Both a mixture of the American Southern and Midwestern cultures, Missouri is located at a crossroads within the United States. Your experience can change dramatically depending on where you are, but one thing will stay consistent: the abundance of hospitality you will get from the locals. The small towns of Missouri are home to some of the friendliest people in the nation - the type that will offer you the shirt off their backs. The townsfolk of Missouri are still very much driven by a sense of community and togetherness, something that appears to be severely lacking in the big cities. You will be hard-pressed to find more accommodating people than in Missouri.
Branson might be one of the more well-known towns in Missouri. Located deep inside the Ozark region of the state, many within and without Missouri flock here each summer to take a nice relaxing vacation by the lake.
Visitors can expect stunning lakeside views, great food, and the famous amusement park, Silver Dollar City. No matter what you choose to do here, you are guaranteed to have a good time. This experience is only made better thanks to the cheerful demeanor of the locals, who are more than happy to guide and assist visitors whenever possible.
Saint Genevieve was first founded by a handful of French Canadian migrants who fled from French Canada in the middle of the 18th century. Today much of the charm and appeal of Saint Genevieve is thanks to its strong French cultural influence.
Much of this French influence can be found in many of the historical buildings that are found around town, namely the town hall and the historic Catholic church. Each of these buildings stands out from the rest and really sets the town apart from others in the region. The locals in Saint Genevieve are just about as friendly as you can get. Most of the local restaurants and shops are family-owned and quick to strike a conversation with those lucky enough to stumble in for a quick meal while exploring their town.
Settled right along the Missouri River in the early 19th century, the German migrants who founded this town really had a great eye for scenery and natural beauty. Today Hermann enjoys one of the more picturesque small-town landscapes. Filled with rolling hills, small forests, and riverside views, Hermann is the ideal Missouri small town.
Hermann is a hotspot of breweries and wineries. Most of these facilities are open for tours and will allow guests to sample their products. No matter what you prefer, there is a strong chance you will find the beverage of your liking in Hermann. The townsfolk here are just as charming as their town. They are incredibly open to outsiders and are very approachable in case you need directions or help with anything else.
Named after the ancient Carthaginian general that nearly destroyed the Roman Republic, Hannibal, much like its namesake, has a rich and surprisingly deep history. Hannibal is where the great American author Mark Twain lived and based his famous stories of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn.
As you can imagine, much of the town's tourism is based on the accomplishments of Mark Twain. You can visit the house where he lived and other places around town where he gained inspiration. The tours here are fantastic, and the locals who run them are always smiling and gracious. If you have any questions about the town or its history, there is a good chance someone walking down the street will be more than happy to give you an answer.
Known for its great shops and boutiques, the original Kimmswick Market is still standing to this day. Visitors can step into a building that was constructed in the middle of the 19th century and still shop around as though nothing has changed.
The residents are open to outsiders coming to visit. Considering how much of their economy is based around summertime tourism, it is no wonder why those visiting from out of town receive the warmest of welcomes. Ensure a visit to the Anheuser Estate & Museum, a great place to explore with family and look out onto the mighty Mississippi River.
Another town named after the great empire of Antiquity, Carthage, has seen its fair share of violence and conflict in its past too. It was the site of a sizeable clash between Confederate and Union forces during the American Civil War.
Thankfully, today Carthage is a very peaceful and calm place miles away from any kind of war. The people here embrace both the Southern and Midwestern hospitality that infuses to form much of the Missourian identity. Carthage is also located along the famous Route 66, so stopping by to see the attraction is not out of the way if you are just passing through. The drive-in movie theater in town is a hidden gem that will take you to make to the glory days of Hollywood and American car culture.
Another town nestled right along the Missouri River, Boonville is a hidden gem of historical buildings and state history. Boonville has a shocking 400 buildings throughout town that have been registered under the National Register of Historic Places.
Taking a stroll around town is a great way to acquaint yourself with the town's rich history and the locals' warmness. The residents of Boonville pride themselves on their hospitality and openness to outsiders. Boonville sits right along the Katy Trail, a route cyclists take around the state. If you are there on the weekends, expect to run into packs of bikers on the roads.
Missouri is a fantastic state to visit, no matter where you are going. But make sure you tour the backcountry and around the various small towns. Each town has its special point of interest and something unique to offer. Not to mention the overwhelming friendliness and hospitality of the locals make it an unforgettable time regardless of where you are from or where you are trying to get to.