Independence, MO

Independence, Missouri, has always been a magnet for pioneers, risk-takers, dreamers and doers. Come retrace the exact paths of the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California trails through the swales carved by actual wagon trains. The region’s history comes to life at the National Frontier Trails Museum and the spirit of the three trails lives on through Santa-Cali-Gon Days, a free festival over Labor Day Weekend, Sept. 2-5.

MORE TO KNOW

  • America’s 33rd president, Harry S. Truman, proudly hailed from Independence. His legacy lives on in an entirely new way at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library and Museum, now open after the largest renovation in the institution’s history. at historic sites along the Truman Historic Walking Trail, including the Historic Truman Courthouse and the Truman Home.

  • Tour the Historic Independence Square to see where it all began. Cast your eyes on the jail that once housed notorious outlaw Frank James. Discover the wonders of the Lewis and Clark expedition, which launched the whole Westward Expansion. This revitalized square is also home to 3 Trails Brewing, the iconic Clinton’s Soda Fountain, the Historic Truman Courthouse and upscale dining spot Ophelia’s. Don’t miss a moment of the action in Independence.

  • Brave Independence’s haunted heritage with a ghostly tour of three reportedly haunted homes. Explore the award-winning Paranormal Path to learn the chilling stories behind the historic Vaile Mansion, the Bingham-Waggoner Estate and the 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home & Museum, all renowned for their spooky sights.

  • For something new, venture to the Englewood Arts District, home to artsy and eclectic businesses such as Green Dog Gallery (a creative co-op of nine artists), Vivilore (modern American cuisine), Wine Down 109 (specialty martinis) and Three Trails Trading Post, the oldest bead store in Kansas City.