Driving down Highway 94 between Jefferson City and Kansas City, we stumbled into a little travel time warp! It is well worth your while to stop and retire in Hermann, Missouri, if only for the afternoon. This is one of those places where we felt we were leaving too soon. The town just sucks you in.
Situated right on the Missouri river, Hermann is reminiscent of old Germany. In fact, it was designed that way. The German settlers in early Philadelphia thought they were becoming too Americanized and, in 1837, sent a schoolteacher out west to find them a place to live where they could preserve their heritage. He bought 11,000 acres of rugged landscape right on the river for their new home. When the settlers arrived and expected a flat landscape suitable for farming, they adapted and planted vineyards on the steep hillside. A town was born. After a catastrophic setback during prohibition, the wineries once again became a main tourist attraction.
Hermann has more than 150 buildings on the National Historic Register and the town just feels like Germany. The oldest of several winery’s, Stone Hill Winery (1847) is also part of the National Historic District. Once one of the largest wineries on earth, they still store their produce in underground caves. If you can tear yourself away from the wine tour, the Loutre Shore Country club is just 3 miles north of Hermann and is a really challenging course with 9 holes, 6,654 yards and par-74. March through October.
Another thing that drew our attention is the Katy Trail State Park, the longest rails-to-trails hiking/biking track in the U.S. The trail is on the north side of the river and runs east and west for 240 miles! Bring your bike! The trail takes you through other little towns along the way where you can stop for a bite to eat or spend the night.
If you are here in October, the BarBQ and Brats Festival will certainly keep you entertained as will Oktoberfest in this German community. There are also several Wine Trail Weekends to celebrate all things grape.
But what would it be like to live in Hermann? Here’s what we found!
There are just under 2,500 people in town and 24% are over the age of 65. Housing is quite reasonably priced. This cute little house was built in 2011, with 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and 1,264 square feet in a quiet part of the downtown area. The listing price is $124,000. It has a garage and is on a larger lot.
The weather averages a high of 35 degrees F in January and a high of 80 in the summer. They get about 30 inches of rain every year.
There is an Amtrack train station in town and the closest big airport is in St. Louis – just over 80 miles away.
The Hermann Area District Hospital is in town with several specialties and an emergency room.
There are many restaurants in town and many of them feature German cuisine. Some of the spots are in historic downtown buildings.
Hermann is a great place to spend some time! On a rainy day, stop by the used bookstore or browse the many antique shops for a bargain. Enjoy a pastry at the bistro.
Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions!