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The St. Louis Destination is an area of land that stretches through the states of Missouri and Illinois. The borders of the destination include the cities of St. Louis, Missouri; Springfield, IL; Jefferson City, MO; and landmarks such as the Mississippi River and the Mark Twain National Forest. The region includes the city of St. Louis, known for being the "second highest attraction area in the United States," with the only higher area being Washington, D.C.  The Gateway Arch is a popular attraction in the area, with the arch being the world's tallest, as well as the arch serving as the tallest man-made monument in the Western Hemisphere. .
Another attraction found in the zone is the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the oldest gardens in the United States. This 79-acred property presents various horticultural sights for patrons and tourists from all over the area and is listed as a National Historic Landmark. Jefferson City, the state capital of Missouri, is located within the destination. Jefferson City includes tours of the State Penitentiary and the State Capital. Another known city in the area is Springfield, IL, the state capital of Illinois, as well as the homeplace of former President of the United States Abraham Lincoln. During the spring and summer seasons, the weather in the destination is hot and humid, with precipitation being at a regional high during the month of April. In the off-season, October through March, the temperatures drop, and oftentimes, the area receives snow.
The St. Louis Destination is most known for its Gateway Arch, along with various museums, cathedrals, and gardens. St. Louis's architecture is distinct, with the buildings' designs reflecting the French Colonial, German, early American, and modern architecture styles. Within the area, popular activities include going to the in-city attractions, among those including the 79-acred Missouri Botanical Garden. Forest Park in St. Louis provides 1,293 acres of land, where tourists and residents go to do various activities, including biking, walking, running, and more. Besides the outdoor activities included in the acreage, Forest Park also has several indoor buildings and sights near or on the property. The park is listed as the "home for St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, and much more."
St. Louis is listed as having the second-highest attractions in any U.S. area other than Washington, D.C. The area contains nine Fortune 500 companies, with Fortune 500 referring to the annual list of the 500 largest corporations in the United States. Express Scripts, Emerson Electric, and Monsanto are examples of the companies that are found in the destination. In the region, two state capitals are located, namely Jefferson City, MO, and Springfield, IL. These state capitals present additional tourist opportunities, with Jefferson City offering tours of the Missouri State Penitentiary and State Capital. Springfield is known as the homeplace of a former President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and presents various historical activities related to the President throughout its city.
The peak tourist season is listed as being April through September when the warmth and humidity present opportunities to explore the Botanical Garden, which blooms during the spring and summer months. The offseason, listed as October through March, brings skiing and snowmobiling opportunities for outdoor activities. St. Louis claims to be the "first in booze, blues and shoes," referring to the items that originated in the area. During the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, items such as ice cream cones, hot dogs, Dr. Pepper, cotton candy, iced tea, hamburgers, puffed wheat cereal, and peanut butter were presented, making St. Louis appear as the originator of these products.
Other products that are known to have come from St. Louis are TUMS, a cure-all for heartburn, as well as Build-A-Bear Workshop, an interactive store where people of all ages can make a stuffed animal of their own design. Sports are prevalent in the St. Louis area, with city teams including the St. Louis Cardinals (MLB), the St. Louis Blues (NHL), and the St. Louis Battlehawks (XFL). Former and proposed teams include the St. Louis Rams, an NFL team that was stationed in the St. Louis area from 1995-2015, and the St. Louis City FC, a major league soccer team proposed for 2023.
The St. Louis Destination, named after St. Louis, MO, extends through the Mississippi River and over into the state of Illinois, where it ends at approximately 10-15 miles past the city of Springfield. The Mark Twain National Forest is included in the destination, which presents various hiking and biking opportunities for tourists and residents of the region. The populous areas (i.e., St. Louis, Jefferson City, Springfield) offer various skyscrapers, buildings, and other city structures. Although residential areas can be found in these areas, the vast majority of these sections are regarded as business pieces. Between these cities are open plains, trees, and fields. Farmland can be found in these rural areas, with splotches of residential neighborhoods in between. The peak season of travel in the area is listed as April through September.
The temperature ranges from 67-90 degrees Fahrenheit. During the months of March through October, the weather declines to a range of 23-50 degrees Fahrenheit, with an average of 15.2 inches of snow during this time. St. Louis has an average of 105.3 days of precipitation, with the highest month being the month of April. Roughly 42.2 inches of rainfall occur yearly in St. Louis, which puts it above the United States average of 38.1.
Many animals live in the area, including Opossum, Armadillos, Muskrats, Beavers, and various types of bats. Within the area of St. Louis and Missouri, the Eurasian Tree Sparrow is well sought after, with the species being introduced in the Missouri area. Agriculture in the area consists of oak, maple, and hickory trees lined throughout the area's open fields. The trees that outline the zone are similar to those often found in the Ozarks, a physiographic region that covers Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and parts of Kansas.
Hunting is a popular attraction in the forested sections of St. Louis and Missouri, with several hunting sites being found in the Mark Twain National Forest. The largest forested area in the city of St. Louis, however, is located in the Forest Park, where it is listed as having "noticeable changes in color during the various seasons." Bald Eagles reside in the winter months near the Mississippi River, along with the American toad being spotted during the springtime, mainly after extensive wet periods.
The St. Louis Destination was first settled in the 9th through 15th century by Native American mound builders who lived as a part of the Mississippian culture. During the 17th century, French Settlers arrived and quickly inhabited the area. During 1763, Spain took over, and a trading company led by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau established St. Louis in February of 1764. "Saint Louis" refers to the former King of France, Louis IX, who was the only king to be canonized in the Catholic Church. The area quickly grew in population due to the trading post that was positioned near the Mississippi River.
In 1803, the land was purchased by the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. St. Louis was ideally located from the beginning to become the "spot for interregional trade" with its connection to the Ohio River in the east and the Mississippi River to the south and north, with Missouri being to the west. During the 1840s, massive immigration of Irish and Germans took place. African Americans in the area made significant contributions to jazz's inclusion into St. Louis' culture, which stands prominent into the modern-day. The city has hosted several international events, including the 1904 World's Fair and the 1904 Summer Olympics. Several items have been introduced to the American culture through these events, such as the hot dog, hamburger, ice cream cones, and more. Religions in the area include the Catholics, Baptists, Presbyterians, Methodists, Protestants, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, among others.
Hickory Ridge Campground is located in Danville, Missouri, about an hour and a half away from St. Louis. A total of 90 RV sites are available, many of them offering full hookups and shade from trees around the park. Every site has a fire pit and picnic table, and a number of the sites can accommodate tent campers. A cottage is also available with two bedrooms, a kitchenette, and a private bathroom. Some of the other amenities around the property include a fishing pond, playground, saltwater pool, coin-operated laundry, and restroom and shower facilities. The owners hope that each guest will “have a good night’s sleep and enjoy themselves,” as many guests usually stay at the park while traveling to other nearby locations. While at the campground, guests can also explore nearby Graham Cave State Park or Whetstone Creek Conservation Area, where hiking trails, rivers, and lakes can be found....Read More