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Cape-tivating day

February 17, 2010

H|L folks petting a piglet at Jones Heritage Farm

Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, Cape Girardeau

I hadn’t spent any time in Cape Girardeau until today, but our trip here has been quite nice and I look forward to a return trip to this wonderful city.

Stephanie Lynch from the Cape Girardeau CVB was our host for the day and she had a wonderful itinerary, with stops at a downtown shop called Renaissance, the Jones Heritage Farm and Market (awesome BBQ pork sandwich, by the way) and the Lazy L Safari Park (we met a camel that was used in the film “The Scorpion King”) along with a variety of other animals, our experience was one we won’t soon forget.

(In case the green in the trees didn’t give it away, I didn’t take the Nature Center photo during our trip on Tuesday. MoPhotoGirl, who is a very talented photographer, took it on a prior trip and it is much better than anything I could take, so I posted it instead.)

Jones Heritage Farm is a family operation that has expanded to include a dining room where breakfast and lunch are served. Additionally, you can buy pork products that were produced right on the farm or simply take a tour of the barn and property. (Just a note, mama pigs sure are protective of their young.) Jones Farm hopes to expand even more in the summer, with outdoor seating, live entertainment and locally made beverages.

We then toured the Lazy L property, which is on the farm once known as 5-H and also offered tours where exotic animals were featured. This attraction won’t open until the spring, but it should be really good for the Cape area. It will feature everything from camels and ostrich to porcupine (never realized just how big those critters are) and a variety of hoof stock (deer and the like).

We also had the opportunity to tour the Cape Girardeau Conservation Campus Nature Center, which is a Missouri Dept. of Conservation property. It is a wonderful center with many great exhibits where you can get hands-on with deer- and turkey-calling devices. It’s a great bit of fun, and the center really is modern and visitor friendly. A great stop for people traveling with kids, no doubt.

We also toured the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum on the River Campus at Southeast Missouri State University. It’s a wonderful museum with rotating exhibits (local high schoolers’ works are on display now, “Ansel Adams: Masterworks” will be featured March 26-June 27) along with permanent exhibits on the history of this region of the state.

Before heading back to the CVB offices, we took a quick driving tour of the downtown region (we saw Fort D and the Common Pleas Courthouse, to name a few features), where beautiful murals and a walking trail make the city’s floodwall (on the Mississippi River) anything but ordinary. There’s also a discovery center for kids being built right now in the downtown area, while construction on a large aquatic park is also underway in Cape.

Pictures to come once we get back home (darn digital camera attachments). Thanks for reading and travel safe.

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