S QUILT MART, CENTERVIEW

Amish Store

DUTCH BAKERY & BULK FOOD STORE, TIPTON
Explore a variety of rustic, practical goods from fresh local produce and homemade baked goods to lawn furniture and kitchenware.
SECOND PLACE: CLARK AMISH COMMUNITY, CLARK

Boat Dealer

EBERLIN BOATS & MOTORS, INC., HERMANN
Customers say Eberlin has what they need, when they need it. They even deliver boats to customers located outside Missouri.
SECOND PLACE: BASS PRO SHOPS, VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Shopping District

HISTORIC DOWNTOWN HANNIBAL
From chocolatiers to fashion enthusiasts, you’re certain to find a shop you can’t resist on Hannibal’s historic streets.
SECOND PLACE: HISTORIC DOWNTOWN BOONVILLE

Country Store

DUTCH COUNTRY GENERAL STORE, HANNIBAL
It sell gifts, food, candy, nostalgic toys, furniture, home goods, and personal care items. What’s really great, though, is that coffee, popcorn, and ice cream cones are always free. Yum!
SECOND PLACE: RANDOLPH MERCANTILE, MOBERLY


Best Kept Secret

THE WINDY NEST, BOONVILLE
Add unique flair to your wardrobe with high-quality jewelry, head-turning fashion, and more.
SECOND PLACE: ASL PEWTER, STE. GENEVIEVE

Homes

Mid-Century Modern Home

LUSTRON HOUSE, ST. CHARLES
These houses are more than quirky-looking, steel-framed homes: they’re pieces of WWII-era history. It’s estimated that fewer than 1,200 of them remain today, and St. Charles is home to several of them.
SECOND PLACE: THE HOUSE ON THE CORNER OF DON SHELTON & NORTH, EXCELSIOR SPRINGS

Victorian Home

MISSOURI GOVERNOR’S MANSION, JEFFERSON CITY
Built in 1871, this home still holds all the splendor it did when it was first constructed— and its gardens are a magnificent sight as well.
SECOND PLACE: CAMPBELL HOUSE MUSEUM, ST. LOUIS

Historic Home

MARK TWAIN BOYHOOD HOME & MUSEUM, HANNIBAL
It’s more than an exhibition, it’s an experience that invites visitors to see the world through Twain’s eyes, complete with several perfectly preserved buildings from his time and several of his possessions.
SECOND PLACE: VAILE MANSION, INDEPENDENCE

Most Notable Civil War Home

FOREST HILL, BOONVILLE
You can see the subject of George Caleb Bingham’s painting in real life here. This house features incredible columns and intoxicating interior woodwork.
SECOND PLACE: JOHN WORNALL HOUSE MUSEUM, KANSAS CITY

Log Home Builder

FRENCH OF STE. GENEVIEVE, STE. GENEVIEVE
History buffs will love strolling through these centuries-old vertical log homes and taking in Missouri’s French colonial past.
SECOND PLACE: THE HYDER CABIN, EXCELSIOR SPRINGS

Best Kept Secret

ALPENHORN GASTHAUS, HERMANN
In addition to a twelve-foot alpenhorn (a traditional horn used in the Alps) in the Main House, visitors can feed farm animals, enjoy wine in the wine cellar, and stroll through garden areas throughout the property.
SECOND PLACE: WALTER WILLIAMS HOME, BOONVILLE

Destinations

Route 66 Location

TED DREWES FROZEN CUSTARD, ST. LOUIS
Boasting an incredible lineup of malts, sundaes, floats and more, it has been winning at the custard game for more than 80 years.
SECOND PLACE: ST. LOUIS GATEWAY ARCH, ST. LOUIS

Best Kept Secret

THE WINDY NEST, BOONVILLE
It’s practically impossible to walk in Boonville’s Windy Nest and leave empty-handed. The alluring combination of gorgeous jewelry, quality clothing, and unique home goods creates a satisfying shopping experience.
SECOND PLACE: CITY MUSEUM, ST. LOUIS

Roller Coaster

BATMAN: THE RIDE AT SIX FLAGS, ST. LOUIS
For high-speed thrills, it doesn’t get much better than this DC-themed coaster. You’ll soar through the air at speeds of fifty mph and fly upside down. Not for the faint of heart!
SECOND PLACE: POWDER KEG AT SILVER DOLLAR CITY, BRANSON


Hotel

HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE
It shouldn’t be surprising that Hotel Frederick ranked twice on our list; there’s something about its winning combo of past and present that has given it special lodging inside its visitors’ hearts.
SECOND PLACE: BIG CEDAR LODGE, RIDGEDALE

Rest Stop

MISSOURI ROUTE 66 WELCOME CENTER, CONWAY
Of course it has clean restrooms and vending machines, but it also has outdoor areas for visitors to explore and Route 66-themed photo ops. Plus, the light-up sign is iconic.
SECOND PLACE: THE DAIRY B, EXCELSIOR SPRINGS

Spa

THE ELMS HOTEL & SPA, EXCELSIOR SPRINGS
It’s one of the largest spas in the Midwest—and one of the most luxurious. The Elms invites visitors into a grotto complete with a hot tub and steam shower, ten different types of massages, facials, and body treatments.
SECOND PLACE: RIVERSONG SPA & SALON, JEFFERSON CITY & COLUMBIA


Interpretive Center

DOGWOOD CANYON, LAMPE
The park offers visitors unique experiences like biking, fishing, horseback riding, and Segway tours—the fun is truly limitless.
SECOND PLACE: RIVER, RAILS & TRAILS MUSEUM, BOONVILLE

Boutique Hotel

HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE
Boasting a perfect mix of olden-day charm and modern-day convenience, the hotel is nestled conveniently close to the Katy Trail and offers bike rentals.
SECOND PLACE: MOONRISE HOTEL, ST. LOUIS

Farmer’s Market

SOULARD FARMERS MARKET, ST. LOUIS
Soulard got its start in 1779, and farmers are still selling fresh produce at the market today! Locavores can pick up seafood, cheese, baked goods, and more.
SECOND PLACE: COLUMBIA FARMERS MARKET, COLUMBIA

The Climatron in the sunset at Missouri Botanical Gardens
Photo courtesy Missouri Botanical Garden.

Gardens

MISSOURI BOTANICAL GARDEN, ST. LOUIS
This garden supports conservation efforts in St. Louis and around the world, and it takes its mission of “reconnecting people with nature” seriously.
SECOND PLACE: POWELL GARDENS, KINGSVILLE

Bed and Breakfast

THE WINDY NEST, BOONVILLE
SECOND PLACE: Hickory Springs Bed & Breakfast, Boonville

Scenic Spot

LOOKOUT POINT AT HARLEY PARK,, BOONVILLE
A great place to visit with your sweetheart … or just by yourself, to take in the majesty of nature. Lookout Point offers breathtaking views of the Missouri River: if you go, you have to bring a camera.
SECOND PLACE: The Top of the St. Louis Gateway Arch, St. Louis

Tour Guide

BOONVILLE Tourism, BOONVILLE
Boonville has more than 450 structures on the National Registry of Historic Places, and BOONVILLE Tourism will guide you through them all. In non-pandemic times, this timeless landmark hosts plenty of fun events for travelers, like art festivals, steam engine shows and Christmas celebrations.
SECOND PLACE: Hannibal Trolley Co., Hannibal

Stretch of Highway

ROUTE 66
As if it would be anything else? Route 66 is iconic for good reason, and there’s plenty to see, experience and do across its hallowed miles. It’s more than just a highway: it’s cultural cornerstone.
SECOND PLACE: N Hwy 94

Imbibe

Brewery

ANHEUSER-BUSCH BREWERY, ST. LOUIS
Anhueser-Busch is a St. Louis icon, and from its Biergarten to its factory tours and gift shop, it provides hours of fun for the whole family.
SECOND PLACE: LOGBOAT BREWING COMPANY, COLUMBIA

Dive Bar

BROADWAY OYSTER BAR, ST. LOUIS
Known for its scrumptious seafood and Cajun influences, Broadway Oyster Bar boasts cocktails from New Orleans as well as more traditional drinks.
SECOND PLACE: LULA’S TAVERN, MOBERLY


Best Saison

LOGBOAT BREWING COMPANY’S PATRICK SWAYZON, COLUMBIA
The smile-worthy name has a smile-worthy flavor profile to match: its semi-tart, fruity taste marks it as the best in the state.
SECOND PLACE: SAISON DE LIS, PERENNIAL ARTISAN ALES, ST. LOUIS

Cocktail

THE COVE RESTAURANT & BAR, BOONVILLE
The Cove’s full bar serves beers and shots in an easily accessible location, but they’re known for their cocktails and large patio.
SECOND PLACE: HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE

Best Norton

ADAM PUCHTA WINERY, HERMANN
This winery is the oldest continuously owned family winery in the United States, and its Cellar Select Norton is a remarkable vintage.
SECOND PLACE: STONE HILL WINERY, HERMANN

Tasting Room

PINCKNEY BEND DISTILLERY, NEW HAVEN
Visiting the tasting room at Pinckney Bend Distillery gives adventurous imbibers the chance to sample what they’ve been working on; often, these drinks are only available at the tap room.
SECOND PLACE: THE SCHLAFLY TAP ROOM, ST. LOUIS

Roastery

LAKOTA COFFEE COMPANY, COLUMBIA
The downtown location at Lakota is the original. Their single-origin coffee draws customers from all over CoMo.
SECOND PLACE: BEAN, MOBERLY

Historic Tavern

J. HUSTON TAVERN, ARROW ROCK
Originally constructed as a family home, the structure has had many uses over the years; today, visitors imbibe in what was once the mercantile store. The tavern is closed for renovation through the beginning of next year.
SECOND PLACE: HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE

Distillery

WOODSMEN DISTILLING, HIGBEE
Woodsmen Distilling grows and harvest most of their own grains, and they use Missouri white oak barrels to age bourbon and whiskey.
SECOND PLACE: PINCKNEY BEND DISTILLERY, NEW HAVEN


Cocktail Bar

DOXIE SLUSH, HERMANN
Drinking at Doxie Slush is more than just a night out—it’s an experience. Its trendy vibes and scratch-made, eye-catching frozen cocktails make it a must-see (and sip). SECOND PLACE: THE COVE RESTAURANT & BAR, BOONVILLE

Best Kept Secret

THE BRICK ROOM AT HOTEL FREDERICK, BOONVILLE
The Brick Room’s meticulously crafted cocktails and live music make it a destination for those looking to have a unique experience.
SECOND PLACE: MADISON’S CAFE, JEFFERSON CITY

White Wine

ADAM PUCHTA WINERY, HERMANN
Adam Puchta produces several tantalizing options for white wine drinkers, including a dessert wine with a “soft floral nose”.
SECOND PLACE: STONE HILL WINERY, HERMANN

Photos // Tyler Beck Photography, Missouri Botanical Garden, Cassidy Moody