Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in St. Joseph, MO

  • Published 2022/12/16

Located on the scenic Missouri River banks, this beautiful city is a wonderful place to visit.

Named after the founder of this town, Joseph Robidoux, it is a great city with many great places to visit.

What’s more, if you love rap, you should definitely visit St. Joseph, as the Rap God, Eminem, was born here.

It is also the death place of the baddie outlaw Jesse James.

Now, let’s look at the 20 best things to do in St. Joseph:

Enjoy Nature and History at Remington Nature Center

Exterior of Remington Nature Center

APN Photography /

The Remington Center does an excellent job educating visitors about the area’s history and the natural beauties surrounding them.

This wildlife park offers plenty of activities for the whole family, from an enormous aquarium to treasure hunts.

See the displays in the nature center to discover something about the region’s history, geology, wildlife, and plants.

Front view of Remington Nature Center

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Continue your exploration of the lush grounds and take in some of the stunning views that await you this weekend.

With a woolly mammoth and buffalo exhibit, Civil War antiques, live birds, vast Native American artifacts, scenic river vistas, and a gently meandering paved nature walk, this award-winning museum offers something for everyone in St. Joseph.

Bring Your Elderly Companions at Joyce Raye Patterson 50+ Activity Center

Located on 22,000 square feet, Joyce Raye Patterson 50+ Activity Center offers a range of events and activities for those over the age of 50.

On-site amenities at the JRP include exercise and recreation centers with a pool and shuffleboard tables as well as a restaurant and rooms of varying sizes for practically any occasion.

Approximately 55 clubs and groups meet every day, week, month, or three times each year.

To utilize the facility, you do not have to be a resident of St. Joseph.

It is easy for visitors to get to the center because of the ample parking available on- and off-site.

The building has an elevator providing convenient access from the parking garage on the ground floor.

Visit the Walter Cronkite Memorial

Exterior of Walter Cronkite Memorial

APN Photography /

The Walter Cronkite Memorial lies at Missouri Western State University in Saint Joseph.

Walter Cronkite, the legendary news presenter who was a native of this city, gets a heartfelt send-off thanks to this moving film.

Wall decorations in this monument showcase everything from his love of his wife and children to his enthusiasm for the space agency NASA.

Dr. Robert Vartabedian, Missouri Western State University President, is the brainchild of the Walter Cronkite Memorial.

It is an appropriate tribute to St. Joseph’s cherished native son and one of the country’s most influential and trusted voices in history.

Missouri Western art professors David Harris and Eric Fuson realized Dr. Vartabedian’s vision when developing the one-of-a-kind installation honoring Cronkite’s illustrious career on CBS television.

Stroll Down the Beautiful Lovers Lane

Walk hand in hand with your lover down the wonderful Lovers Lane with several wonderful houses on its sidelines.

This beautiful street was immortalized in the famous poem “Lovers Lane, Saint Jo” by the astonishing poet Eugene Field.

It used to be a rough country road back in his times and was the birthplace of his courtship with Julia Comstock, who later became his wife. It was the typical cute and beautiful olden times love story.

Today it’s a modern street road with various colonial white houses on each side. A monument celebrating the great poet and his works is also built here.

Take a peaceful stroll with your girlfriend or boyfriend, reminiscing about the beauty of old-school love.

Watch a Baseball Game at the Phil Welch Stadium

Watch an exciting baseball game where the greats have played before.

The hall of fame here features great players like Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle, who played many matches here during their early days of the game.

It has been the home field of the St. Joseph Mustangs since 2009.

But after its inception in 1939, it used to be the home ground for the St. Joseph Saints, who played many years here.

The Phil Welch Stadium hosts many thrilling games, and it’s always fun to watch a live match.

So grab those snacks and popcorn buckets and immerse yourself in the shouting and noise of the game.

Visit the Patee House Museum

Exterior of the Patee House Museum

APN Photography /

Formerly a hotel, this museum has come a long way since its inception in 1858.

With over 140 rooms, the architecture is splendid and beautiful.

The famous hotel has even served the famous world poet Oscar Wilde.

Building sign of the Patee House Museum

APN Photography /

It has served as a luxurious hotel, a women’s college, and has become a museum that documents transportation and communication-related histories.

It is a National Historic landmark since it had also served as the headquarters of the Pony Express.

The various exhibits on display include a classical locomotive, a race car from 1921, antique transport vehicles, and also a railway mail car.

Witness Cultural Art Forms at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art

Showcasing many classical artworks made in the eighteenth century to the recent ones made in the twenty-first century, it is the home to all the cultural art forms through the ages.

It showcases the history of paintings and how it has evolved through the different centuries.

It used to be the house of the famous William Albrecht before being donated to the St. Joseph Art League in 1965 to be converted to an art museum.

The Permanent collections include many beautiful art forms like contemporary art, Western Art, Regionalist prints, and more.

The major attraction is the American Portrait Gallery, which displays many famous artists like John Wollaston, Gilbert Stuart, and John Neagle.

Learn Fascinating Facts About Mental Hospital Patients at the Glore Psychiatric Museum

Patient treadmill in Glore Psychiatric Museum

David Becker, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

A part of the quirky list of 50 most unusual museums in the United States of America is one of the top places to visit.

With a long array of exhibits related to devices and treatments of mental health patients, it is definitely fascinating to look at.

The models are life-sized, and it has various artifacts that document the journey of rehabilitation of a patient.

It is a quirky and interesting museum with original exhibits from the adjacent St. Joseph State Hospital.

This museum has been an object of thrill and has a screen presence on many channels like PBS, The Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, and more.

Visit the Famous Pony Express National Museum

Signage of Pony Express Museum

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Another transport-related museum, the Pony Express Museum, as the name suggests, has a particular emphasis on the Pony Express and documents its historical journey.

The Pony Express is so important from a development point of view since it was the first fast mail line established in the North American continent.

It extended over from the Missouri River to the Pacific coast.

This, then, gave birth to a network of stable riders recruited in the nearby Pikes Peak Stables who used to ferry goods and services all over the country of California.

They thus hold a special heart in people’s place for being messengers of love and care from the families.

Today, these beautiful stables house this museum with various artifacts and exhibits that honor these riders and their bravery.

A major attraction is a 7-part diorama that shows the various terrains traveled by the riders of those times.

It is very realistic to look at and well built.

Go to the Robiduox Row Museum to Learn About the City’s Founder

The great founder of St. Joseph, Joseph Robidoux, used to live here with his family in the 1840s-1850s.

It was also built by him and is located in the North of the city.

It gained importance as a historical apartment and was later converted into a local history museum.

This conversion and renovation were done by the Saint Joseph Historical Society.

It shows how living units functioned during that era and is open between Wednesdays and Saturdays only from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Try Riverboat Gambling on the St. Jo Frontier Casino

Exterior of the St. Jo Frontier Casino

APN Photography /

Gambling may be addictive but is undoubtedly a fun game to play sometimes.

As long as you know how to control yourselves, it can be an enjoyable experience.

Combine this with floating down the Missouri River, and you are on an adventure.

The St. Jo Frontier casino is the one-stop-shop for this particular experience.

The riverboat cruises down the Missouri River and has an entire casino built inside.

Gaming of all kinds can be enjoyed in its cozy interiors.

Card games, slot machines, and more can be played on this river cruise boat.

Relax a Bit on the Krug Park

The waters of Krug Park

Fourth Daughter /

After all this information overload at the various museums, this park is great to cool it off and spend some quality time with your family.

The town’s oldest park is still as beautiful as it was when it was made in 1902.

The gardens are well-curated with many beautiful, colorful flowers growing to abut.

The Italian structures built about are also a sight to behold.

Kids sitting near the waters of Krug Park

Spread over a sprawling 163 acres, it has a lagoon, picnic areas, playgrounds, and walking trails as well.

Watch the geese cackle about near the lagoon and enjoy some peaceful time amidst Mother Nature.

The Italian Castle is magnificent and can make for some great pictures.

Go to the Jesse James Home Museum

Signage of Jesse James Home Museum

APN Photography /

Crime and criminals have always given a strange sense of fascination to the human mind.

The Jesse James Home is the original home of the criminal outlaw Jesse James and his family.

It’s the same place where he was infamously shot dead, and since then, the home has been preserved and converted to a museum.

The bullet hole in its North wall has also been preserved and has become enlarged over the years.

It has many original items still untouched and maintained for the public to look at.

These also include small memorabilia belonging to Jesse James himself or his families like a pin he wore, coffin handles, and bits of wood.

Visit the Grand Wyeth Tootle Mansion

Exterior of the the Grand Wyeth Tootle Mansion

25or6to4, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

This mansion from the 1800s is the perfect example of beauty and enigma.

It oozes elegance and luxury and reminds you of all the beautiful, rustic charm of the late nineteenth century.

It has about 40 rooms along with three floors and even a tower on its premises.

The exhibits and artifacts have all been preserved through the ages, which are still beautiful to look at.

The stained glass is gorgeous too.

All the furniture kept is of the classical period, and the woodwork is another sight altogether.

It is one of the most famous examples of the mansions in St. Joseph that stand from the 1800s.

It is open only from April to October and only on Fridays and Saturdays, so plan your dates and timings accordingly.

Watch a Performance at the Missouri Theater

Exterior of the Missouri Theater

APN Photography /

One of the few remaining classically built theatres in America, it still has preserved the olden Hollywood-Oriental style of the nation.

Opened in 1927, it found a pace in the United States National Register of Historic Places later in 1979, owing to its unique structure.

It was about to be demolished when the contemporary theater era started, but protests from the local citizens prevented it from happening.

Today it has become a prosperous center for performing arts and hosts many beautiful performances by various artists.

Side view of the Missouri Theater

APN Photography /

Join the Apple Blossom Parade & BBQ Contest

Since its inception in 1924, the annual Apple Blossom Parade has transformed into a beloved tradition in the town.

During the same weekend in May, a barbecue called the Apple Blossom BBQ attracts locals and visitors alike for a healthy dose of friendly competition.

This yearly celebration, the country’s third-oldest apple blossom festival, is jam-packed with activities for the whole family.

Pageants to crown the Apple Blossom royalty are held in addition to the parade of colorful floats adorned with changing themes each year.

The energetic mood and, of course, the candy and the parade route will appeal particularly to children.

After the parade is over, visitors may take advantage of the town’s fantastic shopping, historical attractions, and dining options.

Fruit Picking at Schweizer Orchards

Red luscious apples growing on tall green trees are a beautiful sight.

Now imagine handpicking them yourself and eating these fleshy fruits.

Such an incredible experience, right?

At Schweizer orchards, you get the opportunity to do some fruit picking.

Especially famous for their red apples, they have been running this business for four generations now.

These are supplied to various areas nearby and in retail stores.

There are many other delights which can be bought too.

Depending on the season you visit, you can have a variety of fruits to eat and relish.

Shopaholics Rush to the East Hills Mall

Exterior of East Hills Mall

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Enjoy a good old shopping spree at this premier mall with all the basic amenities like food courts and stores of many brands.

In 1965, it hosted Gordmans, Dillard’s, and J.C. Penney as its first stores.

It has since come a long way and has many famous brands selling their quirky outfits here like Christopher & Banks, Bath & Body Works, Maurice’s, Buckle, Off-Broadway Shoes, Victoria’s Secret, and more.

There are also very hi-fi stores that sell sporting kits, jewelry, and children’s clothes too.

The food court has some great outlets as well.

The children’s play area is fun and will surely be loved y your kids.

Visit the Beattie Mansion

The Beattie Mansion was built by the Beattie couple Eliza and Armstrong Beattie in 1854.

It is rumored that Mr. Beattie succumbed to Cholera mysteriously in 1878.

Soon after, Mrs. Beattie too passed away in 1880, and since then, the house has been called the “Haunted House.”

But other than this, it is also a magnificent Mansion and hence has the moniker “House on the Hill,” which is also used to describe this beauty.

It is located atop the pretty hill, and it looks like a sight to behold.

It had also served as a Home for the needy later.

These included people suffering from substance abuse problems and also mentally ill patients.

Thus, St. Joseph can also be called the city of the museums due to the many awesome museums built here, dedicated to various themes.

The other monuments and structures are also stunning and create a lasting impression on your mind.

The orchards are also a quirky experience you will never forget.

Tourists will love going to the various museums and learning about different cultures.

The park is excellent for the evening stroll, and so is the coveted Lovers lane.

It is thus the perfect romantic getaway for you and your partner.

This city is bound to spruce up your love life and will leave you with a friendly and warm, fuzzy feeling inside your heart.

Add Vintage Items to Your Collection at the Jesse James Antique Mall

Since 1997, the Jesse James Antique Mall has been a family-run enterprise.

For seven years straight, they have received the honor of being St. Joseph’s Favorite Antique Mall.

With approximately 20,000 square feet under one roof, more than 110 booths, 160 displays, and 40 modest shelves, it ranks among the biggest antique malls in the area.

They make an effort to maintain the authenticity of vintage and collectible malls.

A complimentary cup of coffee is waiting for you while you look over all their merchants have to offer.

At Jesse James Antique Mall, you’ll surely come across the treasure you’re looking for!

Savor Mexican Cuisine at Barbosa’s

Barbosa’s is the go-to spot if you want authentic Mexican cuisine prepared according to special recipes.

Since 1960, Barbosa’s has served meals to residents of St. Joseph and the neighboring communities.

They are well-known for their handmade flour chips, red chili made entirely of meat, and daily-made fresh tacos.

Start your dinner with one of the many great salads or appetizer options.

You may choose from classic chili beans, beef or cheese enchiladas, and much more!

There is also a gluten-free menu currently available.

Authentic Mexican cuisine is served with both dining-in and takeout choices.

Take a Moment to Admire the Shakespeare Chateau Inn and Gardens

In 1885, the magnificent Shakespeare Chateau was created for Nathan Phipps and Elmarine Ogden when St. Joseph was regarded as the “Queen of the River Cities.”

Admire the 47 unique stained glass panels while relaxing in the cozy bedrooms, all of which are furnished with exquisite artwork, antiques, and plush bedding.

Discover an extraordinary collection of artwork, sculptures, antique furniture, and accessories within the Shakespeare Chateau Inn & Gardens.

Delicious breakfast, HDTV, complimentary WiFi, and private bathrooms with jetted tubs and opulent Euro-spa showers are just a few of the amenities.

It is ideal for various occasions, including weddings, corporate events, and family gatherings.

The Shakespeare Chateau is a well-known tour stop and has been a highlighted home on multiple fruitful home tours.

Practice your Throw at the Axe Factor

If you’re searching for recreational activities, prepare for the ultimate experience at Axe Factor.

A couple wanted to do something enjoyable for a date night and came up with the concept for The Axe Factor, St. Joseph.

They have highly qualified personnel to assist you and develop you into a world-class axe thrower.

Players use logical thinking and follow the safety guidelines outlined by all their coaches to guarantee that throwing axes is safe.

Marvel at the extraordinary Cosmic Axe Throwing on Fridays and Saturdays from 7 pm to 10 pm.

The Axe Factor also features cornhole and a couple of dart boards to keep you occupied while awaiting a lane.

Feel Adventurous at Illuminate Entertainment

Bring your family and friends to Illuminate Entertainment for a wonderful and thrilling game of mini-golf.

Stunning blacklight effects transport you to a grand adventure!

Step in and enjoy their newest smash room, where you and your friends will each get 15 minutes and 15 objects to smash, ruin, and have fun with!

Additionally, there is a great selection of games available and cutting-edge virtual gaming to test.

Experience as though you are a part of the action and the game!

What better place to celebrate your forthcoming event than at Illuminate Entertainment?

Invite your friends in for a wonderful time with fantastic party packages!

Final Thoughts

St. Joseph’s different museums, yearly festivals, stunning architecture, numerous parks, miles and miles of scenic parkway, outdoor concerts, and diverse arts scene make it an ideal destination for outdoor leisure.

Make memories in this city now!

After all, it’s not every day that you get to experience all of this, all in one place.

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