Extra day off? Kids out of school?
Looking for a quick road-trip with friends?
We know what you want, Des Moines! A trip to St. Joseph, Missouri!
If you only have a few hours to spend in St. Joseph, we want you to make the most of it. So, we’ve compiled a list of things to see and do on your next day trip. The people here are friendly, the food is delicious, and the architecture is exquisite. Of course, we recommend you spend as much time as you can enjoying ALL the wonderful things we have to offer, but if you only have ONE day and want to experience the most famous “highlights” here are the insider tips.
Every great visit deserves the perfect souvenir, and if quirky shopping is your thing, we have plenty of places to choose from. A wonderful assortment of eclectic local stores located in St. Joseph is definitely worth a stop. Nesting Goods, located downtown, features one-of-a-kind home decor items and gifts from local artists, along with unique antiques. At Mod Podge Boutique, get ready to wrap your fingers around a truly unique shopping experience. “MOD” meaning a modern approach to current fashions & designs. “PODGE” is the unique mixture of pattern, material, texture, price points, and overall eclectic vibe. At Friedrich’s Market, housed inside an 1889 renovated storefront, find naturally grown, small batch and sustainably sourced food, spices, sundries & quality imports! Step back in time at The Lucky Tiger vintage store, where you’ll find men and women’s clothing of all sizes, jewelry, vinyl records, accessories, vintage gifts, and a variety of antiques. Most of our museums have unique and interesting shops, as well. Many more shops listed here.
Let’s be real. Most of us travel in order to dine in unique locations and St. Joseph has plenty to choose from. For traditional Mexican food the locals swear by, stop by Barbosas Castillo. Located inside the historic hilltop Moss House, it has one of the best views of downtown. If pizza is more your style, experience Il Lazzerone traditional Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas cooked in a traditional oven in under 90 seconds. JC Wyatt House offers an impeccable Victorian atmosphere and 5-star quality, 3-course meals by reservation only. You can also find a great steak at the Fredrick Inn. This 1960’s throwback steakhouse, complete with a salad bar, is sure to do the trick. Don’t forget to order a grasshopper from the bar. Don’t forget, we’re also the “Tenderloin Capital of the World!” More options here...look for the tag Local Favorite for restaurants unique to St. Jo.
It’s not about what you drink, it’s about where you drink; whether adult-strength options or kid-friendly concoctions. During the day, the kiddos can quench their thirst with shakes, malts, fruit smoothies, soft drinks, at Kris & Kates, the home of the big pink ice-cream cone. During a diner-style dinner at D&G Pub and Grub, you’ll enjoy many craft cocktails from the historic bar. And for happy hour or an evening nightcap, a must visit is The Tigers Den Bookstore and Bar. Nope, that’s not a misprint. Where else can you read a Steinbeck novel while drinking a “Hemingway Daiquiri?” Why here, of course. Or maybe you want to sip something sweet while playing old video games? Check out Club Geek, a bar with retro gaming and nerd atmosphere.
That’s plural, by the way. We’re not just a “one-trick-pony” kind of town. Yes, we’re famous for the Pony Express and Jesse James, but other than those two incredible attractions, we have 11 other museums to keep you entertained. In fact, we have more museums per-capita than Washington DC! Here are a few highlights.
Like art? Or want to? Check out the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art. This museum rivals any other with their unparalleled permanent collection of 18th-20th-century art. But, this isn’t your mother’s stuffy art museum. The museum is always changing things with traveling art exhibits, young artists collections, and special events, so expect to see something new every time you visit. Head there during the lunch hour on Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday and enjoy the impeccable menu and beautiful setting at the AKMA Cafe, located inside the museum.
Looking for some creepy fun? How visiting a local museum recently cited in New York Times as one of the “World’s Weirdest Museums”, The Glore Psychiatric Museum. Formerly “State Lunatic Asylum No. 2”, this museum contains artifacts and exhibits that depict the disturbing history of centuries of mental health treatment. It has been mentioned national publications and television programs including Learning Channel, Discovery Channel, PBS, and Science Channel. Want to spend the night? You can do that too, during their annual sleepover.
Words just can’t describe The Patee House Museum National Historic Landmark. Built in 1858 as a luxury hotel, this building served as headquarters for the Pony Express. Here you can view a 1,050 lb. ball of string; a wall of murder weapons used by people in St. Joseph; a case filled with old steam whistles (you can toot them by pushing a button); an exhibit on Robert Wadlow, then the world’s tallest man, who came to St. Joseph to sue a local doctor for writing an article critical of giants; and smack in the middle is a real, full-size steam train complete with mail car, that the kids can climb all over. There is really no way to describe this museum, except to say it’s mentioned in the book, 1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. & Canada Before You Die.