Western Trips

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Visit St. Charles, Missouri / Historic Attractions

Historic St. Charles is the third oldest city in Missouri with a very rich past. Once named the "Williamsburg of the West" by Southern Living Magazine, St. Charles' Main Street is Missouri's first and largest historic district.

missouri attractionsLocated along the banks of the Missouri River and just about a thirty minute drive west of downtown St. Louis, historic St. Charles has been welcoming visitors since 1769 and was Missouri's first state capital.

Today, the city is much as it was many years ago and continues to welcome tourists who enjoy early American history.

Lewis & Clark 

The famous Lewis & Clark Expedition set out from St. Charles up the Missouri River and eventually reached the Pacific Ocean near today's Astoria, Oregon. This expedition which covered the period 1804-1806 is credited with opening the American West.

Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is approximately 3,700 miles long, extending from Wood River, Illinois, to the mouth of the Columbia River, near present day Astoria, Oregon, following the historic outbound and inbound routes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. The trail connects 11 states (Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Idaho, Washington, and Oregon) and many Tribal lands. The trail was established by Congress in 1978 as part of the national trails system (NTS) as one of four original national historic trails. One site for more information about traveling along the trail is....www.lewisandclarkcountry.org

Here's some of the great attractions in St. Charles...

lewis & clark center st charles
Lewis & Clark Boat House and Nature Center 

The Lewis & Clark Boat House and Nature Center is the Discovery Expedition's permanent home. Situated beside the Missouri River at Bishop's Landing in charming historic St. Charles, Missouri, the museum and educational facility features exhibits relating to the Lewis and Clark expedition, historic St. Charles, and the Missouri River ecosystem. When not on the river, the Discovery Expedition's hand-crafted replica boats will be on display on the building's lower level.These are full-size replicas of the keelboat and pirogues used by Lewis and Clark. Some interesting information about the original Lewis & Clark keelboat was that it was constructed in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had a cannon purchased in St. Louis mounted on it's bow...was 55 feet long and 8 feet wide,T usually carried 27 men. he Lewis & Clark Boat House and Nature Center is a must stop and great fun for the entire family.

St. Charles Main Street 

Filled with unique shops, specialty shops, restaurants and historic structures, Main Street is St. Charles centerpiece.

st charles main street
St Charles Main Street
St. Charles Main Street National Historic District is the site of the first permanent European settlement on the Missouri River.With brick-lined streets, historic buildings and a heritage that spans two centuries, this charming Missouri River village has attracted travelers since the early 19th century.

St. Charles Main Street was a main shopping area for explorers and fur traders during the nineteenth century. Today, visitors to St. Charles, Missouri shop on the same street and in many of the same structures that were there in the early days. The items you will see for sale include teas; tobacco; books; artwork; fashion accessories; furniture; antiques; clothing; home decor; wine; hand-blown glass; fine jewelry; and stained glass as well as more items.

st charles historic buildings
First State Capital
Missouri's First State Capital Building 

The First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site shown in this article is a state-owned property in St. Charles, Missouri that preserves the building that served as Missouri's capitol from 1821 to 1826. St. Louis had serves as the territorial capital. St. Charles was the first state capital until a capital in Jefferson City was built.

The meeting place for the state legislators was provided on the second floor of the brick building, owned by merchants, Charles and Ruluff Peck, and a craftsman named Chauncey Shepard. The floor was divided and used as Senate and House chambers, an office for the governor, and a small committee room.

More Western Trips articles you may enjoy are found on the links below...

Drive Kansas Route 66

Attractions in Independence, Missouri

lewis & clark statue

Lewis & Clark Sculpture

The 15-foot bronze monument features Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and Clark's Newfoundland dog, Seaman. The sculpture was dedicated on May 18, 2003 and marks the rendezvous site for Lewis and Clark before setting out from the last "civilized" stop of St. Charles to follow the Missouri River westward. The Lewis & Clark monument sits along the Missouri riverfront in Frontier Park.

Annual Attractions 

A few of the annual events put on in St. Charles, MO include the Lewis & Clark Rendezvous in May...the Blue Grass Festival and Civil War Reenactment in September and the St. Charles Christmas Traditions on Main Street in December.  For more information on annual festivals and events see...www.discoverstcharles.com/events/festivals/

(Article and photos copyright Western Trips)