La Plata is a very small town, population about 1500.  It is the only amtrak stop in Missouri on the Southwest Chief route, that runs between Los Angeles and Chicago each morning (eastbound) and each evening (westbound).  A brand new railroad themed motel with restaurant has recently opened in La Plata near the Amtrak station as well. There is one small grocery store and a nice town square with a few other mom & pop stores situated around a small city park.  A nice 18 hole gold course is available .  La Plata is about 14 miles south of Kirksville, which is where you will find such things as a Wal-Mart, several restaurants, well known chain motels and businesses.  The ATSU Still/ Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine is a very prestigious facility that has been a part of Kirksville for many years.   There is also a small comuter airport about 6 miles north of La Plata, which has rental cars.   La Plata is about 80 miles north of I-70 and 115 east & north of I-35.    For the railroad buff, this is a great place to watch trains. as the BNSF operates over 80 freight trains a day through La Plata.