Explore lodging, dining, and museum options.

St. Joseph is home to iconic places, including Jesse James’s home, the Pony Express birthplace, and the Kansas City Chiefs’ training camp. History flows through this town where museums tell the stories of this westward jumping-off point and where new stories are beginning.

The Whiskey Mansion bedrooms are comfy with a yesteryear feel and appearance.Lodge at the Whiskey Mansion Inn, which housed German immigrants Ferdinand and Sarah Westheimer and their eight sons more than 135 years ago. The Westheimers began distributing whiskey to mining towns out West in the late 1870s. As their business grew, so did their wealth. In 1884, they hired an architect to build the home, which was completed in 1885. The Inn’s history certainly embodies both pioneer and entrepreneurial spirit.

Over the years, the mansion deteriorated and was condemned by 1992. In 1995, a fire almost destroyed it, but Olin Cox from Savannah, Missouri, bought the property and began restoring it. The mansion now features period furniture, and Olin offers a full breakfast. There are a handful of rooms from which to choose, including the Water Spa Room, which features a jetted clawfoot tub, and the Maids’ Rooms, which are smaller but made for longer stays.

Vineyard Mansion & Carriage House is a Romanesque Revival-style mansion that is another place to stay that has a story, too. Built in 1860, it has since been restored. Guests are encouraged to come and go as they please and are given a house key upon arrival.

Scrumptious plate of food at Marco Polo in St. Joseph, Missouri.Dine at Cafe Belle Epoque where the atmosphere is low-key and friendly. For brunch, indulge in locally sourced eggs and homemade breads from Whiskey Mansion, or try a homemade soup when the temperature dips outside.

For an upscale dinner, try Marco Polo, where creative and savory dishes can transport you on a culinary journey. Among the entrees are Alfredo Florentine, Shrimp & Grits, and General Tso’s Chicken Marsala.

Visit the Pony Express Museum to learn about the riders and what the Pony Express meant to the country during westward expansion. See the museum’s permanent exhibit or explore the Hall of Riders for a more personal look on the era.

And, yes, St. Joseph’s most notorious resident was outlaw Jesse James. His home where he was killed is now the Jesse James Home Museum. You can see some of the artifacts found in his grave when his body was exhumed to verify that it really was Jesse James. The home was moved two blocks to become the current tourist attraction.

If you want something a bit offbeat for your trip, the Glore Psychiatric Museum is filled with remnants from when it was St. Joseph’s State Lunatic Asylum No. 2, which was established 1874. Tour the unique museum to view surgical tools, patient artwork, and embroidered wording from a patient who was schizophrenic and mute.

The Pony Express Stables

PHOTOS: From top, rooms at the restored Whiskey Mansion Inn feature period furniture from the late 1800s combined with modern conveniences. Marco Polo’s ricotta gnocchi tossed in lobster cream sauce with pork belly lardons is topped with a salad made from spinach and arugula dressed with rice wine chili oil vinaigrette and a few skewered bay scallops. The Pony Express Stables, the original home to the Pony Express, house the Pony Express Museum and a new Hall of Riders where visitors can learn about the daring young men who carried the mail. Photos courtesy of St. Joseph Convention & Visitors Bureau, Marco Polo, and Pony Express Museum