Earlier this month Josh and I hopped in the car for a fun weekend getaway to a destination we had never been before. Located just two hours from Omaha, St. Joseph is a city in Missouri with quite the interesting past. A city that was once home to outlaws, pioneers and uber-wealthy merchants is now the backdrop for artists, makers, and entrepreneurs all honing their craft. Josh and I had the best time exploring St. Jo and discovering a city that’s equal parts charm and quirk. St. Joseph is a place filled with uncommon character.
We did so much in a relatively short amount of time. Here are some of our biggest highlights.
Shakespeare Chateau B&B
You truly can’t ask for a better B&B than the Shakespeare Chateau. Built in the late 1800’s, this mansion fell into disrepair for some years before it was purchased and lovingly and painstakingly restored to its former glory by its owner. The property is gorgeous, the amenities are lovely, and the breakfast is superb. There was a table full of guests for Saturday morning breakfast and it was so much fun getting to chat with everyone, see where they were from, and discuss what everyone had planned for the weekend, all while enjoying a delicious home-cooked meal. I recommend Shakespeare Chateau wholeheartedly.
I’m a sucker for a good book. Pair that with unlimited mimosas and I am a happy camper. Tiger’s Den is a really cool bar with an excellent beer and cocktail selection. It’s the kind of place you want to pop into and spend a few hours.
I loved everything about Nesting Goods. It was packed with beautiful home decor, featured local artists, and had adorable sleeping store kitties. We snagged the painting above as a fun souvenir from our trip. It was painted by a local artist. We can’t wait to hang it in our new home!
Felix Street Gourmet
Felix Street Gourmet is a specialty food store. It will forever hold a special place in my heart for introducing me to Torres black truffle chips. They are out of this world good.
River Bluff Brewing Co. & Huckleberry
I’m listing these two together since you can order food from Huckleberry and have it delivered next door to River Bluff Brewing. The food was delicious, the atmosphere in the bar was super fun, and a couple even bought us a round to welcome us to St. Jo. You can’t beat that hospitality.
Friedrich’s Market is a great place to go to taste out the local flavors of St. Jo. We picked up some local honey, jam, and baked goods for the weekend here. I even got to paint a pumpkin!
You can’t beat a boozy coffee bar! The drinks at Mokaska were solid and Josh and I loved the atmosphere.
The Pony Express Museum
If you’re a history fan, I recommend checking out The Pony Express Museum. It tells the tale of an important piece of American history in great detail, keeps it interesting, and offers a lot of interactive exhibits.
Marco Polo is truly one of the most unique restaurants I have ever been to. It’s upscale Asian-Italian fusion. Every dish we ordered was bursting with flavor. I loved my General Tso’s Chicken Marsala.
Josh truly got to geek out at Club Geek with beer and retro video games. I was winning major wife brownie points for hanging out with Josh here. That is, until we started playing said video games and I remembered how competitive I am. I started threatening Josh when he was in danger of beating me (Which was every time because I suck at video games).
Jesse James Home Museum
I got to walk through the home where Jesse James was shot to death and see where the bullet hole entered the wall! This is both very cool and slightly disturbing to me at the same time. Regardless, Josh and I loved visiting the Jesse James Home Museum, and how the knowledgeable docent was. He had a treasure trove of interesting information. I learned Jesse’s wife and his mom both shared the name Zerelda because Jesse and his wife were first cousins.
Il Lazzarone is a slice of Italian heaven. They serve authentic Neapolitan pizzas in a wide variety of flavors. The food is ready to eat incredibly fast thanks to the handmade Acunto pizza ovens. Order any flavor that strikes your fancy here. You truly can’t go wrong.
I love a good local wine shop and 503 Winery is great. Every wine sold in store is made in Missouri and all customers get five free tasting samples to boot. Josh and I discovered some new favorites and had a whole lot of fun here hanging out and chatting with everyone at the bar.
Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art
There is something so relaxing and creatively inspiring about art museums. I love to wander through the galleries and wonder what life was like when that piece of art was being created. It’s also fun to discover more about the types of pieces that speak to me. My hope is that one day my home will be filled with beautiful artwork. The Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art is an awesome art museum.
Patee House Museum
This 1800’s luxury hotel turned Western Museum is an eclectic treat. Every room is different and filled with fascinating displays and facts. My favorite part of the Patee House Museum was learning about the world’s tallest man!
Even with all we packed into this weekend, there is still so much that we didn’t have time for. We’re already excited to plan a return trip to St. Jo!
Questions of the Day: Have you been to St. Joseph before? What part of our trip would you enjoy the most? Do you collect anything on your travels?
I’m not sure I’ve ever heard of St. Joseph before, if I’m honest. But it sure seems like you had a wonderful time there. It makes me want to visit!
What an amazing place to visit! The food, sights and shops all looked like so much fun! I will have to add this to my list of places to visit!!
Never been to Missouri before but looks like a great place to visit. Thanks for sharing this roundup of things to do while visiting for the weekend!
Ashley Rollins says
I’m guilty of driving straight through Missouri on our road trips from Texas to my hometown in Illinois, but this looks like such a cute place to stop and visit!
I loved the way you enjoyed our town. I am so guilty about not actually visiting even half of these spots. I am putting these on my calendar for when for my 2020 Summer weeks!
What a great post! This is my home town, and you listed several shops I didn’t even know about. Many other quaint and lovely places as well. You did us proud!
As a st. Joseph native India so glad you enjoyed your trip!!!
Come back soon and check out Krug Park!
Jada McClintick says
I’m from St Joe born and raised! I thrilled at reading how much you enjoyed my hometown! You’re right when you said there are places you didn’t get time to explore! I still find hidden treasures here all the time! It’s easy to take for granted how special your place is because you see it all every day! Your perspective was refreshing, and made me smile! ?
Thanks for stopping by! I’ve lived here in St. Joseph my entire life and I always enjoy learning new things about my town or connections it has to history. I’m glad you had a good time.?
I am from the area and work in St. Joe. #1 thank you for taking time to visit our small little area. #2 you opened my eyes to places that I did not know were even there.
Ellen Hughes says
Love your Blog on St. Joe!! We live here. . .and your photos and postings hit the spot!! Thank you so much!! Hope you enjoyed your visit and will return soon!! ♥
Karen S Bartlett says
Be sure to watch the upcoming movie “Christmas at the Chateau” on Showtime. You will recognize lots of St. Joseph sights that you visited. It was filmed here, with lots of scenes from your Bed & Breakfast Chateau that you loved. They used lots of local talent in the movie (my family being some of those). Thanks for visiting our town.
Karen s Wray says
You missed Tobiason Studio!!! Rick and Terri are known for their stained glass art! They do lots of church restoration work, have repaired many stained glass windows in old homes, teach classes and much, much more.
My favorite place and favorite people in St. Joseph!!
I’ve never been to Missouri before but it looks like you had a great time! What an interesting city St. Joseph is!
My daughter did the painting that you purchased! I’m glad you enjoyed your visit to Saint Joe! We have a lot of great things happening here.
The Galore Psychiatric Museum is a must see! Super creepy and actually located in the old hospital. Very unique!
Yukti Agrawal says
Your weekend in St Joseph, Missouri looks great with all worth visiting places. I love to ride rail engine. The architecture is beautiful here.
Doug Gilpin says
I lived in St. Joseph 1946 to 1954 and went to grade school there – Blair, Edison, and Noyes. I remember playing in the huge back yard of the Albright house when it was a residence. Caught my first fish at Corby Pond (it had one eye). Lived in many places since, now Dallas, and haven’t been back to St. Joseph in decades, but now would like to revisit.
Diana Maag says
So glad you enjoyed your visit and are planning a return visit.
Zion UCC offers its 100 year old parsonage on Home Away and Air BNB. There’s also Whiskey Mansion also a Victorian mansion overlooking Civic park is also a great place to stay.
Definitely check out Robidoux Row where St. Joseph was founded. The streets surrounding it are named for Joseph Robidoux’s children. History says he shot arrows to decide the direction and layout of the streets.
Frederick Inn, Jake’s, and Hoof and Horn are wonderful dining spots with ties to our Stockyards history.
Fort Smith sits atop the river bluff near Wyeth Hill where on clear days you can see to Rulo,Nebraska.
Geneo’s is a family owned pizza shop downtown that creates St. Louis style crusts with amazing topping selections and their pasta is superb.
Wherever you visit for food you’ll be full and will have enjoyed unique and delicious meals. St. Joseph is a quirky historical haunt – which brings me to suggest a visit to our downtown library. It’s a historical building and is rumored to be haunted by a former librarian.
Morgan Tyner says
ALL this food is to die for!! Love all these shared and helpful to do’s! I’m definitely going to bookmark this!
Ivan at mindthetravel.com says
St. Joseph is on my bucket list now! With so many awesome places to eat, I just love the one where you can play Super Mario video game!
Julene Younger says
So glad your visit here filled you with wonderful memories to cherish! As a resident, I thank you for visiting “The City Worthwhile”, enjoying many of the sights and activities we offer. Very happy to see you plan to return, because there’s SO much and it’s difficult to squeeze it all into a limited time. Numerous additional places have been suggested in previous comments and I would like to add one more: 117 Francis Street. The St. Joseph City Natatorium, now Restoration Church, retains much of the original building structure and history. Host to many civic functions and a popular venue choice, it was also used for music video filming by country music stars ‘Neely’. The Natatorium fronts historic Francis Street, where horse-drawn, laden wagons lined the street waiting their turn to cross the Missouri River. Plying the waters of the “Muddy Mo”, the infamous ferry “Ebenezer” landed these pioneers on the other shore, their dreams ‘Westward, Ho!’.
I love St. Jo! What wonderful history in the St. Joseph City Natatorium! I can’t wait to check it out!