St. Charles is a city in and the county seat of St. Charles County, Missouri. It lies just to the northwest of St. Louis, Missouri on the Missouri River, and played a significant role in the United States’ westward expansion. It is also the third-oldest city west of the Mississippi.
In St. Charles in 1804, William Clark and Meriwether Lewis departed up the Missouri River seeking the route to the Pacific Ocean. The city served as the first Missouri capital from 1821 to 1826. Because of its strategic location on the Missouri River and its entrance to the western territory known as the Louisiana Purchase, it became a critical destination for tens of thousands of travelers. Pioneer and explorer Daniel Boone and his family lived here. Boone created Boone’s Lick Trail through the St. Charles countryside. Then from Boone’s Lick Trail grew the Santa Fe Trail and later the Oregon Trail – critical paths for early pioneers seeking a better life in the western United States.
Today, the city hosts the annual “Christmas Traditions Festival.” One of the nation’s largest Christmas festivals, it takes place on the streets of historic St. Charles every year. Running from the day after Thanksgiving through until the Saturday after Christmas, it brings in tons of festive visitors.
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