operated for 168 years and claims the title
of oldest continually operating prison west
of the Mississippi.
“The Missouri State Penitentiary was decommissioned in 2004 and now serves as
a historic landmark in Jefferson City,” said
Brittney Mormann, communications and
film manager for the Jefferson City CVB.
As a historic site, it is intimidating and
chilling; the prison housed 4,900 inmates at
the peak of operation and 40 met their end
in the gas chamber through the decades.
Groups can take a regular history tour
or go for something that really gets their
hearts beating, according to Mormann,
who added that planners can select ghost
tours or paranormal investigations as a
group option. There have been many unusual sightings at the prison, and hunting
ghosts makes for a spirited teambuilding
Daniel Boone Home, St. Charles
Daniel Boone was an icon of the American
frontier, known for many exploits and for
founding settlements in Kentucky. After
years there, however, he left and created
his last home in Defiance, a town located
in St. Charles County. The three-story limestone home overlooks a re-created 19th
century village and shows just how much
of a celebrity Boone was in his own time.
Guided tours are available for groups and
the grounds are a popular place for events.
Groups can continue the early 1800s
theme with a tour of the First Missouri
State Capitol in St. Charles, where the
territory’s leadership was formed into state
government for the first time just a few
months after Boone passed away in 1820.
The Capitol is also available for tours.
Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World,
As a national brand, Bass Pro Shops can
be found all across North America, but the
one that started it all is in Springfield. This
headquarters store is a showcase for the
franchise, with 500,000 square feet of retail
space devoted to outdoor gear and gifts.
The complex also includes the Archery
Hall of Fame, a firing range, a huge boat
showroom, a full-service restaurant and
the White River Conference Center, which
offers groups banquet space with an out-
Located adjacent to the main building is
the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum
and Aquarium, a three-level attraction featuring galleries, museums and the aquarium itself. Attendees can enjoy immersive
exhibits like the circular open-ocean
habitat, with zebra sharks, sea turtles and
other maritime creatures.
World-Renowned BBQ Eateries,
When anyone thinks of Kansas City, one
of the first impulses is to seek out the
area’s legendary BBQ places. Sweet, spicy
and smoked slowly for the perfect taste,
it’s no wonder people line up at eateries
like Arthur Bryant’s, which offers banquet
space for groups, catering and take-out, or
BB’s Lawnside BBQ, which throws in some
Cajun flavor and can also cater for group
events. While the mainstays are popular,
there are plenty of new up-and-comers to
watch as well, according to Derek Klaus,
director of communications for Visit KC.
“I would recommend including Char Bar
and Q39 as two great newcomers on the
scene,” he said. “Both are backed by competition barbecue teams and are proving
there is always room for more barbecue
restaurants in KC.”
Gateway Arch, St. Louis
The Gateway Arch is one of the most
instantly recognizable monuments in the
U.S., its curves marking the figurative doorway to the West.
Groups can take the ultimate Arch experience with a tram ride to the top, or take
DANIEL BOONE HOME, ST. CHARLES
Distilleries and breweries in Missouri are almost as unique as the state’s attractions. Just outside of Branson, the Copper Run Distillery (https://copper
rundistillery.com) holds the unusual distinction of being
the first legal moonshine distiller in the Ozarks. The company draws on local traditions and methods, also making
molasses rum and vodka in handcrafted small batches,
and groups can enjoy a sample on any tour.
Another local distillery is Crown Valley Branson (http://
crownvalleybranson.com), which mixes local traditions
and resources into exciting new flavors, like cocoa espresso whiskey and blackberry vodka. The distillery also has a family-friendly section next door in
its bistro, which serves up handcrafted sodas like root beer, cream soda and more, along with
a locally sourced menu featuring bison chili or the loaded brat potato. The distillery welcomes
group tours; reservations are recommended.
Jefferson City also has an out-of-the-ordinary place to wet your whistle. Prison Brews
( www.facebook.com/prisonbrews) is a microbrewery just two blocks from the Missouri State
Penitentiary and features a prison theme throughout its interior, from prison bars to a stained-glass window of a prisoner holding up a beer. The theme continues with offerings like Smokey
and the Bandit Smoked Porter or Warden’s Oak Aged Ale to accompany a hearty cafe menu.
Groups are welcome, whether they sit and relax or try a game of bocce ball.
In St. Louis, the beer goes from micro to macro with a tour through Anheuser-Busch’s larg-
est and oldest brewery, the Budweiser Brewery Experience ( www.budweisertours.com). The
campus includes three national historic landmarks and groups have a host of options, from the
original brewery tour to visiting the famed Clydesdales, touring through the eyes of a beermas-
ter, or taking a 45-minute Beer School workshop to learn about proper pouring, food pairing,
ingredients and more. Planners can arrange events in the Biergarten for up to 300 guests.
COPPER RUN DISTILLERY, BRANSON
Q39, KANSAS CITY