Driving Central Missouri: U.S. Route 50

If you are planning a trip to St.Louis on a nice sunny day and you don’t feel like taking Interstate 70 for the 150th time, consider the U.S. Route 50 – a slightly longer and slower, but fun and picturesque way of getting there. Once the road leaves the Kansas City area with all of its Lee’s Summits and such, it heads to Sedalia amidst beautiful country landscapes, pothole- and traffic-free.

Sedalia has a nice-looking downtown with many historic buildings and perfectly-functioning Hotel Bothwell, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Pettis County Courthouse hasn’t changed all that much over the years

…but it features its own mini-statue of Liberty, just like the Anderson County Courthouse in Osawatomie,KS.

The mini-Liberty is looking at the old hotel…

…and the soldier…

…is always thinking about storming the old building across the street.

Jesus lives in the building in the back of the Hotel Bothwell….

…and works only a few blocks away.

Back on the road, the cleverly-painted water tower…

…lets you know that you are entering the ghetto of Tipton, MO.

If your front lawn needs some decorating besides every vehicle your family ever owned, Tipton has your needs covered.

Do not hesitate to get off the highway to visit California,MO, where you can take a picture like this to entertain your Facebook friends.

California,MO has a beautiful downtown centered around the Moniteau County Courthouse…

…but it’s famous not for the Fraternal Order of Eagles 4027…

…not for its downtown shopping…

…not for the incredible $5 breakfast after midnight…

…not for its many bars…

… mansions…

…innovative bicycle decor…

…not for the vintage signs…

…homemade canons…

…not for its patriotic mural…

…one taxicab…

…or a punny-named beauty salon.

California,MO is the Country Ham Capital of the World. Burger’s Smokehouse products sold in your nearest grocery stores are made about a mile South of the Route 50 in California, MO. I couldn’t take a good photo of their road sign but you’ll find it if you just follow the wind.

Burger’s Smokehouse offers tours or at least an educational video but my daughter, who doesn’t eat pork and didn’t share my excitement of seeing this pig version of the Disneyworld, was startled by the talking animatronic redneck Missourian who greeted us upon the entrance and refused the rest of the activities.

I browsed in owe through the aisles of pork products…

…and couldn’t resist ordering a sandwich (she had turkey). My impression of the country ham – kinda dry. Burger’s Smokehouse is still managed by Burgers.

After visiting California, the road continues to Jefferson City.

Continued…

  • Bob

    Interesting and familiar landmarks for me.  Next time you go through Sedalia, a good side trip is Bothwell Lodge, high on a bluff about 3 miles north of town on U.S. 65.  Also, I haven’t inspected the statue at the courthouse closely, but I think it is a Sister of Liberty.  Dozens of those were erected in the early 50s…there’s one in Marshall, at the north entrance to the park, and one in Liberty, in front of Franklin Elementary School.  Look at her face closely.  She’s a young girl, a little sis to the lady in New York Harbor.  Today, she’d be wearing lurid pink or purple.

    • Actually I passed the lodge on one of my previous trips. This time we were actually trying to get to St. Louis so the side-trip time was limited. We still managed to spend some time in and around the Capitol so overall it was a fun trip.

  • Xavier Onassis

    I was in California for a family reunion just this past summer.  Good photos.

    But the next time you pass through Sedalia, you need to stop in at the Wheel Inn for a Guber Burger.  http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/210/1067071/restaurant/Missouri/Wheel-Inn-Sedalia