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Missouri

Missouri is a state on the cusp, a mix of Southern and Midwestern hospitality. Wit is no stranger here, as authors and playwrights Mark Twain, William S. Burroughs, and Lanford Wilson were all native sons. One of the most down-to-earth presidents ever, Harry S Truman, was raised on a farm here. Tour the home he shared with Bess in Independence. In Collinsville, east of St. Louis, see the UNESCO World Heritage Site Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, which has ancient construction projects of mound-building cultures from about 800 years ago. This site is the biggest prehistoric city on the North American continent. You can learn about topics like baseball and jazz at Kansas City's Museums at 18th and Vine. St. Louis's City Museum has an Enchanted Cave section, plus Beatnik Bob's Museum of Mirth, Mystery, and Mayhem. It contains fun, silly artifacts like The World's Largest Underpants. For some relaxing outdoor recreation, visit Table Rock Lake in Branson for fishing, camping, and more. You may see bald eagles on the lakeshore. Toasted ravioli is a famous local delicacy. Other Italian items, steak, and BBQ may form the backbone of many Missouri menus. Middle Eastern cuisine has become popular, and you can sample the offerings from different places in St. Louis. Kansas City also has falafel, a decadent four-cheese grilled cheese top with aioli, and other lunchy vegetarian items. You can snack on different kinds of mac and cheese, including gluten-free and vegan options, or sip on a soy milk bubble tea. Eat Andy Williams' pasta with a white wine, olive oil, shallot, and garlic sauce in Branson, or get made-to-order spaghetti sauce on your noodles in Joplin. Vegetarians and omnivores can eat at Mexican/Caribbean/Peruvian, Thai, or Indian restaurants, sushi bars, and pizzerias with whole wheat crusts and vegan cheese. Try a pop-up kitchen in a Kansas City music club which serves gluten-free California-style tacos with fillings like roasted beet and sweet potato. Hit that perfect beet!