Missouri loves company. From Branson – the “live Music Show Capital of the World” – to the bustling metropolis of St. Louis, to the rustic cottages at Lake of the Ozarks, this midwestern state knows how to welcome visitors with down home hospitality. In Missouri you can explore literary history at Mark Twain’s boyhood home in Hannibal, or relive the days of the Wild West at the Jesse James Farm and Museum in Kearney. You can go to jail in Jefferson City, where the Missouri State Penitentiary, which opened in 1836 and closed in 2004, now offers tours. Afterwards, a trip to O’Donoghue’s Steaks and Seafood, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, will make you thank the heavens that you don’t have to settle for prison grub. Missouri is rich in festivals, and events such as the Annual Sugar Plum Fairy Luncheon in Kansas City and the Christmas Traditions Concert at First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site ring in the holidays yearly. Shoppers flock to Missouri’s antique stores, flea markets and farmer’s markets for bargains, and the annual Gallery Autumn Event in Columbia features works by local artists. You can learn about Civil War medical practices at the St. Joseph Museum, where a 1,100 square foot display offers exhibits detailing the trials and tribulations of soldiers and surgeons from that era.