More than just the home of Mark Twain and the loudest stadium in the world, Missouri is the most American of U.S. states, but are you sure you want to live there? Here are 25 things you should know before moving to Missouri and buying a home.
More coastline than California
While not located on the Atlantic or Pacific Oceans, Missouri is home to plenty of lakes and rivers. In fact, Lake of the Ozarks actually has more than 1,150 miles of shoreline, which is 200 more miles than California has coastline. Plus, you’ll never have to see David Hasselhoff running in slow motion on any Missouri beach.
Turkeys outnumber people
In 2013, about 11.7 million turkeys were butchered in Missouri. That’s nearly two turkeys for every resident of the state. Are you sure you want to live in a place where you’re outnumbered by turkeys?
You’ll have to take your out-of-state relatives to Branson
The city of Branson is basically what you’d get if a televangelist and a ventriloquist ran off to the Ozarks together to start a family band and raise their illegitimate spawn in a souvenir shop on a strict diet of taffy and fountain drinks. Located near the Arkansas border, Branson is popular with tourists looking for some good, clean, family entertainment, and your out-of-state relatives will definitely make you take them there when they visit.
A land of beer
Thanks to waves of German immigrants, Missouri has a beer heritage that puts most other states to shame. The state drinks beer, makes beer, celebrates beer, and even derives 6.1% of its GDP from beer production. The state is home to Anheuser-Busch, which controls 47% of the U.S. beer market, and it’s also home to a growing craft brewing movement.
It’s the Midwest’s Napa Valley
Missouri was once the second leading wine producing state in America, but it all came to a halt when the fun police outlawed alcohol during prohibition. Now the state is in the midst of a wine revival with local producers like Chandler Hill Vineyards producing world class wines from local grapes like Chambourcin, Vignoles, and Norton.
St. Louis and Kansas City are NOT trying to escape
Looking at a map, it’s easy to think Missouri’s two largest cities of Kansas City and St. Louis are trying to shuffle across the border into neighboring Kansas and Illinois. This is simply not the case. Both are very content within the confines of Missouri.
Missouri swings both ways
If you live in Hawaii or Alabama you can pretty much ignore presidential election season because your vote won’t have an impact on the outcome. If you live in the electoral swing state of Missouri you actually might cast the deciding vote in the 2016 presidential election. Is it going to be President Joe Biden or President Bobby Jindal? The choice might just be yours.
World Series state of mind
In the last 11 years, a Missouri baseball team has appeared in the World Series five times, which is more than any other state. That team is usually the St. Louis Cardinals, but the Kansas City Royals went bonkers in the 2014 postseason and nearly won the World Series. Instead the San Francisco Giants won it, which broke the collective hearts of every U.S. state except California.
Still better than California
California only has one bear on its state flag, but Missouri has two bears. Missouri is the winner.
Twisters (not the game)
Most scientists agree that building a giant wall along the Oklahoma border would do little to prevent large tornadoes from tearing up swaths of Missouri, but shouldn’t they at least try?
Gateway Arch is awesome
Most structures showcased on postcards are actually disappointing in person. The Statue of Liberty is tiny up close, as is Mt. Rushmore. Authorities won’t even let you try to climb the Golden Gate Bridge and the Washington Monument is definitely compensating for something. However, the Great Arch in St. Louis is enormous and legitimately awesome, not just as a feat of engineering for its time, but also because it looks really cool.
Location is everything
Missouri is always on top of Arkansas, which is more than Louisiana can say.
In most states people are content to limit their toasting to bread. In Missouri—particularly in St. Louis’ Little Italy—they “toast” their ravioli, a process that’s scientifically proven to make ravioli 80% more delicious.
Underworlds to explore
Whether you’re a train robber on the run named Jesse James, or just someone who enjoys the company of bats, the hundreds of miles of caves in Missouri offer unlimited recreation and hideout potential.
You’ll have to dress your dog up
Even though many people think it’s morally repugnant, if you like to dress your dog up you will not be alone in Missouri. The state holds the Guinness World Record for most dogs in costumed attire at a single location (1,326).
The dancing squirrels of Defiance
If you’ve always wanted to own a bar and decorate it with squirrels you’ll have to pick a different state. The Defiance Roadhouse in Defiance, Missouri already features an unusual decor largely made up of taxidermied squirrels in a variety of poses (in a band, on a motorcycle, dancing with Barbie, etc).
It’s a barbecue paradise
If smoked meats hold a special place in your heart then the Show-Me State is your Shangri-la. Estately ranked the state the fifth most barbecue-crazed in the country, and it has the fourth most barbecue restaurants per capita of any state. Kansas City is the state’s barbecue epicenter, but you’ll find plenty all across Missouri.
Missouri Real Estate
The United States added Missouri’s lands to its real estate portfolio when it suckered the French with the Louisiana purchase of 1803. The Missouri share of the sale price was just $1.26 million, an amount that could almost buy you the lovely St. Louis home pictured above.
Most Simpson-esque Springfield
There are dozens of cities of named “Springfield” in America, but Missouri’s Springfield was deemed the most similar to the one on “The Simpsons” (article). This is a real bragging right.
Critters and varmint
Originally popular with French fur trappers, Missouri is home to all manner of furry critters. They got opossums, beavers and lots of bats and voles. There’s badger and skunk, some long-tailed weasels, all the usual squirrels (flying and ground), shrews, lemmings, and even armadillos. Basically, Missouri is virtual laboratory for any mad scientists dabbling in genetic engineering who’s hellbent on creating a diabolical super rodent.
Don’t get too attached to local sports teams
Missouri is currently home to two NFL teams (St. Louis Rams and Kansas City Chiefs), two MLB teams (St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals), one NHL team (St. Louis Blues), and one MLS team (Sporting Kansas City). However, Missouri pro teams abandon the state with incredible frequency. The state has already lost four NFL teams, two MLB teams, three NBA teams, and two NHL teams. The state could very likely be down to one NFL team if the St. Louis Rams head back to Los Angeles. Are your prepared for loss and heartbreak?
Rubbing up against Kentucky
Missouri’s borders total 1,056 miles, and bump up against 8 different states. Be warned though: one of those is Kentucky. The two only share about 50 miles of border so there’s minimal contact, but be careful if you’re in the Southeast portion of the state that you don’t make a wrong turn.
Breeding ground for Hollywood actors
In addition to rice and soybeans, Missouri produces a lot of handsome and talented actors—Brad Pitt, Steve McQueen, and Jon Hamm just to name a few. It’s too late to date those famous actors, but Missouri’s always producing more. Perhaps you can meet Footlong Frank, who currently performs with The Randy Dandies, St. Louis’ premiere comedy burlesque troupe. He might just be the next John Goodman (also from Missouri). Or, he might not. Don’t really know much about the guy.
Living in Missouri means Midwest living at its best, which is something your stuck up cousins in Oregon can’t say. Those poor bastards have to subscribe to Midwest Living just to get a a little taste of Midwest living at its best. While that publication offers fabulous fall recipes and easy no-carve pumpkin decorating ideas for even those outside of Missouri’s borders, it’s still not the same as truly living the Midwest lifestyle firsthand.
~Tank top pictured above sold by Megan Lee Designs
Gateway to Awesome
Missouri was long called the Gateway to the West, but now it’s becoming known as the Gateway to Awesome. Are you awesome enough to live there? If so, check out Missouri homes for sale on Estately real estate search.