Must-Do Day Trips from Kansas City:- Nestled at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers, Kansas City features spectacular natural beauty. It is also popular for its rich jazz heritage and barbeque-based cuisine. Established in 1853, the city is home to many historical attractions, craft breweries, and lively nightclubs.
But despite its attractive offerings, you might feel like you need to explore further. There is a variety of impressive destinations that lie close to Kansas City, making for a perfect day trip.
Wondering which one to choose?
Pick from our list of the must-do day trips from Kansas City, Missouri: –
Lake Jacomo #1
Sprawled across 970 acres, Lake Jacomo draws nature lovers and adventure junkies alike. Located within Fleming Park, it offers a range of recreational activities.
You can rent a boat and go boating, fish for largemouth, catfish, and more, or camp at one of the many campgrounds around, there is something here for everyone.
Many sailboat regattas are also held every year at the lake.
If you’re a thrill seeker, you can hike on the numerous trails such as the Rock Ledges Nature Trail and Pa-Huska Nature Trail.
Powell Gardens #2
Rejuvenate your senses as you spend time in Powell Gardens. Located in Kingsville, this attraction is only a 45-minute drive away from the city. Spread across 970 acres, the gardens were developed in 1948 by George E.
Powell, Sr. Used for various purposes in the past, it has been acting as a garden facility since 1988.
You’ll find over 6,000 varieties of plants and flowers which includes the vast number of plants showcased during seasonal displays. There are many impressive areas such as a dogwood walk, an indoor conservatory, and the Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel spread across 4,700 square feet.
Don’t forget to check out the Heartland Harvest Garden which is the country’s largest edible landscape. It’s one of the most popular options for day trips from Kansas City.
Whether you’re a history buff or an automobile and airplane enthusiast, this charming destination won’t disappoint.
An hour’s trip from Kansas City, Atchison was the hometown of Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
You can learn more about her life at the various historical attractions here such as the Amelia Earhart’s Birthplace Museum, and the impressive Amelia Earhart Earthwork hillside portrait.
Visiting in July?
Make sure you attend the Amelia Earhart Festival held every year.
You can also check out the Atchison Rail Museum and enjoy a ride on the Atchison and Western Miniature Railroad, or travel back in time at the Evah C. Cray Historical Home Museum, there is plenty to keep you engaged.
If you’re visiting during summer, enjoy outdoor recreational activities such as hiking, and swimming at Jackson Park and Warnock Lake.
Excelsior Springs #4
Pamper yourself with a variety of rejuvenating treatments at the historic Elms Hotel and Spa in Excelsior Springs.
Only a 30-minute drive from Kansas City, this city draws many spa lovers for a relaxing day trip.
Apart from the historic Elms Hotel, it’s also home to many popular attractions including the Art-Deco-style Hall of Waters, which is home to the longest water bath in the world.
Got some more time on your hands?
Check out the numerous shops, local breweries, and restaurants in the downtown district. You can also golf at the Excelsior Springs Golf Club, which hosts numerous golfing tournaments.
Soak in spectacular autumnal foliage in “America’s Maple Leaf City”. Established in 1842, Carthage is popular for its historic charm. The city was completely reconstructed after the American Civil War.
You’ll find more than 600 buildings here that are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Some of the most notable ones include the Jasper County Courthouse and the historic Carthage Square. It also boasts of featuring the first concrete portions of the interstate highway system which was included in the popular Route 66.
As you drive along the route, you can find plenty of impressive attractions along the way such as the 66 Drive-In Theater, the Carthage Civil War Museum, and Kiddieland.
This small town is home to many family-friendly attractions that make it a perfect getaway. It was established after the American Revolution and has a rich history of African-American racial justice.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy here. You can witness Bengal tigers at the Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory and Sanctuary, gaze at the stars from the Powell Observatory, swim at the Aquatic Center, or stroll near the lake, there is something here for every taste.
Visiting in the fall?
Make sure you attend the fall festival at Louisburg Cider Mill where you can explore a corn maze, a street fair, and a pumpkin patch. With so much to offer, it’s one of the best day trips from Kansas City.
The Somerset Wine Trail #7
If your idea of a perfect outing involves tasting delectable wines, explore the Somerset Wine Trail. It will take you to four impressive wineries such as White Wind Farm, Middle Creek, Night Hawk, and Somerset Ridge.
From touring the vineyard to learning about winemaking and sipping on your favourite varieties, there are many enjoyable activities for wine connoisseurs here.
The area is known for its rapidly growing wine production. Somerset Ridge is the oldest winery here. You can choose from twenty different wines including sweet, dry, and sparkling varieties.
Many fun events are held in these wineries regularly including outdoor festivals, and live music performances.
A city popular among history buffs, Independence is known for being home to Harry S. Truman, the 33rd President of America.
If you’re interested to know more about him, you can explore the Truman Presidential Library and Museum and the Truman National Historic Site, his former home.
There are many other historic sites in the city such as Bingham Waggoner Estate, the Missouri Mormon Walking Trail and Visitor Center, and the National Frontier Trails Museum.
Independence is connected to departure points of many well-known trails such as Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails in the 19th century.
Visiting with kids?
Check out the Adventure Oasis Water Park and George Owens Nature Park.
Only 40 minutes from Kansas City, Leavenworth draws many road-trippers to explore its plentiful attractions.
Nestled along the Missouri River’s western bank, it is also popular as the “first city of Kansas” and is home to many historical and cultural attractions.
It features the 1827 Fort Leavenworth, which is a major military site related to the American West’s settlement.
You can also explore the Richard Allen Cultural Center and Museum and learn more about the region’s African-American pioneers, check out the C.W. Parker Carousel, or shop from a diverse range of eclectic shops in the city’s historic district.
From sipping on wines to shopping and exploring historic buildings, there is a plethora of recreational activities to indulge in at Weston.
Located a half-hour drive from downtown Kansas City, Weston is home to many creameries, wineries, breweries, and historic farms.
No wonder it has been awarded as one of the best day trip destinations in the region by numerous publications.
Some of the most notable attractions here include Weston Orchard and Vineyard, Green Dirt Farm, and the 1840s-era Weston Brewing Company.
It also has a downtown where you’ll find plenty of dining and shopping options within historic buildings and a host of museums as well.
Have a passion for urban exploration?
Head to Dunlap.
It used to be a thriving town in the 20th century but saw its downfall due to the Great Depression. Most businesses shut down and most residents went to other places in search of a better life.
Today, the town exudes an eerie vibe and many buildings here are deteriorating.
History buffs will love to explore historic attractions such as the remains of a Baptist church, a cemetery, and Lower Big John School.
Around 80 people still live here which doesn’t make it a proper ghost town but it still has a strange feel to it.
So, pick the one that ticks off every box on your checklist and get ready for an unforgettable day trip from Kansas City.
Follow us for more such insights!
Q. What is Kansas City Missouri best known for?
Kansas City is known for its rich jazz heritage, an array of fountains, and barbeque-based cuisine.
Q. What is the most famous thing in Missouri?
Missouri is known for its agriculture industry, its barbeque cuisine, and being home to many oversized objects such as a giant rocking chair, a 12-foot-long pecan, and the largest chess piece in the world.