Plan a Winter Getaway in Missouri’s Largest Cities

Whether the sun is shining or snowflakes are flying, Missouri’s two largest urban areas – Kansas City and St. Louis – provide a perfect place for a winter getaway. Boutique hotels offer great art and architecture as well as a comfortable bed, and award-winning restaurants will keep you well-fed. Spend an afternoon or two exploring an array of museums. Art, history, music and more – you’re sure to find a favorite.

Here’s a sampling of what you can experience in the City of Fountains and the Gateway to the West:

Kansas City

The Crossroads Hotel combines intriguing history with modern decor. The hotel is located in the historic Pabst Brewing Depot building – later used by political boss Tom Pendergast for his office and, according to legend, his bootleg liquor operation during Prohibition. Tapping into Kansas City’s creative community, the hotel features the talents of local artists and designers.

The Fontaine, named for Kansas City’s many beautiful fountains, is located in the heart of the Country Club Plaza, the city’s historic upscale shopping district. The hotel boasts custom tile mosaics, intricately carved wood paneling, original artwork and hand-blown Venetian glass chandeliers.
You can’t visit Kansas City without sampling the barbecue. Choose a longtime favorite like Arthur Bryant’s, Jack Stack or Gate’s, or explore a newer spot such as Char Bar Smoked Meats & Amusements or Q39. You can sample burnt ends – Kansas City’s claim to barbecue fame – at all four places.
For a modern take on Italian fare try Farina, located in Kansas City’s Crossroads District. Featuring fresh produce and meat from local farmers, the restaurant was created by Michael Smith, one of the city’s first James Beard awarding-winning chefs.
Kansas City offers an impressive variety of museums, including the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, recognized internationally as one of the country’s finest art museums. The collection of nearly 40,000 works includes African, American, Chinese, Japanese and modern art. The Arabia Steamboat Museum displays the cargo of a vessel that sank in the Missouri River in 1856. Excavation of the boat in the late 1980s proved to be a modern-day treasure hunt.
The National World War I Museum and Memorial, located beneath the iconic Liberty Memorial, is the only American museum dedicated solely to preserving the personal experiences and history of World War I. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum combines video, memorabilia and artifacts to recount the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on social advancement in the United States.

St. Louis

Surround yourself with color at the Angad Arts Hotel. It’s the first hotel in the world where you can reserve luxury accommodations bathed in the colors of the rainbow – Passionate Red, Tranquility Blue, Happy Yellow or Green Rejuvenation. The 12th-floor sky lobby features a giant Chameleon Lamp that provides a 360-degree video art experience.
Steeped in St. Louis history, The Last Hotel is located in the former International Shoe Company. Originally opened in 1909, the iconic building boasts elaborate stone carvings, ornate metalwork and terrazzo floors in Neoclassical and Art Deco styles.
Visit The Hill in St. Louis for authentic Italian food. Rigazzi’s, the oldest restaurant in the neighborhood, has been serving pasta dishes and more since 1957. Be sure to sample the toasted ravioli, a St. Louis specialty.
The menu at Vicia celebrates food sourced from local farmers, fishermen and artisans in the Midwest region and beyond. The restaurant has received numerous local and national awards, including a semi-finalist nomination from the James Beard Foundation for Best New Restaurant.
An up-close view of the Gateway Arch – the tallest manmade arch in the world – is a must. Formerly a National Memorial, the Gateway Arch is now a National Park. The grounds have been completely revamped, and the museum below the iconic structure has been renovated to better tell the story of westward expansion. A tram will take you to the top of the arch for an amazing view of the city and the Mississippi River.
In Forest Park, the Missouri History Museum, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis Art Museum, Saint Louis Science Center and James S. McDonnell Planetarium are open throughout the year.
The historic St. Louis Union Station is home to several new attractions including the St. Louis Aquarium, featuring 13,000 animals and a 250,000 gallon shark tank, and The St. Louis Wheel – a 200-foot observation wheel with 42 fully enclosed, climate-controlled gondolas.

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