Contact the Missouri Division of Tourism, P.O Box 1055, Jefferson City, MO 65102 (tel. 800/519-2100; www.visitmo.com), and ask for the Missouri Vacation Planner, which includes an official highway map of the state. Roadside, there are six staffed Welcome Centers in Hannibal, Joplin, Kansas City, New Madrid, Rock Port, and St. Louis where you can pick up maps, get directions, figure out where to say, or just get some friendly advice.
By Plane -- There are three airports in Missouri: Kansas City International Airport (tel. 816/243-5237; www.flykci.com) was recently completely renovated and now offers WiFi access in the terminal; Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (tel. 314/426-8000; www.lambert-stlouis.com); and Springfield-Branson National Airport (tel. 417/869-0300; www.sgf-branson-airport.com), which is presently adding a new terminal, slated to open in 2009.
By Train -- Amtrak (tel. 800/872-7245; www.amtrak.com) offers two lines in Missouri. The Kansas City Mule runs daily between St. Louis and Kansas City, and the Ann Rutledge line goes from Kansas City to Chicago, both lines making stops in St. Louis, Kirkwood, Washington, Hermann, Jefferson City, Sedalia, Warrensburg, Lees Summit, Independence, and Kansas City.
By Car -- I-70 runs east to west across the state, and is a direct driving route connecting Kansas City and St. Louis. From north to south, I-55 on the eastern portion of the state runs along the Mississippi River, while I-35 goes north to south on the western portion of Missouri. I-44 runs diagonally from St. Louis to Joplin (and actually used to be part of Route 66).
Missourians take their involvement in westward expansion as a point of pride, and they celebrate the starting point of the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon Trails with Santa-Cali-Gon Days (tel. 816/252-4745; www.santacaligon.com), a 4-day festival in Independence with historical reenactments, an arts and crafts show with over 350 exhibits, and country music acts, like Grand Ol' Opry favorite Mel McDaniel.
In early November, local artists open up their studio doors along 50 miles of Route 79 along the Mississippi River for the 50 Miles of Art Tour (www.50milesofart.com). This 2-day celebration of Missouri artists and craftspeople links together the towns of Hannibal, Clarkesville, and Louisiana, allowing visitors to check out working studios, art in progress, and finished pieces for sale.