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Missouri sits where the Midwest meets the South, and the state’s central location—along with its great rivers—has made it an important hub for explorers and pioneers over the centuries. The Missouri River carried Lewis and Clark north as they began their great expedition; soon after, its banks saw the rise of the 19th-century wagon trails heading west. Once frequented by steamboats, both the Missouri and the Mississippi are now home to riverboat gambling, a controversial part of the state’s tourism industry. Elsewhere in Missouri, a wealth of lakes, rivers, and caves provide plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation.

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