#QUIRKY
Roadside Attractions

June 11, 2018

Originally written by Jomel Nichols in June 2018. Updated in June 2019 by Emily Baumann

Photography by Emily Baumann, Patrick Evenson, and submitted

CHARACTER TRAIT: Quirky

DEFINITION: Characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits.

Where can you find a time capsule, memorial and tombstone for a famous bull, the corpse basket that carried Jesse James (as well as the bullet hole that landed him there) and a museum dedicated to psychiatric treatments over the years? Right here in St. Joseph…So get off the beaten path and take in some unique roadside attractions like the Pony Express statue, museum, and even a giant ice cream cone!

Every city has its unique claims to fame and St. Joseph, Missouri is no exception. Our historical river town has seen many changes over the centuries, but one thing remains the same, we are “Made with Uncommon Character.” Take a road trip through the center of town on parts of the original historic Jefferson Highway system and along the way check out the eclectic stores and style of downtown. Don’t forget to take a quick detour to enjoy the murals that bring our history to life throughout the city. For the lover of historical architecture our community is full of historic neighborhoods and even cemeteries that keep the beauty of the past alive through preservation efforts of these homes and businesses.

If enjoying nature is more your speed the Parkway has been the literal “scenic route” connecting parks through town with its winding, green roadways for over 100 years. Discover treasures along the way by enjoying the interesting geocaching spots along the way. Learn about the ecology and history of the region at the Remington Nature Center along the banks of the Missouri River.

No matter what your travel preferences we recommend taking time to enjoy the small stuff, like an authentic Japanese Tea House or the interactive Walter Cronkite Memorial. These sometimes quirky roadside attractions are definitely the cure for the common road trip.

For a list of roadside attractions in St. Joseph, check out the links below to Roadside America and Atlas Obscura. Know of a roadside attraction we missed? Email us and let us know…

#POWERFUL

More than a decade of service later, the program continues to grow. Most of the kids who live in this St. Joseph neighborhood receive free or reduced priced breakfast and lunch during the school year, but have limited food resources in the summer. 

#ESTABLISHED

When visitors and locals visit historic Hall Street in St. Joseph, they usually look up. A lot. And then they stop and stare. They take pictures and walk very slowly. They usually return, because this neighborhood known as “Millionaire’s Row” tells the story of St. Joseph’s turn-of-the century wealth and opulence like nothing else.

#WANDERLUST

Starting in the 1910s organizations, communities, and even private individuals began developing the first paved highways to connect metropolitan areas which would collectively become known as the National Auto Trail system.

#TIMELESS

Walking into Café Belle Epoque takes you back in time. The copper tin ceiling, marble table tops, hardwood floors, wood-burning stove and jazz music seem to transport you to a period of economic glamour in historic St. Joseph.

#SPIRITED

Built in the 1850s, the riverfront warehouse property and its sister warehouse property at 101 Francis were purchased by Pastor Doyle and his congregation at Restoration Church in 2012.