The DH and I just finished the Katy Trail 2009 week-long bike ride, ~250 miles from Clinton, MO to St. Charles. Before the ride began, we explored St. Charles, MO.
St. Charles is an interesting town, and I recommend you give it a look if you're in the area. It's got plenty of touristy shops for those who like that kind of thing (I do; the DH doesn't), but it also has other appealing features such as great views of the Missouri River and a Lewis & Clark museum, worth seeing.
(Image from museum website)
St. Charles is where the Missouri River (longest in the US) meets up with the Mighty Mississippi. The community has preserved its downtown historic district, which is right next to the river views. Lots of little cafes and whatnot shops. I was particularly interested in the English Shop. We each savored a piece of Walker's Treacle Toffee. Yummy - and sticky!(Image from St. Charles Jaycees)
St. Charles is also the last established town that the Lewis & Clark crew saw for 2.5 years. From here, they left into the great western unknown, on their quest to find the Pacific ocean. Our bike path followed along the Lewis & Clark trail for much of the ride. When I was feeling sorry for myself, I often thought of the struggles they faced. :-)
I wanted one night of luxury before living outdoors for a week, so we stayed at the Raines Victorian Inn. Very nice place and the sheets on the bed were amazing! I think they were silk. Though the B&B is about a mile from downtown, it's nestled into a quiet neighborhood of historic houses. I recommend staying there.
(Photo from Raines Victorian Inn website)
More coming soon on the KATY Trail ride details.