What is Missouri Known For? (17 Things It’s Famous For)

Nicknamed “The Show Me State”, Missouri is a state in the midwestern United States. Missouri borders Arkansas, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Tennessee. This makes it the state which borders the most states alongside Tennessee! Its capital city is Jefferson City, but its largest city is Kansas City. The state is well worth a visit for its natural springs, rolling hills, and rich historical sites!

Missouri is known for its lively cities of St. Louis and Kansas City. The state is also known for its fantastic barbecue. Plus, it has the largest and oldest Anheuser-Busch (Budweiser) brewery! For natural sites, visit the Ozarks, countless caves, and its miles upon miles of farmland. 

Missouri, and Kansas City, in particular, is world-famous for its finger-lickin’ barbecue. While you’ll find 10/10 barbecue all over the state, Kansas City barbecue has its own distinct style, with slow-smoked meat in a thick and sweet sauce (it doesn’t get better than that, are we right?). 

We can trace back Kansas City’s love for barbecue to a Mr. Henry Perry. In the early 1920s, he used to barbecue meat in an outdoor pit and serve it up wrapped in newspaper. And just like that, the Kansas City barbecue craze was born… 

The Ozarks

Many of you may have heard of the Ozarks due to the popular Netflix series, Ozark. BUT, you’ll be happy to know it’s actually a real place! This stunning mountain range covers an area of around 130,000 square kilometers. 85,500 square kilometers of which is in Missouri! 

The Ozarks have two mountain ranges. There are the Boston Mountains in Arkansas and the Taum Sauk Mountain in Missouri. 

The real draw to the Ozarks, however, is the Lake of the Ozarks. The lake is absolutely HUGE and has over 1,770 kilometers of shore (that’s more than the coastline of California!). 

Kansas City

Kansas City is also known as the City of Fountains, with 200 officially registered fountains! Realistically, that number is MUCH higher due to private, unregistered fountains. 

Apart from the mouth-watering barbecue and stunning water features, Kansas city is known for its jazz music. There are more than 40 local jazz clubs in the city, so you can easily find somewhere to dance the night away. 

The Kansas City Royals

The Kansas City Royals are an American Professional Baseball based in Kansas City. They have won four American League (AL) pennants and two World Series Championships. 

Their most recent World Series Championship win was in 2015. Before that, their first win was 30 years prior in 1985!

Harry S. Truman 

America’s 33rd president, Harry S Truman is most well-known for his decision to use Atomic Bombs on Japan in 1945. He also saw the United States through to the end of World War II and the Korean war. 

He was a born and bred Missourian and was known as a plain-speaking man from Missouri. He came from Lamar, Missouri and was born in 1884 to a farmer and livestock dealer. 

He became the president in 1945 after the death of President Roosevelt and remained in office until early 1953. 

Overly-sized Objects

Okay, this may seem like a bit of a weird one… but Missouri is known for its larger-than-life objects. You can find many of the world’s largest objects in the state. Our favorites are the world’s largest pair of underwear, the world’s largest roll of toilet paper, and the world’s largest rocking chair! 

There’s also a whole load of other larger-than-life objects like The Big Pump, the Giant Eight Ball, and the Giant Fork.   


St. Louis, Missouris, is where you’ll find the oldest and largest Anheuser-Busch brewery. This brewery is the home of Budweiser! It opened in 1852 and since the 1890s, the brewery has been welcoming visitors. 

The brewery produces a whopping 16.5 million 12 oz servings of beer every day, and the site sits on an impressive 142-acres. 


Missouri has a history of twisters. Each year there are around 30 tornadoes on average. Most tornadoes occur in April and May. But the most damaging tornadoes typically happen in fall and winter. 

Missouri is in what’s called the “tornado alley” and is one of the top five states in America for tornado activity! 

Luckily, deadly tornadoes aren’t too common. You will see Missouri on the national news from time to time though when a big twister rolls through. 

Mark Twain

Mark Twain (considered by many as one of America’s greatest writers of all time) was from Missouri. He is best known for The Adventures of Tom Sawyer (1876) and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1885). 

The state has several homages to this fantastic writer. There is the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum, the Mark Twain Birthplace State Historic State, the Mark Twain National Forest, and more!

Missouri Botanical Garden

If you’re a bonafide plant mom (or dad), then a trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden is definitely on the cards. Founded in 1859, it is the oldest botanical garden in continuous operation in the country! 

The gardens are amazing. There are 79 acres of horticultural displays, including their English Woodland Garden, Chinese Garden, and Ottoman Garden. There’s also a seriously impressive number of trees (4,800), with a few even dating back to the garden’s founding. Now THAT’S old! 

St. Louis

St. Louis is Missouri’s largest city and has the nickname “The Gateway to The West”. The city is full of charm and history, and the beloved ice cream cone was invented there at the 1904 World’s Fair! 

St. Louis is home to the Delmar Loop, named one of the 10 Great Streets in America. The Delmar Loop is the perfect place to hang out! There are cool restaurants, eclectic boutiques, and edgy art galleries.

The Gateway Arch

This incredible archway is found in St. Louis. It symbolizes the “Gateway to the West” and is in the Gateway Arch National Park. The arch is 192 meters tall, making it the tallest arch in the world. It is also the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere! 

Winston Churchill’s Iron Curtain Speech

I’m sure we’ve all at least heard of Winston Churchill’s iconic Iron Curtain Speech in 1946. But, did you know that it took place in Fulton, Missouri? 

After he was defeated for re-election as the British Prime Minister, Churchill spoke at Westminster College in rural Fulton Missouri. He stressed the need for the United States and Britain to act as peacekeepers against the threat of Soviet communism, which he said had lowered an “iron curtain” over Europe.   

The Missouri River

The Missouri River is the longest river in North America. Together with the Mississippi River (which it flows into), it is the fourth longest river system in the world! The Missouri River source begins in the Rocky Mountains and flows eastward before draining in St. Louis. 


Aside from being known as the “Show Me State”, Missouri is also known as the “Cave State”. There are roughly 7,500 recorded caves in Missouri, many of which are accessible to the public! 

The Meramec Caverns are by far Missouri’s most popular caves, and since 1933 it has been a tourist destination. Jesse James, (an infamous American outlaw, bank robber, train robber, and guerilla) is rumored to have used the Meramec Caverns as his hideout.

The American Royal 

The American Royal Association has been a tradition in Kansas City since 1899! It is a non-profit event and takes place every year. 

It is largely known due to its World Series of Barbecue, which is the largest barbecue contest in the WORLD. But, aside from what’s probably the tastiest event in North America, there’s a livestock show, a rodeo, and several horse shows among other events!


Missouri is known for its farming. There are almost 100,000 farms and more than 28 million acres of farmland in the state! That makes Missouri the second state with the most farmland in the United States after Texas! 

Just under 90% of Missouri’s farms are family-owned, and over 1 in 10 jobs in the state come from agriculture and forestry. 

The state’s top agricultural produce is soybeans, corn, turkeys, hogs, and cattle. Missouri’s rich and fertile soil is what enables it to support a wide range of crops and livestock. The soil even supports many unique grape varieties! This is what gives Missouri wines their rich flavor!