The Kansas City area is home to a couple million people and plenty to do. Of course, we naturally want to escape the city every once in a while, so where do we go when we like to head back to small towns and our roots? These 9 underrated towns are a great start. How many have you visited?
1. Parkville, Missouri
Parkville Nature Sanctuary is by far the top attraction, but you don't have to spend all day in nature to have a great time here. Visit the Olde Mill Emporium, the Hawthorne House, and all sorts of boutiques. Afterwards, grab some grub at great restaurants like Nick & Jake's, Frank's, or Roxanne's Cafe. When the waterfall is crowded with people, you'll have free reign to explore the rest of this beautiful town.
2. Braymer, Missouri
Braymer is a towl full of food, fun, and history everywhere you look. Busy Bee Cafe is a local favorite and is extra tasty when you've worked up an appetite from a day exploring this beautiful main street and it's shops.
3. Kearney, Missouri
Kearney is another Missouri town with a great personality and the food to match. Stop at Gino's, Cellar & Loft, or Slivinskis' Bakery for a tasty meal you'll want to enjoy again and again. Of course, after you've dined, check out Jesse James' birthplace, the Open Air Flea Market, and the fun local shops. What's not to love when you have scenery like this hanging around?
4. Smithville, Missouri
Smithville is home to a beautiful lake, but do you know how great their town is? They have everything from a New Orleans-style bistro to top-notch Italian cuisine, with plenty in between. Hang out at the local winery, golf complex, or browse the boutiques for a fun day out shopping. A fantastic day trip full awaits you here in Smithville.
5. Atchison, Kansas
Atchison is a wonderful little town full of haunted homes, historical buildings, and some amazing scenery. Visit Amelia Earhart's birthplace, dine at any of the delicious local restaurants, and enjoy a walk through the Railroad Museum.
6. Platte City, Missouri
In Platte City, you'll find gems like Roxanne's Cafe, the Pool Hall, and Alldredge Orchards. It may be a tiny town, but the people here make up for that with friendliness and great food.
7. Weston, Missouri
Weston is a great little town full of character, through and through. Spend a day, weekend, or longer exploring all sorts of local eateries like the Weston Cafe, the Tin Kitchen, or the Main Street Galleria Tea Room. Still not enough for you? Weston is also home to a gorgeous bed and breakfast made from an old coal house, as well as wineries to tour to help you relax. What more could you want?
8. Lone Jack, Missouri
Lone Jack is a fun name for a fantastic little town full of surprises. Eat at The Lone Jack Cafe or stay at the comfortable Lone Jack Cabin to get the full experience. The Lone Jack Battlefield Museum is full of historical treasures, but you'll find everything in town is worth a day's exploration when you visit.
9. Clinton, Missouri
There is all sorts of charm in this historic little town. Of course, that's pretty common around here, so what makes this one special? Local businesses like Shawnee Mound BBQ, Mallard's Roadhouse, Green Streets Market, and White Flower Quilt Shop! They might have the largest historic square and some awesome attractions, but it's the friendly residents that will really win you over.
Have you visited these cool small towns near KC? Which one is your favorite? Do you have others that you think belong on this list? Share your thoughts in the comments!