Tips For Moving To Missouri

Information of interest to new or prospective Missouri residents.

New and prospective residents of Missouri will find that the state offers diverse opportunities and landscapes that range from urban to the rugged Ozark Mountains.

Located near the geographical center of the United States, Missouri became a state in 1821. The region was first explored by Father Marquette and Louis Joliet in 1673. French settlers founded the state's oldest city, St. Genevieve in the 1730's and St. Louis was founded by Pierre LaClede in 1764. Today, St. Louis remains Missouri's largest metropolitian area and is located on eastern edge of the state along the banks of the Mississippi River. Annhesuer-Busch beer is still made in St. Louis and the Gateway Arch is a landmark known worldwide.

Across the state on the western boundary is the second largest urban center - Kansas City. Sprawling across the state line into Kansas, the Kansas City metropolitian area dominates the region as an agricultural and industrial center. Hallmark Cards is based in KC along with countless other industries. Often called a "cowtown", today's city is also cosmopolitian.

Although seperated by about sixty miles, the cities of Springfield and Joplin in southern Missouri rank among the fastest growing regions in the nation. Springfield is home to Bass Pro, the outdoors leader along with several other industries and several colleges including Southwest Missouri State University. Two shopping malls draw residents from a large area to the city often called "Queen City of the Ozarks."

Joplin, on the Missouri/Kansas line, attracts shoppers from four states. Northpark Mall is extreme Southwest Missouri's largest retail venue and countless shopping centers are placed throughout the city.

The city of Branson in soutwest Missouri has become a country music mecca in recent years and offers family fun for all ages. Theme parks Silver Dollar City and White Water are open during the tourist season. Highway 76 - now Country Music Boulevard - is lined with theaters and other attractions in a setting of ancient Ozark mountains.

In Southeastern Missouri, Cape Girardeau is a retail base for the region. St. Joseph, another of the state's oldest cities and once the state's third largest, has entered a new growth period in the Northwest corner.

Missouri's state capitol is at Jefferson City, located in the center of the state on the banks of the Missouri River. The Capitol building looks down at the river from atop a bluff and all state government is centered in the small city. Missouri's state correctional facility is also located in Jefferson City.

The northern tier of the state is fertile farmland and farmland remains a major industry. In the central region, many wineries exist especially around the small German town of Hermann, Missouri. Three wineries including Stone Hill and Hermanhof operate within the city with many more in the surrounding hills.

Southern Missouri is part of the Ozarks plateau. Rugged mountains give way to rolling prairies. Poultry is a major agricultural industry in the region with many growers and poultry processing plants.

Missouri's climate is humid continental with long summers and variable weather conditions. A long-standing joke about the weather states "If you don't like the weather just wait and it'll change." Winters are milder in the southern regions of the state. During the spring and summer months, tornados can occur as a destructive force.

The Missouri Mule is the state animal and the native bluebird the state bird. The Missouri Waltz is the official state song and is often played on the state musical instrument, the fiddle. Dogwoods, which burst into white blossoms in the spring, are the state tree.

With a population of almost six million, Missouri ranks 17th in the nation for population. The state is 19th in physical size with about 70,000 square miles. The Missouri State Fair is held each August in Sedalia.

Seat belts are required for all motorists and passengers. Children under the age of four must be seated in an approved child safety seat. Minimum age for an unrestricted driver's license is 18 but a permit can be obtained at 16. Motorcyclists are required to wear helmets.

Many lakes are available for recreation and these include Lake of The Ozarks in central Missouri, Tablerock Lake and Lake Taneycomo near Branson, and Stockton Lake.

Rivers and streams both navigable and open to fishing include the Missouri, the Mississippi, Current, Jack's Fork, Gasconade, Meramec, and countless clear water Ozark streams. Trout fishing is excellent at the Roaring River State Park near Cassville.

Noteworthy Missourians include former President Harry Truman, authors Samuel Clemens and Laura Ingalls Wilder, artists George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton, and US Generals "Black Jack" Pershing and Omar Bradley.

Missouri's major industries include manufacturing, agriculture, retail service and tourism. Among the many products made in Missouri are La-Z-Boy Chairs, Tyson Chicken, Harley Davidson motorcycles, Stetson hats, and

Busch beer.

The current governer is Matthew Blunt, son of Missouri congressman Roy Blunt.

Most major cities and towns have a Welcome Wagon unit and detailed information can be found at any local Chamber of Commerce.

As the Beverly Hillbillies - another Missouri born creation - once said, "Take your shoes off and stay while."

Missouri welcomes new residents to the Show-Me State.

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