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Missouri River
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The Missouri River Destination is situated in midwestern Missouri and is named after the Missouri River that courses from the west to the south of the destination. When combined with the Mississippi river, the two rivers are ranked as the fourth-longest river system in the world.[1] Columbia, Missouri is another prominent feature of the area; this city is home to the University of Missouri and is the fourth most populated city in the state, with over 120,000 residents as of 2020. It was first settled in the early 1800s by pioneers. These people built forts for protection during the War of 1812, and the population since then increased enough to necessitate the creation of a county.[10] The climate of the Missouri River Destination tends to be cloudy and windy throughout the majority of the year, with hot, humid summers and snowy winters. According to the tourism score on Weather Spark, the best time to visit the Missouri River Destination is from late May to late September; these days are usually less cloudy and windy.[3] 

What Missouri River is known for

The Missouri River Destination is located in midwestern Missouri and is mainly known for the Missouri River that passes through it. The Missouri River is the longest in the United States and crosses through seven states: Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas, and Missouri.[1] It is also known as the "Center of Life" in the Great Plains as it has functioned as a trade route and a source of food for centuries.[8] The Missouri River originates in the Rocky Mountains of Montana, flowing mainly to the southeast for over 2,000 miles until emptying into the Mississippi River near St. Louis, Missouri. Over 95 tributaries contribute to the size of this river, including the Yellowstone River, Colorado River, and Platte River. Combined with the Mississippi River, the Missouri River is part of the fourth-longest river system on the planet.[1]

Columbia is the largest and most populated city in the Missouri River Destination. Columbia is about 120 miles from both Kansas City and St. Louis and another 29 miles north of Jefferson City, the state capital. Columbia is also the fourth most-populated city in Missouri, with an estimated 126,254 residents as of the 2020 census. The 2010 census indicates that the population consisted of 79% whites, 11.3% African-Americans, 5.2% Asians, and 3.4% Hispanics or Latinos. The remaining percentage comprised Pacific Islanders, Native Americans, other races, or people who are classified as two or more races. Columbia is home to the University of Missouri and is thus known as a "Midwestern college town." As such, the University of Missouri makes up about 8.75% of Columbia's employment. Another combined 8.48% of Columbia's top 10 employers is dedicated to education. The overall economy of the Missouri River Destination incorporates insurance, healthcare, and education businesses. Because Columbia is the county seat of Boone County, many jobs in government are available as well.[10]

Visitors to the Missouri River Destination have access to several attractions and activities. People can explore different points of the Missouri River as they go bird-watching, camping, canoeing, kayaking, and boating, all of which are common activities along the river. Hiking, biking, and scenic drives are also recommended pastimes.[6] Other attractions are closer to Columbia, such as Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, with its hiking trails and memorial sites. Shelter gardens in Columbia cover an area of five acres with trees and flowers as well as sensory gardens for the blind or visually impaired. Additional points of interest include the Missouri Symphony Society, Civic Orchestra, Finger Lakes State Park, and Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area. The latter attraction is a preserved nature site with rehabilitated forest and wetland areas to provide homes for local wildlife.[11]

Another notable attraction is the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail. While this path spans from the mouth of the Columbia River in Oregon to Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, a significant portion lies along the Missouri River and the Missouri River Destination by extension. The trail itself is not designated as a hiking trail, but visitors may hike, horseback ride, or boat at or along several of the trail's destinations.[12]


The climate in the Missouri River Destination is usually humid and cloudy throughout the year. Cloud cover ranges from 46% to 70%, with August generally being the cloudiest month. The hottest period is from the end of May to the middle of September. Summers are reportedly hot and muggy, with most days averaging in the mid-70s, although temperatures can range from 69 to 89 degrees in July, the hottest month. The cold season lasts from mid-November through February, and winters are relatively cold, snowy, and windy. The average temperature during this season is below 49 degrees, even falling below freezing on some occasions. Humidity begins at nearly 0% at the beginning of the year, gradually rising to 67% near the end of July, and falling back to almost 0% by the middle of November. Rainfall typically ranges from 1.1 inches in January to about 4.4 inches in May. Snowfall tends to peak in January at around 3.8 inches. The best time of year to visit the Missouri River Destination is from late May to late September, given the tourism score on Weather Spark. These days are usually between 65 and 80 degrees without much cloud cover or rain.[3]

The Missouri River Destination is primarily flat and green, particularly within a few miles of the river.[10] Much of this land is covered with floodplains or river branches that extend from the Missouri River. Most areas unoccupied by the river or larger populated places consist of farmland. The largest city in this region is Columbia, which is accompanied by other smaller towns such as Boonville, Marshall, Mexico, and Higginsville.

A few animals native to the Missouri River Destination include coyotes, red foxes, white-tail deer, cottontail rabbits, Eastern gray squirrels, nocturnal opossums, river otters, beavers, and several other species of rodents. The area also contains varied bird life. Canada geese, mallard ducks, blue herons, and turkeys can be found in this region. Additionally, populations of bald eagles can be spotted, and they are found mostly along the Missouri River.[1] The river is home to around 150 species of fish, some of which include paddlefish and the endangered pallid sturgeon.[8]


Archeological evidence suggests that the Missouri River floodplain was first inhabited by humans 10,000 to 12,000 years ago. They hunted migratory animals, such as bison, and used the river to trade and travel. These first peoples are thought to be the ancestors of the Native American tribes of the Great Plains.[1] Some of these tribes had their own names for the Missouri River, such as Steamboat River for the Cheyennes, Smoky River for the Omahas, or Awati for the Hidatsas. The earliest white explorers originally called it the Yellow River when they discovered it in 1673.[9]

Louis Jolliet and Jacques Marquette were the first documented European explorers of the Missouri River. They discovered it in 1673 on their way westward to find the Pacific Ocean. As they followed the Missouri River to the Mississippi River and onward, they realized that the river system drained into the Gulf of Mexico instead of the Pacific Ocean. As such, their expedition was turned back prematurely.[1] Consequent years saw more journeys to or through the Missouri River by the French and Spanish throughout the 17th and 18th centuries, and the fur trade was established in the 18th century. Ultimately, the Corps of Discovery and other groups further explored the river and plains beyond following Thomas Jefferson's purchase of the Louisiana Territory. Lewis and Clark's expedition led to the mapping of a significant portion of the region. Throughout their travels, the explorers noted that about a third of the 50 Native American tribes they met lived along the Missouri River.[9] Their reports in 1806 spurred an expedition the following year by Manuel Lisa to construct a fort and stimulate the fur trade along the river.[1]

Columbia and much of the surrounding area in the Missouri River Destination were colonized by American pioneers in the early 1800s. These early settlers began their lives in the area in forts to protect them against Native Americans during the War of 1812. After the war, more people traveled to settle in the area until the population increased significantly. Boone County was created in 1820 after the American explorer Daniel Boone, and subsequent years saw the creation of more towns and counties. Today, Columbia is known mostly for its role in education, healthcare, insurance, and government.[10]

In the modern day, the Missouri River has undergone several restoration efforts. Human colonization and irrigation caused many constructed dikes and canals to reroute the river or cause it to flood unnaturally. Habitat restoration, riverbank restoration, water quality improvement, and sediment mobilization have been performed by the USACE and other associated organizations to improve the river's health. Several parts of the Missouri River have been added to the National Wild and Scenic Rivers System in the 21st century.[1]

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Main Street Bed and Breakfast is located in Hannibal, Missouri. Housed in a former office building that was once a bank built in 1875, the bed and breakfast features three guest rooms with private bathrooms, including jetted tubs and separate showers. Reservations for the property are available year-round. If desired, patrons can explore the nearby Main Street, which features river views, museums, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Owner Michael Ginsberg reports that he is willing to provide local knowledge to those staying at his property. 

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Hannibal Garden House Bed and Breakfast is a three-room bed and breakfast in the Central Park Historic District of Hannibal, Missouri. The house has two foyers, a porch that overlooks a garden, and a dining room for breakfast. Pets are allowed in the North Room, though guests are asked to inform the owner about the pets they intend to bring. The house is about three blocks from the Mississippi River and relatively close to Millionaire's Row. The owner, Chris Bobek, reports that Hannibal Garden House Bed and Breakfast is the only Victorian house in Hannibal. The house is also near several local attractions, such as restaurants, the trolley, museums, collectibles stores, and riverboat cruises on the Mississippi. 

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The Dubach Inn is a bed and breakfast located in Hannibal, Missouri. Originally owned by David Dubach, the property has a history that spans over a century. It remained in the Dubach family for 106 years before being passed on to subsequent owners. The current owners, Kristine and Steve Russell, acquired the property in late 2007 and converted it into a bed and breakfast. Since then, they have strived to create a warm and inviting atmosphere where guests can feel at ease. Kristine and Steve aim to provide a "home away from home" experience for their guests. The inn is open year-round, with the busiest season most commonly occurring from May to October when the weather is fairly moderate. While the majority of guests are couples, families and groups of friends also visit the property. 

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