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Road trip to St Louis

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 6:16 pm
by LittleRed
I am heading to St Louis next weekend. I'll have most of Sunday for the drive back. Any suggestions for motoring routes?

Posted: Thu Oct 18, 2007 8:21 pm
by ragtopday Johnna
If you have time for a leisurely drive back, we like to go from St. Louis toward Hannibal (via Bowling Green) on the Great River Road. This time of year the scenic river overlook between Louisiana and Hannibal is a nice stop and the road has a 2 mile twisty section that I like to drive over and over again, and not just to avoid the nearby in-laws. :lol: The river overlook is not a great place to stop when the leaves are on the trees but in the Fall it's gorgeous. We usually take 36 back across the state. I like it better than the I-70/Missouri Autobahn drive, although it's not particularly scenic.

Or what about one of the winery run routes from St. Louis? Anyone got one of those to share from the past couple of years?


Posted: Sat Oct 20, 2007 7:13 pm
by dimini
First priority is a Missouri road map.

On a return trip from St. Louis, with a full day to play in a car, take I-44 southwest to Mo Scenic 19 and head south on it about 20 miles to Steelville. Near Steelville are numerous rural routes that offer remarkable rollercoaster hills, too many turns, great pine trees, etc. You'll be in the Mark Twain Nt'l Forest and the entire region is awesome. I budget a couple hours in that area and snake southward toward 11point and current rivers. Scenic 19 is great, but the little rural routes around it are phenominal. At some point, you'll fatigue from vertigo and extreme excitement, and need to choose one of many secondary westbound highways and stair-step back up toward KC keeping south of the dreadfully boring I-70. I usually stay south of highway 50 and go to Bennett Spring State Park near Lebanon. Hiway 32 between Lebanon and Bennett Spring is a fabulous red-colored asphault road with great hills, turns and general scenery. Hey, how cool is that? A red highway?

Continue a northwest stairstep up towards KC via southside of Truman Lake. Great thing about this is that anytime you get tired of empty and exciting country roads, there's a always a major highway nearby that you can jump on with 70 mph cruise control and Harmon Kardon premium stereo as company.

North of I-70 has its merits, but if you look at a Missouri Map, you'll see more lakes and Nat'l forest in the mid-southern portion of the state, which I usually equate to being more fun.

Do use a map, though, as some of the rural routes with designations like Rte JJ. or Rte. YY can take you 10+ miles and then turn into gravel roads. Gravel... evil gravel. At which point, you turn around, take a left onto Rte Y (so to speak) and you've only backtracked 10 miles on a great go-cart race track--oops! I meant to say rural route. These little rural roads are a blast and you absolutely do not have to "speed" in order to enjoy these roads. Amazingly, with all the bad interstates and major highways in Missouri, the small routes and rural routes are VERY WELL MAINTAINED and with only a few cars on them.

Re: Road trip to St Louis

Posted: Sun May 08, 2011 9:52 pm
by Rainman768

I'll be heading to St. Louis this weekend and was looking for something other than I70 that wouldn't add a to much extra time to the drive. While hwy 7 to Camdenton looks like a good route I think it may take a bit too much time. How is US hwy 50? Is it scenic if not curvy? Is scenic route 94 west of Jefferson City a worth taking?

For the route home I'll probably take hwy 79 to Hannibal and then US hwy 36 back to St. Joseph and then north.


Re: Road trip to St Louis

Posted: Mon May 09, 2011 9:10 am
by mcconned
I'm a traveling salesman and travel to St. Louis. A few years back I'd reached my level of frustration with the traffic-especially semis- on I-70.

I now take US 50 out of Lee's Summit to Jefferson City then hit US54 up to Kingdom City on I-70 and take it in. US 50 is 4 lane almost all the way (maybe 20-30 miles of 2 lane) from Lee's Summit to Jeff City and US 54 is 4 lane to Kingdom City. You do drive through the middle of Sedalia so you'll hit a lot of traffic lights. There are very few semis on this route.

One trip I drove from my house to my hotel via I-70 and I-70/US 54/US 50 on the return and it was within a mile or so distance wise and a few minutes time wise AND I was a lot less stressed taking the 70/54/50 route.

On one return trip I took I-44 out of St. L to Union, MO. and hopped on US 50 there to Jeff City. It was very scenic but definitely slower.

Hope this helps.

Re: Road trip to St Louis

Posted: Tue May 10, 2011 11:23 pm
by Rainman768
mcconned wrote: Hope this helps.

Yes it does. Once I hit Jefferson City I'll make the decision to take US 54 or the scenic route depending on time. At least most of I-70 is avoided.

Re: Road trip to St Louis

Posted: Wed May 11, 2011 8:57 am
by Hagar46
I love the scenic route from Jeff City to St. Louis. Get to see some antique tractors along the way! Another semi-passion of mine. I've owned a couple different Ford tractors in my life, but none right now. :D

Re: Road trip to St Louis

Posted: Wed May 11, 2011 11:59 am
by mcconned
I should point out I live in South Kansas City (south of I-435) so my access to US 50 at Lee's Summit is easy and maybe more logical than someone driving in from the north.

Have a safe trip.

Re: Road trip to St Louis

Posted: Thu May 12, 2011 7:20 pm
by IowaM1N1
I took US 50 from KC to Jeff City a couple weeks back en route to TN/NC. My Garmin didn't have the new 4-lane by-pass around California, MO (actually, my Garmin was missing 3 significant new roads on my trip to NC and back -- and I get every quarterly update).

Other than having to drive thru town at Sedalia, I thought it was a great drive. Hardly any traffic at all. Much less stressful than I-70.

From Jeff City to STL looks like a lot of great choices if the curves on the map are any indication.

I ended up heading south on US 63, then took a weaving route to Cape G then into southern IL.

Re: Road trip to St Louis

Posted: Tue May 24, 2011 7:14 pm
by Rainman768
US 50 to Jefferson City was a pleasant drive. Not a lot of traffic.
Hwy 94 from there to St. Louis was a good road. Started out so-so but the curves got better with a few roller-coaster rides tossed in. For the most part I was the only one on it.