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
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…
Magoon’s serves up Reuben’s and hot chili, then transitions to live local music, five nights a week. (Are you into food, or music, or both? Read on.)
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.
Born in 1783 to a St. Louis family of merchants and fur traders, Joseph Robidoux would become the founder of St. Joseph, MO.
Built in 1873, the Buchanan County Courthouse, with its majestic white pointed dome, stands as an architectural icon during the day and casts a warm stately glow over downtown St. Joseph in the evening light.
Olympic weightlifter and USA Weightlifting Hall of Fame member Pete Kelley has seen some impressive views from around the globe.