Looking for Eclipse lodging? Discover Pulaski County USA!

Looking for lodging near the path of  totality of the Great American Eclipse? Check out Pulaski County USA!

By Laura Huffman

When I was youngster, 35 years or so ago, I read Illustrated Classics Editions’ version of Mark Twain’s “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.” All these years later, I can’t tell you much about the classic novel. But, I can vividly describe the scene that Twain painted of Hank Morgan, a time traveler, being tied to the stake to be burned alive as King Arthur commanded. Hank, having remembered the date of the solar eclipse from his history studies, and realizing that the knowledge can save his life, threatens to black out the sun if the flames creep closer. As the flames get closer to consuming the hapless hero the sky darkens and King Arthur relents. Hank is released from the stake and the sun is released from the inky blackness that had enveloped it. Hank goes on to enrich the Kingdom of Camelot and torment Merlin, the magician, for the remainder of the novel.

Eclipse 2017 NASA

Courtesy of NASA

In 2017 not many people on the planet would be fooled by Hank’s threat to black out the sun. Quite the opposite. People across the globe have been planning for August 21, the date of “The Great American Eclipse” for almost a year or more. Missouri, known as the “Show Me State” is expecting millions of travelers to descend on the cities, towns, and villages that are located in the path of the solar eclipse. The closer an area is to the center line- the longest duration of darkness (almost three minutes in some locations!) the more crowded you can expect it to be. Many Chambers of Commerce, Tourism Bureaus, and civic organizations are planning festivals, parades, and other events for the expected millions of visitors.

As the word continues to spread more and more hotels, motels, Airbnb’s, and campgrounds are filling up. Some locations have already announced that ALL of their rooms are booked and reserved. Don’t let this discourage you from making your eclipse plans. Pulaski County, home to Fort Leonard Wood, offers over 3,400 rooms and is less than 70 miles from the path of the eclipse! Cuba, nicknamed the “mural city”, will be dark for over a minute and a half, and is only 45 minutes west of Saint Robert on Interstate 44. Sullivan, which will have two and a half minutes of totality, is just an hour west on Interstate 44. Jefferson City, the capitol of Missouri, will experience 2 minutes and 29 seconds of totality and lies only 71 miles north of Saint Robert via Highway 17 and Highway 54.

Don’t miss the Great American Eclipse August 21st (it could save your life someday if you accidentally time travel like Hank!) and enjoy Pulaski County’s hospitality before heading to your astronomical adventure! Book your room today!

Eclipse Poster NASA

Courtesy of NASA

Make a long weekend of it by exploring and floating Pulaski County USA! Home to heroes, history, and Route 66!


*Drive times may vary on the day of the eclipse. Be prepared for congested roadways and increased travel times.

*Never look at the partial phases of the eclipse without proper eye protection.

Z Loft Hotel, Bar, & Grill- Saint Robert, MO.

By Laura Huffman

Gasser Tourist Court was a mid-century landmark in Phelps County on Route 66. The combination of a modern motel complex and delicious barbecue and chicken was irresistible to Mother Road travelers. Today, 15 miles west, Z Loft Hotel, Bar, & Grill in Saint Robert is a hip, colorful, sophisticated update that rekindles the spirit of Fred & Vernelle Gasser’s model.

Innovative Twists on Classic, Flavorful Cuisine

Just off Route 66, tucked into an Ozarks “holler”, Z Loft first opened its doors to the public in 2013. The Farris family envisioned an “eat, play, stay” concept between Saint Louis and Springfield, Missouri- and they succeeded. The family combined their culinary roots with their hotelier skills and Z Loft was born.

Z Loft Bar & Grill promises “innovative twists on classic, flavorful cuisine” and “expertly crafted cocktails served in just the right glass”.

Cosmopolitan Text

The menu presents an elevated take on typical pub offerings. For starters, take into consideration Santa Fe Egg Rolls, Pork Pot Stickers, and Hummus that is served with fresh vegetables and Focaccia Bread. The menu lists six salad options- including the colorful Shrimp Goat Cheese Salad. This salad is a feast for the eyes and a treat to the taste buds- grilled shrimp served with fresh mixed greens, tomatoes, red onions, strawberries, goat cheese, and bread drizzled with house dressing. Entrees range in price between $9 to $28 and each choice is packed with flavor. Quesadillas can be ordered gluten free/meat free or with traditional grilled chicken or beef. The Philly Steak Sandwich has been described as “money”, and that description is spot on. One of the most popular, and unique, items is the Infamous Bourbon Burger. This hand crafted, hand-pattied creation is glazed in a special mixture of sauces including bourbon & brown sugar. The menu attests that the Kansas City Strip Steak is cooked to perfection- and diners agree! Even beef lovers will enjoy Z Loft’s chicken, pork, and fresh fish entrees. Chef Mitchie shows off her talent and skill daily with a variety of special creations.

Elevated Take on Typical Pub Offerings

Shrimp Goat Cheese Salad Opaque Text

You may decide to linger after your meal- consider moving the after dinner drinks and conversation to the outside patio. This area is welcoming year round and the comfy seating near the fire pit invites conversation and laughter.

Outdoor Service with Text

Comfy seating near the fire pit

Whether you need a dining spot during your Route 66 trip through Missouri, or are looking for a special place for the road to lead you to, make sure to add Z Loft Bar & Grill to your itinerary.

To learn more about Z Loft Hotel, Bar, & Grill please visit www.ZBarandGrill.com.
For a complete listing of dining and lodging options in Pulaski County, Missouri please visit www.PulaskiCountyUSA.com.

Baymont Inn and Suites Ft. Leonard Wood/Saint Robert

Recipient Of The 2013 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence Award

Enjoy all the comforts of home at Baymont Inn & Suites Ft. Leonard / Saint Robert hotel. Conveniently located off Interstate 44, our hotel is only two miles from Ft. Leonard Wood and close to the best area attractions, including 33 original miles of Historic Route 66, John Mahaffey Military Museums and Roubidoux Springs.

We offer amenities you can count on for a restful stay. Start your day with free continental breakfast or work out in the gym. Go online with free Wi-Fi or watch a movie on DVD in the comfort of your room. After a long day of work or play, take a plunge in our heated indoor pool. Our hotel is pet friendly, and meeting space is available.


Our Fort Leonard Wood hotel is the perfect choice for exploring natural scenic wonders of the area. Explore historic Route 66 or view the archeological wonders at Miller’s Cave. Expert underwater cave divers will want to experience Roubidoux Spring, where you can also fish and picnic.

Experience scenic Pulaski County by floating leisurely along the Big Piney or Gasconde Rivers. Get a taste of local history at Old Stage Coach Stop Museum, just a few miles away, or sample the local vintage flavor at St. James Winery, about half an hour from our Ft. Leonard Wood hotel.


Several popular restaurants, including Ruby Tuesday, Pizza Hut, Cracker Barrel and more, are located across the street from our hotel in St. Robert, MO. For a unique experience, dine in a real cave at the Cave Restaurant or indulge in hometown goodness at Miller’s Grill. Greek and German dining options are also nearby.


Our Ft. Leonard Wood hotel offers a meeting room and full-service business center.

Baymont Inn & Suites advertisement in the upcoming Pulaski County, Missouri Visitors Guide.

Baymont Inn & Suites advertisement in the upcoming Pulaski County, Missouri Visitors Guide.