Located on the scenic shores of the Mississippi River in Southeast Missouri, Cape Girardeau is a warm and welcoming community that treasures its cultural roots while embracing a bright future. The Trail of Tears State Park is located 10 miles north of Cape Girardeau. Ideal for hiking, camping, swimming and fishing, the park is a reminder of the early 1800s forced march of the Cherokee Indians.
As many as 100,000 people are present in Cape Girardeau daily to work, shop, go to school or receive medical care. Cape Girardeau’s economy is robust, with a strong business base and a low unemployment rate. Information technology and manufacturing are among the fastest-growing sectors of the economy. The area is home to some of the nation’s largest industries, including Procter & Gamble Paper Products and Nordenia U.S.A. The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce works with corporate and community leaders to enhance business, education and recreation in the area.
Cape Girardeau has the perfect balance for families. Eight public schools in Cape Girardeau and surrounding school districts provide excellent educational opportunities for young students. Numerous private schools, such as Notre Dame Regional High School (ranked in the top 50 Catholic high schools in the United States), further complement the educational options available to families. The city’s Parks and Recreation Department and local clubs offer many sports and activities, including baseball, basketball, football, dance, gymnastics, softball, soccer, martial arts, swimming, horseback riding and more. Families can explore the many historical landmarks or hike through the nearby state and national parks with their breathtaking vistas. Excellent churches, schools and social activities expand to surrounding communities, further fostering a family-friendly culture.
More than 10,000 students attend Southeast Missouri State University, an accredited comprehensive university in Cape Girardeau. Southeast Missouri State University offers more than 200 different areas of study. The new River Campus, a collaborative effort between the city and the University, has quickly become a hub for the visual and performing arts in the area.
Something for Everyone
There is an abundance of things to do in and around Cape Girardeau. The city offers dining, entertainment, shopping, and recreational and educational opportunities. Downtown Cape, also known as Old Town Cape, is the place to go for antiquing, live performances, shopping, music and dining. An aggressive revitalization plan promises to make downtown Cape Girardeau even more vibrant in the very near future. Area malls and shopping centers offer many national retail options. Even more shopping, dining and entertainment await you in St. Louis, Mo., and Memphis, Tenn., each just a short drive away.
Amateurs and pros alike will find several golf courses in the area, including the Dalhousie Golf Club, listed in the Top 100 Residential Golf Clubs in Golfweek magazine. Biking, hiking, fishing, hunting and other adventures await at nearby parks, including the Mark Twain National Forest—1.5 million acres that is home to more than 500 species of wildlife and fish. Just across the Mississippi River sits the expansive Shawnee National Forest, where bluffs have overlooked the river for millions of years. This vast forest offers camping, hiking, backpacking, canoeing, hunting, biking and more.
Cape Girardeau’s Rich History
Cape Girardeau boasts a rich history that dates back to the frontier days when it evolved from a small trading post into a thriving community. In November 1803, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s expedition came through Cape Girardeau. Lewis took in a horse race and met the daughter of the town’s founder, Louis Lorimier, according to the National Park Service.
Cape Girardeau was a bustling port city during the Civil War, when Union forces built four forts to protect the city and its ports. Several historical sites now mark the city’s role in the Civil War, including the Battle of Cape Girardeau on April 26, 1863. Following the war, Cape Girardeau continued to grow and prosper as the railroad made its way through the city and commerce and manufacturing flourished.
Learn More About Cape Girardeau
The links below offer more information about the city of Cape Girardeau, its tourism, public school system, downtown district and chamber of commerce as well as Southeast Missiouri State University and the local news stations: