St. Joseph
Blacksnakes

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Spare Time: What to do between games in St. Joe...

Photo of County Seat
Buchanan County Courthouse
(across from Boudreaux's)

Restaurants

Around the ballpark there aren't any food options. You'll have to find something to eat either downtown or along South Belt Highway. Strongly recommended downtown is Boudreaux's Louisiana Seafood (224 N. 4th St; 816.387.9911) for some very tasty cajun cuisine, seafood and steaks in a wonderful old building on the hill just kitty-corner from the county courthouse.

Photo of Pony Express statue
Kris & Kates Ice Cream Treats

Along Belt Highway (north or south) you'll find the usual assortment of chain restaurants and other food and shopping options. Depending on your route to the ballpark this may be the most convenient since most fans will likely be coming from I-29. If you're looking for something cold in a different sort "historic" building and not concerned about time look for Kris & Kate's Ice Cream Treats (2330 N 36TH St --off Belt Highway; 816.232.4201) which is a large pink sugar cone.

Photo of Museums signs
Photo of Museums signs
Follow the historic trails
(brown signs) or find
history itself at the
museums (blue signs)

Sites & Attractions

St. Joseph is very proud of it's wild west past and its historic downtown celebrates two major events: The Pony Express and the Death of Jesse James. And it even has its own link to the explorers Lewis & Clark who are more strongly celebrated upstream on the Missour River in Sioux City.

If you look carefully you'll find several types of signs for the history in St. Joe. Most will want to find the blue signs that lead you to the museums for both and many others. There are also brown signs the actual Pony Express and California Trails for those wanting to follow them. There are also signs for the Museum Hill Historic District which you will see when you're actually in that area.

Photo of Pony Express National Museum
Pony Express National Museum (and original stables)

Pony Express

Though it only lasted a short a year and a half (April 1860 to October 1861), the Pony Express' history literally starts in St. Joe. Amongst the sites of interest are the Pony Express Trail (follow signs), Pony Express Monument (Free, Ninth & Frederick) dedicated in 1940 and the Pony Express National Museum (admission charge; 914 Penn, 800.530.5930, 816.279.5059). The museum is located in the original stables with state-of-the-art exhibits covering the colorful history of the famous short lived mail service. If you don't want to pay to go into this museum you may also want to read the placques in the part across the street which include some of the history of the area.

Photo of train engine
Train engine in Patee House Museum

Jesse James

Though relocated from its original spot, the Jesse James Home Museum (admission, 12th and Penn; 816.232.8206) is the small house in which Jesse James was shot and killed April, 3 1882 by a member of his own gang. In addition to artifacts taken from his grave (after it was exhumed in 1995 (for DNA testing that confirmed his identity).

Photo of Pony Express monument
Pony Express Monument

Patee House Museum

Even if you're not interested in going inside the Jesse Jame Home Museum, you may be interested in the Patee House Museum National Landmark (separate admission from Jesse James Home; 12th and Penn 816.232.8206) immediately next door. This museum has an eclectic mix of St. Joe's past. Some of it is very interesting such as the old steam engine, the "Streets of Old St. Jo" which includes replicas of various businesses of historic St. Joseph --including references to office of famed CBS news anchor Walter Cronkite: Dr. Walter Cronkite DDS. Other St. Joe trivia kept here too such as the creation of Aunt Jemima Pancake Batter (1889), fire engines and assorted collections of some of the locals.

Photo of carousel horse
"Chaity" just one part of "Wild Things" Carousel

"Wild Thing" Carousel

If the Patee and Jesse James "Houses" weren't enough, there's a must see for anyone into merry-go-rounds: the "Wild Thing" Carousel (separate admission to ride; 13th and Penn; 816.232.8206) in the Patee House Museum. Looking at the carousel is free, rides are a separate ticket. The vintage 1941 carousel has original and imaginative carvings by famed carver Bruce A. White. Each has a name and a placque describing the inspiration.

More eclectic history & museums

There are other museums in St. Joe that may be of interest including a "one-stop shop" at the Glore Psychiatric Museum (admission, 3406 Frederick, 816.232.8471) in the former St. Joseph State Hospital. It shows the history of mental health care through the centuries as well as some of the story of the building itself. Unlike the Patee/Jame House complex, a single entree fee also gives you entrance into the The Black Archives of St. Joseph which chronicles African-American history in St. Joe (including the Underground Railroad and jazz musician Coleman Hawkins) and The St. Joseph Museum which has small collections of native american artifacts, archeology and Lewis & Clark.

Kansas City, here I come..

Finally, if the tourist attractions of St. Joe are not enough, Kansas City is an easy hour's drive (or so) where there are many more options. See the nlfan.com Kansas City guide for more information on what to so with your spare time there.

Lodging

As with food, lodging is nonexistant around the Phil. There are some options downtown such as the Holiday Inn Riverfront (102 S. Third St; 816.279.8000) but most are on the east side of town and convenient to I-29..