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Day Trips

There are several unique communities within a short driving distance of Kansas City that have rich, wonderful histories, one-of-a-kind shops and tasty restaurants and are great options for groups to explore on a day trip.

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Atchison, Kansas

From Kansas City, take I-29 north to exit 20 and follow Missouri Highway 273 to Missouri Highway 45. Go North on Highway 45 to U.S. Highway 59. Take U.S. Highway 59 West four miles to Atchison. About 45 minutes from downtown Kansas City.



Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum

On July 24, 1897, aviatrix Amelia Earhart was born in this home, built by her grandfather in the early 1860s. It is owned and operated as a museum by The Ninety-Nines Inc., an international organization of women pilots. Earhart helped found the group in 1929 and served as its first president. Recent renovations have returned the birthplace to its condition at the turn of the century when Earhart lived here with her grandparents.

Allow 45 minutes


Atchison County Historical Society Museum

Located in the restored Santa Fe Depot, this museum traces the history of the region. Exhibits highlight Atchison’s transition from a bend in the Missouri River to a busy commercial center for steamboats, westward-bound wagon trains and the railroads. Highlights include a display of Amelia Earhart’s personal effects, a large collection of rare guns dating back to the Revolutionary War and displays on the Lewis & Clark expedition. Guided tours available upon request.

Allow 45 minutes


Atchison Rail Museum

Adjacent to the Santa Fe Depot, the Atchison Rail Museum is owned and operated by the North East Kansas Railroaders, Inc., a voluntary group of railroad enthusiasts. It features an outdoor collection of rail cars and is available for exterior viewing throughout the year. NEKR members operate the Atchison & Western Miniature Railroad, a 12” gauge railroad, weekends during the summer. Museum cars are open summer weekends.

Allow 30 minutes


Evah C. Gray Historical Home Museum

Recently renovated and updated, this 25-room mansion is a glorious example of the opulence of the Victorian era. Built in 1882, it is distinguished by a three-story castle-like tower. Ornate fireplaces, carved woodwork and original chandeliers mix with Victorian furnishings. The carriage house features a gift store and a small theatre in which a film on the architecture of Atchison can be viewed. Hours and days of operation vary depending on season. Guided tours are available.

Allow 60 minutes


Muchnic Art Gallery

Parquet floors, stained-glass windows, hand-tooled leather and finely-carved woodwork make an impressive backdrop for displays of art by regional and national artists. A lumber merchant built this spectacular Queen Anne-style mansion in 1887 – 1888. The Muchnic family bequeathed the home to the community to be used for art purposes. The first floor is furnished as it was when the Muchnics lived here in the early 1900s. Art exhibits are displayed on the second floor from March through December.

Allow 45 minutes


International Forest of Friendship

A life-size bronze statue of Amelia Earhart gazes over the International Forest of Friendship, which is a living, growing memorial to those who have been involved in aviation and space exploration. The forest was established as a bicentennial project by the City of Atchison and The Ninety-Nines Inc., an international organization of women pilots. Each June, new honorees are inducted into the forest with plaques embedded in the walkway that winds through trees representing all 50 states and over 35 countries in which forest honorees reside. Guided tours available for groups by special arrangement.

Allow 60 minutes


Saint Benedict’s Abbey Church

Benedictine monks established St. Benedict’s Abbey in the late 1850s. About 40 monks reside at the abbey, which was completed in 1929. The church was designed by a student of Frank Lloyd Wright and was completed in 1957. It features a 44-foot-high nave ceiling, facing choir stalls where monks gather three times a day for common prayer and unique frescoes. Self-guided tours.

Allow 40 minutes


The Chapels of Mount St. Scholastica

The Benedictine Sisters of Mount St. Scholastica have been in Atchison since 1863. St. Scholastica Chapel is rich with beautiful marble, a large rose window and stained-glass windows honoring seven martyred women saints. A vaulted ceiling graces the interior of the choir chapel, which has facing choir stalls and stained-glass windows retelling the life of St. Benedict. Guided tours of the chapels and a religious history room are available with advanced appointment.

Allow 45 minutes


Driving Tours

Atchison also offers guided driving tours of the city with guides who step on your tour bus. Narrated historic tour lasts 60 minutes. Trolley Tours of the city are available April through October. Call 800-234-1854 for more information on either tour.


Dining Options

River House Restaurant - 913-367-1010

Iron Horse Bar-B-Q - 913-367-5554

Parker House

Cedar Ridge



Leavenworth, Kansas

From Kansas City, take I-70 west to 7 Highway and then north about 25 minutes. About 45 minutes from downtown Kansas City.

Phone: 913-682-4113


Leavenworth’s Victorian Carroll Mansion 

A visit to this mansion is like a “step back in time”. This 1867 Victorian house features elaborate handcrafted woodwork throughout the house, beautiful stained glass windows and elegant antiques from the Victorian age era to the early 20th century. Guided tours available.

Allow 1 hour


Tour of the City of Leavenworth with Step-On Guide

Tour of the “First City of Kansas”, established in 1854. Points of interest include Fred Harvey’s Home, Carroll Mansion, Buffalo Bill Cody, numerous other historic homes, the renovated 1888 Union Depot, Ripley’s “Believe It or Not” Chapel and the “Big House” which is the United States Federal Penitentiary—drive by only!

Allow 1 hour


Tour of Fort Leavenworth with Step-On Guide

Fort Leavenworth is the oldest Fort west of the Mississippi River that has been in continuous operation. The Fort was founded in 1827 and played a major role in keeping the peace among the various Indian tribes and the increasing number of settlers heading West. Among numerous historical sites, there is visible evidence of a cut in the terrain that was made by heavy-laden wagons pulled by teams of oxen as they journeyed west on the Oregon and Santa Fe Trails.

Allow 1 hour


Frontier Army Museum

This museum showcases the Army’s role in the western expansion of this country featuring a new world-class exhibit, “Beyond Lewis & Clark - the Military Exploration of the American West”. Your group will see the carriage that Abraham Lincoln traveled in when he visited Leavenworth, the sleigh owned and used by George Custer when he was stationed at Fort Leavenworth, a Conestoga Prairie Schooner dating from 1790 and a 1917 JN4D “Jenny” Bi-Plane.

Allow  45 minutes


Buffalo Soldier Monument

This monument was dedicated in July 1992, honoring the 9th and 10th Cavalry Regiments comprised of black soldiers who were called “Buffalo Soldiers”. General Colin Powell initiated this effort while stationed at Fort Leavenworth. As a matter of record, the Buffalo Soldiers have been honored for their bravery and service more than any other American military unit, yet history fails to reflect this. It can be arranged to have former Buffalo Soldiers greet and educate your group at the site, if requested.

Allow 30 minutes


First City Museum

The museum features a collection of early frontier memorabilia and artifacts. Also on display is a large mock-up of the “Big House”, U.S. Federal Penitentiary, which is the next best thing to touring the prison-and a lot less walking!!

Allow 1 hour


Carousel Museum 

Leavenworth’s newest museum which opened in 2005 features a newly restored, fully operational 1913 C.W. Parker Carousel, originally made in Leavenworth by the C.W. Parker Carousel Amusement Company. The carousel was created during the period when this company was famous nationally and internationally for its unique and creative carousels and associated amusement devices. Also on display is the oldest primitive carousel in the United States and a 1950s aluminum Paul Parker Carousel.

Allow 2 hours


National Fred Harvey Museum

This museum will be housed in Fred Harvey, the famous restaurateur's, former home and will feature artifacts and memorabilia of Harvey and his famous Harvey House Restaurants, Harvey Girls and Hotels. The museum is under renovation at the present but welcomes tour groups by appointment. Harvey established a network of restaurants, first along the Santa Fe Railroad and later at stations on other lines. The Harvey Houses, with waitresses known as Harvey Girls, set a standard of excellence for food and fine service in a part of the country previously known for its gastronomic tortures!

A tour of this “budding” museum and a meal served by ladies dressed as “Harvey Girls” at the historic 1888 Union Depot make a nice “step back in time” for your group.         

Allow 1 hour


Dining Options

Harvey Girls menu (see above) - 800-844-4114

High Noon Saloon

June’s Café at June’s Cottage

Mama Mia’s

Santa Fe Depot Diner - 913-651-6336


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Independence, Missouri

About 30 minutes east of downtown Kansas City off I-70


Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

Enjoy a film by producer Charles Guggenheim, exhibits and memorabilia on Truman's presidency and private life. Of special interest is a full-scale reproduction of the Oval Office circa 1948 and the gravesites of Harry and Bess. The Museum has completed a $22 million renovation which includes a new multi-media exhibit with two interactive decision theaters on the Truman presidency. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Guided tours are available, if requested at least four weeks in advance.

Allow at least 90 minutes


1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home & Museum

Massive walls and barred windows that once housed outlaw Frank James give a chilling look at frontier justice. Next to the jail is a federalist style house that was home for the county marshal until the 1920s.

Allow 45 minutes


Bingham-Waggoner Estate

Built in 1852 along the 1846 alignment of the Santa Fe Trail, this magnificient home was once owned by George C. Bingham, famed Civil War artist. In the 1890s, the Waggoner’s purchased the home and 95 percent of the furnishings today are original to the home.

Allow 45 minutes


Vaile Mansion

This home was built in 1881 by local entrepreneur and U.S. mail contractor Harvey Merrick Vaile. According to Architect magazine, the ornate 30-room mansion is one of the finest examples of Second-Empire Victorian architecture in the country. Colorful ceiling murals, lavish furnishings, hand-painted murals and whimsical detailing make this home a “must see.”

Allow 45 minutes


National Frontier Trails Museum

Explore the story of America’s expansion in the 1800s along the three great trails that led pioneers west—The Santa Fe, Oregon and California Trails. All three began in or near Independence, known as the “Queen City of the Trails.”

Allow 1 hour


Community of Christ Temple & Auditorium

Visit two unique facilities serving as the world headquarters for the Community of Christ. The temple features a 1,600 seat sanctuary, a spiral ceiling raising nearly 200 feet, a 102 rank Casavant pipe organ and a chapel overlooking a meditation garden. The green-domed auditorium building features a 15-minute video presentation and tour of conference chamber with 114-rank Aeolian Skinner organ, one of the largest church organs in the United States. Organ concerts are offered daily in June, July and August.

Allow 1 hour


Puppetry Arts Institute

Home to marionettes created by local puppeteers Robert Smith and Hazelle Rollins, puppets from around the world and a puppet resource center and puppet stage. Create your own puppet. Live puppet show monthly.

Allow 1 hour


Leila’s Hair Museum

Leila’s Hair Museum pays tribute to the Victorian-era art of hair jewelry and wreaths. Family members would craft these keepsakes from locks of their loved-ones’ hair. Leila’s is a one-of-a-kind museum.

Allow 30 minutes


Dining Options

Historic Independence Square Restaurants

Independence Original Restaurants

I-70 Corridor Restaurants



Weston, Missouri

From Kansas City, take I-29 North to exit 20 (just north of Platte City). Go west on Highway 92 to Tracy, Missouri. Follow signs to Weston. About 30 minutes from downtown Kansas City.



Green Dirt Farm

Green Dirt Farm is a small farm located in the bluffs of Weston. The farm is dedicated to producing the highest quality grass-fed lamb and Farmstead sheep’s milk cheeses using milk from its own pastured ewes. Group tours are available through advance reservation only. The farm also offers Farm Table Dinners which celebrate the important link between landscape and food where local chefs prepare a four course dinner from farm grown, harvested, produced and foraged ingredients.

Allow 1 to 2 hours


Weston Brewing Company

Reopened in December of 2005 by long-time friends and avid brewers, Michael Coakley and Corey Weinfurt, the Weston Brewing Company boasts a modern 24-barrel brewing system capable of producing 20,000 kegs of beer annually. Their flagship beer, O’Malley’s Irish Cream Ale, carries on the tradition of brewing in historic Weston that began 164 years ago. Tours are available on Saturdays or by appointment.

Allow 1 hour


Pirtle Winery

The winery is located in the historic German Lutheran Evangelical Church built in 1867. The wine is produced, aged and bottled on the first floor of the two-story brick building with the second floor serving as a tasting room and gift shop. Visitors may also taste the handcrafted wines in the wine garden while enjoying a basket of bread, cheeses, fruit and summer sausage; perfect accompaniment to the wine.

Allow 1 hour


Weston Bend State Park

Catch a glimpse of the Missouri River as Lewis and Clark saw it in 1804 from the Weston Bend State Park scenic overlook. The scenic overlook provides visitors a view of the River, Fort Leavenworth, and beyond. The 1,133-acre park has a hiking trail meandering through the woods and along the edge of the bluff with great views of the river. Five tobacco barns remain on the land to interpret the important role of tobacco in the area's history.

Allow 45 minutes


Weston Historical Museum and Home Tours

From rare Native American moccasins to early physician instruments to vintage clothing displays, the Weston Historical Museum has preserved local artifacts to enjoy today. Discover what life was like in Platte County from prehistoric days through World War II. Group tours are also available of several historic homes.

Allow 1 to 2 hours


Lewis and Clark Exhibit           

In the Weston train depot is "In the Wake of Lewis and Clark" exhibit. This exhibit chronicles the history and environment of this part of the lower Missouri River from the time the Lewis and Clark expedition past here in 1804. It also details how Weston came to be the largest American city west of St. Louis in the years just prior to the Civil War.

Allow 30 minutes


Saint George Hotel

The historic Saint George Hotel was built in 1845 as a three-story structure with 47 rooms on the top two floors. Billed as a working man's hotel, the first floor provided a saloon, sample rooms, a lobby-tobacco shop, a restaurant, and two retail spaces.

Today, it’s beautifully restored and features guest rooms, a wine bar and the National Silk Art Museum which includes 200 silk tapestries, based on works of major artists primarily of the 19th and 20th century.

Allow 1 hour


McCormick Country Store

McCormick is the oldest distillery in the United States operating at its original site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites. Lewis and Clark discovered natural limestone springs in the rolling hills of Missouri. Years later Ben Holladay saw these limestone springs as the ingredient for great whiskey needed to supply the vast number of wagon trains passing through Weston.  In 1856 he started his distillery. While the distillery is no longer open for tours, The McCormick Country Store located on Main Street in Weston sells all McCormick products and gift items; a .25 cent sample bar is available for customers over 21 years of age.

Allow 30 to 45 minutes


Dining Options

Avalon Café

America Bowman Restaurant

Main Street Galleria Upstairs Tea Room - 816-640-2825

The Vinyards

Weston Café - 816-640-2224


Lexington MO

Lexington, Missouri

From Kansas City, takeI-70 east to the Lexington exit (Route O). Travel North on Route O for approximately 15 miles. Continue North on Highway 13 to Lexington. About 45 minutes from Kansas City.



Battle of Lexington State Historic Site & Anderson Home

Visitors may explore the 100 acres of the battlefield preserved at the historic site. The Visitor Center has an exhibit hall with artifacts from the Civil War and a theater with a 15-minute film that explains the events of Sept. 18-20, 1861.  The Oliver Anderson mansion was once called “the largest and best arranged dwelling house west of St. Louis.” Today, the home is best known for the three bloody days in 1861 when it was a fiercely contested prize in a Civil War battle between the Federal forces and the Missouri State Guard. Today it is restored and furnished in mid-19th century fashion. Guided group tours of the home are available, if requested in advance.

Allow at least 1 hour


Lexington Historical Museum

Built in 1846 as the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, the museum contains extensive exhibits on the steamboat era, the Pony Express, Civil War artifacts, coal mining and early Lexington history. The Museum is on the National Register of Historic Places. Open May through October.

Allow 45 minutes


Lafayette County Courthouse

Built 1847-1849, it is the oldest working courthouse in Missouri. Embedded in the east column is a Union cannonball from the Civil War Battle of Lexington. On display are many antique pieces of furniture along with paintings depicting the history of Lafayette County.

Allow 45 minutes


College Park

This city park near the battlefield site contains a cannon from the USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) and a shelter that is a replica of the Masonic College building that served as Union headquarters during the Battle of Lexington. A marker indicates where Union Col. Mulligan hid $1 million in confiscated funds under his tent during the battle.

Allow 30 minutes


Santa Fe Trail Driving Tour

Fifteen stops are marked throughout Lexington where covered wagons once rolled. American settlers had been living in the Lexington area for only a few years when William Becknell left Franklin, in Central Missouri, for Santa Fe in September 1821. With the success of the new Santa Fe Trail, most of the early traders went through Lexington. Trade goods such as tinware, tobacco, whiskey and beeswax originated in Lexington.

Allow 1 hour


Trolley Tour

There’s no better way to see the sights of historic Lexington than with a guided tour on the Lexington Trolley. It’s a unique and memorable experience for any group. Tours last from 45 minutes to 1 hour and 15 minutes and are designed for your group's interests and needs.



There are five wineries in and around Lexington. Lafayette County’s wineries are easily accessible from main highways and offer a chance not only to sample and purchase the best of Missouri wines, but an opportunity to relax and enjoy the county’s beautiful rural vistas. Visit  to learn more about each winery.

Allow about 1 hour for each winery.


Dining Options

Franklin Hole Saloon - 816-805-1422

Papa Jack’s Pizza -

Somerset Cottage - 660-259-6681

Victorian Peddler Tea Room and VP Grill - 660-259-4533 


“I was so impressed with the way the Association tied into our theme and bonded with us—it all worked so well. Kansas City provided one of the best CVB experiences I’ve ever had.”

–Karen Watson, Director of Strategic Events, Experient

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Attendants: 400 | Room Nights: 975

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