Join Larry and Diane Sagers to visit St Louis, Branson, Kansas and more. This Midwest tour has fabulous gardens to explore, talent to sample and historic stories to tell.
St Louis is the historic gateway to the West. From this city on the Mississippi, Louis and Clark set off on their famous westward exploration. Hosts of pioneers and immigrants set out overland from the Mississippi seeking better opportunities in the west. St Louis It is home to the Missouri Botanical Garden one of the top gardens in America.
Branson. Even the name of this famous entertainment capital in the Ozarks conjures up images of lights, fabulous music and thrilling programs. During our stay, our group will enjoy wonderful shows and outings together. You’ll also have free time to choose your own activities – shows, shopping at Branson’s famous malls, golf and more.
Venture into the woods to enjoy the scenic wonder of the beautiful hills and hollows of the Ozark Mountains’ hardwood forests.
Kansas City, known for the sounds of Jazz, art and history was once known as “The Paris of the Plains.”
Day 1 Wednesday
Fly from Salt Lake City to St Louis.
Day 2 Thursday
The gleaming stainless steel Gateway Arch at Jefferson National Expansion Memorial marks the gateway to the West for the monumental and historic Lewis and Clark Expedition. Browse the Museum of the Western Expansion for artifacts of Lewis and Clark and the thousands of pioneers who started their journeys during America’s great Westward Movement. Ride to the top of the Gateway Arch and look out over the city of Saint Louis or see the film Monument to the Dream about building the arch or Lewis and Clark, Great Journey West.
The Missouri Botanical Gardens, one of the nation’s oldest botanical gardens, was modeled after Britain’s Kew Gardens. Ride a tram and wander through magnificent displays, the demonstration gardens, English woodland garden and feel the serenity of the beautiful Japanese garden. You will marvel at the imposing, architectural award winning, geodesic Climatron and stroll among pools, waterfalls and rare and exotic plants. Plan your own landscape from backyard idea gardens filled with scores of garden possibilities.
Day 3 Friday
Visit the 100 year old Romanesque Cathedral Basilica of St Louis. Step inside this prominent, ornate St Louis landmark to discover soaring domes, arches columns and walls adorned with intricate mosaics. Millions of pieces of glass tessara depict biblical scenes and the life of King Louis IX of France for whom the city was named.
The St Louis Art Museum, built in the Palace of Fine Arts pavilion from the 1904 World’s Fair will intrigue you with a collection of more than 30,000 works of art from nearly every culture and time. Examine pre-Columbian art, 20th century Oceanic art, ancient Chinese bronzes and19th and 20th century European and American art.
Then head to Branson for a sumptuous dinner at Lamberts – famous for their “throwed rolls.” Want an exceptionally tasty roll? Catch the toss!
Day 4 Saturday
Start the morning of a fun-filled day with an energy boost provided by the Saturday morning thrill to the music of 12 Irish Tenors, a group of Ireland’s finest singers. The musical menu includes traditional folk songs like “Danny Boy, to show tunes, opera, pop, jazz, classical and more!
After the morning’s musical feast, enjoy Yakov Smirnoff’s comedic insights into life, family and these United States. Since his 1992 arrival in Branson, this Russian-born immigrant comedian has hosted more than three million visitors. Laugh with his gentle humor on topics close to home and further away and share in his insightful discoveries about life and America.
That evening enjoy a sumptuous family home style dinner at McFarlains then sit back and savor the music of the Duttons. There is sure to be something to meet your tastes as they perform pieces from from bluegrass to classical using violin, guitar, bass, viola, banjo, mandolin, keyboard, harmonica, drums and more. Besides their instrumental virtuosity, they are accomplished singers and dancers. Among their many musical awards, they won a top berth in the hit television show, America’s Got Talent.
Day 5 – Sunday
Enjoy a free morning to sleep in shop, attend the church services of your choice or visit other Branson attractions.
If you wish, join the group for a peaceful afternoon excursion to the College of the Ozarks. See their beautifully maintained grounds and the magnificent Neolithic Memorial Chapel with beautiful stained glass windows. It is literally and figuratively at the heart of the campus. See where students weave their famous baskets and visit the kitchen for a look and a taste of fruitcake. Walk among the 7000 beautiful plants of the school’s greenhouses.
That evening indulge in a three-course dinner cruise and entertainment on the famous Branson Belle. Enjoy timeless numbers from Broadway classics to award-winning hits performed by a remarkable cast of singers and dancers, a comedian and the Showboat Branson Belle Quartet, accompanied by a live band.
Day 6 – Monday
Start your day of fun on a ride into the fall beauty of the hills and dales of the Ozarks on our outing to Dogwood Canyon for a famous chuck wagon lunch. Your tram ride will give you a wide ranging view of the splendor of these mountains.
Shop or take in the attractions of your choice in the afternoon, then start the evening with a delicious dinner.
Experience the strains of Shoji Tabuchi and his family – considered to be one of Branson’s don’t miss performers in Branson’s most elegant theater. Thrill to the beautiful intonations of his exceptional
band, the grace of superb dancers and joyful sounds of incredible vocalists. Each member of Tabuchi’s band bears one or more degrees in music and the group plays a repertoire from country to classic with all the nuances the music can provide. Shoji Tabuchi’s is a show not to be missed.
Day 7 – Tuesday
Drive through the hills and countryside to the fall splendor Powell Garden’s 915 acres of botanical bliss, stunning architecture, inspirational chapel and gorgeous display gardens. Enjoy a tram tour then stroll to favorite spots and seasonal displays. Get ready for the harvest season with their whimsical display of scarecrows in Powell’s Scarecrow Spectacular.
Optional evening activities:
- LDS Independence Visitors’ Center
- Liberty Jail
Day 8 – Wednesday
Wander among statues by famous sculptors at the 17-acre Kansas City Sculpture Garden surrounding the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The most notable pieces are in the largest collection of bronze sculptures by Henry Moore outside his English homeland. Others are works by Claes Oldenburg, Coosje van Bruggen, Magdalena Abankanowicz, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Joel Shapiro, George Segal, Mark di Suvero, Judith Shea and others.
At the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, browse Sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Pierre-Auguste Renoir and browse African, Native American and contemporary art collections. Enjoy the premier photography collection of more than 7000 works including the impressive Hallmark Photography collection.
After browsing the artwork we will wing our way back to Salt Lake City
Airfare, luxury coach transport, tips, fees, taxes, excellent lodging, admissions to listed tour sites, 5 Branson shows, breakfast daily, 4 lunches and 3 suppers on this escorted tour.