Founded in 1859 by German immigrants, the tiny river town of Kimmswick stands as a living museum stocked with homemade crafts, interesting antiques, historic structures and simple charms.
Browse specialty shops and enjoy leisurely meals at the town’s famous restaurants, known throughout the region for hearty Midwestern cuisine and tempting baked goods. Just remember, most businesses are closed on Mondays.
From Kimmswick, continue south to Bonne Terre, where the largest freshwater dive resort in America awaits adventurers. The legendary Bonne Terre Mine, named one of National Geographic Magazine’s Best Adventures, offers year-round diving. Famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau called the billion-gallon lake’s cobalt waters, constant temperature and 100-foot visibility “magnifique!”
Bonne Terre, French for “good earth,” was founded around 1750 by French miners. Divers explore the lead mine exactly as it was left in 1961, with abandoned ore carts, locomotives, picks, shovels, lunch pails and mining structures. Non-diving visitors can also enjoy the unique attraction by taking a narrated walking tour or boat ride through the mine’s enormous underground rooms.
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