One of the worst parts about road trips is the gas it takes to get there. Most cars average about 300 miles on one tank, so we’re going to keep you close to home, but don’t be afraid to travel to multiple of these locations in a day or two! In no particular order, check out these amazing places within driving distance of Kansas City.
1. Appleton City Landmarks - 503 N Maple St., Appleton City, Missouri
The city park is home to a great playground and lots of space for fresh air. Most of the landmarks are currently closing for repairs, so head to the museum and find out what kind of history this small town has.
2. CW Parker Carousel Museum - 320 S Esplanade St., Leavenworth, Kansas
If you've ever wanted to see one of the oldest working carousels, you'll find it right here, though it's not open for rides. Otherwise, you can expect to find plenty to see, and others to ride as well. The carousel in the photo above is a lot faster than you'd think!
3. Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site - 19349 Bothwell State Park Rd., Sedalia, Missouri
This castle hiding in Sedalia was completed after 31 years of hard work. It has 31 rooms, and remains one of the most stunning castles in all of Missouri. Wouldn't it be amazing to stay in a castle for a night? Unfortunately, you can't spend the night... but you can still take a tour!
4. Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory Center - 3783 Highway K68, Louisburg, Kansas
Have you ever wanted to watch big cats of all sizes and colors play, or hang out with some rescued wolves? I do all the time! This place is a perfect sanctuary for these animals, where they can play safely and interact with one another.
5. Lakeside Nature Center - 4701 E Gregory Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri
Okay, you caught me... this one's actually on the outskirts of Kansas City, but it's such a nice place, I felt I should include it too.
6. Powell Observatory - 26500 Melrose St., Louisburg, Kansas
If you've never seen the sky up close, you should definitely visit Powell Observatory, where you can watch the stars as they shine and even spot a planet or two, depending on the season.
7. Leila's Hair Museum - 1333 S Noland Rd., Independence, Missouri
Have you ever wanted to see art crafted with hair? No? Well, check it out anyways! It's almost like embroidery, but these little sculptures hold amazing detail for being made from hair.
8. Lessman Farm & Truckhenge - 4124 NE Brier Rd., Topeka, Kansas
Have you heard of stonehenge? Well, Truckhenge is similar, if not a bit less graceful. This man was told to get his beat up cars "off the lawn"... and that's exactly what he did.
9. Native Hoofed Animal Enclosure - Lee's Summit, Missouri
Here's a great place to see the native wildlife in the area, specifically Bison. If they're near the fence, you're able to feed them apples, pears, or carrots.
10. Pony Express National Museum - 914 Penn St., Saint Joseph, Missouri
The Pony Express was started on April 3, 1860, when the first riders left from St. Joseph, Missouri and Sacramento, California at the same time. They started a trend of men riding horses to carry mail across America, and their station here will be forever remembered.
11. Yaya's Alpaca Farm - 30200 E 275th St., Garden City, Missouri
Here's a great chance to photograph, feed, and interact with some of the cutest fuzzy creatures around! This farm hosts tours that last about an hour, running $5 a person, but you can also leave with new alpaca socks, gloves, or other items made from their amazing fur.