#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…

#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.

#GROUNDBREAKING

Added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1978, this architectural feat, designed by esteemed local architects Eckel and Mann, is getting a second life thanks to a $20 million shot in the arm from Mosaic Life Care.

#SELF-BELIEF

Not only does the SBTDC help hundreds of small business owners capitalize on their dreams, it is a great example of how government agencies, higher education, and nonprofit organizations can work together for the greater good.

#DELECTABLE

When it’s time for a coffee fix, St. Joseph’s options range from the eclectic to the trendy to the fast and familiar. The coffee culture in St. Joseph continues to expand and thrive, fueled by historic roasters, young entrepreneurs and locals who want to open the doors to a comfortable piece of the city’s relaxed vibe.

#SCENIC

In addition to its paved walking paths, the Parkway features miles of rugged biking and hiking trails and serves as a red carpet to some of St. Joseph’s most interesting places.