Located on the river bluffs of the vast “Mighty-MO”, St. Joseph is an All-American city born of the fur trade, and brimming with a spirit of adventure as the starting place of the Pony Express, which turns 150 years old in 2010. Named America’s “#1 Top Western City” by True West Magazine in 2008, it is a city abounding in 19th century charm and timeless beauty, with all the elements you would expect in a modern city. Located just 35 miles north of Kansas City International Airport, St. Joseph sits at the crossroads of Interstate 29 and MO Highway 36.
St. Joseph has a history spanning 175 years, and our 13 area museums include the Pony Express Museum, dedicated to the 1860 mail service, The Patee House Museum, a glorious hotel turned 19th century museum, and next door you’ll find Jesse James Home, where Jesse was shot in the by Bob Ford in 1882. You can learn about the town’s military history at the National Military Heritage Museum, and view extraordinary art at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum. The history of mental health treatment is at the Glore Psychiatric Museum, one of three museums on the grounds of the St. Joseph Museums complex. Doll lovers have to take a stop by the Society of Memories Doll Museum which boasts over 600 dolls ranging from 1840′s to present-day. Other not to miss museums can be found at www.stjomo.com/historical_museums.aspx.
In St. Joseph, you’ll also find a rich cultural life of the community through the St. Joseph Symphony, Performing Arts Association, and Robidoux Resident Theater. Nightlife includes Broadway caliber performances at the historic Missouri Theatre and original comedic skits at the Robidoux Landing Playhouse. Exciting evening activities can be found Downtown at the Felix Street Experience, a series of pubs, bars and nightclubs that line beautiful Felix Street. www.stjomo.com/entertainment.aspx
Saint Joseph is also one of America’s best kept secrets in terms of historic architecture. Officially founded in 1843, this town quickly grew to become one of the most important sites of commerce and trade for the West which is reflected in the city’s extraordinary architecture. From “Gilded Age” mansions to Arts & Crafts bungalows, or Italianate commercial buildings to Romanesque Revival warehouses, St. Joseph is an “old building” lover’s dream. Visitors can tour several residences of prominent St. Joseph townspeople that have been restored to their original architecture and décor. www.stjomo.com/historic_homes.aspx
The St. Joseph parks system is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is comprised of 1500 acres, containing 48 parks. The amazing parkway system, developed in 1918 by architect George Burnap, ribbons through the city for 26 miles, and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995. During the hot summer months one must take a refreshing dip at the St. Joseph Aquatic Center, which has 2 huge waterslides, a zero depth beach entry and a lazy river. A recent addition to the parks system is the Remington Nature Center, which offers a unique view into the evolution nature and civilization in northwest Missouri.
And if you’re looking for an organized itinerary to keep you busy, there are many regional tours that center on the history of St. Joseph. The most recent, a Jesse James Regional Driving Tour, created by the St. Joseph CVB, features 7 cities in 4 Missouri counties (St. Joseph, Kearney, Liberty, Independence, Richmond, Gallatin and Winston) that have faithfully preserved their own portion of the James’ family story.
For much more information about St. Joseph please call 800-604-4600 to request a free guide.