It is time to shake off the winter blues. We found four great places to go see on your “Winter Thaw” adventure. From St. Louis, to Springfield, to St. Charles, you will want to hit the road and leave Old Man Winter behind.

Photo Courtesy of Jason Dailey

Traveling into a New Year!

Don’t let Old Man Winter keep you stuck inside. Take advantage of the January thaw to go on an impromptu Missouri adventure.

Photo Courtesy of the The Negro League Baseball Museum


The US Civil Right Trail highlights locations in 15 states that were pivotal to the American civil rights story. In Missouri, the trail stretches from St. Louis to Kansas City and includes last year’s new addition, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City. There’s another featured site in Independence—the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum, which includes an exhibit devoted to Truman’s decision to desegregate the military. There are two featured US Civil Rights Trail sites in St. Louis: the Old Courthouse, where the Dred Scott case was argued, and the Shelley House, which brought nationwide attention to racial restrictions on home ownership. Explore all the trail sites and plan your itinerary at

Photo Courtesy of Tom Smith


The Soda Museum and Arcade is now open in St. Charles’s historic Main Street district. The museum is the dream-come-true for Tom Smith, who began collecting soda-related relics as a boy. Housed in a renovated 1896 building at 126 North Main Street, the museum features memorabilia on the main level, mezzanine, and top floor. The basement is a full arcade with dozens of classic video games, pinball machines, bowling machines, air hockey, and more.

Photo Courtesy of Byc-ees


It would be an understatement to call Buc-ee’s a convenience store, although with 120 fueling positions, a wide selection of food and merchandise, and its famously clean bathrooms, Buc-ee’s is certainly convenient. The Texas-born travel centers have been spreading northward and have reached Missouri with the recent opening of the state’s first Buc-ee’s, near Springfield. 

According to Buc-ee’s media spokesperson Rachel Austin, the Springfield store occupies 53,000 square feet filled with thousands of snack, meal, and drink options. “Buc-ee’s favorites including Texas barbeque, homemade fudge, kolaches, Beaver nuggets, jerky, and fresh pastries are available as well.” Rachel says.

Photo Courtesy of The Luminary


St. Louis public art project PSA: is now on display at The Luminary on the corner of Cherokee Street and Ohio Avenue. The newly commissioned work by Tasha Nicolé Burton is a six-banner piece titled “Today, you meet yourself.” It can be viewed on the exterior wall of The Luminary building and was funded, in part, by the Missouri Arts Council and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

The art invites self-reflection. According to the artist, “When we doubt our own thoughts and feelings, this can be an act of deviance that can create feelings of sadness, rejection, and lack of self-trust. Self-trust is an ever-evolving journey that requires repetition and practice. This can be achieved through resilience and forgiveness.”

The Luminary was established in 2007 and features an active roster of exhibitions, residencies, performances, publications, and gatherings. The site is known in the St. Louis art community as “a point of convergence for diverse publics.”

The featured image is courtesy of Byc-ees.

Read about three unusual Missouri museums here.

Article originally published in the January/February 2024 issue of Missouri Life.