• Things To Do / Fall Festivals & Activities / Guides for Kansas City / Spring Break Activities & Things to do / Travel & Family Vacations

24 Weekend Getaways, Road Trips & Day Trips from Kansas City

Sharing is caring!

If you’re looking for short road trips or fun day trips from Kansas City, there are great spots all over. We know you don’t want to drive too far…

But, there are easy weekend getaways nearby! Just a quick 3 (ish) hour road trip with the family. 

Whether you want to explore the outdoors, find mini vacation spots, or just find things to do in new cities, there are places for everyone to go. We hope your family enjoys these fun day trip ideas for kids! If you’re looking to stay closer to home, check out our Staycation Guide too!

Disclaimer : iFamilyKC is supported by its readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. THANK YOU!

best weekend trip from kansas city

We’re big fans of getting out of town for a few days…but where to go? How far can kids realistically ride in a car?  Kids can make it 3 or 4 hours, and then the questions begin and the movies get old. So we gathered the below list of destination ideas and resources for you!

Pro tips: keep the kids happy with their own travel snack boxes for the road. Grab some travel wipes to keep the messes at bay. Plus, any time you’re on a road trip, a dashcam is a great insurance policy.

Best Road Trips from Kansas City!

There are 24 fun road trips from Kansas City, all about a 3-hour drive. These vacation ideas are perfect for a weekend getaway near Kansas City:  

As you head out of town, you might consider having even a small simple security camera to keep an eye on things while you’re gone. Peace of mind, while you’re on your trip, is invaluable!

Day Trips from Kansas City

 If you’re looking for fun day trips from KC, or better yet a weekend adventure, this is for you! Get your family out of town… even if it’s just for a weekend trip! 

> Cave Springs

If you’re looking for a super close trip, Cave Springs is worth considering. Because it is located in Raytown, you can make it there in less than 30 minutes!

There is a small waterfall, hiking trails, and other fun things to explore – learn more now.

Cave Springs Park in Raytown MO

> Visit the Sunflowers

There are 14+ sunflower fields near KC that you can visit with your family. This is a short day trip from the metro, which is perfect if you have small children…

Grinter Farms Sunflowers in Kansas City

> Ha Ha Tonka State Park Day Trip

1491 State Road D, Camdenton, MO 65020

(2 hours, 41 minutes)

Weekend roadtrip to Ha Ha Tonka State Park from Kansas CIty

You can make this its own weekend getaway or stop by while you are in the Lake of the Ozarks area. Plus, the drive on the day trip from Kansas City is beautiful!

Ha Ha Tonka State Park is located in the Lake of the Ozarks area. You can definitely make it one of the best weekend trips from Kansas City to the Ozarks.

Things to do at Haha Tonka:

There are lakes and trails, and you can head over to Branson for fun too! You can rent boats & jet skis at local marinas and swim till your hands turn pruney! If you like hiking or the outdoors in general, this state park is the place for you…  

One of the highlights is a turn-of-the-century castle built high on a bluff and more than 15 miles of walking trails. These trails lead to sinkholes, natural bridges, caves, and of course the lake itself!

Just head down for the day and pack a lunch for a picnic or decide to make a camping trip out of it!

Where to Stay:

If you’re wanting to stay for the night, there are many choices that make a great overnight trip for families:

> Canoe, Float, or Paddle the Niangua River

Lebanon, MO & surrounding areas (many campsites & rentals)


Things to Do on the Niangua River:

Your family can canoe, kayak, float in inner tubes, or raft down the Niangua River! This fun road trip near Lake of the Ozarks is great if your family loves the outdoors or is looking for an adventure. 

There are many fun campgrounds, cabins, & hotels in the area, so it will definitely make a fun weekend trip. Explore the many campsites & rentals available like the Floating R or NRO , which has free camping options available. Big Bear River Resort offers adorable cabins, canoes, camping & great fishing spots too!

Food on the Niangua River:

Depending on where you start your float trip, you can stop at The Gravel Bar & Grill at the Sand Springs Resort .

This restaurant is right off the river, so you can walk from your canoe. It has basic American food, offering something for everyone in your family. They also offer lodging at the resort, so if you are looking for a place to stay and rent your canoes, this might be the spot!

This day trip location is a little further away, so you may want to stay overnight – especially if you spend all day paddling on the river! These are just one of many great options:

> Tanganyika Wildlife Park

1000 S. Hawkins Lane, Goddard, KS 67052

(3 hours, 8 minutes)

Weekend Getaways near Kansas City

Tanganyika Wildlife Park is one of the most unique day trips from Kansas City. Not sure if it would be a day trip, since it is 3 hours, but could be a great weekend getaway in Kansas!  

It is a family-owned zoo with one of the largest animal collections in the state. There are over 40 exhibits, including several interactive stations for your kids to learn.

This is definitely a trip stop to add to your list.  

Tanganyika is the only place in the US where you can interact with ring-tail lemurs in their island habitat and feed Indian rhinos and pygmy hippos.

From most of the reviews that I read, it is a great place for younger kids —more animals in a smaller area to save their little legs (and grandparents too!)

There and back will be about 6 hours in total, so consider finding a place to stay for the night:

> Northwest Arkansas

Rogers, Fayetteville, Springdale

(3 hours, 15 minutes) If your family loves the outdoors, this is a great weekend getaway with your kids! 

Things to Do in NW Arkansas:

There are tons of great family things to do in Northwest Arkansas…not to mention the scenery! You can camp along the river, swim in the clear water, & have quality family time on your family’s vacation. Don’t forget to try canoeing while you are on the river!

There is the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks , Charlie & Willie George Park which features a fun spray park for the kids to cool off & TONS of great hiking. There are also unique things to do in NW Arkansas like, exploring the Dickson Street Bookshop or taking in a local museum.

You can visit the Museum of Native American History , Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art , or the Museum of Discovery – a fantastic kids’ activity! Last but certainly not least, you have to check out the Walmart Museum.

There’s so much to see and do in Northwest AR. Visit:

Fayetteville, AR

Springdale, AR

Bentonville, AR

Best Food in NW Arkansas:

You also need to eat. So, be sure to check out Crepes Paulette – where you can watch your food be cooked – or The Farmer’s Table Cafe to try food created all by local Arkansas farmers. You can also take a little drive to try  Kyya Chocolate – unique chocolate that is sure to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

In Bentonville, AR try:

Ron’s Hamburgers & Chili :

1702 South Walton Blvd. Bentonville, AR 72712

The Buttered Biscuit



Smokin Joe’s Ribhouse

2504 E Central Ave

Bentonville, 72712

In Springdale, AR try:

Wagon Wheel Country Cafe

4080 N Thompson St.

In Rogers, AR try:

Monte Ne Chicken Inn

13843 E. Highway 94

Rogers, AR 72758

Big Orange Burgers, Salad, Shakes

2203 S Promenade Blvd Ste. 3100

In Fayetteville try:


25 1/2 N Block Ave

Fayetteville, AR 72701

Penguin Ed’s

2 locations in Fayetteville!

Hammontree Grilled Cheese

326 N West Ave #8

Pro tip: passengers taking a break might enjoy a little travel pillow to snag a quick nap before their turn to drive again!

> Roaring River State Park

12716 Farm Road 2239, Cassville, MO 65625

(3 hours, 17 minutes)

The Roaring River State Park is a great day trip from Kansas City when the weather is warm. You can also make it an overnight trip with camping if it’s a little further for you (Depending on what part of town you’re in) .

Things to Do in Roaring River:

There is so much nature to explore – it could fill your entire weekend! Trout fishing is obviously its biggest draw but there are great things to do and see for the whole family.  

The park is one of the premier trout fisheries in the nation and is stocked each night. There are also 7 trails that lead through the hills, including the Deer Leap trail that overlooks the fish hatchery. There are options to camp as well, including renting a cabin for the weekend.

Roaring Rivers State Park in Missouri Day Trip

> Eureka Springs, AR

(3 hours and 50 minutes)

Eureka Springs prides itself on its fabulous festivals. 

I personally love the St. Patrick’s Day celebration and have participated many times, but there are several more throughout the summer—just check to make sure they would be fun for the kids! It is the perfect place for a day or weekend trip from Kansas City!

Things to Do in Eureka Springs, AR:

The city itself is nestled in the Arkansas hills and has great hiking & outdoor adventures.

Check out Lake Leatherwood for hiking, fishing, canoeing & more outdoor activities.

Downtown Eureka Springs is also a great stop; filled with shopping, restaurants & historic character. There are tons of eccentric shops and art galleries to explore too. You can always find good music in many areas of the city, especially during Blues Weekend.

Best Food in Eureka Springs:

Parkside Pretzel & Snack Bar has everything pretzel – pretzel dogs, pretzel churros…use your imagination! Their reviews are stellar & also feature some healthy options. Eureka Springs Funnel Cake Factory also needs to be on your list. If you’re looking for more dinner food, check out the Rockin’ Pig Saloon for yummy ribs & burgers, or Emilio’s Italian Home Cooking . This delicious Italian spot is located inside an old house, with a more upscale feel.   

Plan on staying the night in either The Crescent or The Basin Park Hotel . Both have their share of ghost stories, but their true draw is how they pull you into the vintage feel of the city. I have stayed at both but I don’t think got an ounce of sleep because the lights were always on and I was constantly checking under the bed!

At nearly 4 hours away from the city, you’ll want to stop for a good night’s rest before you head back to KC. Here are some of the closest options:

> Rent a Cabin Near Kansas City

(1-3 hours depending on the cabin)

There are many nice cabins near Kansas City, as well as in the city limits. Whether you’re looking for a staycation or a weekend getaway in the woods, these cabins are always a great idea!

Find large cabins for multiple families, or small cabin sites perfect for a small family trip.

> Branson

(3 hours or less)

Branson is one of the best road trips from Kansas City, because of the windy roads and beautiful scenery. So, start planning a fun weekend getaway.

Things to do in Branson, MO:

There are so many things to do in and around Branson it is mind-blowing; shopping at outlets , dining, amusement parks, go-karts, bumper cars & boats, duck rides, museums, Table Rock State Park has ALL the fun a lake can provide & everything in between!

You could spend a day or two at Silver Dollar City alone. You can grab a coupon book for the outlets too!

Be sure to check out shows like The SIX , Silver Dollar City , and the MASSIVE go-kart tracks! Your family is sure to find kids activities everyone will love.

With Table Rock Lake nearby so you can cool off too. Visit  Table Rock State Park , which has fantastic camping, fishing, boating & great swimming areas! The park is situated on one of the largest lakes in the country, so you are sure to get a beautiful view.  Find more things to do in Branson now!

Best Food in Branson, MO:

On your drive down, stop at Lambert’s , “home of the throwed rolls” in Ozark, MO. It is home cooking at its finest…while they throw rolls at you to eat! Cakes & Cream is one of our family’s favorites. It is a 50’s diner with more desserts than you could imagine. You can get many old classics there.

For the best shakes & homemade pies in town, stop at Billy Bob’s Dairyland . They feature tasty treats as well as yummy burgers & other diner food. (They also have amazing service…)

Branson offers tons of hotels and resorts , but there are also some gems through Airbnb that offer more privacy for families. There are beautifully redone farmhouses , modern cabins and log cabins available too!

> Amana Colonies Weekend Trip

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Amana-Colonies-Day-Trip.jpg

622 46th Avenue Amana, IA 52203

(4 hours, 29 minutes) While this is longer than the 3-hour trips from Kansas City, the Amana Colonies have something for everyone. Plus, if you are looking for a weekend trip, going further away from home may be fun!

Things to Do at Amana Colonies:

The colonies host events each weekend, from a dog speed racers competition to woodworking festivals, so there is always something to do.

They celebrate a rich heritage in arts and crafts and take visitors away from the hustle and bustle of busy life…check it out for your next weekend trip out of KC.

In fact, The Wurst Festival , a celebration of all things sausage , was named the Best New Event of 2015 by the Iowa Tourism Commission.

There are many places to stay camping, bed, and breakfasts, and hotels nearby.

Best Food in Amana Colonies:

If you like German-American food, try the Ox Yoke Inn for fresh, handmade food. The restaurant dates back to the 1940s, so there are definitely delicious reasons it is still in business. Or, head to the Ronneburg Restaurant for another take on German cooking. Both restaurants are highly rated.   

There are surprisingly quite a few places to stay in and around the colonies. Check them out below:

> Topeka Day Trip

(45 minutes to an hour)

Even though Topeka is our state capital, most people haven’t explored it even though it is one of the best day trips from Kansas City! With Topeka less than an hour from most places in KC, it is a cheap getaway from Kansas City.

Things to do in Topeka, KS:

There are tons of fun things to do like the Topeka Zoo & Shawnee Lake . Check out our top 6 things to do with kids in Topeka . 

You can even climb to the TOP of the state capitol building , which we definitely recommend during your day trip. Tour reservations are not needed for groups of 10 or smaller. The spiral staircase winds right up the middle of the capitol dome, so don’t look down!

Best Food in Topeka, KS :

Bobo’s Diner is a Topeka classic – handmade onion rings, fries & burgers! They were featured on Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives, so you know it’s delicious.

If Mexican is your fam’s jam, El Centenario makes homemade dishes every day. If the kiddos are all in on awesome grilled cheese sandwiches. and mom & dad like craft beer, The Wheel Barrel is a must. They’re located in the NOTO Arts District and are famous for their gourmet grilled cheese & selection of craft beers. You can’t go wrong with anything on your list. 

If you decide to make a weekend of it, there are some family-friendly spots to stay:

> Roadtrip to Des Moines, IA

(2.5 hours – 3 hours)

While Des Moines isn’t the most attractive city to visit, there are tons of things to do with kids in Des Moines. Plus, the drive is manageable for a weekend trip or getaway. 

Things to Do in Des Moines, IA :

Explore Adventureland Themepark , which includes an outdoor waterpark, a theme park, and indoor pools. Or, your family can check out the Science Center of Iowa , where learning is brought to life.

Don’t miss Iowa’s wildest adventure at  Blank Park Zoo  or find fun things to do outside like Gray’s Lake Park, the Living History Farms , or the Iowa State Fairgrounds (if you can make the trip during the Iowa State Fair ).

There’s also the State Capitol Building you can tour and the downtown Des Moines farmer’s market – rated the 2nd best farmer’s market in America

There are fun kids’ activities here that make learning fun! There are also areas with tons of room to play, like Pappajohn Sculpture Park or the Des Moines Botanical Gardens . The sculpture park is a great place for kids to play while enjoying the artwork…plus it’s free!

You can also enjoy some yummy ice cream at Black Cat Ice Cream , just across the street from the sculpture park.

> Wichita, Kansas Day Trip

(3 hours, 20 minutes)

Things to do in Wichita, KS:

Wichita is home to the Museum of World Treasures , which has an extensive World War II collection as well as shrunken heads, dinosaurs, ancient Egyptians, and everything in between.

The Exploration Place , a science education center, is also filled with fun kids’ activities and things to do. Your kids will explore a variety of hands-on activities & exhibits…think of it as the Science City of Wichita. Check out the Exploration Place calendar of events to see what’s happening while you are there.  

There is also the Sedgwick County Zoo , the Botanical Gardens of Wichita , and the Cowtown Museum , which has FREE admission on Sundays from noon to 5 pm. Also, be sure to visit the Keeper of the Plains statue !

best weekend trip from kansas city

Wichita also has its’ own amusement park, All-Star Adventures ! There are go-karts, bumper boats, mini golf, slides, kiddie copters, a driving range, and other fun family activities. You can find other fun things to do with kids in Wichita easily too!

If you are looking for other fun things to do near Wichita, KS check out the Wildlife Park below!

Best Food in Wichita, KS:

If you’re looking for yummy places to eat be sure to check out Dempsey’s Biscuit Co or Piatto for delicious pizzas. Also, be sure to check out the world’s largest mural painted by a single artist – Horizontes.   For an old-fashioned loose-meat burger and house-made root beer stop into Nuway ! The kids will love it.

Depending on where you’re planning on exploring, there are great options all over the city:

> Meade, KS

(camping, dalton gang hideout & state park).

502 S Pearlette Street, Meade, Kansas

If you’re into history, this is a small town worth visiting. The Dalton Gang Hideout was the home of Eva Whipple, the sister of the Dalton Gang outlaw group. A hidden tunnel was discovered to hide the gang members.

It’s now considered a Kansas tourist attraction, where you can tour the home and the tunnel (reconstructed version). There is also a historical museum!

In addition to the history, there is a beautiful state park – Meade State Park . There is a 360-acre area filled with wildlife, as well as campsites and a lake.

You can camp or fish at the lake with your family to enjoy the great outdoors!

If you don’t want to tent camp, there are other places in the area to stay overnight:

> Omaha Road Trip

(2 hours, 40 minutes)

Omaha, Nebraska is even shorter than a 3-hour trip from Kansas City. Close enough that you can handle the drive but far enough away that it feels like a getaway…

Things to Do in Omaha, NE:

Take advantage of this fun & inexpensive city with these things to do with kids. There is the famous Henry Doorly Zoo , the Wildlife Safari Park , the Aerospace Museum, The Omaha Children’s Museum, the Rose Theater , & tons of free things to do throughout the year. Admission to the Joslyn Art Museum is always free!

There are also beautiful state parks like The Eugene T. Mahoney State Park , which features a suspended ropes course in the trees. There is also a pool, wave pool, splash park, horse riding, mini golf & disc golf, Venture Climb rock climbing & other unique activities. This park has more to do than almost any we have seen…

Best Food in Omaha:

You can also find tons of great restaurants like Mayne Street Market , Yoshitomo (if your fam likes sushi), Hurry Bird (for some creative, delicious breakfast and lunch burritos), or Johnny’s Cafe for delicious food near the old stockyards!

> St. Louis Road Trip

(3 to 3 and a half hours)

Depending on where you are road-tripping from in Kansas City, St. Louis isn’t that far. There are too many things to do with kids in St. Louis for just one day, so make a weekend road trip out of the day trip!

Things to Do in St. Louis:

You can explore the St. Louis Gateway Arch , World Bird Sanctuary , St. Louis Aquarium (the perfect place for kids), Magic House Children’s Museum , and many other kids’ activities. Take a stroll through the Missouri Botanical Gardens, which features a beautiful Japanese garden.

Or, check out Forest Park , which is larger than New York’s Central Park!

Check out our St. Louis Road Trip guide for more ideas of things to do in St. Louis. You could fill an entire weekend trip with these ideas!

Best Food in St. Louis:

If you check out the arch in the morning, be sure to try Chili Mac’s Diner !

Crown Candy is definitely worth a visit. This is a century-old Soda Fountain restaurant that is a St. Louis classic. You will feel like you stepped back in time to 1913 as soon as you step in their doors.

After you try their candy, ice cream & delicious food…it’s game over. Their hearty BLT is stacked to the brim (overflowing really…) with yummy bacon! There are also some delicious donuts at O’Fashion Donuts . Head to The Hill and enjoy some great Italian food at the many restaurants located there.

> Roadtrip to Joplin

(2 hours, 30 minutes)

Things to Do in Joplin, MO:

There are tons of fun things to do in Joplin during your day trip from KC! You can visit a giant waterfall – Grand Falls , George Washington Carver National Monumen t , or walk around downtown Joplin . The Sunshine Lamp District is even named after Joplin’s booming mining days, so you’ll be trendy while walking through history!

There are cute stores to shop, yummy restaurants to try, & even an indoor adventure playground for the kiddos. You can also visit the winery if it’s more of an adult-only road trip! 

Best Food in Joplin:

If BBQ is your thing, you can’t miss Big R’s BBQ & Pies . The locals love this spot for its great BBQ and you can finish off with one of their great pies, so you don’t want to skip this spot!

The Red Onion Cafe is located in a 100-year-old building & highly rated across the board. They serve American food in a relaxed setting – be sure to try the Smoked Chicken Dip! 

> Columbia, MO

(2 hours, 10 minutes)  

Things to Do in Columbia, MO:  

At MU, you can visit the Museum of Art & Archaeology or the Francis Quadrangle , with giant pillars towering overhead. Or, check out the Columbia Art League in downtown Columbia.  Besides visiting The University of Missouri, there are other fun things to do with kids like nature parks.

If your family likes the outdoors, there are many great parks & hiking trails like Rock Bridge Memorial State Park , Finger Lakes State Park , Stephens Lake Beach & Park , or Capen Park .

Finger Lakes State Park is probably the most unique thing you can do, with trails for ATVs, motorbiking, & four-wheelers. There is also a lake where you can go scuba diving, swimming, fishing & non-motorized boating. You can rent kayaks & canoes at the park, so all you have to bring is your family!  

Also visit the Shelter Gardens , a 5-acre botanical garden that is perfect to take a stroll…  

Best Food in Columbia, MO:  

If you’re looking for healthy options, try the Main Squeeze Natural Foods Cafe , which is rated very highly.  If you’re in the mood for good-old deliciousness, try Just Jeff’s Street Food , they have two locations.

They supposedly have the best chili dogs in all of Columbia. Addison’s is also a yummy place to try. Their nachos are our favorite!  You can’t go wrong by stopping for a pizza at Shakespeare’s Pizza, a Columbia tradition since 1973 with 3 locations.

> Eagles Bluff Conservation Area

Columbia, MO 65203

(2 hours, 6 minutes)

If you’re looking to get away from the city…this is the place for you. There are miles and miles of nature to be explored – the perfect place for a nature weekend getaway. Plus, the shorter drives make this one of our favorite day trips from Kansas City…  

There is the Katy Trail State Park , which provides trails to bike, hike, or even ride horses! You can also explore other regions of the conservation area with fishing, hiking trails, camping, bird watching & other fun outdoor activities. 

> Rock City

1051 Ivy Road Minneapolis, KS 67467

(2 hours, 49 minutes)

About 20 miles away from Salina, there are giant spherical rocks, formed when Kansas was under an ocean. There are over 200 rocks you can explore!   You have a couple of options.

1. Rock City is the larger of the 2 attractions, with close to 200 rock formations, but costs $3.

2. Mushroom Rock State Park , which is smaller, is free to the public. If your children love to run around or climb on things, this is a fun place to explore. Check out the website to see cool pictures of mushroom rocks !     

> Go on a Safari

124 Jungle Drive, Strafford, MO 65757

Looking for more unique day trips from Kansas City? This safari is just minutes away from Springfield, MO. (See our Springfield Guide below). How about a wildlife excursion…it’s a drive-thru animal safari in the middle of Missouri! There are over 450 animals for your family to come to visit. 

While there is not a ton to do, the Safari is definitely a unique experience that makes it worth the day trip drive from Kansas City. Make it a short getaway with an overnight stay for the family all together!

> Atchison, KS

Because Amelia Earhart was born in Atchison, you can learn about her at the Amelia Earhart Museum , at her birthplace. Also, visit the Atchison County Historical Society Museum located in the historic 1880 Santa Fe Depot. Check out the Atchison Rail Museum .

If you want to enjoy the outdoors, hang out at Jackson Park or cross the Missouri River and visit the Lewis & Clark State Park . 

Where to eat:

Grab a sandwich at one of these yummy stops: Mr. G’s , JW Boy’s BBQ , or Willie’s Sports Pub . You can’t go wrong.

> Springfield, MO

(2 hours 40 minutes)

Things to Do:

Shop the original, and one of the largest, Bass Pro Shops ! Explore the incredible caves of the Ozarks or go on a safari at The Wild Animal Safari in nearby Stafford, MO.

Find your favorite style of cashew chicken at one of these places on the official Cashew Chicken Trail.

Step back in time on Route 66 and grab a burger at Red’s Giant Hamburg or eat at a classic diner like Casper’s .

Use these Tips for Traveling with Kids to pass the time faster and make your road trip more enjoyable. There are fun car games & tips to keep your family safe. 

Looking for other fun places to stay near Kansas City?

  • Lake Cabins Near KC
  • Tent Glamping
  • Treehouse Cabin Near Leavenworth
  • Large Rentals for Multi-Families or Groups

If you can’t get out of KC, check out:

  • Cave Springs in Raytown
  • Our favorite playgrounds ( & have a picnic )
  • Have a  Downtown KC Staycation Guide
  • Explore the Best Things to Do in Kansas City with kids .

Pro tip: make your driver comfy for these family road trips. We love these beaded seat covers to keep you cool and comfortable.

What are some of your favorite places to visit near the metro? Let us know in the comments!

If you want to stay up to date, click below to join THE SCOOP! Get it delivered right to your inbox!

From our family to yours, iFamilyKC

best weekend trip from kansas city

Tags: Branson Gladstone Joplin Liberty Omaha Raytown Springdale Springfield

  • Next story  Best Parks in Kansas City (KC Parks & Trails Map)
  • Previous story  55 Birthday Freebies in Kansas City (Free Birthday Stuff)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

best weekend trip from kansas city

Find Things to Do:

best weekend trip from kansas city

Sign-Up for The Scoop!

Get fun things to do delivered to you + deals, discounts & more...

best weekend trip from kansas city

  • National Parks
  • Tiny Houses

9 Fun Weekend Road Trips from Kansas City, Missouri

Posted by Sarah Boles August 01, 2021 Updated June 09, 2023

The Kansas City metro has no shortage of entertainment. But after a while, even easy access to fall-off-the-bone- delicious barbecue, successful professional sports teams, nightly live music, and a ridiculous amount of fountains eventually gets old.

Luckily, KC’s prime Midwestern location puts a year’s worth of weekend road trips within reach when you’re ready to mix things up a little. Five other states (plus the rest of Missouri) are within a four hour drive of downtown, providing no shortage of amazing road trips from Kansas City perfect for putting distance between you and everyday life for a few days.

Each of these destinations have a weekend’s worth of excitement for the outdoorsy, indoorsy, foodie, and adrenaline-seeking travelers among us.

Related Read: 9 Amazing Treehouse Rentals in Missouri You’ll Love

1. Omaha, Nebraska

Omaha Nebraska Kansas City road trip

Just up the Missouri River from KC is the best Nebraska has to offer: a weekend in Omaha.

In parenting circles, Omaha is the quintessential family weekend road trip from KC thanks in part to its children’s museum. Tailored to the 8-and-under crowd, the Omaha Children’s Museum is bursting with activities that engage their senses and peak their interests, including a tinker factory, a kid-sized auto service center, and a splash garden.

In addition to all the typical zoo attractions (a.k.a. animals), the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium has an amazing splash park. The “Children’s Adventure Trails” area allows kids to traverse a three-story tree house with monkeys climbing above them. It also has a creek following through it and tons of smaller things to climb. Expect all the kiddos to be tired come 7 p.m.

No kids? No problem! Omaha has plenty of fun for all ages.

Baseball fans can plan a visit around the College World Series (CWS), held downtown at the TD Ameritrade Park in June. Any Omaha baseball pilgrimage should include a visit to the site of the former home of the CWS: Rosenblatt Stadium. Infield at the Zoo , located in the zoo’s parking lot, is a memorial to the old stadium. You can run the original baselines and sit in original seats.

The Old Market Entertainment District features brick streets, galleries, restaurants, boutiques, and rooftop dining. From French to Mexican to Cuban to Italian, the market district is the place to go for everything from a juicy steak to succulent sushi.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 185 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 2 hours, 40 mins

2. Bentonville, Arkansas

Bentonville Arkansas Kansas City road trip

With 40 miles of trails accessible from downtown, Outside Magazine recently called Bentonville “Disneyland for mountain bikers .” And while folks in, say, British Columbia may not agree with that assessment, there’s no denying how convenient the city is for explorers on two wheels. After a long day on the trails, the bike-friendly downtown has restaurants, unique lodging, and free entertainment to help you rest and refuel your tired body.

Not into mountain biking? No worries: Bentonville has plenty of non-adrenaline fun, too. Stroll around the indoor and outdoor galleries of The Momentary , a free contemporary art museum. The museum grounds feature green space for picnics and performances, as well as a bar and cafe.

Next, move on to Crystal Bridges , a free American art museum. Its unique architecture was designed to celebrate the idea that buildings can exist in harmony with their surrounding nature. The museum grounds have over four miles of hiking trails in addition to the namesake bridges.

Take your visit to Crystal Bridges to the next level and reserve an all-inclusive Forest Globe Experience . This night out includes bluetooth controlled lights and speaker plus your choice of dinner, dessert and sparkling water, all inside a forest globe.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 210 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 3 hours, 10 mins

3. Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri

lake of the ozark Kansas City road trip

You can rent everything from a houseboat to a kayak at Lake of the Ozarks or bring your own. No matter what you chose, a weekend at the lake revolves around the water. You may recognize the Ozarks but the Netflix show of the same name, which brought a lot of attention to how beautiful this easy road trip from Kansas City really is.

The Bagnell Dam Strip has water craft rentals to help you enjoy the water, arcades to test your luck at skee-ball, souvenir shops so you don’t come home empty handed, restaurants, and weekend car shows.

Besides for its lakeside bars, restaurants, and parks that make the area a bit of a party hot spot, Lake of the Ozarks is also considered one of the best fishing lakes in the country. So if you’re angler, bump this to the top of the “must-do roadtrips from Kansas City” list.

From five-star resorts to campgrounds, there’s a place for everyone to comfortably rest their heads at the lake. Kick back and watch fireworks at Bear Bottom Resort or enjoy its outdoor pool. Play a round of golf or splash year-round at the indoor waterpark at Margaritaville Lake Resort (formerly Tan-Tar-A Resort). Pitch your tent at Lake of the Ozarks State Park and you’ll have access to two marinas complete with sandy beaches. It’s a great place for a morning stroll with coffee in hand.

Related Read:  10 Best Tiny House Rentals in Missouri for Big Adventure

4. Buffalo National River (Jasper, Arkansas)

buffalo river Kansas City road trips

The Buffalo National River runs across northern Arkansas and plays host to some amazing paddling, cliff jumping, climbing, and hiking. It’s also a great place to escape to a remote cabin. Lined by sandstone bluffs reaching up to 400 feet tall, the Buffalo is the first national river and one of the last free-flowing (no dams) rivers in the country.

The town of Jasper is a great home base. The Ozark Café serves up delicious meals perfect for refueling after a long adventure, and is a short drive from a prime viewing spot of the Grand Canyon of Arkansas , which offers epic views of the redbud blooms in spring and of the fall colors.

The nearby Horseshoe Canyon Ranch is a destination in itself. Enjoy horseback riding on mountain trails and across creeks. And thrill seekers should check out the via ferrata and zip line. The dude ranch has cabins on site (with hot tub and pool access) and features the most beginner and family-friendly rock climbing around. Guides and gear are available for rent from the trading post. No wonder Jasper is a frequent item on lists of the best Kansas City road trips.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 262 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 4 hours, 20 mins

5. St. Louis, Missouri

st louis Missouri Kansas City road trip

Riding a tram 63 stories up the hollow structure of the Gateway Arch is something everyone should do once in their lives. Fair warning: the trams are small, white pods straight out of a science fiction movie. They only fit five people, but luckily, the ride is less than five minutes long. Also worth noting: the skydeck is not wheelchair or stroller accessible, and sways in the wind. That said, the views of the city, Mississippi River, and beyond, are spectacular. So, summary: great Kansas City roadtrip if you don’t mind heights.

Branch out from downtown and explore the Delmar Loop in University City (“U-City”). Take the trolley to explore over 100 specialty shops, including Vintage Vinyl and Avalon Exchange . The Loop has restaurants serving up food from countries around the world, including the Philippines, Greece, Lebanon, India, and Thailand.

You can spend an entire weekend just in nearby Forest Park , which anyone from “the Lou” will be quick to tell you is bigger than Central Park. Within its grounds, guests can visit the history museum, city zoo, art museum, science center, and planetarium, all for free. Want to take your adventure up a notch? Check out Flegel Falls, go sledding at the infamous Art Hill, or rent watercraft to explore the lake.

Looking for a truly unique experience? Head to the City Museum . There, old pieces of the city are repurposed to create slides, tunnels, climbers, and more. If you’re short on time, skip the inside exhibits and make your way to the rooftop (open March through November), which features a school bus, praying mantis, ferris wheel, and great views of the city.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 248 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 3 hours, 45 mins

Related Read:   9 Fun & Free Things to Do in Saint Louis, Missouri

6. Weston, Missouri

Weston Missouri Kansas City road trip

Weston is known for three things: festivals, beverages, and outdoor adventure. It’s close proximity to the city makes it one of the easiest road trips from Kansas City for locals looking for a fun weekend away.

Try to plan your visit around one of the city’s many festivals. Applefest features shopping, live music, a parade, children’s activities, delicious food, and, of course, apples. Weston Brewing Company hosts the annual Weston Irish Festival , which includes live music outside as well as in their underground pub (O’Malley’s). Both take place in the fall.

At Green Dirt Farm, you can tour a sustainable farm and sheep dairy. Afterward, head over to the cafe, which showcases sheep cheese and cow ice cream, as well as charcuterie boards, beverages, and crafts from local artisans.

Planning a cold-weather visit? Snow Creek Mountain Resort is the local place for Kansas Citians to find winter fun without having to head out to Colorado. The resort has 12 trails, five lifts, and two terrain parks for snowboarding and skiing. If your knees need a break, check out Tornado Alley, a 700-foot-long tubing hill.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 33 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 40 mins

Related read : 9 Must-Hike Trails in Kansas City, Missouri

7. Columbia, Missouri

Columbia Missouri Kansas City road trip

Well known for being the home of the Mizzou Tigers, Columbia has a lot to offer beyond Division I college sporting events.

Downtown Columbia is the place to go for all your culinary delights. Try Shakespeare’s Pizza for a legendary pizza pie or treat yourself to a maple bacon bar from Harold’s Donuts, which offers 16 daily made-from-scratch opens.

Biking enthusiasts should visit  Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area to access the Katy Trail , the longest developed rail-trail in the country. It’s a great place to start your bikepacking adventure or set off for an afternoon ride.

A short drive north of the city, Finger Lakes State Park boasts 70 miles of off-road trails, a motocross track, swimming, kayaking, canoeing, fishing, and even scuba diving.

If you have kids, do not miss Cosmo Park. It has biking and hiking trails, fields and courts for every sport, a remote control car track, and its prized gem: the Steinberg Playground . The accessible playground has great elevated vantage points for parents interested in letting their littles run loose, but you’ll see plenty of parents having a good time, too. Uncover an entire stegosaurus skeleton in the sand pits, run through tunnels, and climb tractor tires up a hill to reach a rocket ship.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 126 miles
  • Drive time without stops: 2 hours

Related Read:   6 Unique Places to Go Glamping in Missouri

8. Branson, Missouri

Branson Missouri Kansas City road trip

Branson is jam-packed with all the attractions you expect from a world-renowned tourist town: a wax museum, a Ripley’s Believe It or Not, go karts, adventure parks, mini golf, chain restaurants and souvenir shopping. It’s also known as the “Live Entertainment Capital of the World” for good reason, with more than 100 live shows, including classics like Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Show and The Haygoods.

Take a break from the often-congested main strip by visiting Branson Landing on Lake Taneycomo. The area has shops, restaurants, and watercraft rentals, as well as its centerpiece: the Branson Landing Fountains. Every hour on the hour beginning at noon, the fountains perform a three-minute show choreographed with lights, music, and fire cannons. It’s like The Bellagio in Nevada, except Branson is a much easier road trip from Kansas City than Las Vegas.

When you’re had your fill of downtown tourism, escape to Dogwood Canyon Nature Park . It’s a scenic 30-minute drive away from the crowds. There, you can hike, bike, fish for trout, ride horses, and take a tram tour to visit the elk and bison herds.

  • Drive time without stops: 3 hours, 15 mins

9. Springfield, Missouri

Springfield Missouri Kansas City road trip

If you’re looking for a shorter drive (or just don’t want to deal with the touristy vibe of Branson), take a road trip from Kansas City to Springfield. It’s just under three hours from KC and has more than enough unique restaurants, outdoor adventure, and history to fill a weekend when you need a change of pace.

You can check out Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield , the site of the second major battle of the Civil War. The area has a visitor’s center as well as a five-mile auto tour so you can visit the key sites of the battlefield at your own pace.

It’s no secret that Springfield is the home of Bass Pro Shops , which for some people is very much an important thing . After visiting the original store, head next door to the Wonders of Wildlife National Museum and Aquarium The museum has 4-D wildlife exhibits (similar style of the habitats on display in Bass Pro stores) of habitats from Africa to the North Pole, and the aquarium has exhibits featuring live sea creatures. This adventure is suitable for all ages and is a great place to escape the infamous southern Missouri humidity (or bitter cold) for several hours.

If you need another way to beat inclement weather on your weekend trip, check out Fantastic Caverns . A few miles north of downtown, the main attraction is a 55-minute-long jeep tour through the caves, which are a comfortable 60 degrees F year-round.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 166 miles

Explore More in the Midwest

10 Best Airbnbs in Nebraska for a Midwestern Getaway

11 Great Airbnbs in Iowa for a Midwestern Getaway

11 Unique Airbnbs in Ohio for the Perfect Midwest Getaway

The 10 Best Airbnbs in Minnesota for a Unique Midwest Getaway

The 12 Best & Most Unique Airbnbs in Kansas

9 Surprisingly Free Things to Do in Kansas City, Missouri

Sign up for Weekend Wanderer to join thousands of readers getting epic travel and gear ideas every week.

Seen in: Midwest , Missouri , Road Trips

Sarah Boles avatar

Posted by Sarah Boles

Sarah Boles is a writer, editor, adventurer, and mom. Having grown up in the Chicago suburbs and currently residing Kansas City, She is a lover of all things Midwest adventure. Sarah has worked as the editorial manager for Adventure Mamas Initiative and WildKind Inc.

In 2018 she was named Outdoor Research’s #SheAdventures scholar. Sarah loves climbing and trail running. Her passions include helping families get outside and increasing access to the outdoors for everyone.

best airbnbs kansas

The 11 Best & Most Unique Airbnbs in Kansas

Find your next adventure.

Sign up for Weekend Wanderer and join thousands of readers getting epic travel ideas weekly.

Related Posts

best Illinois glamping rentals

The 9 Best Illinois Glamping Rentals

Escape to the idyllic countryside of Illinois with glamping rentals that include yurts, bell tents, A-frames, and more.

road trips from indianapolis indiana

10 Exciting Weekend Road Trips From Indianapolis, Indiana

Smack dab in America's Heartland, Indianapolis' central locale to five different states and local destinations offers endless weekend road trip possibilities.

weekend roadtrips from tucson az

9 Awesome Weekend Road Trips from Tucson, Arizona

There's nothing wrong with Tucson — but sometimes you just have the urge to hit the road and explore new places.

best campervan rentals madison wisconsin

5 Epic Campervan Rentals Near Madison, Wisconsin

These campervan rentals near Madison make exploring Wisconsin's vast and varied outdoor areas even more exciting thanks to their unique amenities and awesome design.

Minneapolis road trips

11 Best Weekend Road Trips From Minneapolis, Minnesota

If you're itching to explore somewhere new, these exciting road trips from Minneapolis offer plenty to do in the span of a single weekend.

attractions-interstate-40-arizona featured

Attractions (And Oddities) Along Arizona’s Interstate 40

5 attractions along Arizona's stretch of historic Route 66 that are sure to inspire wonder and nostalgia.

weekend road trips seattle wa

The 10 Best Weekend Road Trips From Seattle, Washington

One of the best things about Seattle is how the best of the Pacific Northwest is only a short drive (or ferry ride) away.

wisconsin dells cabin rentals

12 Best Cabin Rentals Near The Wisconsin Dells

Find and rent 12 of the best cabin rentals near Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, from affordable cozy homes to large, luxurious cabins on the water.

Let's Roam Explorer

The 20 Best Day Trips from Kansas City for Every Style of Adventure

best weekend trip from kansas city

Kansas City, is it in Kansas or Missouri? Well … it’s both, and not only is it one of the best cities to explore in both states, but it is also perfectly positioned for day trips in Nebraska, Iowa, and even Arkansas, if you don’t mind a bit of a drive! For this guide, we will cover day trips from Kansas City for every kind of adventure and keep it within a 3-hour drive. We’ll explore historic frontier towns where you can immerse yourself in the life of the 1800s, homes of aviation legends, and romantic getaways to reboot your love life. Let’s go!

Once you return from your day out of the city, let us take you through the best nightlife spots in KC on a fun, challenge-filled bar crawl! Our app-guided scavenger hunt “ Kansas City Crush Bar Crawl ,” will have you and your crew belly laughing all night as you experience the best bars and compete in off-the-wall challenges sure to entertain! 

The Best Way to See KC

Let’s Roam has created  app-led adventures  in hundreds of cities worldwide, including Kansas City and throughout Missouri and Kansas ! Gather your friends, family, and fellow explorers and invite them to race you through towns to find attractions and tackle trivia to earn points. You’ll love it!

Day Trips From Kansas City

In this guide, our Travel Times are estimated using Google Maps with Union Station, in Downtown Kansas City, as our starting point. Your Travel Time may vary depending on the day and time your choose to travel. Pay close attention to the states in this guide, as many towns have the same name in Missouri and Kansas. Make sure you aren’t heading to the wrong state!

Day Trips for History Buffs

1. atchison, kansas.

Distance:  50.9 miles

Travel Time: 1 hr

Atchison is the childhood home of Amelia Earhart, and she is still highly celebrated in the town. The Amelia Earhart Birthplace is the actual home where Amelia was born and raised. It sits on a bluff overlooking the Missouri River and tours detailing her life, accomplishments, and mysterious disappearance are available to the public. Every July, the town also hosts the Amelia Earhart Festival. 

If you have an interest in the paranormal, stop by Atchison’s Sallie House , reportedly one of the most haunted houses in America. Railroad junkies should make a quick stop in the Atchison Rail Museum where you can tour their collection of numerous antique rail cars and take a ride on the mini-train. 

During the summer months, Atchison has a sightseeing trolley that takes guests to all the top historical sites in town, and be sure to peruse the great collection at the Muchnic Art Gallery .

2. Carthage, Missouri

Distance:  141.7 miles

Travel Time: 2 hrs 12 mins

On the Missouri side of Kansas City, an excellent day trip getaway is the historic city of Carthage. Established in 1842, Carthage has been completely reconstructed after it was demolished in the Civil War. Now, the town has over 600 buildings that are on the National Register of Historic Places, and the old town charm is unbeatable. Stroll through historic Carthage Square and visit the Jasper County Courthouse, an absolutely stunning feat of architecture in the heart of Carthage. 

If you have an interest in Civil War history, then you probably know a bit about the battle of Carthage. It was the first full-scale battle of the American Civil War, and this area was truly torn apart by the conflict. Battle reenactments are pretty common at the Battle of Carthage State Historic Site and learn even more at the Battle of Carthage Civil War Museum . 

Carthage also happens to have an abundance of Maple trees. If you can, visit in the fall when their gorgeous colors are ablaze! 

3. Concordia, Kansas

Distance:  211.9 miles

Travel Time: 3 hrs

Concordia is pushing it for a day trip, we admit, but it is well worth the drive. The historical city is loaded with interesting sites for the history buff. Stop in the Cloud County Historical Museum for a brief history of the area. 

Then, head for the National Orphan Train Complex . The Orphan Train saga seems completely unimaginable today, but from 1824 through 1929, countless orphans and destitute adults were loaded aboard trains in the east and sent to the western frontier for a new life. The museum offers an interesting look at the history of the orphan railroad and the people who took the journey. It also has a fully-restored antique passenger car, The Legend, that serves as the education center for the museum. 

Last up, make sure to stop in the POW Camp Concordia . The little museum details the horrors of what WWII POWs went through during their stay in America. Knowledgeable tour guides will lead you through the complex and guard tower. It is an eye-opening experience for most Americans.

4. Independence, Missouri

Distance:  10.6 miles

Travel Time: 23 mins

Independence Missouri is home to the 33rd president, Harry S. Truman. It is also the location of the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum , the Truman Home, and the Truman Depot . Truman lived most of his life in Independence, and you will find his visage around every corner. 

Take one of the Pioneer tours offered in town, where a covered wagon will escort you to all the major sites, and then visit the best example of Second Empire architecture in the U.S. at the 1881 Vaile Mansion. The house is huge, gorgeous, and possibly haunted, so enter if you dare.

5. Leavenworth, Kansas

Distance:  33.8 miles

Travel Time: 42 mins

And … we’re back to Kansas. Leavenworth is another historic city just a short road trip from Kansas City. Start your day with the Carroll Mansion Museum and admire the stunning stained glass. The 1880s Victorian home is an absolute showstopper with its handcrafted woodwork and incredible antiques.

Then, take a ride on the earliest known American carousel. Carousels are a thing here, as they also have a whole museum devoted to them, the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum . You will learn more than you ever cared to know about the amusement park ride and see a vintage one from 1913. Leavenworth is a cute city with unique historical sites that you don’t see everywhere. 

6. Weston, Missouri

Distance:  33.6 miles

Weston is a great day trip from Kansas City for a little nostalgia and peace. Visit the Green Dirt Farm , where you will learn all about the process of making sheep cheese and milk products. Plan on staying for lunch, as you can’t beat the farm-to-table freshness of their meals. 

Weston is also home to the oldest distillery west of the Mississippi, the Holladay Distillery , home of McCormick Distilling Co. The distillery will give you an insider view of the process of making vodka and bourbon using limestone-filtered water from the region. If hard spirits aren’t your thing, then sample wines and meads, along with some tasty cheeses, at Pirtle Winery . 

Finish your night in the lively Irish Pub, O’Malley’s, established in 1842. It features live music and craft beers from local breweries! You will have no shortage of historic and fun activities in Weston to keep you busy for a day. AAA Midwest Traveler ranks it as one of the best regional day trips from Kansas City. 

7. Excelsior Springs

Distance:  28.4 miles

Travel Time: 36 mins

Excelsior Springs is a beautiful, historic, and romantic Missouri town. The spa community, famous for its mineral waters, has been pampering guests since the late 1800s and shows no sign of stopping. Start your visit at the Elms Hotel & Spa . Founded in 1888, these guys know how to make you feel special. They offer every luxurious spa service you can imagine as well as salon services. Al Capone and Harry S. Truman were patrons of the hotel, and we figure it is good enough for them, it’s probably good enough for you too! 

Learn more about the history of the Excelsior Springs at the Hall of Waters and the visitor center downtown. The town also offers historic trolley rides, tastings at several local breweries and wineries, and a great golf course at the Excelsior Spring Golf Club. 

Day Trips for Nature Lovers

8. lake of the ozarks, missouri.

Distance:  146.3 miles

Travel Time: 2 hr 35 mins

Lake of the Ozarks is an incredible day trip for nature lovers and families. There are so many things to do in and around the lake that you will definitely need more than one day trip. 

Of course, you could spend the day in the cool water of the reservoir, just swimming, boating, fishing, or kayaking. But, there is so much more on offer. If you have kids in tow, consider heading for Big Surf Waterpark and hopping in the 375,000-gallon wave pool . If you prefer a hike, then head for the 30 miles of hiking trails that surround the lake, or even better, hop a little further south down to Ha Ha Tonka State Park.

At Ha Ha Tonka, you have natural springs, caves, sinkholes, and a huge natural bridge to explore. Not to mention the park has its own castle, or at the least the ruins of one. The house was built by a prominent Kansas City businessman at the turn of the 20th century. It’s pretty awesome to stand in castle ruins and overlook the bluff to picturesque Lake of the Ozarks. It is especially beautiful during the fall months when the trees lining the bluff are bright yellow, orange, and red.  

9. Louisburg, Kansas

Distance:  39.3 miles

Travel Time: 40 mins

Louisburg is a small town around 40 miles south of Kansas City and is home to the Louisburg Cider Mill where you can learn everything you need to know about apple cider. It’s not just a mill though, it’s an entire adorable farm and village, including a general store where you can get some apple butter, and a pumpkin patch and corn maze. It’s a great stop for a warm day when you just want to be outside and enjoy nature’s bounty.

Next, move from the ground to the sky and visit Powell Observatory. The observatory was built in 1984 and now has one of the largest telescopes in a 5-state area, the Ruisinger Telescope. In addition to peering through the scope, the observatory also hosts public education nights on the 1st and 3rd Saturday of May-October. On these special nights, educational topics in the field of Astronomy are discussed by experts, and they are both interesting and educational! 

If you are an animal lover, consider stopping at the Cedar Cove Feline Conservatory and Education Center and meet the Siberian and Bengal tigers. 

10. Lawrence, Kansas

Distance: 40.4 miles

Lawrence, Kansas is a college town and home to the University of Kansas Jayhawks. While many visit Lawrence for the Spencer Museum of Art, or the Lawrence Museum of History, it is also a great day trip for outdoor activities. 

Fisherman will enjoy a day at Clinton State Park. The 1,500-acre park sits on the north shore of Clinton Lake and is known for its population of Channel Catfish, Crappie, and Walleye. Birders and wildlife watchers can also catch a glimpse of Bald Eagles, wild turkey, and waterfowl. The park also boasts a large system of hiking and biking trails. In the summer visitors enjoy the wildflower fields, and in the winter cross-country skiers have their run of the place. 

Next, visit Prairie Park Nature Center for some time with the beavers and bobcats that call the wetlands home. It is also a wonderful place for birders to observe birds of prey like hawks and falcons. 

If scary birds aren’t your thing, heads for the aromatic lavender fields at Washington Creek , a family-owned farm with over 5,000 plants. We absolutely love exploring the region around Lawrence!

11. Powell Gardens

Distance:  39.9 miles

Travel Time: 48 mins

There is no more relaxing day trip from Kansas City than to explore the immense Powell Gardens . As Kansas City’s premier botanical garden, Powell has been welcoming visitors since 1988. The 175-acre landscape that is open to the public is just a portion of the more than 970 acres of plant life they grow. 

Powell Gardens offers a three-mile nature trail, eight themed gardens, several seasonal and rotating exhibits, and seasonal festivals. The gardens also boast Heartland Harvest Garden, one of the nation’s largest edible gardens, and you can savor some of its delicacies at the on-site dining facilities. If you love flowers, herbs, and veggies, we highly recommend a day trip to Powell Gardens. It’s just peaceful and rejuvenating!

Day Trips for Families

12. wamego, kansas.

Distance:  107.7 miles

Travel Time: 1 hr 41 mins

For a great day trip with the whole family, point your car west of Kansas City and head for Wamego. This small town is home to the quirky Oz Museum , a museum dedicated to all things Wizard of Oz. The museum features early copies of the book, vintage Parker Brothers board games, collectibles, and Oz Memorabilia from the franchise’s long history. The museum is the largest private collection of Oz memorabilia in the world. Even the winery in town is Oz-themed.

If you aren’t a fan of Dorothy and her friends, Wamego is still a great destination for many. The Lazy Heart D Ranch offers rides through bison populated fields, giving your family the opportunity to get up close and personal with the majestic beasts. You can also explore parts of the original Oregon Trail , which somehow still bares the wagon ruts from settlers’ caravans in places. Culture vultures will love visiting the Schonoff Dutch Mill from 1870, complete with an adorable windmill, and the Wamego Historical Museum . Prairie Village has a wonderful collection of authentic historic structures from the 1800s. Talk about a fun-filled day!

13. Jamesport, MO: Amish Country

Distance:  82.0 miles

Travel Time: 1 hr 22 mins

Tired of seeing your kid on their cell phone all day, take them back in time to a simpler world in Jamesport . Sample horse-churched ice cream, peruse collections of hand-crafted furniture, chow down on homemade bread, feed the baby cows, and have a unique and rare family experience, with no technology in sight. 

Jamesport is Missouri’s largest Amish community, and the people here are so friendly! Make sure to take the kids to Homestead Creamery where you can explore a real dairy farm and watch the cheese-making happen right before your eyes. Then make a pit stop at the Gingerich Dutch Pantry and get a homemade pie. 

For a day away from the bustle of the city with the family, you can’t do better than the peace of Jamesport.

Day Trips for Couples

14. somerset wine trail.

Distance:  44.5 miles

Travel Time: 45 mins

What is more romantic than a day away in the vineyards? Nothing…the answer is nothing. Take your honey on the Somerset Wine Trail for a tour of four of the region’s best vineyards and wineries. The trail starts just south of Overland Park and visits Somerset Ridge, Nighthawk, Middle Creek, and White Wind Farms. 

The wineries are located in Louisburg, so when you have had your fill of wine tasting, then cap your romantic day with nighttime stargazing at Powell Observatory!

15. Hermann, Missouri

Distance:  188.4 miles

Travel Time: 2 hrs 54 mins

​Hermann is adorable! The German heritage site has more than 100 structures on the National Register of Historic Places. If you and your significant other are history lovers or Deutschophiles, then visit the Historic Hermann Museum, Hermann Farm, and Deutschem State Historic Park for a full historical overview of the German heritage of the town.

For a wonderful wine tasting, try out the Hermannhof Winery , or spend your afternoon getting pampered at Hermann Hill Spa. If you choose to make it a weekend getaway, then you must book a stay at Alpenhorn Gasthaus . This beautiful bed and breakfast/winery combination is so romantic. It sits atop a lovely hill and oozes European charm. Plus, it is just minutes from the antique shops, microbreweries, and art galleries of town. They have an outdoor hot tub, a candlelit wine cellar, some serious fine dining, including gourmet breakfast, and even cooking classes. In two words, it’s pure magic!

16. Chateau Avalon

Distance:  16.6 miles

Travel Time: 20 mins

Chateau Avalon is technically in Kansas City, but we are counting it a romantic day trip because this place is a world away from the hustle of the city. The chateau is dripping with French refinement and features one of the largest fountains around. The property boasts 61 unique, themed guest rooms ranging from adventurous to totally luxe! The property also has its own bar and small plate restaurant, as well as an onsite full spa. If you want your pampering in bed, no problem, that spa staff will come right to you. It’s the ultimate romantic destination, and you will never want to leave!

Day Trips for City Lovers

17. overland park.

Distance:  11.9 miles

Overland Park is one of the easiest and best day trips from Kansas City! The city offers a large selection of cultural institutions to visit. Start your day at the complete architectural wonder, the Museum at Prairiefire . Spend some time marveling at the exterior before you head inside to a world of giant T-rex, mammoths of the sea, and virtual reality space encounters. The museum is hands-on and a fun place for both adults and children. 

If you have any interest in rodeo, livestock, agriculture, ag-business, or horse shows, then head over to the American Royal Museum next. The museum is interactive and very educational. It is especially fun in October when rodeo and livestock competitions are happening. 

Art lovers head for the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art . The museum is on the campus of Johnson County Community College. The collection of emerging and well-positioned contemporary artists is internationally acclaimed, and the small campus receives over 100,000 visitors a year to the museum. It’s a large collection of sculptures, paintings, drawings, photography, and ceramics in a fantastic modern building clad with Kansas limestone. It’s worth an hour or two of your time!

18. Wichita, Kansas

Distance:  191.5 miles

Travel Time: 2 hrs 53 mins

Wichita is the largest city in Kansas and makes for a great day trip. Hop on the Q-Line Trolley and explore the city for free! Stop in the Old Cowtown Museum and get a glimpse of life in Wichita in the late 1800s. The collection is a whole town really, with historic structures, clothing, period furniture, tools, and farming equipment. Costumed interpreters will help you understand and walk you through the 54 structures!

If you have an interest in Native American life, then visit the Mid-America All-Indian Center next and learn all there is to know about the Plains Indian tribes. Take the footbridge over the plaza to admire the 44-foot steel Indian, “The Keeper of the Plains.” The art piece was constructed by Blackbear Bosin, in 1974, and has been watching over the city ever since. It stands in an area of importance to Native Americans at the convergence of the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers. At certain times of day, a ring of fire burns around the structure, making it even more magnificent!

Head for Old Town Wichita and the entertainment district where you can fill your afternoon with unique shops and galleries, and then hit the bars for a little nightlife.

19. Topeka, Kansas

Distance:  63.3 miles

Topeka is the capital of Kansas and a beautiful city to visit on a day trip from Kansas City. Start your day with a trip to the Kansas State Capitol Building and admire the art and architecture. The immense and glorious structure took over 37 years to build, and with its 2014 renovation, it is shining like the day it was built. It’s an opulent and grand old lady and worth your time. 

The North Topeka Arts District is the place for art lovers. The old business district is in a period of renewal and change. NOTO has brought in several antique shops, small art galleries, bookstores, boutiques, and eateries that have made the district a vibrant and fun place to visit. 

Those interested in Civil Rights sites should visit the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site and learn about Kansas’s role in the battle for desegregation of public schools. 

Explore the death-defying feats and life of motorcycle legend, Evel Knievel at the museum of the same name! This place is awesome. It details the life, rides, and history of the great entertainer, as well as immersing you in virtual reality exhibits that really get your heart pumping. It’s a beautifully curated museum and a lot of fun to visit. 

If you haven’t had your fill of culture, the Mulvane Art Museum and the Kansas Museum of History are also great, and Lake Shawnee is the perfect outdoor stroll to get some fresh air! For evening, catch a live show at the Topeka Civic Theatre , the oldest continually running dinner theater in the United States!

20. Omaha, Nebraska

Distance:  186.5 miles

Travel Time: 2 hrs 47 mins

Now we head into another state, Nebraska (told you Kansas City is perfectly situated)! Omaha is a fun and vibrant city. The Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium will probably top all Omaha travel guides you read, and with good reason. This incredible zoo features an immense walk-through tunnel aquarium and an absolutely amazing desert dome. Not to mention, every other interactive plant and wildlife exhibit you can imagine. It’s a full day and a good one!

If you have more time, take a wander through the more than 100 acres of flora at Lauritzen Gardens . Explore the wonderful collection at the Joslyn Art Museum, or learn about the history of the era in the Art-Deco train station turned museum, the Durham Museum. 

Meander through the Old Market area with its 19th-century buildings and cobblestone streets and visit the galleries and shops hidden within its beautiful facade! Omaha is one of the best day trips from Kansas City, especially for animal and art lovers!

Closing Thoughts

Kansas City is a fabulous vacation destination. Spend a few days there exploring all it has to offer, but make sure to take advantage of its close proximity to historic sites, natural wonders, and other awesome cities too! 

Let us know which day trip you are going to take in the comments! 

For more great ideas on how to explore Kansas City, check out our ultimate guide of the “ The Best Things to do In Kansas City, MO .”

Visit our Explorer Blog for more great day trip ideas and travel guides for cities around the world! Wherever you want to roam, our experts have probably been there and have you covered!

Frequently Asked Questions

There are day trips from Kansas City to suit just about any occasion! The best romantic getaways include Chateau Avalon, the vineyards of the Somerset Wine Trail, or the charming town of Hermann.

For an educational day trip from Kansas City , explore Civil War history in Carthage, visit the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium in Omaha, or learn about Amelia Earhart in her home city of Atchison.

Families visiting the Heart of America can try a scavenger hunt to explore local attractions, take a day trip to nearby historic towns like Leavenworth and Independence, or head to the Lake of the Ozarks !

Featured Products & Activities

NOMADasaurus Logo

16 Best Day Trips From Kansas City, Missouri (2024 Guide)

Picture of Alesha and Jarryd

  • Last Updated: February 4, 2024

If you’re looking for the best day trips from Kansas City, be sure to check out our list of the best Kansas City day trips!

Kansas City is a charming city in Missouri that is packed with unique attractions. The city’s downtown district has historic sites and cultural landmarks abound, from the National Frontier Trails Museum to the City Market to the Truman National Historic Site.

Once you’ve taken advantage of the city life, try one of these regional day trips from Kansas City! There are lots of fun things to do in this area of central USA that will appeal to any type of traveler.

History buffs can explore historic farms and small towns dedicated to preserving the traditions of the past. Nature lovers can visit a lush state park on the banks of the Missouri River and go hiking, biking, and exploring.

Whatever your interests may be, these day trips from Kansas City are sure to provide insights into the culture and landscapes of the American Midwest!

Be sure to check out our list of the best things to do in Kansas City as well.

Table of Contents

Somerset Wine Trail

Roaring river state park, mushroom rock state park, tanganyika wildlife park, excelsior springs, powell gardens, shoal creek living history museum, overland park, 16 lovely day trips from kansas city, missouri.

Whether you want to tour historic sites in a small Missouri town, indulge in some culture and entertainment in a bustling college town, or take on hiking trails in a state park, here are some of the top day trips from Kansas City!

The best way to get around is to rent a car and explore on your own! We recommend Rental Cars , which has the largest range of vehicles for the best value on the market.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 44 miles
  • Driving time: 48 minutes

Embarking on the Somerset Wine Trail from Kansas City promises a delightful day trip filled with scenic landscapes and exquisite wines. Located in the heart of Missouri, the trail takes wine enthusiasts through rolling hills and picturesque vineyards, offering a perfect escape from the urban hustle of Kansas City.

As you traverse the charming countryside, you’ll encounter a series of boutique wineries, each with its own unique charm and varietals. From crisp whites to robust reds, the trail showcases the diversity of Missouri wines, providing a tasting experience that caters to every palate.

Somerset Ridge Winery is one of the top places to visit. As a family-owned winery, Somerset Ridge has earned a reputation for its commitment to crafting exceptional wines and providing a warm, inviting atmosphere for visitors.

Whether you’re a seasoned wine connoisseur or a casual enthusiast, Somerset Ridge Winery promises a memorable experience, blending quality wines with a welcoming ambiance that captures the essence of Midwest viticulture.

The Somerset Wine Trail not only offers a delectable selection of wines but also provides visitors with a chance to engage with passionate winemakers and learn about the winemaking process. Many of the wineries along the trail boast inviting tasting rooms and outdoor seating areas, allowing guests to savor their favorite wines while taking in the scenic beauty of the surrounding vineyards.

With the warm hospitality of the winemakers and the serene ambiance of the countryside, the Somerset Wine Trail is an ideal day trip for those seeking a blend of relaxation, education, and, of course, the pleasure of indulging in some of Missouri’s finest wines.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 205 miles
  • Driving time: 3 hours and 15 minutes

Though it’s a bit of a far drive, Roaring River State Park is one of the best day trips from Kansas City. Deep in the heart of the Ozarks in southwest Missouri, Roaring River State Park stands as a captivating natural haven that beckons outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

The park is renowned for its stunning landscapes, featuring deep valleys, limestone bluffs, and clear, cold springs that converge to form the iconic Roaring River.

Anglers flock to the park for its premier trout fishing, as the cold waters provide an ideal habitat for rainbow and brown trout. The park’s trout hatchery adds an educational element, allowing visitors to witness the fascinating process of trout production and releasing thousands of young fish into the river.

Beyond its fishing allure, Roaring River State Park offers a plethora of recreational activities. Travelers can explore the park’s extensive hiking and biking trails, which winds through scenic woodlands and offers breathtaking views of the river.

The park also features campgrounds for those seeking a rustic overnight experience, and the serene setting provides an excellent backdrop for birdwatching, photography, and simply unwinding amidst the tranquility of nature.

With its diverse offerings and natural beauty, Roaring River State Park is a true gem for those seeking a revitalizing escape in the heart of Missouri’s rugged landscapes.

Roaring River State Park

  • Distance from Kansas City: 34 miles
  • Driving time: 40 minutes

Nestled along the banks of the Missouri River, Weston is a charming and historic Missouri town that invites visitors to step back in time while enjoying the picturesque beauty of the area. Known for its well-preserved 19th-century architecture, Weston exudes a timeless charm with its brick-paved streets and historic storefronts.

The town is home to a vibrant community of art galleries, boutique shops, and cozy bed and breakfasts, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for tourists.

Beyond its quaint appeal, Weston boasts attractions like the iconic Weston Bend State Park, offering panoramic views of the river valley, and the acclaimed Green Dirt Farm Creamery. Visitors to Green Dirt Farm Creamery can savor a variety of handcrafted cheeses, from the bloomy rind Dirt Lover to the creamy Woolly Rind, all made with passion and precision.

Whether strolling through its historic district, savoring local flavors, or exploring the natural beauty that surrounds it, Weston, Missouri, beckons as a delightful destination that seamlessly marries the past with the present.

Read next: 21 Best Things To Do In St. Louis, Missouri

  • Distance from Kansas City: 248 miles
  • Driving time: 3 hours and 50 minutes

St. Louis may be better suited to a weekend getaway from Kansas City, as it’s just under a 4-hour drive. But if you start your journey early enough, you can still venture there and back on a day trip. Either way, St. Louis is definitely worth a visit!

Known for its iconic Gateway Arch, the city has a storied history that includes being a gateway to the West during the era of westward expansion. The Gateway Arch National Park, with its striking stainless steel monument, offers not only a visual spectacle but also a comprehensive exploration of American history.

The surrounding area, known as the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, includes the Old Courthouse and the Museum of Westward Expansion, further immersing visitors in the city’s historical narrative. A trolley tour is a great way to absorb all the city’s history and sights!

St. Louis is celebrated for its diverse neighborhoods, each contributing to the city’s unique character. The Central West End boasts tree-lined streets, historic homes, and a lively atmosphere with boutique shops and trendy restaurants.

The Delmar Loop, a vibrant entertainment district, is a cultural hub featuring art galleries, music venues, and a diverse array of dining options. The city is also a haven for sports enthusiasts, with the beloved St. Louis Cardinals baseball team and the passionate fan base at Busch Stadium.

From the eclectic neighborhoods to the rich cultural offerings and iconic landmarks, St. Louis showcases a dynamic blend of history, entertainment, and Midwestern hospitality.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 201 miles
  • Driving time: 3 hours

Mushroom Rock State Park in the heart of central Kansas is another one of the best day trips from Kansas City. The park’s namesake, Mushroom Rock, and its companion rocks, shaped by centuries of erosion, resemble giant mushrooms rising from the earth. This natural wonder is a testament to the forces of wind and water, creating a surreal landscape that sparks the imagination.

The park covers a small but enchanting area, providing a tranquil setting for hikers, nature enthusiasts, and geology aficionados to explore and appreciate the peculiar beauty of the sandstone formations.

Beyond the fascinating rocks, Mushroom Rock State Park offers a peaceful escape, allowing visitors to connect with the tranquility of the Kansas prairie. Picnic areas provide a perfect spot to relax and enjoy the unique surroundings, making it an excellent destination for a day trip or a brief respite from the nearby urban bustle.

The park’s compact size makes it easily navigable, and its distinctive geological features make Mushroom Rock State Park a great day trip destination for those seeking an off-the-beaten-path adventure in the heartland of Kansas.

Heading south? Check out these fun things to do in Hot Springs, Arkansas

  • Distance from Kansas City: 189 miles
  • Driving time: 2 hours and 50 minutes

One of the best day trips from Kansas City for history buffs is Hermann, a small Missouri town known for its picturesque vineyards, German heritage, and historic architecture.

Established by German immigrants in the 19th century, Hermann’s cobblestone streets and beautifully preserved buildings contribute to its old-world charm. The nearby town of Starkenberg is also full of fascinating historic buildings.

The Historic Hermann Museum immerses visitors in the town’s German heritage through its carefully curated exhibits, featuring artifacts, photographs, and restored rooms that showcase the life and culture of early German settlers.

The town’s winemaking tradition is a focal point, with numerous family-owned wineries dotting the surrounding hills, producing a variety of award-winning wines. Visitors can embark on the Hermann Wine Trail to sample local vintages while enjoying the scenic landscapes of the Missouri River Valley.

Beyond its vinicultural allure, Hermann offers a delightful blend of cultural attractions and outdoor activities. The Deutschheim State Historic Site provides a glimpse into the area’s German heritage, showcasing meticulously restored homes and gardens. The Katy Trail, a popular hiking and biking path, meanders through Hermann, offering opportunities to explore the surrounding countryside.

This lovely Missouri town is one of the most interesting Kansas City day trips to try.

Church In Starkenberg Hermann

  • Distance from Kansas City: 212 miles

Tanganyika Wildlife Park , located in Goddard, Kansas, is a premier destination for wildlife enthusiasts seeking a unique and immersive experience. Unlike traditional zoos, Tanganyika focuses on providing interactive and educational encounters with a wide array of animal species.

Visitors can engage in up-close interactions with a variety of animals, ranging from lemurs and kangaroos to rare and endangered species such as white rhinos and cheetahs. The park’s commitment to conservation and education is evident in its various programs, which aim to raise awareness about wildlife conservation while fostering a deep appreciation for the planet’s biodiversity.

One of Tanganyika Wildlife Park’s notable features is its commitment to creating a natural and spacious environment for the animals, enhancing their well-being and allowing visitors to observe them in settings that mimic their natural habitats.

The park’s dedication to animal welfare, coupled with its hands-on experiences, makes it an ideal destination for families, school groups, and wildlife enthusiasts of all ages.

With a focus on fostering connections between people and wildlife, Tanganyika Wildlife Park provides a memorable and educational experience, promoting a sense of responsibility and appreciation for the planet’s diverse ecosystems.

Explore more of the Midwest with a visit to Minneapolis !

  • Distance from Kansas City: 28 miles

Situated in the rolling hills of northwest Missouri, Excelsior Springs is a charming city known for its historic charm, healing mineral waters, and welcoming community spirit. Renowned for its well-preserved architecture, the city boasts a historic downtown area with quaint shops, inviting cafes, and beautiful Victorian-era buildings.

Excelsior Springs gained popularity in the late 19th and early 20th centuries as a health resort destination, attracting visitors seeking the healing properties of its mineral springs. Today, visitors can still experience the soothing effects of these springs at the Elms Hotel and Spa , a historic landmark that has been offering hospitality and relaxation since 1888.

In addition to its historic appeal, Excelsior Springs offers outdoor enthusiasts opportunities to explore its natural beauty. The city is surrounded by parks and scenic trails, such as Watkins Mill State Park and State Historic Site, where visitors can enjoy hiking, picnicking, and learning about Missouri’s agricultural and industrial history.

Excelsior Springs remains a tranquil destination that seamlessly combines historic places with modern amenities, making it an ideal escape for those seeking a blend of relaxation, culture, and natural beauty.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 42 miles

Located on 970 acres just outside of Kansas City, Powell Gardens is a breathtaking botanical garden that unfolds like a living canvas, showcasing an impressive array of plant life and horticultural wonders. Established in 1988, the gardens have evolved into a dynamic space that seamlessly combines curated landscapes with natural beauty.

Visitors can explore diverse themed gardens, from the serene Perennial Garden and the vibrant Heartland Harvest Garden to the intriguing Island Garden and the tranquil Rock and Waterfall Garden. Powell Gardens also features an extensive trail system that winds through woodlands and meadows, providing a serene setting for nature walks and birdwatching.

One of Powell Gardens’ standout attractions is the majestic Marjorie Powell Allen Chapel, a glass-enclosed structure that allows visitors to immerse themselves in the surrounding beauty while hosting various events and activities.

Beyond its visual appeal, Powell Gardens serves as a hub for education and community engagement, offering workshops, classes, and special events throughout the year. Whether strolling through meticulously manicured landscapes, participating in educational programs, or simply finding solace in nature’s embrace, Powell Gardens is one of the top day trips from Kansas City.

Read next: The 9 Best Day Trips From Chicago, Illinois

  • Distance from Kansas City: 63 miles
  • Driving time: 55 minutes

Topeka, the capital city of Kansas, stands as a dynamic blend of history, culture, and modernity and is a great day trip destination. Boasting a rich heritage, Topeka played a significant role in the fight against slavery during the tumultuous years leading up to the American Civil War.

Visitors can explore this history at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, a pivotal location in the fight for civil rights, and at the Kansas State Capitol, an architectural marvel that offers both historical insight and panoramic views of the city.

Topeka’s downtown area is a vibrant hub featuring a mix of locally-owned shops, restaurants, and cultural attractions, providing a delightful urban experience.

In addition to its historical significance, Topeka is home to a variety of parks and outdoor spaces, including Gage Park, which features a zoo, gardens, and a picturesque lake. The city hosts numerous events and festivals throughout the year, celebrating art, music, and the diverse cultural tapestry of the community.

With a commitment to preserving its heritage while embracing modernity, Topeka offers residents and visitors a balance of cultural experiences, recreational opportunities, and a welcoming Midwestern atmosphere.

Kansas State Capitol

  • Distance from Kansas City: 48 miles
  • Driving time: 58 minutes

Nestled along the banks of the Missouri River, Atchison, Kansas, exudes small-town charm and a rich historical legacy. Known for its well-preserved Victorian architecture, the city provides a picturesque backdrop for a stroll through its historic district, where visitors can explore beautifully restored homes and learn about the city’s past.

Atchison is also famed as the birthplace of Amelia Earhart, the pioneering aviator, and Amelia Earhart’s Birthplace Museum is a notable attraction that allows visitors to delve into her life and legacy.

Beyond its historical significance, Atchison offers a variety of cultural and recreational amenities. The scenic Riverfront Park provides a tranquil setting for picnics and leisurely walks along the river, while the Atchison Rail Museum showcases the city’s ties to the railroad industry.

Annual events, such as the Amelia Earhart Festival , draw visitors from near and far, celebrating the city’s heritage and fostering a sense of community. With its historic charm, cultural attractions, and welcoming atmosphere, Atchison provides a delightful blend of the past and present for residents and visitors alike.

  • Distance from Kansas City: 41 miles
  • Driving time: 42 minutes

Lawrence is a dynamic city known for its rich cultural heritage, vibrant arts scene, and the spirited atmosphere of the University of Kansas (KU). The city’s historic downtown, characterized by red-brick streets and charming storefronts, exudes a welcoming ambiance. Home to eclectic shops, art galleries, and a diverse culinary scene, downtown Lawrence offers a lively environment for both residents and visitors.

Massachusetts Street, or Mass Street as locals affectionately call it, is the bustling heart of the city, hosting festivals, parades, and a range of events that contribute to Lawrence’s energetic and inclusive community spirit.

Lawrence’s cultural vibrancy is further enhanced by the University of Kansas, which plays a central role in shaping the city’s character. The Spencer Art Museum, located on the university campus, houses an impressive collection spanning various cultures and time periods. Beyond the arts, Lawrence is renowned for its commitment to live music, with numerous venues showcasing local and nationally acclaimed bands.

Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, including the hiking trails of Clinton Lake State Park, Lawrence provides a perfect blend of cultural sophistication and natural beauty, making it one of the best Kansas City day trips.

Read next: 21 Best Things To Do In Memphis, Tennessee

  • Distance from Kansas City: 14 miles
  • Driving time: 27 minutes

Shoal Creek Living History Museum , situated just north of downtown Kansas City, offers a fascinating journey back in time, providing history lovers with a glimpse into the 19th-century Midwestern frontier life. Spanning over 80 acres, the museum is an immersive outdoor experience featuring more than 20 meticulously reconstructed and preserved historic buildings.

Each structure, from log cabins to a general store and a one-room schoolhouse, authentically reflects the architectural styles and daily life of the region during the 1800s. Costumed interpreters populate the grounds, engaging visitors with demonstrations of traditional crafts, cooking, and various aspects of daily living, creating a vivid and educational experience.

The museum’s dedication to historical accuracy and education extends to its vibrant calendar of events, including reenactments, workshops, and festivals that bring the past to life.

Whether it’s the depiction of a bustling pioneer community or an exploration of seasonal traditions, Shoal Creek Living History Museum provides an enriching and immersive opportunity for visitors to connect with the heritage and history of the Midwest. It’s one of the top family-friendly attractions and day trips in the area!

  • Distance from Kansas City: 142 miles
  • Driving time: 2 hours

Carthage, Missouri, is a city with a rich history and a vibrant present, situated in the southwestern part of the state. Known for its well-preserved Victorian architecture, Carthage’s historic district features charming streets lined with homes and buildings dating back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

The Jasper County Courthouse, a stunning example of Second Empire architecture, stands as a centerpiece, adding to the city’s architectural allure. Visitors can stroll through the historic Carthage Square, exploring boutique shops, local eateries, and absorbing the nostalgic ambiance that permeates the area.

The Carthage Civil War Museum preserves and showcases artifacts and exhibits related to the region’s Civil War history, offering visitors an immersive experience into this pivotal period.

Additionally, the Grand Avenue Park and Kendricktown Riverwalk provide green spaces for relaxation and outdoor activities. With a blend of historic charm, cultural richness, and community warmth, Carthage offers history lovers an inviting experience in the heart of the Ozarks.

Heading north? Try some of these fun things to do in Chicago !

  • Distance from Kansas City: 11 miles
  • Driving time: 22 minutes

A quick and easy day trip option is Overland Park, located just 20 minutes southwest of downtown Kansas City. Known for its family-friendly neighborhoods, excellent schools, and lush parks, Overland Park has consistently ranked as one of the best places to live in the United States.

The city boasts a robust economy, with corporate headquarters, shopping districts, and a diverse range of dining options. The upscale lifestyle is complemented by attractions such as the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens, a sprawling 300-acre oasis that showcases beautiful landscapes, gardens, and walking trails, providing a serene escape within the city.

In addition to its residential appeal, Overland Park is a hub for cultural and recreational activities. The Overland Park Convention Center hosts events and conferences, while the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead offers an educational and entertaining experience for families.

With a commitment to community engagement, a thriving arts scene, and a balance between urban conveniences and suburban tranquility, Overland Park stands as a dynamic and sought-after destination in the Kansas City metropolitan area.

Overland Park Arboretum And Botanical Gardens

Another one of the most popular unique and educational day trips from Kansas City is St. Joseph, a city with a rich history and a blend of urban amenities and small-town charm.

Known as the starting point of the Pony Express and the site where the infamous outlaw Jesse James met his end, St. Joseph preserves its historical legacy through various museums and landmarks.

The Pony Express Museum offers a captivating journey into the legendary era of the Pony Express, showcasing artifacts and exhibits that illuminate the daring riders and the crucial role they played in American history. The Patee House Museum , a former luxury hotel turned museum, takes visitors back in time with exhibits on the Civil War, and Victorian life.

Additionally, the Jesse James Home Museum provides insight into the life of the notorious outlaw, showcasing artifacts and offering guided tours of the house where he was shot and killed.

St. Joseph’s downtown district is a thriving hub of cultural activity, with a mix of historic architecture, boutique shops, and diverse dining options. The city’s robust arts scene is evident in the Missouri Theatre, a beautifully restored 1927 movie palace that now hosts live music performances and events.

The city’s historic places blended with its contemporary cultural and live music scene make St. Joseph a captivating day trip destination in the heart of Missouri.

DISCLAIMER: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, which means if you book accommodation, tours or buy a product, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These commissions help us keep creating more free travel content to help people plan their holidays and adventures. We only recommend the best accommodations, tours and products that ourselves or our fantastic editorial team have personally experienced, and regularly review these. Thanks for your support, kind friend!

Picture of Alesha and Jarryd

Alesha and Jarryd

Hi, We’re Alesha and Jarryd!

Join the Team

We’ve been traveling the world together since 2008, searching for the planet’s best destinations and adventures.

Love Travel?

Sign up for our free weekly newsletter for the best travel tips, ideas and deals!

We respect your privacy. Unsubscribe at any time.


The Ultimate Las Vegas to Los Angeles Road Trip Itinerary (2024 Guide)

The Ultimate 3 Days in New York City Itinerary (2024 Guide)

The Perfect 3 Days In Los Angeles Itinerary (2024 Guide)

Related Posts

20 of the best things to do in daytona beach, florida (2024 guide), the 28 best things to do in portland, maine (2024 guide), the perfect colorado road trip itinerary (2024 guide), 2-week florida road trip itinerary (2024 guide), leave a comment cancel reply.

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

9 Incredible Weekend Getaways You Absolutely Must Take From Kansas City

best weekend trip from kansas city

Born and raised Kansan, Clarisa has lived in both tiny towns and cities during their time here in the Sunflower State. As a busy mother of one crazy kid, two cats, and two geckos, they write whenever there is spare time.

More by this Author

Do you have any vacation days just waiting to be used? These weekend getaways are the perfect thing to try when you can’t seem to choose what to do with your time. In just a few hours, you can be at your destination and ready to enjoy your weekend away. Unless you want to stay longer, that is! We’ve organized them by distance from Kansas City to make it easy to pick how far you’d like to travel:

best weekend trip from kansas city

Related Stories

7 Amazing State Parks Around Kansas City That Will Blow You Away

7 Amazing State Parks Around Kansas City That Will Blow You Away

8 Must-Visit Flea Markets In Kansas City Where You'll Find Awesome Stuff

8 Must-Visit Flea Markets In Kansas City Where You'll Find Awesome Stuff

You Could Easily Spend All Weekend At This Enormous Kansas City Flea Market

You Could Easily Spend All Weekend At This Enormous Kansas City Flea Market

best weekend trip from kansas city

If you’re looking for a shorter trip away from home instead of a day or two away, you should check out some of these amazing hiking trails right around Kansas City.

Where’s your favorite spot for a weekend getaway? Share your suggestions in the comments below. Happy travels!

OnlyInYourState may earn compensation through affiliate links in this article. As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

Related Articles

  • 9 Beautiful Hidden Waterfalls Near Kansas City
  • 8 Unforgettable Places In Kansas City That Everyone Must Visit This Winter
  • The Christmas Lights Road Trip Around Kansas City That's Nothing Short Of Magical
  • These 8 Unique Restaurants In Kansas City Will Give You An Unforgettable Dining Experience
  • Hand-Picked: 12 Mother's Day Gifts For Moms Who Love To Travel
  • Places To Stay Near Caesars Superdome In New Orleans, Louisiana
  • Places To Stay Near Lucas Oil Stadium In Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Here Are Our 13 Favorite Eco-Friendly Travel Items To Celebrate Earth Day

The Crazy Tourist

Home » Travel Guides » United States » Kansas (KS) » 15 Best Day Trips from Kansas City

15 Best Day Trips from Kansas City

Kansas City , spanning the border between Missouri and Kansas, is home to a hotchpotch of cultural activity owing to its deep-rooted jazz tradition, as well as having some fantastic barbecue-based cuisine and many excellent craft breweries.

The city sits at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers, and was established as a city in March 1853. Its fountains are also a well-known attraction, with many popping up all over the city.

As with most major cities, it’s also got the usual suspects for entertainment: art galleries, museums, restaurants and bars – and of course, it also has some excellent day trip options for visitors.

Here are the best day trips from Kansas City :

1. Powell gardens

Powell gardens

Spanning for 915 acres and less than 45 minutes away from Kansas City’s downtown, Powell Gardens provide a splendid natural attraction for a day trip.

This botanical garden has many different sections to be explored, from the indoor conservatory, to the Rock and Waterfall garden, to the gorgeous surrounding hills and meadows.

The visitor education centre should also not be missed, not least because of its thoughtfully designed architecture, which is meant to blend in with the nature that surrounds it.

2. Lake Jacomo

Lake Jacomo

The freshwater Lake Jacomo stretches for 970 acres and is located in Jackson County, where it is one of Parks and Recreation’s most popular attractions.

Interestingly, its name is a portmanteau of Jackson County, MO, utilising the first letter of each word.

The lake offers loads of water-based activities, including wind surfing, sailing, and various types of boating and fishing.

The fish available for catching include carp, striped bass, bluegill and crappie.

Popular Lake Jacomo events are its sailboat regattas, during which visitors get to watch a stream of colourful boats set out across the water.

Weston, Missouri

Around 30 minutes from downtown Kansas lies Weston, which provides a plethora of entertainment options for a day trip.

Green Dirt Farm is perhaps the most popular of these.

A small local business, Green Dirt Farm offers high quality products such as grass-fed lamb and sheep’s milk cheese, as well as Farm Table Dinners, which offer four courses of locally produced food.

Farm Table Dinners are intended to educate visitors about the link between our food and where it comes from.

After your farm visit, you might want to go and check out the local brewery or winery, for a drink to wash down your dinner.

4. Somerset Wine Trail

Somerset Ridge Vineyard And Winery

The Somerset Wine trail is composed of four award winning wineries: Somerset Ridge, White Wind Farm, Middle Creek and Night Hawk.

This region is arguably one of the fastest growing in terms of wine production in the US, and with good reason – all these wineries produce their own grapes and make their wines on-site.

Somerset Ridge is the oldest and largest winery in the area, and boasts over 20 acres and 20 wines to suit all tastes: dry, sweet and sparkling.

The Somerset Trail is an excellent place to learn about the process of wine making, tour a vineyard, and certainly sample a few of their best bottles.

5. Excelsior Springs

Elms Hotel, Excelsior Springs

Conveniently located close by to downtown Kansas City is Excelsior Springs, a compact community that plays host to the spectacular Elms Hotel and Spa.

The building where the spa is located dates back to 1888, and the spa has had plenty of famous customers in its time, including Harry S. Truman and Al Capone.

There are heaps of wellness options available, from facials to massages, and hydrotherapy to pedicures.

There’s also a salon on-site.

It’s the perfect option if you want a relaxing day away from city life.

6. Independence, MO

Home of President Harry S. Truman, Independence, MO

Noted for being the long-time home of the 33rd president of the United States, Harry S. Truman, Independence is a very popular spot among visitors to Kansas City.

Another famous former resident was the actress Ginger Rogers.

In Independence you can tour the president’s former home, as well as the presidential library, where you’ll learn about his fascinating and influential life.

Aside from presidential attractions, Independence also has a gorgeous gothic mansion, plenty of local shops, and excellent options to stop at for lunch or dinner.

7. Missouri Town 1855

Missouri Town 1855

Just east of Independence sits the fascinating Missouri Town 1855, where a litany of actors recreate times gone by.

This living history museum features a whole host of scenes for your viewing pleasure, from 1850s houses, to a working blacksmith shop, to a mercantile.

The site sprawls across more than 30 acres and 25 buildings, many of which contain original furnishings and equipment.

8. Prairiefire


A mere half an hour away from Kansas City lies Overland Park, where Prairiefire can be found.

Prairiefire is an entertainment complex, hosting museums, restaurants, bars, a cinema and a bowling alley.

Its partnership with New York’s American Museum of Natural History means that the museum has some world class exhibitions on offer, which go well with its many excellent dining options.

This modern attraction is certainly a relaxing place to spend the day, whether it’s intellectual stimulation you crave, or something more low-key.


The German-influenced town of Hermann is an intriguing place to visit for the day.

Established in 1837 by a group of Germans hailing from Philadelphia, Hermann sits pretty along the banks of the Missouri river.

There are many local shops to be explored along the streets, as well as restaurants whose wine might just be produced locally.

Why? It is surrounded by excellent wineries, such as Hermannhof, and as if that wasn’t enough, the wineries often host live music on their outdoor terraces.

A beautiful place to spend the day, without a doubt.

10. Lawrence


Lawrence is a great place to go for a change of pace from the big city.

The county seat of Douglas County, it’s home to the University of Kansas, and is also a hotspot for cultural and historic sites.

These include as the Spencer Art Museum, the Watkins Museum of History and the Liberty Hall theatre.

Lawrence also has a surprisingly well-developed music scene, demonstrated by its winning mentions in the New York Times and Esquire.

There’s also opportunity to watch some excellent high-level sports, as the university teams are famous across the region.

Finally, the city’s largest park, South Park, often hosts events, including music festivals, and there’s the Clinton Lake nearby if you fancy a dip.

11. St Joseph

St Joseph, Missouri

St Joseph used to be an outpost and frontier town on the way to the Wild West, but in modern history is also known for being the town where Eminem was born.

Arguably, though, it’s most famous for being the place where Jesse James met his end.

St Joseph also has plenty of appeal for outdoor lovers, with over 26 miles of parkway.

Hike or bike your way around the trails, explore the lagoon, and perhaps pack a picnic to devour at one of the many convenient picnic spots around the park.

If horse riding is something that interests you, you can also pay a visit to the Pony Express Museum, whose stables date back to 1860, or spend some time trotting around the area on a horse of your own.

12. Louisburg

Louisburg Cider Mill

It may be small, but Louisburg certainly has a lot going for it.

There’s an excellent aquatic centre, which offers golfing as well as swimming, and there’s the city lake with a picturesque path skirting its edge.

You can also find a conservation site and sanctuary, which is even home to a Siberian tiger, and the Powell Observatory with an enormous public telescope.

The local cider mill is also a favourite for first-time visitors, especially during the autumn’s Cider Fest.

All in all, a great day out with options for everyone.

13. Carthage

Carthage, Missouri

An Old West and civil war history-lovers dream, Carthage was the location of many civil war battles, including the first and second battles of Carthage.

The place prospered post-civil war, and therefore has many beautiful buildings dotted around the area, constructed with local marble.

Located in Jasper County, Missouri, the city is also nicknamed ‘America’s Maple Leaf City’ because of its beautiful autumnal foliage.

There’s also a lake close by where you can swim.

14. Atchison

Atchison, Kansas

Atchison is well worth a visit to learn about its most famous resident: bad-ass female explorer Amelia Earhart.

Earhart was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean solo, among many other impressive feats.

Around sixty miles outside of Kansas City, Atchison plays host to an excellent museum, The Amelia Earhart Birthplace, which is maintained by a group of female pilots.

There’s also the International Forest of friendship, which is an arboretum dedicated to people in aviation.

15. Leavenworth

Missouri river bridge at Leavenworth Kansas

Leavenworth was the first city to be incorporated into Kansas when it first emerged in 1854. There’s a lot on offer in this compact city, including a local brewery, artisanal crafts, an excellent shopping district with antiques on offer, and of course plenty of fine restaurants.

Make sure to pay a quick visit to Fort Leavenworth while you’re there, which houses the Buffalo Soldier Memorial Park and the Frontier Army museum, both of which provide an excellent history lesson.

The Richard Allen Cultural Centre is also worth a visit, as it is full of interesting pieces of history in the form of artefacts from the black pioneers.

15 Best Day Trips from Kansas City:

  • Powell gardens
  • Lake Jacomo
  • Somerset Wine Trail
  • Excelsior Springs
  • Independence, MO
  • Missouri Town 1855
  • Prairiefire
  • Leavenworth
  • Roadside Attractions
  • Small Towns
  • Hall Of Fames
  • National Parks
  • Theme Parks
  • Meet Bill On The Road


If you’ve not been to Little Rock in the last five years, you owe it to yourself to make a return trip. Arkansas’ capital city is on the move with new restaurants and things to see and do popping up all the time.  The River Market District has become a great spot for local nightlife with outdoor concerts, a weekend farmers market, shops, a sculpture walk, and pedestrian bridges that light up each night with cool LED multi-colored lights. If you’re a history buff, the Clinton Presidential Museum is a must, as well as Central High School where the Little Rock 9 made world headlines at the start of the civil rights movement.  If you need something cool for the kids – be sure to visit the Museum of Discovery and take a tour of the USS Razorback submarine docked on the north bank of the Arkansas River.

Bill’s Advice:   Any time I’ve ever suggested Little Rock as a road trip stop, people will always tell me how surprised they were at what a great city it is.  The people are friendly, it’s a foodies paradise, and guys – you’ll earn extra brownie points for taking your lady to the only purse museum in the United States.  You’re welcome. 

Travel Time: 6h 15m / 410 miles 

2. Winterset, Iowa

best weekend trip from kansas city

I’ve been visiting Winterset in Madison County, Iowa for years and always enjoy each opportunity to visit this lovely community located a short drive from Des Moines.  If you love the feel of small town U.S.A. where people are still patriotic and treat their neighbors like family – this is the place for you.  It’s a perfect trip for a romantic getaway or an extended weekend for small town shopping, and outdoor recreation.  Winterset is best known as the hometown of movie legend John Wayne and famous for its beautiful covered bridges that were featured in the film  The Bridges Of Madison County.   Also, be sure to check out the Iowa Quilt Museum and the newly restored movie theater on the square –  The Iowa.   

Bill’s Advice:  Madison County is awesome for a long weekend, romantic getaway, or ladies looking for a road trip with friends.  Make it an extended visit by adding in a visit to nearby Des Moines or other small Iowa towns along the way.  

Travel Time: 2h 45m / 190 miles

3. St. Louis, Missouri

best weekend trip from kansas city

St. Louis has always been a popular road trip destination for Kansas City locals but did you know there’s much more to experience besides the Arch or a Cardinals/Royals baseball game? St. Louis Union Station has been brought back to life with new attractions like the St. Louis Wheel and St. Louis Aquarium. St. Louis has a “free” zoo that consistently ranks as one of the top zoos in America. Forest Park has paddle boats and golfing in the warm months, and free museums for families year round. Grab some great Italian food in the famous “Hill” neighborhood or try a new restaurant in “The Grove” or in one of the many unique downtowns in dozens of St. Louis County municipalities.

If you want to try a few “quirky” experiences while visiting St. Louis, check out this fun list I’ve put together called: 10 Quirky Things To Do In St. Louis.

Bill’s Advice: If you have kids, St. Louis has so many free attractions for the family – it’s crazy! Grant’s Farm, Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Science Center, and Art Museum to name a few! The City Museum isn’t free, but one of the most popular spots for visitors!

Travel Time: 3h 30m / 248 miles

4. Fort Collins, Colorado

best weekend trip from kansas city

Fort Collins is one of the coolest cities in Colorado and less than ten hours away from metro Kansas City. There are restaurants galore, beautiful scenery, and for beer lovers – more than 20 craft breweries. For nature fans, check out the trial flower gardens at Colorado State University and grab an Instagrammable selfie with the giant Campbell’s Soup can! Fort Collins is also a town where they take bicycles seriously – you’ll encounter them everywhere.

Bill’s Advice: One of my favorite places to dine in Fort Collins is The Farmhouse at Jessup Farm – the food is incredible! If you’re into quirky restaurants – there’s a fun 80’s themed pizza joint/museum in a strip mall outside of downtown that’s worth a visit. While you’re visiting, also be sure to check out the section of downtown Fort Collins that inspired Disneyland’s Main Street USA .

Travel Time: 9h 20m / 650 miles

5. Milwaukee, Wisconsin

best weekend trip from kansas city

Milwaukee may be known worldwide for cheese and beer but there’s so much more!  You can keep busy for several days exploring places like the  Harley-Davidson Museum , the  Milwaukee Public Market , and watching the famous wings open on the  Milwaukee Art Museum .  If you love a good festival – Milwaukee has lots and lots of them including the world’s largest music festival each summer.  The city has an endless amount of great food for all tastes, and don’t forget the beautiful views of Lake Michigan.  Take the time to explore some of the historic downtown neighborhoods and don’t leave without buying a bag of fresh cheese curds for your road trip home.

Bill’s Advice:   Milwaukee is perfect for a long weekend or an extended trip – there’s lots to see and do!  Be sure to track down the Fonzie statue – the TV sitcom Happy Days was based in Milwaukee.

Travel Time: 8hr 20m / 560 miles

6. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

best weekend trip from kansas city

Oklahoma City has been busy over the last few years and has become a legit travel destination.  Bricktown is the hot spot for nightlife and dining, while the city’s other neighborhoods (called “districts”) all offer something interesting for visitors.  The Oklahoma City bombing memorial is a must-visit and the National Cowboy Museum and Hall of Fame is pretty interesting.  If you don’t know anything about banjos – don’t let that deter you from checking out the American Banjo Museum either!  It’s very cool.  But the best part of OKC’s re-birth is all of the food!  It’s insane how many new restaurants have popped up in the city limits over the last few years.  If you love good food, you will love Oklahoma City!

Bill’s Advice:  While exploring, make some time to chill out at the Myriad Botanical Garden – a 15 acre urban garden downtown.  Oklahoma City also has a new streetcar,  although they charge a $3.00 fee to use it for the day.  It’s probably worth it as the routes take you all over town and you won’t have to worry about driving. 

Travel Time: 5h 4m / 353 miles

7. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

best weekend trip from kansas city

Sioux Falls is great for a weekend getaway. Spend some time at Falls Park and enjoy the views and sounds of the gushing waterfalls. Downtown has some great restaurants and is famous for their cool sculptures that line the streets. If you enjoy bike riding, Sioux Falls has some great paths for exploring. On the way, stop in Vermillion to see the National Music Museum – home to 15,000 musical instruments!

Travel Time: 4h 36m / 300 miles

8. Wichita, Kansas

best weekend trip from kansas city

Wichita is a pleasant surprise. Start by learning about the early days of Kansas at the Old Cowtown Museum which has actors and buildings you can explore to truly step back in time.  Check out the Delano neighborhood for some cool shops and good food.  Get a hat at Hatman Jack’s – known for providing custom hats to lots of celebrities.  Tell him I sent you!  And if you’ve ever eaten Pizza Hut, I bet you didn’t know that it started in Wichita. Yep, the original Pizza Hut location is a tiny brick building and now a museum on the campus of Wichita State University.   There is so much to do and the people are so welcoming!

Bill’s Advice:  If you do anything while you’re in Wichita – be sure to check out the famous Keeper Of The Plains monument at night.  Check ahead for times, but each evening there’s a fire show along the water across the pedestrian bridge.  The local science museum – Exploration Place is great for kids, too! 

Travel Time: 3h / 196 miles

9. Missouri’s “Genius” Highway 36

best weekend trip from kansas city

You may be surprised to learn that  Missouri’s Highway 36  is named in honor of the many American geniuses that once called “the show me state” home.   Drive up to St. Joseph and learn about Walter Cronkite and see where The Pony Express began. Then head east on 36 to see the childhood homes of J.C. Penney, Walt Disney, and Mark Twain. You can also visit the birthplace of “sliced-bread” in the town of Chillicothe.

Bill’s Advice To explore the entire “genius highway”, after you visit the Walter Cronkite Memorial and Pony Express Headquarters, head to Hamilton (J.C. Penney/Missouri Quilting Co.) and spend a night at one of their local B&B’s. The next day, head east to see Disney’s hometown of Marceline, and then stop for the night in Hannibal. Check out Mark Twain’s childhood hometown and then head back home!

10. Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas

best weekend trip from kansas city

Get two destinations in one road trip! Both Dallas and Fort Worth have plenty of things to see and do. Take a trip to the top of Reunion Tower, or visit the historic site where JFK where killed. Dallas is loaded with great museums and restaurants. Forth Worth is home to the world famous Fort Worth Stockyards, which is a great place to experience your first rodeo! You can also visit the Bureau of Engraving – one of just two places in the U.S. that prints currency. North Texas also has wineries and plenty of outdoor activities.

Bill’s Advice: Dallas is the closest place to Missouri that has In-N-Out fast-food restaurants! While it’s just a personal favorite, it’s worth checking out since most of them are located in southern California.

Travel Time: 8h / 506 miles

11. Madison, Wisconsin

best weekend trip from kansas city

The state capital of Wisconsin is constantly ranked as one of the best places to live in the U.S.  Madison is also a fun college town with lots of things to do – though its best to visit in the spring and summer months if you hate cold weather.  My favorite thing to do in Madison is the Dane County Farmer’s Market that wraps around the entire Capitol building. Patrons all walk in one direction to shop for fresh produce and local goods.  Of course, State Street is full of action – all seven blocks between downtown and the University of Wisconsin campus. You can find food (140 restaurants!) unique stores, and plenty of entertainment day or night.

Bill’s Advice:  Tour the beautiful Wisconsin State Capitol, and enjoy some time relaxing near the water.  (You can ice skate in the winter months)  For a quirky stop – a short drive to Middleton will get you to the  National Mustard Museum !  When you cross state lines, pop into the welcome center and pick up a “cheese map” to find every cheese store in the entire state!

Travel Time: 7h 22m / 485 miles

12. Hot Springs, Arkansas

best weekend trip from kansas city

Arkansas isn’t called “the natural state” for nothing. It’s full of beautiful scenery and driving through the Ozarks in route to Hot Springs makes for a terrific road trip experience. Check out one of the historic bath houses and of course, Hot Springs National Park. For nature lovers, Arkansas has great state parks as well, many that have lodges or spots for camping. Petit Jean State Park is along the route if you have the time!

Travel Time: 6h 50m / 410 miles

13. Memphis, Tennessee

best weekend trip from kansas city

Memphis is probably best known as the place Elvis called home for many years. Graceland and the new Elvis Presley museum complex is definitely worth a visit. But there’s so much more to Memphis! Check out the Stax Museum for some great music history where stars like Al Green and Sam & Dave used to record. Drive by the home where Aretha Franklin used to live as a kid. Take a stroll down Beale Street for live music and bars. And don’t forget all of the great barbecue that Memphis is famous for!

Bill’s Advice: Go inside the gigantic Bass Pro pyramid that’s visible from the highway as you come into town. You can take an elevator all the way to the top for some great views of Memphis and the Mississippi River.

Travel Time: 7h 20m / 450 miles

14. Omaha, Nebraska

best weekend trip from kansas city

Omaha is definitely worth a stop and ideal for a weekend away from home.  Plan your visit to coincide with a concert or local festival to get the most bang for your travel buck!  After eating at one of Omaha’s many steakhouses – a walk is in order around the water at Heartland of America Park – a terrific public green space, with roaring fountains.  The Henry Doorly Zoo is ranked one of the best in the country, and the Durham Museum is a fun family stop.  For a sports fan – consider visiting during the College World Series.

Bill’s Advice:  When you visit, check out a really great Italian cafe that has been around forever – Orsi’s.  It’s more of a bakery but they have pizza that is very good!  Be sure to mention you’re visiting and they’re likely to toss in some free garlic cheese bread! 

Travel Time: 2h 45m / 185 miles

15. Manhattan, Kansas

best weekend trip from kansas city

Manhattan is an under the radar town that’s best known as the home of Kansas State University. However, it’s also celebrated as a gateway to the Flint Hills region. Visitors can check out the Flint Hills Discovery Center and then head out for a hike to see the beautiful tallgrass up close and in-person. Manhattan has a fun college vibe with some great places to eat in Aggieville, and don’t miss Varsity Donuts for breakfast!

Travel Time: 2h / 122 miles

16. Ha Ha Tonka State Park, Camdenton Missouri

best weekend trip from kansas city

We are fortunate to have many wonderful state parks in Missouri and any of them are great for a road trip. Ha Ha Tonka State Park features some great hiking trails and the ruins of a castle! Long story short – a KC businessman began construction on the castle in 1905 but died before it was complete. His son finished building the castle which became a summer home for the family and eventually a hotel. It was destroyed by a fire in the 1940s. The park also features natural bridges, sinkholes, bluffs, and caves.

Bill’s Advice: Another great Missouri state park site is Echo Bluff. Echo Bluff has a beautiful lodge which just recently opened over the last few years as well as state of the art cabins you can rent.

Travel Time: 2h 39m / 160 miles

17. Bentonville, Arkansas

best weekend trip from kansas city

Bentonville may be best known as the headquarters for Walmart. In fact, you can pop into the Walmart Museum which is housed inside Sam Walton’s first dime store on the downtown square. (It’s actually a really cool museum!) Bentonville is also home to one of the most amazing art museums in the world – Crystal Bridges. If you enjoy bike riding, the area is home to some of the most popular trails in the south.

Travel Time: 3h 13m / 209 miles

18. Fulton, Missouri

best weekend trip from kansas city

Fulton is often overlooked as a destination in Missouri that’s certainly easy to get to right down I-70. It’s perfect for a weekend getaway or even a day trip. Check out the National Churchill Museum, and the shops and restaurants in the historic Brick District. For car lovers – don’t miss the great car collection right off the highway. Auto World Museum has an impressive collection of vintage vehicles. If you like Bed & Breakfasts, you can stay at Loganberry In – one of Missouri’s top B&Bs.

Travel Time: 2h 19m / 150 miles

19. Springfield, Illinois

best weekend trip from kansas city

Springfield is a perfect for a weekend getaway.  Rich in history, it’s best known for its ties to Abraham Lincoln.  You can visit the only home he ever owned and see his final resting place.  Tour the Illinois state Capitol building and take a tour of the Governor’s mansion.  (Don’t make any jokes about how many of them wind up in prison – they don’t think it’s as funny as we do.)  There is a wonderful Frank Lloyd Wright property – the Dana Thomas House in Springfield that is worth touring if you love seeing his work.

Bill’s Advice : The Lincoln Presidential Museum is very cool and you could spend half a day exploring and checking out all of the artifacts.  Springfield is a great place to get up early and spend a Saturday or a place to tack on to another road trip instead of just driving through.

Travel Time: 4h 40m / 310 miles

20. New Harmony, Indiana

best weekend trip from kansas city

New Harmony can be a romantic weekend getaway or an added stop to an eastern road trip.  It’s loaded with  fascinating history , and small enough that you can literally walk around the entire town.  Stop by the visitor center to watch the introductory film for an overview of the town.  There are good restaurants, small shops, and bed and breakfasts if you choose to stay overnight.

Bill’s Advice:  Definitely make the visitor center your first stop and watch the film that explains the history of New Harmony.  It will make your visit so much better when you understand all of the buildings you’ll see and why the town is so unique! 

Travel Time: 5h 40m / 389 miles

Best Road Trips From KC:

3. St. Louis, Missouri 

7. Sioux Falls, South Dakota

9. Missouri’s Genius Highway

16. Ha Ha Tonka State Park in Camdenton, MO

best weekend trip from kansas city

Things To See

Best 16 free things to do in st. louis, first visit to washington dc: an ultimate how-to-guide, the soda museum: everything you need to know, how to take a tour of the white house, six amazing places you need to see in oregon, 8 unique experiences you need to try in oconee county, 25 awesome things to do in missouri, 25 amazing small towns in america you need to visit this year (2024), search the site:, recent stories, everything you wanted to know about swingers in the villages, first time visiting spain stay in a parador, west coast ideas, jeopardy: here’s what really happens during a show taping, this is where you’ll find the first mcdonald’s, 8 cool experiences you need to have in san francisco, how to see pasadena in one day, in-n-out: what you need to know about the original location, how to spend a day in palm springs.


Mount Rushmore National Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota, USA on a sunny day.

Best Road Trips From Kansas City

Top road trip destinations from kansas city.

Lone row boat bobbing on Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, Texas, USA

Lake of the Ozarks

🚗 150 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 30 minutes

Beautiful scenery and outdoor fun combine, Lake of the Ozarks is a favorite destination for water activities, beautiful landscapes, and lively entertainment options. This is the perfect destination for families and outdoor lovers for a day trip.

On the way, you can also visit Yaya's Alpaca Farm , Henry County Museum , Harry S Truman State Park and Swinging Bridge Of Warsaw .

St. Louis, Missouri, USA downtown cityscape on the river at dusk.

🚗 250 miles ⏱️ 3 hours, 40 minutes

If you are looking for an urban experience, St Louis is a great destination to visit. This colorful city is famous for its iconic Gateway Arch, buzzing music scene, and historical museums.

On top of these, you can also visit Maple Leaf Lake Conservation Area, Warm Springs Ranch , Shelter Gardens in Columbia and Big Joel's Safari Petting Zoo and Educational Park en route.

Domed roof lit up by bright sunlight with city landscape in the background

🚗 730 miles ⏱️ 10 hours, 50 minutes

Denver has the perfect combination of city life and beautiful surroundings. The city offers a stunning backdrop of the Rocky Mountains, great for anyone who loves an outdoor lifestyle.

There are plenty of new places to discover on the way such as Lauritzen Gardens , Great Plains Art Museum , Pony Express Station Museum and Buffalo Bill Ranch State Historical Park Museum .

Mont Rushmore in South Dakota on a sunny day depicting the 4 presidents of the USA

Mount Rushmore

🚗 730 miles ⏱️ 10 hours, 20 minutes

The easily recognizable Mount Rushmore National Memorial is a must-visit to see the majestic sculptures of four US presidents carved into the granite face of the mountain.

On the way, you can visit Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium , Sioux City Art Center , Falls Park in Sioux Falls and Badlands National Park .

Chicago Skyscrapers Skyline View from Lincoln Park with Sunlight

🚗 590 miles ⏱️ 9 hours

Looking for some urban fun and cityscapes? Chicago is a metropolis that is home to world-renowned museums, and iconic architecture like the Willis Tower and the Bean.

The places you can visit en route include the iconic Gateway Arch , Route 66 Drive In Theater in Springfield, and McLean County Museum of History .

Colorful guitar-shaped neon sign at Nashville Broadway

🚗 660 miles ⏱️ 11 hours, 30 minutes

Nashville, the heart of country music, is not only famous for its colorful music scene but also for its rich history and southern hospitality. You will also find amazing BBQ joints here.

En route, we recommend stopping at Branson Scenic Railway , Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site , Patti's 1880's Settlement in Grand Rivers and Dunbar Cave State Park .

Wisconsin Dells sandstone formations in the Wisconsin River

Wisconsin Dells

🚗 510 miles ⏱️ 8 hours

Wisconsin Dells is nicknamed "the waterpark capital of the world", offering fun for the whole family with its numerous theme parks and natural beauty.

Many please you can visit on this road trip include the Jesse James Birthplace , Pappajohn Sculpture Park , National Czech & Slovak Museum & Library and Crystal Lake Cave near Dubuque.

Des Moines, Iowa, USA with the skyline at night.

🚗 190 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 50 minutes

Des Moines, a hidden gem in the heartland, is known for its state fairgrounds and lively downtown district. In Downtown, you can view historic architecture, enjoy a little retail therapy and treat yourself to a meal.

The drive to Des Moines is dotted with famous people's birth homes, such as Jesse James Birthplace , Walt Disney Hometown Museum and John Wayne Birthplace Museum ; the latter being short detours away.

Dallas, Texas, USA downtown city skyline.

🚗 555 miles ⏱️ 8 hours, 10 minutes

Dallas is the place to head to for the quintessential Texan experience. From its upscale shopping and amazing culinary scene to historic sights and live performances, the city offers the perfect mix of Texas charm and cosmopolitan flair.

Some great places to visit en route are Kansas State Capitol in Topeka, Wichita Botanical Gardens , Oklahoma City Zoo and Turner Falls Park .

Omaha, Nebraska, USA with an aerial view of the downtown Omaha skyline.

🚗 480 miles ⏱️ 8 hours

Omaha is another amazing urban destination on our list that blends a historic background with contemporary fun. The city has the famous Old Market district and the beloved Henry Doorly Zoo.

Some of the amazing places you can visit en route are Evel Knievel Museum , Arbor Lodge State Historical Park , Museum of American Speed in Lincoln and Pawnee State Recreation Area .

Branson, Missouri, USA with a view of the stone church at top of the rock overlooking the city.

🚗 330 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 45 minutes

Branson, Missouri, is a family-friendly hotspot where you can enjoy live shows, stunning Ozark scenery, and exciting theme parks. With entertainment and outdoor activities on offer, Branson is a great destination for any adventurer.

On the way, don't miss out on visiting Maple Leaf Lake Conservation Area , Rock Bridge Memorial State Park , Lake of the Ozarks , Osage Beach and Route 66 Museum in Lebanon.

Charming barn at Historic Weston Orchard and Vineyard with pumpkins displayed at its entrance

🚗 35 miles ⏱️ 40 minutes

Weston is the perfect place for an escape from the big city with its historic architecture, boutique wineries, and charming seasonal festivals. Being so close to Kansas City, it is great for a day trip.

There is plenty of natural beauty to discover on this short drive such as Platte Falls Conservation Area , Platte Ridge Park and Weston Bend State Park .

The Capitol of Topeka, Kansas USA

🚗 85 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 35 minutes

Topeka is Kansas' capital and is home to the Kansas State Capitol and world-class museums. It's a great place to relax in one of the parks or explore new things, making it a perfect spot for a laid-back visit.

This is a short drive so you can make detours to visit Moon Marble Company , Lecompton Constitution Hall and Perry Lake Recreation Area on the way.

Crystal clear spring water at Ha Ha Tonka State Park, MO, USA on a sunny day.

Ha Ha Tonka State Park

🚗 160 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 40 minutes

Ha Ha Tonka State Park is a true hidden gem with its fascinating castle ruins perched high above the Lake of the Ozarks. It's the perfect spot for an adventure, whether you're hiking scenic trails or picnicking by the water.

On the way there, you can visit Yaya's Alpaca Farm , Henry County Museum , Benton County Museum and Bridal Cave & Thunder Mountain Park .

Reflection of the sunset over the tranquil waters of the lake near Kansas City

Smithville Lake

🚗 30 miles ⏱️ 40 minutes

Smithville Lake is a local favorite for anyone looking to fish, boat, or simply soak up some sunshine along its scenic shores. It's an ideal getaway for a day of outdoor fun or a relaxing afternoon in nature.

As you leave the city on this short drive, you can visit The Rush Funplex , Shoal Creek Living History Museum and Smoke & Davey Trailhead en route.

Bentonville, Arkansas, USA with a view of Walmart Museum downtown Bentonville.


🚗 210 miles ⏱️ 3 hours, 10 minutes

Bentonville is a charming small town known for its Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art. It's the perfect blend of small-town charm and great museums and eateries.

You can visit Route 66 Drive-In in Carthage, Grand Falls in Joplin and George Washington Carver National Monument en route.

Vintage sign advertising Totem Pole Trading Post in Rolla, MO

🚗 220 miles ⏱️ 3 hours, 30 minutes

Rolla is a cozy college town where you can dive into the local history at museums or explore the great outdoors with its parks and trails. There is something to do for everyone in this charming small town.

Some of the great places you can visit en route are Maple Leaf Lake Conservation Area , Warm Springs Ranch , Columbia Art League and Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City .

Columbia, Missouri, USA historic campus and columns.

🚗 125 miles ⏱️ 1 hour, 50 minutes

Columbia is a lively college town, home to the University of Missouri. In this laid-back town, you will find plenty of eclectic shops, and affordable eateries.

As you make your way to Columbia, you can visit Burr Oak Woods Conservation Area , Maple Leaf Lake Conservation Area , Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site and Arrow Rock State Historic Site .

Golden Driller, Tulsa, Oklahoma

🚗 340 miles ⏱️ 5 hours, 40 minutes

Tulsa is a city where Southern comfort meets urban adventure, where you can visit great museums showcasing world-class art, live music venues, and unique historical sites.

On the way, we recommend stopping at Route 66 Drive-In in Carthage, Joplin's Grand Falls and Bernice Nature Center .

Springfield, Missouri, USA with a view of the city skyline at dusk.

Springfield, Missouri

🚗 170 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 40 minutes

Springfield, Missouri is a great spot for anyone looking to enjoy live music, museums, and outdoor activities. It's a welcoming city that offers plenty of charm and adventure around every corner.

En route, Yaya's Alpaca Farm , Henry County Museum and Dunnegan Memorial Park are a few of the great places you can visit.

Longer road trips from Kansas City

Beautiful Niagara Falls on a clear sunny day. Niagara, Canada

Niagara Falls

🚗 1,005 miles ⏱️ 14 hours, 40 minutes

There are only a few places in the country as majestic as Niagara Falls, a spectacular natural wonder famous for its breathtaking views and powerful falls.

Yellowstone National Park, Madison River Valley, American Bison Herd, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park

🚗 1,230 miles ⏱️ 18 hours, 30 minutes

Yellowstone National Park, the world's first national park, is home to geothermal wonders like Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic and fascinating wildlife such as the famous bison that roam the landscape.

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA skyline over the strip at dusk.

🚗 1,350 miles ⏱️ 19 hours, 40 minutes

Las Vegas is deservingly called the entertainment capital of the world. Here you will find neon-lit casinos, spectacular shows, and nightlife that doesn't seem to stop!

Orlando, Florida, USA with a view of the Orlando Eye against a cloudy but sunny sky and palm trees in the foreground.

🚗 1,650 miles ⏱️ 28 hours

Orlando is world-famously the theme park capital of the world, and this Florida city offers endless fun with attractions like Walt Disney World Resort, and Universal Studios.

Beautiful cloudy day of Los Angeles downtown skyline and palm trees in foreground

Los Angeles

🚗 1,795 miles ⏱️ 27 hours

Located on the beautiful Pacific Coast, Los Angeles is home to iconic Hollywood sights such as the Hollywood Sign, sun-soaked beaches and amazing theme parks.


  • Destinations

17 Best Romantic Weekend Getaways from Kansas City, Missouri

The inn at hermannhof, hermann, cedar crest lodge, pleasanton, ks, ophelia’s restaurant & inn, hermann hill.

  • Complete List & Map

The Inn at Hermannhof, Hermann

237 E. 1st Street, Hermann, Missouri 65041, 573 486 5199, Map

Cedar Crest Lodge, Pleasanton, KS

25939 E. 1000th Rd, Pleasanton, KS 66075, 913 352 6533, Map

Ophelia’s Restaurant & Inn

201 N. Main, Independence, MO , 816-461-4525 , Map

Hermann Hill

Discover beautiful parks nearby .

Clover Cliff Ranch Bed and Breakfast, Elmdale, KS

Clover Cliff Ranch Bed and Breakfast, Elmdale, KS

826A Highway 50, Elmdale, KS 66850, 620 343 0621, Map

Beaver Lake Cottages

Beaver Lake Cottages

More Day Trips in Missouri

The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks

The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks

1 Opportunity Avenue, Point Lookout, MO, 417-239-1900 , Map

Amber House Bed and Breakfast

Amber House Bed and Breakfast

More ideas: Best Missouri Beaches

Lehmann House Bed and Breakfast

Lehmann House Bed and Breakfast

If you are interested in history, watch this fascinating video about the origins of The Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

Depot Inn and Suites, La Plata, MO

Depot Inn and Suites, La Plata, MO

Depot Inn and Suites , 1245 N. Brown Street, La Plata, MO 63549, 660 332 4669

Angel at Rose Hall

Angel at Rose Hall

Angel at Rose Hall , 46 Hillside Avenue, Eureka Springs, AR, 479-253-5405

Grand Central Hotel

Grand Central Hotel

Grand Central Hotel , 215 Broadway, Cottonwood Falls, KS, 620-273-6763

The Inn at Rose Hall

The Inn at Rose Hall

More ideas: Best Missouri State Parks

Old Kinderhook Resort, Golf Club and Spa, Camdenton, MO

Old Kinderhook Resort, Golf Club and Spa, Camdenton, MO

Located at Lake of the Ozarks in the heart of Missouri, Old Kinderhook Resort, Golf Club and Spa has everything you need for a great weekend getaway. Active couples will love being surrounded by more than 700 acres of beautiful landscape, a premier golf club and a lake for boating and other water sports. In winter you can lace up your skates and enjoy the ice skating rink. You can choose a comfortable Lodge room overlooking the golf course or opt for more space and privacy in one of the Golf Villas or Rental Cottages. On-site amenities include indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs, a fitness center, golf course and a Marina. 678 Old Kinderhook Dr, Camdenton, MO 65020, 573 317 3500, Map

Camden on the Lake Resort, Spa, & Yacht Club

Camden on the Lake Resort, Spa, & Yacht Club

More ideas: Family-Friendly Missouri

The Elms Hotel and Spa, Excelsior Springs, MO

The Elms Hotel and Spa, Excelsior Springs, MO

More ideas: Hotels & Resorts in Missouri

The Tiger Hotel, Columbia

The Tiger Hotel, Columbia

The Tiger Hotel , 23 S. 8th Street, Columbia, MO 65201, 573 875 8888

  • 1. The Inn at Hermannhof, Hermann
  • 2. Cedar Crest Lodge, Pleasanton, KS
  • 3. Ophelia’s Restaurant & Inn
  • 4. Hermann Hill
  • 5. Clover Cliff Ranch Bed and Breakfast, Elmdale, KS
  • 6. Beaver Lake Cottages
  • 7. The Keeter Center at College of the Ozarks
  • 8. Amber House Bed and Breakfast
  • 9. Lehmann House Bed and Breakfast
  • 10. Depot Inn and Suites, La Plata, MO
  • 11. Angel at Rose Hall
  • 12. Grand Central Hotel
  • 13. The Inn at Rose Hall
  • 14. Old Kinderhook Resort, Golf Club and Spa, Camdenton, MO
  • 15. Camden on the Lake Resort, Spa, & Yacht Club
  • 16. The Elms Hotel and Spa, Excelsior Springs, MO
  • 17. The Tiger Hotel, Columbia

The Tiger Hotel, Columbia

Last Updated By VI on April 23, 2024 in Missouri Day Trips & Weekend Getaways

More Features

Best Pools in Las Vegas

20 Best Pools in Las Vegas

20 Best Kansas City Parks

20 Best Kansas City Parks

18 Best Missouri Lakes

20 Best Lakes in Missouri

  • --> Conclusion


  • About Us/Contact Us
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Service

Kansas City's Top Attractions

Free Things to Do

Things to Do With Kids

Skiing Near KC

Live Music in Kansas City

Kansas City's Best BBQ

Top Restaurants in KC

Kansas City's Best Bars

Top Kansas City Breweries

Kansas City International Airport Guide

Neighborhoods to Know

Public Transportation

48 Hours in KC: Itinerary

The Best Kansas City Tours

Day Trips From Kansas City

The Best Day Trips From Kansas City, Missouri

Kathryn Greene is a freelance writer specializing in travel, lifestyle, fashion, and more. Kathryn's work has appeared in FAD Magazine, Spoiled NYC, and other publications.

Kansas City, Missouri, or Paris of the Plains as it is called, has everything to offer in dining, sporting events, and scenic views, but just like Paris, sometimes what you’re looking for is right outside the city limits. Whether you’re in the mood to relax lakeside in Missouri’s favorite resort town, soak in the culture in nearby Omaha, or board a wine trolley and explore vineyards in a nearby city, there are plenty of adventures awaiting, all three hours or less away by car.

Excelsior Springs: Nine Rounds and Relaxation

 The Elms Hotel & Spa

Hit nine rounds at the Excelsior Springs Golf Course before heading to the town’s centerpiece, The Elms Hotel & Spa . Open since 1912, the historic hotel has checked in guests including Al Capone, Harry S. Truman, and Jack Dempsey. Get a day pass and explore The Grotto, an underground spa with an exfoliation bar, saunas, and hot tub. Or book a service like a massage or facial in the cave-like setting. The grounds can keep you entertained all day long between relaxing and dining at 88 at the Elms or the café. If you’re looking to be spooked, The Elms offers nightly ghost tours that play on the resort’s history. On your way home, stop at the Dari B Drive-In for old fashioned ice cream.

Getting There: Get to Excelsior Springs in approximately 35 minutes by car via I-35 North.

Travel Tip: During high-volume times, day passes to The Grotto may be unavailable – call ahead and book one in advance to be safe. 

Lake of the Ozarks: Lakeside Fun in the Sun

 tomorrowspix/Getty Images

Sure it has inspired a hit show, but the real Lake of the Ozarks is a family-friendly resort town. Missouri’s favorite place for a lake vacation, there are a multitude of ways to spend your time between golfing, fishing, dining, boating, or just lounging on one of the two public beaches. Go to Iguana Watersports for boat and jet ski rentals. Head underground to Jacob’s Cave for a mile-long walk to see stalactites up close. If you’re bringing your kids, take them to Miner Mike’s , an indoor “adventure town” with games and prizes.

Getting There: Two hours and 45 minutes via I-70 E in a car.

Travel Tip: The official Lake of the Ozarks season runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Although things are open year-round, it is a town best enjoyed during the summer months.

Weston, Missouri: A Historic Distillery

Holladay Distillery 

Cross the Missouri River and transport yourself back in time. Weston, Missouri is home to Holladay Distillery , one of the oldest continuously operating distilleries in the United States. Take a tour of the facility to see its historic buildings, world-class bottling facilities, and taste their White Dog bourbon. Lantern-led tours are also offered at night for a different experience. After the tour, go to Main Street in nearby Platte City to McCormick on Main. One part shop and one part bar, the rustic spot offers samples of other McCormick Distilling products. Once you’ve narrowed down your favorite, or let’s be honest favorites, full-sized bottles are available to purchase as well as souvenirs and t-shirts.

Getting There: By car, Weston, Missouri is 45 minutes from downtown Kansas City. Or if you’re already at the Kansas City International Airport (MCI) you can take a 20-minute shuttle ride directly to the distillery. 

Travel Tip: Walk-ins are accepted based on availability, so try to make a reservation in advance. A majority of the tour is outside so wear comfortable and weather-appropriate clothing.  

Lawrence, Kansas: Sunflowers and Sunshine

 Derek Slagle/Getty Images

The home of the University of Kansas’ Jayhawks, Lawrence, Kansas is a quaint college town. Along its historic main street, Massachusetts Street, there is shopping, spas, restaurants, and bars. But Lawrence is worth the trip for Grinter Sunflower Farms alone, where sunflowers bloom across dozens of acres. It’s a stunning sight any time but particularly during sunrise and sunset, perfect for a photo op. Nearby Clinton Lake is a popular spot for camping, but you don’t have to stay overnight to enjoy it. There are hiking trails, fishing ponds, sand volleyball and disc golf courses if you’re looking for outdoor activities.

Getting There: A 40-minute drive by car will get you to Lawrence, KS. From the airport, there are also many 24/7 shuttle services that can take you directly to the town, for a fee.

Travel Tip: If you drive via I-70, you will have to pay a toll prior to entering Lawrence.

Wichita, Kansas: Explore by Streetcar

Davel5957/Getty Images

The Little Arkansas River runs right through Wichita, making it one of the most picturesque – and largest – cities in Kansas. The best way to explore is by hopping on the Q Line Trolley, which is free. Reminiscent of New Orleans’ iconic streetcars, the Q Line runs from Delano to Clifton Square, allowing you to see the city hands-free without focusing on your car's GPS. A must-see is the Cowtown Museum . A replication of 1870s Wichita, the open-air museum brings a Wild West town back to life in painstaking, life-size detail. Walk down Main Street, see a one-room schoolhouse, and even businesses like banks, drugstores, and a blacksmith. At night, go to the Keeper of the Plains, a statue on the bank where the Arkansas and Little Arkansas Rivers meet. Nightly, the “ring of fire” under the statue is set ablaze.

Getting There: Take I-70 W to 1-35 S by car and you’ll arrive in Wichita in just about three hours.

Travel Tip: If you visit in April, you’ll get to experience the Wichita Jazz Festival , which has been put on every year since 1972.

Omaha, Nebraska: Culture and Sculpture

RiverNorthPhotography/Getty Images 

If day-tripping to a different state interests you, Omaha, Nebraska is a great choice. The Joslyn Art Museum has pieces in its permanent collection by Andrew Wyeth, Thomas Hart Benson, and Ed Ruscha. After you’re through perusing the exhibits, head outdoors to the Peter Kiewit Sculpture Garden. Nearby, the Discovery Garden is a bright and inviting outdoor space for children with interactive artwork. For more culture, continue on to the Durham Museum , inside Omaha’s Union Station which frequently hosts different exhibits and also houses the Byron Reed Gallery of ancient coins, medals, and other memorabilia. Five minutes from the Durham Museum, see the original site of Lewis and Clark’s exploration along the riverfront, where the duo landed in 1804.

Getting There: By car, Omaha clocks in at two minutes shy of three hours.

Travel Tip: General admission to the Joslyn Art Museum is free.

Kingsville, Missouri: An Oasis Awaits

Containing nine extensive gardens each with their own theme, The Powell Gardens are a modern oasis. Lush grounds, flora, and idyllic ponds are transformed regularly each season and for various festivals hosted throughout the year including the Festival of Butterflies, Booms & Blooms, Fall Fling: Through the Looking Glass, and the Festival of Lights. Feel free to wander autonomously or enrich the experience through activities. The Powell Gardens offers activities for kids, conservatory talks, and even photography workshops. Take a snack break at any point at Café Thyme or the Refresh Snack Stop.

Getting There: An hour by car via MO-350 E to US-50 E.

Travel Tip: Hours of the gardens’ operation vary by season. Plan your visit by checking here .

Paola, Kansas: A Wine Trolley and Vineyard Tours

NightHawk Winery

Paola, Kansas is home to a surprising amount of wineries and vineyards. Starting it all in 2001 was Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery which produces approximately 5,000 cases annually. All within a 15-minute drive, nearby NightHawk Vineyard and Winery , White Wind Farms, and Middle Creek Winery make up the Somerset Wine Trail. Explore on your own or board the Miami County Trolley, which will connect you and your group to each location in a charming ride. Though it’s not part of the official trail, make sure to also stop by the Louisburg Cider Mill . Open year-round, you can try some of their famous apple cider, fruit butters, or doughnuts — get some enjoy on the ride home. 

Getting There: 50 minutes on I-35 S by car.

Travel Tip: Call the Miami County Trolley to arrange pickup and drop-off based on your chosen itinerary at 916-306-3388. 

Rocheport, Missouri: Get Active Alongside Scenic Views

marekuliasz/Getty Images

If you’re looking for a more active day trip, Rocheport is the place for you. Bike or hike along the scenic Katy Trail , or book a guided canoe or kayak trip down the Missouri River through Mighty Mo Canoe Rental . Given Rocheport’s proximity to St. Louis, it’s no surprise that it is home to the Budweiser Clydesdales which you can see up close at Warm Springs Ranch by buying a ticket in advance.

Getting There: Halfway between Kansas City and St. Louis, Rocheport is just a 90-minute drive by car.

Travel Tip: If you choose to explore the Katy Trail by bike, they can be rented from Bike Stop Café . Fuel yourself with a cup of coffee before you head out. 

Emporia, Kansas: Magical Landscapes

Hays House Restaurant

When you think of Kansas, you’re probably picturing tallgrass sprawling across the landscape as far as the eye can see across the plains. Go for a leisurely drive though Emporia and the surrounding area and when you’re finished stop at Hay’s House in Council Grove, the oldest restaurant in Kansas, started by Daniel Boone’s grandson. Their skillet fried chicken and chicken fried steaks are a must-order.

Getting There: A one hour and 50-minute drive on I-35 South.

Travel Tip: Solo 24-hour bike race Dirty Kanza takes place every summer and covers 200 miles of terrain

Wine Trails to Explore in Missouri

Day Trips and Vacation Side Trips from San Francisco

The Best Staycation in Every State

The Best Small Town in Every State

The 13 Best Day Trips from Boston

The 11 Best Day Trips from New Orleans

The 28 Best Day Trips From Seattle

The Best Day Trips From Lexington, Kentucky

The 14 Best Day Trips from Rome

The 10 Best Day Trips to Take From San Antonio

The 13 Best Day Trips From Miami

The 9 Best Day Trips from Oklahoma City

The 15 Best Day Trips From Los Angeles

Your Trip to Kansas City: The Complete Guide

The 10 Best Day Trips From Palm Springs

The 9 Best Day Trips From Charleston

Weekend in Kansas City: The Perfect Itinerary (According to a Local!)

Planning a trip to Kansas City, Missouri? Read on for a complete weekend in Kansas City itinerary including the best things to do, where to eat and drink, where to stay and other essential tips written by a local if you have 36 to 48 hours in Kansas City .

36 hours in Kansas City Itinerary

– Written by Kaitlyn from Adventures of Kaitlyn and Nick  –

Kansas City is a great place to visit in the Midwest with a lot of things to do, see, and eat even National Geographic has identified Kansas City as a top destination (#10!) for 2019.

We have lived in Kansas City, Missouri for more than three years now and have explored the city as both tourists and locals. This weekend in Kansas City itinerary captures some of our favorite things and some of Kansas City’s most popular attractions.

Kansas City Travel Tips

Kansas City is almost in the center of the United States. It is easily reached by driving from the rest of the Midwest or by flying into Kansas City International Airport (MCI) . The airport is about a 30 minute drive from downtown, so make sure to take that into account if you have a specific timeline after arriving.

Kansas City is a large and spread out metropolis. In order to explore the city a car is the best option. Uber and Lyft are available if needed, but to explore during the day your own vehicle would be nice.

Downtown Kansas City is broken up into multiple districts. They are all pretty close to each other, but not walking distance. The areas include the West Bottoms, the Plaza, and Power and Light.

Kansas City is located in the Midwest so it experiences some warm weather in the summer and cold weather in the winter. I am a warm weather girl, so I recommend visiting in the spring, summer, or fall. Kansas City can be struck by snow or ice, so travel in the winter can be a little iffy if you aren’t used to travelling in winter conditions.

One final thing, the Kansas City that most people picture is actually located in Missouri, not Kansas. There is a Kansas City, Kansas and it connects across the border to Kansas City, Missouri. We’ve only lived here for three years, but there is a clear rivalry of Kansas vs Missouri in those that have grown up here. This doesn’t just pertain to Kansas City, but includes the suburbs as well. This is just something good to keep in mind as you talk to different locals during your stay.

Where to Stay in Kansas City

If you are looking to stay close to nightlife there are hotels in the Plaza and near the Power and Light District.

Hilton President is a neat hotel in a very old building within walking distance of the Power and Light District. It is a great place to stay if you are planning to explore the bars in this area. I have stayed here for work trips before moving to Kansas City and can say it is very nice. It also stands out as a staple of the Kansas City skyline.

There are multiple hotels in the Plaza. I have stayed at the Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza before while travelling for work and know it is within walking distance to Jack Stack BBQ on the Plaza.

If you are looking for a cheaper option the liberty or worlds of fun area have a lot of hotels too. (We actually live close to Worlds of Fun) these areas are about a 20 minute drive to downtown or the airport and have some of their own attractions too.

Another option is Airbnb. I haven’t used Airbnb in Kansas City before, but have used it in multiple other cities and loved it! It is a great way to get a more local feel for a destination without the higher cost of a hotel in these areas. If you haven’t used Airbnb before, use my link to sign up and get something off your first stay (and we will get something off our next trip too!)

Day 1 in Kansas City Itinerary: Q39, The Plaza, Char Bar

Arrive in Kansas City!

I would plan on some good Kansas City barbecue for dinner. My favorite place (for now) is Q39 which is located in a hip area of town called 39th Street with shops, bars, and restaurants. It is not your typical hole in the wall barbecue joint but is still delicious, trust me. My favorite is the burnt end burger with an appetizer of their onion rings. Get there early or be prepared for a wait. You can also make a reservation online if you do it early enough.

If you get to town a little earlier and have time before dinner I recommend walking around the Plaza. You can also sign up for a segway tour here . The Plaza boasts fancy stores, unique architecture, and beautiful lights during the holiday season.

If you can still walk after you are stuffed with bbq, check out one of the bars on 39th Street like Char Bar . They also have good barbecue, but my favorite part is the outdoor area. There is a covered patio, a huge outdoor bar, and a large grassy games area with room for cornhole and hanging out by fire pits.

Day 2 in Kansas City Itinerary: City Market, National WWI Museum and Memorial, Joe’s KC, Power & Light District

City market.

When you get up Saturday morning head on down to City Market . Here you can walk around and admire local crafts, vegetables, and other goodies. City Market is also lined with restaurants. Stop by City Market Coffee or get a lemonade from a vendor and a snack to tide you over til lunch. On Saturdays and Sundays local farmers and vendors set up multiple rows of their goods. We love to buy produce, honey, flowers, and even specialty products here.

If you can hold out for lunch in City Market you won’t be disappointed. There are a lot of choices here, but I recommend Habashi House . It has delicious Middle Eastern fare and the best hummus I’ve ever had. They have great gyros and platters as well as baklava for desert.

Also in City Market is the Arabia Steamboat Museum . We haven’t visited this museum, but I’ve heard from co-workers it is pretty cool, but a little on the pricey side.

National WWI Museum and Memorial

weekend in kansas city itinerary skyline from WWI monument

Once you’ve had your fun at City Market, head on over to the National WWI Museum and Memorial . This is the only museum dedicated to WWI in the country. The museum is beautiful and you can also take a ride to the top of the memorial for a unique city skyline view.

Joe’s KC

joes-kc-bbq-what-to-eat-in kansas city

For an early dinner head to Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que (Joe’s KC) . Yes another BBQ place, but you won’t be sorry! This restaurant is located in Kansas City, Kansas and in a functioning gas station. They have won more awards than I can count and are very popular for locals and tourists alike. On Wednesdays and Saturdays they have a Burnt Ends plate I highly recommend. Other days i would choose their Z-Man which is a brisket sandwich. I love their onion rings and Nick loves their fries. Both come with a great seasoning on them that can’t be beat!

Again be prepared for a long wait if you come during normal eating times. For lunch I would recommend getting there at 11:00 a.m. (when they open), and for dinner no later than 5:00 p.m. if you don’t want to wait in line for an hour.

Power & Light District

power-and-light-district kansas city travel blog

Tonight head to the Power & Light District for nightlife. This is a great area that is basically an enclosed city block. There are bars and restaurants around the perimeter and an open space inside where you can walk with your drinks! If you are there in the summer there are free country concerts in on Thursday nights.

The outdoor area is covered so no need to worry about weather. There is a piano bar and a bar with a mechanical bull!

Day 3 in Kansas City Itinerary: First Watch, Kansas City Zoo

First watch.

For your last day in the city I recommend heading to First Watch for breakfast/brunch. There is a location just north of downtown and a few more have opened in the last year too. It is a place specifically for breakfast and brunch and has some great options. I love their breakfast tacos!

Kansas City Zoo

If the weather is nice I recommend visiting the Kansas City Zoo . It is a large zoo, so bring your walking shoes! My favorite part is the kangaroos that are not enclosed at all! They lay on the grass looking so much like people, I could watch them for way too long. It is easy to spend a half of a day walking and looking at all the animals! Bring your own water bottle and snacks to save some money for when you get inevitably hungry and thirsty.

I know you will leave Kansas City today feeling like you just have to come back! When you do, check out my post on fun things to do in Kansas City for inspiration!

More Things to Do in Kansas City

There are so many fun things to do in Kansas City it is hard to pick just a few for a weekend. If you find yourself completing this itinerary quickly or just want some different options here are some more good choices.

Royals, Chiefs, Sporting KC, and Basketball

Kansas City also has multiple major sports teams. Depending on the time of year you visit you could watch soccer, baseball, or football. The Chiefs and Royals are located right beside each other (they actually share a parking lot!) on the east side of town. Sporting KC is the male professional soccer team that has a very loyal following and the games are a blast to attend even if you aren’t a big soccer fan. Kansas City also often hosts big 12 basketball tournament games if the season is right.

Union Station

lego art of the brick at union station 36 hours in kansas city itinerary

Another favorite of ours is to visit Union Station . This is the train station in town that is still operational. It is a beautiful old building that hosts many festivals and unique exhibits throughout the year.

We have seen bodies, legos, dinosaurs, giant insects, and mummies at the rotating exhibits here. There is also a science museum in Union Station that is great for kids, or adults who are still young at heart.

Their exhibits are typically on the expensive side, but they are also exhibits that travel around the country and might be a once in a lifetime chance to see.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Nelson Atkins Museum of Art 36 to 48 hours in kansas city

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a haven for art lovers. We have been three times and haven’t seen everything yet. The best part is the museum is free. You will have to pay for parking but can’t beat the experience for the price if you love art and culture.

There are also sculptures on a large lawn in front of the museum. It is a perfect place for a picnic or just enjoying the weather and people watching.

The West Bottoms

One final adventure we love during the warmer months is First Fridays . This occurs in Westport where there are lots of art galleries, antique, and boutique shops to walk through. Streets are closed down and food trucks line the streets during the first weekend of the month. The shops are open most weekends but without as much of the hoopla.

As you can see, there are a lot of reasons Kansas City isn’t just another fly over city in the Midwest. With this itinerary you can have a great weekend in Kansas City whether you’re from near or far.

Kaitlyn is a chemical engineer by day and adventurer by weekend. With Adventures of Kaitlyn and Nick she seeks to share their adventures and inspire everyone to explore and see this great world.  Follow her on  facebook , instagram ,  pinterest , and twitter .

The best things to do in Kansas City, Missouri (USA). Click for the perfect weekend itinerary including what to do, where to stay, where to eat and drink and other insider travel tips. #kansascity #kansascitytravel #kansascitythingstodo | Kansas City Travel | Things to do in Kansas City Ideas | Kansas City Vacation Bucket Lists | Kansas City Things to do Winter Fall Summer Spring Free | Kansas City Attractions Fun | Kansas City Hotels | Kansas City Missouri Food | Kansas City Restaurants

Related Posts

What to Pack in a Carry On Bag: The Ultimate Carry On Bag Essentials List


I have some family in Kansas City, although I have not done much there yet. Joe’s KC looks so busy, but I love a good BBQ joint! I will save this for later so I know what to do next time I am in the area.

I haven’t been to Kansas City, but I know it’s in Missouri and just heard about one in Kansas. lol. I can’t wait to try the BBQ, visit the Union Station, the Nelson-Atkins Museum and other places that I’ve heard before. I know one day we will stop here on our way home from Illinois, looking for a new itinerary. Good read and pinned this article for future reference.

Honestly I’ve never thought too much about Kansas City before but it looks like an awesome city! I’d love to go someday though I don’t think I’m welcome as a Patriots fan right now haha

Leave a Reply Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

Currently you have JavaScript disabled. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed .

The Hombody Tourist Logo- USA, dog-friendly road trips

Kansas City, MO Weekend Trip: A 3-day Kansas City Itinerary from a Local!

Kansas City, Missouri is an underappreciated gem in the heart of the U.S. and its unique local flare, walkable city districts, and remarkable affordability make for a perfect long weekend trip! 

Side note:: This post was written by Ashlea who has called KC home for over 8 years. This way, you can ensure you are reading the best Kansas City Weekend Trip itinerary out there. Locals know best!

weekend trip to kansas city, Mo pin for pinterest

This post contains affiliate links to products. I may receive a commission for purchases made through these links at no extra cost to you.   I only recommend products I truly love 🙂

Table of Contents

How do I get to Kansas City?

kansas city international airport sign with plane flying overhead

The best way to get to Kansas City is to fly into MCI Airport. You are lucky because the newly opened terminal at the Kansas City airport is spectacular and helped MCI be named the best airport in the world.

We are very proud of our airport and feel that it represents KC in the best way with all things KC. You will see beautiful art installations with KC themes such as jazz instruments as we are known for our jazz district, among other sweet details.

Our airport also has a TON of local businesses that have locations in the airport such as Boulevard Brewery, Stockyards Brewery, Messenger Coffee, and even a mini River Market which is our farmer’s market. I know, I know it’s an airport but I’m telling you it is so cool. 

How to get around KC?

kansas city streetcar

During your weekend trip to Kansas City, I highly recommend renting a car to give yourself more freedom and flexibility. 

However, if you do not have a car that is okay too! We have a wonderful streetcar that is free, clean, and very reliable.

The trolley will take you to downtown, River Market, Crossroads Arts District and by 2024 it will also take you to the Plaza, Westport, and Midtown. Anywhere awesome the trolley does not take you can easily be accessed by a short Uber or Lyft ride. 

KC is also very walkable. You can easily walk between downtown and the Crossroads Arts District. You can also walk between River Market and Crossroads Arts District but it is a longer walk. 

Renting a car of course gives you more flexibility and the ease of not having to wait on the trolley or an Uber. All in all, much of the things to do in Kansas City are relatively close by, so whichever mode of transport you choose, you’ll be experiencing the best KC weekend trip activities in pretty short order.

What is the best time to visit Kansas City?

christmas in kansas city mo

The best time to visit Kansas City, MO is in the summer or fall . The weather is nice during this time, and you’ll find there are so many fun festivals and pop-ups going on then.

If you can swing it, the first full weekend in Kansas City is the best time to visit. Every First Friday of every month, we have First Fridays in the Crossroads and First Fridays in the West Bottoms .

In the summer, we have Boulevardia, a massive beer festival on Father’s Day Weekend hosted by Boulevard Brewery. Boulevardia has live concerts from some pretty marque artists, local shopping by vendors, food trucks, outdoor bar stands, silent karaoke, carnival rides, and so much more!

September is also great for festivals. There is the Westport Art Fair and the Plaza Art Fair. I prefer the Westport Art Fair because it is more laid back, but the Plaza Art Fair is the biggest one for sure. They both have streets blocked off, selling art, local goods, food trucks, and outdoor bars. 

KC is a big sports town. We love our Chiefs and Royals, and autumn is prime sports watching . The city will shut down when the Chiefs are playing. If you drive through KC during a Chiefs game, you will think no one lives here because the whole town will be watching the game! Even for a non-sports fan, it is a good time seeing all the hometown spirit. 

One more key thing to note, unless you’re truly brave when it comes to frigid weather, KC is best avoided in January and February , where temperatures often reach the single digits.

However, while chilly, December is a lovely time to visit because Kansas City is a magical place to be for the holidays as there are festive events and lights everywhere!

Where should I stay in Kansas City, MO?

The best area of town to stay is the Crossroads Arts District. It is the “it” area of town right now with so many hip and trendy coffee shops, bars, breweries, restaurants, and shopping. It is also a very walkable area of town and easy to explore. It is great for people of all ages! 

Downtown is another great option to stay because it is close to so many of the hot spots and popular neighborhoods like Crossroads and the River Market . 

The Plaza is another popular place to stay in KC. It is a popular shopping district with Spanish architecture. 

You will find more budget friendly options in Midtown as well and this is still a great area to stay but is not walking distance from the Crossroads and you will not be able to use the trolley if you stay in Westport, Midtown, or the Plaza. 

My Kansas City Hotel Recommendations:  

  • Budget-friendly Option: A great option for free accommodations in KC is to use Trusted Housesitters to watch KC locals’ houses and pets and get free accommodations. We have used Trusted Housesitters before and LOVE it! You do have to pay a yearly membership fee of 129.00 which you will more than makeup when you do your first sit. 
  • Mid-range Option: Home2Suites and Indigo Hotel are both great mid range options. They are both located in the Crossroads Arts. They are walking distance to most restaurants, bars, shops, breweries, distilleries, coffee shops, and all the fun in the Crossroads Arts District. They are also located right next to a trolley stop.
  • Luxury Option: Crossroads Hotel and Hotel Kansas City are great options for a higher budget. The Crossroads Hotel is located in the Crossroads Arts District and it also has a restaurant, bar, and rooftop bar. The Crossroads has been on national lists for best hotels. It is very artsy and modern luxury hotel. Hotel Kansas City is an historic building that used to be a social club founded in the 1800’s. The building is just gorgeous with such classy vibes. It also has an excellent coffee shop, speakeasy, and restaurant within the hotel. Hotel Kansas City is located in the heart of downtown. 
  • Dog-friendly Stay: Home2Suites and Hotel Indigo mentioned above are both pet friendly options if you are wanting to stay in the Crossroads.
  • Unique Option: No Vacancy is a trendy artsy guesthouse that offers a selection of well designed rooms and even has a hip colorful rooftop space. This is a popular place for people to go for photoshoots or use for their wedding hotel or getting ready location. It is just so cute! Better yet it is located in the Crossroads Arts District on an adorable street with other local shops. 

Sample 3-Day Kansas City Weekend Itinerary

Day 1 in kansas city: west bottoms .

 One weekend in kansas city- west bottoms shopping and the fountatin at the union station

First, things first- coffee. Head to Cafe Corazon for some great coffee drinks and maybe a breakfast empanada.

Now walk one block to the Streetcar on Main Street (right by Extra Virgin) and ride it South (away from downtown) to the last stop which will drop you off directly in front of my favorite building in KC, Union Station. Plan to spend anywhere from 30 minutes to two hours here. 

Union Station is Kansas City’s classic train station and is just stunning! This is my absolute favorite building in the city. It is over 100 years old and is restored to its original beauty. 

If you have the time, it is the perfect place to walk around and admire its chandeliers, delicate details, marble floors, and imagine all the history that has taken place over the past century. Stand under the clock which was the meeting place for soldiers and their loves after WWII, so many love stories picked up right there.

If you want to learn all about Union Station’s rich history you can even download the app (Living History: Union Station Kansas City) and learn all about Union Stations history which is fascinating. The app allows for you to stand at different points and learn about different aspects of Union Station. 

Union Station also has Science City, a movie theater, and amazing rotating exhibits, restaurants, shops, and so much more to explore. 

Now let’s head to historic West Bottoms. This is the famous district where KC got its nickname “Paris of the Plains” and “The Wettest Block in the World” during prohibition when this area was lined with speakeasies and illegal activity. They say in KC, prohibition never existed due to the stronghold the mob had on the town. 

Nowadays the West Bottoms has a ton of warehouses full of vintage and antique shopping, breweries, distilleries, wineries, restaurants, and bars. Most are open every weekend, but First Fridays is the best time to go. The West Bottoms come alive with food trucks, and all shops are open at this time. It’s bustling and such a fun time to explore West Bottoms. 

Imagine huge brick warehouses and gravel streets in some areas with a ton of great local places to try out. Some of my favorite antique shops are Bella Patina , Good Juju . Some of my favorite local trendy shops are Fetch and West Bottoms Plant Co.   (has way more than just plants, local vendors).

If you are loving West Bottoms, stay for some drinks and great food! Fountain City Winery is a new winery that is just the best wine and sangria and has bocce ball, outdoor seating and more. 

Then, head to The Campground for dinner. You will find a trendy camping themed restaurant with an ever-changing menu based on season and local produce. They have exceptional food, and a huge outdoor patio and fire pits, but the craft cocktails are the main attraction. If you come when it is nice out, there will be a great outdoor bar where you can order snacks and drinks and enjoy the weather. 

TIP : If you visit The Campground during the holidays , they have an outdoor Christmas Market with local vendors, mulled wine and other holiday cocktails, and warm food to enjoy as you do some holiday shopping. 

Some other recommendations for this side of town for drinks after you eat are The Ship , a divey, nautical themed bar that is a bit rustic and a blast. It’s a funky place, usually with live music or a DJ on the weekends, and one of my all time favs! Stockyards Brewery is another great pick and located across the street from The Campground. 

You may also like : One Weekend in St. Louis, MO

Day 2 in Kansas City, MO: River Market & Crossroads Arts District

kansas city weekend trip- crossroads art district

Kansas city is home to some amazing coffee shops! Start day 2 by heading to Messenger , a local favorite café for coffee and breakfast.

They are located in a beautiful historic building with a rooftop that is perfect for enjoying your coffee with a view along with great breakfast and lunch options.

Messenger has a wonderful local bakery Ibis housed in the same building. They have exquisite coffee flights, baked goods, great breakfast choices that are truly amazing. Some of my favorites are the baguette sandwiches and the Ibis baked goods. 

Meander over to Main Street and catch the free Streetcar and ride that all the way to River Market to explore Kansas City’s historic farmers market- The City Marke t.

This is a great place to get great local produce but also have a little mini food tour and try some great local cuisine! It is always bustling with people and great local vendors and is the perfect way to spend a weekend day.

Be sure to check out City Market Coffee , Taste of Brazil , Local Pig , and Habashi House and KC Soda Tour on your food tour! 

Head back to the Crossroads Arts District for great cocktails and beer! 

Stop by Mean Mule Distilling’s tasting room for the best agave cocktail of your life. This cozy cocktail lounge is my favorite place to get an adult beverage in the whole city. If you love agave-forward spirits, you will LOVE Mean Mule.

They have a great variety of craft cocktails all set in a southwestern decorated venue.

Another great stop for cocktails is Afterward Tavern and Shelves , a bookstore and bar that makes similarly awesome cocktails and provides a warm but bustling ambiance.

One can’t leave the Crossroads without exploring the many local micro breweries in the district. All the breweries are within a close distance, and they are all superb! Some of my favorites are Double Shift , Red Sash , Nimble , and Casual Animal .

Day 3 in Kansas City, MO: Plaza and Midtown 

kansas city plaza

Start off the morning with grub at a funky hometown favorite restaurant, Succotash , for breakfast with tons of great fresh options from cold pressed juice, breakfast sandwiches, and so much more. The vibes are retro yet very unique and eclectic. 

Go to the famous Country Club Plaza, where you will see Spanish style buildings inspired by Sevilla and exquisite fountains. Locals never say the “Country Club” part and just call “the Plaza”

KC is known as the “City of Fountains” because we have more fountains than any other city in the world outside of Rome with over 200 fountains, and most of these will be found on the Plaza.

The Plaza is a bustling blocks-long strip of shops, boutiques, chain clothing stores, restaurants, bars and cafes. It’s a great place to do some shopping, eating, and drinking.

Some of my favorite local shops are Made in KC – a collective of a ton of locally-made products/businesses, EB and Co. for accessories and jewelry, and Charlie Hustle – world’s softest shirts & a local favorite. 

The Plaza is such a fun place to stroll around and enjoy the colorful Spanish architecture, fountains, and colorful streets. If you come from American Thanksgiving to January, you will see the most festive holiday lights when the plaza lights up at night.

Head to Westport for dinner and drinks at Westport Cafe . It is just the most charming and cozy Parisian style bistro.

Be sure to make a reservation on the weekend as it is a popular restaurant and a little on the small side. Westport is a highly trafficked place to go out on the town and is bustling on the weekends. This is the oldest area of KC and has lots of shops, restaurants, and bars to explore. 

After you finish dinner, pop around the corner to Ca Va , a delightfully intimate champagne bar for drinks, and if you still have room, some delicious cheese plates. We recommend sitting out on the most romantic patio and enjoying some bubble or champagne cocktails. You will really feel like you’ve ended your weekend in France!

Other things to do in Kansas City:

kauffman memorial garden

  • Iron District (North KC) – Iron District is a blast! It is about 10 minutes from the downtown area. Iron District is made of shipping containers with restaurants, bars, and shops inside. There is a big patio space to eat and drink in the middle and the containers are on the edge. They have Indian Food, vegan food, bakery, Tiki Bar, tacos, smash burgers, craft beer, plant shops, local boutiques, and so much more. This is the perfect place to go on a nice day! It will be shut down during the winter so check hours and opening dates. 
  • Kauffman Memorial Garden (Plaza) – Although the Kauffman Memorial Garden is small it is one of the prettiest gardens to visit. It is well groomed with lots of flowers and a fountain in the middle and tables and benches to enjoy the peaceful serenity of the garden. 
  • Rose Garden- Loose Park (Near Plaza) – Loose Park is not too far from the plaza- it is a huge sprawling park. You will find trails, lush grass fields that seem to go for miles, Rose garden , ponds, bridges, and more. It is such a great area to enjoy the outdoors, have a picnic, or just lay in the grass and dream. The Rose Garden is my favorite stop in Loose Park because it has such beautiful roses to smell and admire. This is where we got engaged too, it is a very romantic spot! 
  • W. 39th Street – 39th Street is another great area of town to explore. It is a very funky, gritty area of town to wander. They have great eats and shops. There are some vintage shops, dumpling restaurants, book stores, and a ton of cute places to explore. It is close to the Westport area of town.

Where (else) to Eat in the City:

river arts district

  • Jack Stack (Crossroads) – The BEST BBQ in KC! This is my number one pick for BBQ and the main location is located in the Crossroads area but they have many locations.
  • Lulus (Crossroads) – local Thai restaurant with colorful and vibrant decor and plants and phenomenal Thai food. 
  • Extra Virgin (Crossroads) – Extra Virgin has great tapas, and although it is a bit on the pricey side, it is so worth it. It has a huge covered patio to watch the hustle and bustle of life go by. It is located in the Crossroads and on a streetcar stop. 
  • Mannys (Crossroads) – the best Mexican food in town. 
  • BLVD Tavern (Crossroads) – Nestled in a brick building on Southwest Boulevard, the BLVD Tavern has great sangria, cocktails, local beer, sandwiches, pastas, the best charcuterie board in town, great pommes frites, and so much more! The inside is so cozy and perfect for a chilly day and the small patio is great for a nice day out. They also have great happy hour deals!
  • Town Topic (Crossroads) – No visit to KC without a greasy burger and shake from Town Topic. This tiny diner has been open for over 100 years, and it is legitimately the best burger in the world. They serve smash burgers, and it’s an iconic food landmark in Kansas City. My grandfather came here for late night eats in the 60’s. It is a KC institution. This is the best late night eats after a night on the town. You can wait in line which is an experience in itself, or, if you can’t wait, call ahead and pick up at the window. 
  • La Bodega (Southwest Boulevard) – La Bodega is a Spanish tapas place located on SW BLVD, which is near the Crossroads. They have great fire pits and a huge patio to enjoy some amazing tapas. 
  • Brown and Loe (River Market) – go here for wonderful brunch, lunch, and dinner options located right next to the farmer’s market in the River Market District with a great patio. 
  • Joes (Westwood) – Outstanding BBQ located in an old 1950’s gas station, casual dining 
  • Novel (Crossroads)- great pasta and dinner options, upscale dining. 
  • Rockhill (Crossroads) –  Rockhill is an upscale dining with the best cheese filled tots you will ever have! 

Other Tips to know before visiting Kansas City, MO:

  • KC Locals are so very friendly and are happy to help you whenever! We also love bragging about our city and giving recommendations, don’t hesitate to ask! 
  • KC is a bit of a coffee mecca so be sure to check out our coffee shops. Check out our guide to the Best Coffee Shops in KC
  • Do not walk home from Westport or Midtown at night. Take ubers. Avoid areas East of Troost and Prospect area. 
  • KC is set up around Main and Broadway and taking any of these two streets will take you to almost every neighborhood. Downtown, Crossroads, and Rivermarket are all close to one another. Plaza and Westport are close to one another. You can drive from Downtown to Plaza and hit every one of those areas mentioned. It is super easy to navigate. 

Kansas City Weekend Trip Map

One Weekend in Kansas City isn’t Enough

As you can see, there’s SO much to do in the Kansas City, MO that one weekend would never be enough to see it all. You can customize your 3-day Kansas City itinerary based on what interests you. No matter what you’re looking for, you’ll find plenty of entertaining activities to create your own fun-filled, jam-packed adventure weekend in Kansas City.

What else would you add to this Kansas City weekend trip?

About the Author! 

Hello! I’m Ashlea Bogner, co-founder of Seek Out Travel blog and a KC Local. I have lived in KC for over 8 years, exploring all the areas very extensively and just adore KC. There is so much to do and see and a truly phenomenal food and drink scene. We know how to make great craft cocktails, beer, and great cuisine (we are so much more than BBQ!). I hope you have the best adventure here in KC! 

Follow us on Instagram , Pinterest , and check out our blog for more travel guides, tips, and tricks on budget & ethical travel. 

Hey hey! I'm Jordan, a full-time elementary teacher with a side of freelance writing/travel blogging. As much as I LOVE to travel, I also enjoy routine, being home, and sleeping in my own cozy bed. Anyone else?  Enter...weekend getaways! I'm hoping you find this to be your one-stop-shop to plan your next USA weekend trip (with or without your pup).

Recent Posts

How to Throw a Perfect Bachelorette Party in Austin, Texas

Austin, Texas is quickly becoming the number one destination for those looking to plan an unforgettable bachelorette party. With such an expansive area to cover, it can be challenging trying to...

21+ of the Best Experience Gifts for Moms

Celebrating Mom's special day calls for a gift that goes beyond the ordinary—a gift that creates lasting memories and cherished moments. From indulgent spa days to thrilling adventures,...

fdg logo

  • Last Updated On
  • November 26, 2023

27 Best Weekend Getaways in Kansas — Quick Trips!

Avery Moore

Kansas, set right in the heart of the United States, is the perfect destination for a weekend adventure.

Although underrated, this Midwest state is a true testament to the history and beauty of America.

As you visit this state, you’ll uncover charming towns with interesting and rich backstories.

And, if you’re looking for a serene getaway from the humdrum of your busy life, Kansas has plenty of places that offer exactly what you want.

Most of the towns and cities in the Sunflower State are spread out over vast expanses of open fields and farmland.

And, that means you’ll have ample opportunities to relax, and enjoy its small-town Americana vibe.

Ready to get started?

Experience a memorable escape here by checking out our list of the best weekend getaways in Kansas.


Wichita, KS (316) 265-2800

Kansas vacations are incomplete without a visit to Wichita.

One of the largest cities in Kansas, Wichita is a vibrant city and a very popular tourist destination with its historical, cultural and other attractions that your entire family, including the kids, are sure to enjoy.

There are loads of exciting attractions for the little ones in Wichita, right from the Exploration Place to the Old Cowtown Museum, The Museum of World Treasures, All-Star Adventures, Mid-America All-Indian Center, Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center and the Sedgwick County Zoo.

If you’ve had your fill of all the adventures, then take a sedate stroll and enjoy the themed gardens at the Botanica or simply enjoy the romantic ambiance of the scenic Wichita cityscape.

2. Kansas City

Kansas City

Kansas City, KS

A great weekend getaway, Kansas City is a wonderfully diverse city with a unique culture and heritage.

A true melting pot of traditions, languages and flavors, the city has plenty to see, do and discover.

Kansas City is an exciting place for history buffs, where you can visit the Wyandotte County Museum to see the remains of the Native-American dugout canoes or check out the Lewis & Clark Park at Kaw Point.

Looking for some adventure?

Then head out to the Kansas Speedway and check out the NASCAR racing action or the Sporting KC, the major league soccer team in action.

Your entire family will love the fun activities at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark

For some outdoor fun, head out to the Wyandotte County Lake or Shawnee Mission Park.

Kids of all ages are sure to love the Moon Marble Company, Museum at Prairiefire and Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site.

3. Lawrence


Lawrence, KS (785) 856-3040

Situated between the Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers, Lawrence is the popular college town that is home to the University of Kansas, as well as Haskell Indian Nations University.

The quirky little city is a popular tourist destination where you are surrounded by scenic beauty, forests and the best wildlife in the state.

If you love outdoor adventures, then Lawrence has plenty to offer.

Walk around the campus of the University of Kansas and soak in the charming beauty, admire the buildings on the campus, many of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places or enjoy a family picnic at Potter’s Lake.

Trek the trails at the Clinton State Park, Prairie Park Nature Center or the Lawrence Levee Trail or swim, fish or check out the various outdoor sports at the beautiful Clinton Lake.

And, if you’ve had your fill of outdoorsy stuff, then you can visit the Museum of Natural History, Spencer Art Museum, Watkins Museum of History and Watkins Museum of History for some art and culture.

Recommended Hotel: SpringHill Suites by Marriott Lawrence Downtown

4. Manhattan


Manhattan, KS

Not to be confused with Manhattan in New York, Manhattan, Kansas is a lovely little city with a great touristy vibe and one of the popular places for weekend getaways in KS.

With its rolling hills and beautiful sunsets, this city with its college charm has plenty to do.

Kids will love the Sunset Zoo, Flint Hills Discovery Center, K-State Insect Zoo, Midwest Dream Car Collection with its collection of 65 unique exhibits, and the Wildwood Adventure Park nestled in the Flint Hills offering 7 lines of adventurous zip-lining fun.

For some outdoor activities head out to the Konza Prairie with the Konza Trails, go to the Tuttle Creek Lake where you can see quail, turkey, pheasant, white-tailed deer and waterfowl or check out the beautiful Deep Creek Waterfall, where you can go canoeing or kayaking.

If you want some arty experiences, then check out the Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art.

Recommended Hotel: Parkwood Inn & Suites

5. Overland Park

Overland Park

Overland Park, KS

If you’re looking for quick trips in Kansas, then you can definitely consider one to Overland Park.

The city has plenty to explore and do for you and your family, whether you’re a science and history buff, an explorer or an outdoor sports enthusiast.

If you’re on vacation with kids, then there’s a lot of excitement in store.

Check out the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, which has more than 200 animals, gardens and many other things that the lil ones will love, the Museum at Prairiefire with the full-size T-Rex, the 300-acre Overland Park Arboretum or enjoy the most thrilling skydiving experiences at iFly.

If you’re done with all the adventures, then for a spot of retail therapy, head out to Downtown Overland Park and check out the local shops, restaurants and the farmers’ market or for a more urban experience, you can go to the Oak Park Mall.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn Overland Park

Related: Family Beaches in Kansas


Salina, KS (785) 309-5700

A great stop for weekend trips in Kansas with your family, Salina is a fun-filled getaway for people of all ages.

Situated on the Smoky Hill River, Salina has stunning natural beauty and is rich in history, art and culture with its beautiful, scenic parks, diverse wildlife, fascinating art galleries, museums, theaters, festivals and more.

The kids will love a visit to the Rolling Hills Zoo, where they can see many exotic animals, a trip to the Kenwood Cove Aquatic Park with its pools, lazy river, water slides, wave pool and lots more and a fun family picnic at the Jerry Ivey Park or travel back in time at the historic Smoky Hill Museum.

Salina has plenty of outdoor recreation such as biking, hiking, fishing, rock climbing, sledding, wildlife watching and more.

And, if you want to do something more sedate, then you can simply stroll in the gardens at Oakdale Park, take in a show at the historic Stiefel Theater for the Performing Arts, enjoy the natural beauty at the Indian Rock Park or explore the historic downtown district in leisure.

Recommended Hotel: Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott Salina


Established in 1857, Olathe, meaning “beautiful” in Shawnee, is among the fastest-growing cities in the country.

The city offers plenty of activities and attractions for visitors of all ages.

Explore the 258-acre Lake Olathe Park and enjoy the water activities at the 170-acre lake, experience the Kansas wildlife at the Kill Creek Park and Ernie Miller Park or take memorable pictures with pumpkins at the KC Pumpkin Patch.

If you’re a history buff, then you’re sure to enjoy exploring the Mahaffie Stagecoach Station & Farm Historic Site.

Kids are sure to love the vintage cars displayed at the Kansas City Automotive Museum or a day of rock climbing and other adventures at the RoCK Climbing Gym Olathe.

Recommended Hotel: Best Western Plus Olathe Hotel

Related: Best Day Trips From Wichita

8. Hutchinson


Hutchinson, KS (800) 691-4262

Situated on the gorgeous Kansas Prairie, Hutchinson got its nickname “Salt City” from the salt mine industry that was established way back in 1887.

Popularly called “Hutch” by the locals, Hutchinson is a fun place to visit for the entire family.

Whether you’re an art connoisseur, history buff, a sports fan or an outdoor enthusiast, Hutchinson has unique experiences perfect for everyone.

The Strataca Underground Salt Museum will offer you an unparalleled and unique experience of a subterranean adventure where you can explore the exhibits by going down a real mine shaft.

Outdoor enthusiasts will love the 1,200-acre Sand Hills State Park with all its nature trails.

The kids are sure to love the 90-acre Hutchinson Zoo which is home to more than 160 animals, a space exploration trip to the Cosmosphere, an exciting day of bowling at The Alley of Hutchinson or a super fun day at the Salt City Splash Aquatic Center.

And, for a fill of history, arts and culture, head out to the Reno County Museum, Stage 9 or the Hutchinson Art Center.

Recommended Hotel: Comfort Inn & Suites

9. Dodge City

Dodge City

Dodge City, KS (620) 225-8186

A frontier cow town, Dodge City is inspired by the Wild West and has a rich history that attracts tourists from all over the globe.

Situated in southwest Kansas, Dodge is a great city for quick trips and offers loads to see and do.

The Boot Hill Museum is a must-visit for history buffs, where you can also witness the re-enactment of the famous gunfights of the olden days or you can visit the Gunfighter’s Wax Museum to see the life-size statues of the notorious characters of Dodge City.

The Santa Fe Trail Tracks, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Sites is a renowned historic trail in the city, where you can hike along with the wheel rut formations.

Check out the Dodge City Trail of Fame that honors the famous, as well as the infamous residents of Dodge City.

Kids are sure to love the Wright Park which is home to more than 120 animals and if they want an afternoon of fun and thrills, then the Long Branch Lagoon is the best stop.

Recommended Hotel: Comfort Suites – Dodge City

Related: Family Vacations in Kansas


Topeka, KS (785) 246-6271

Kansas vacation ideas are incomplete without a mention of Topeka, the capital city of the state.

Also, known as the Golden City, Topeka is the windiest city in the country.

Rich in history, Topeka has famous historical places of interest such as the Great Overland Station, a station converted into a museum, the Ward-Meade Historic Site—also known as Old Prairie Town—the Kansas State Capitol, where you can go up to the top of the dome, Kansas Museum of History and the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site.

If you want to do something more relaxing, then a day at the Shawnee Lake, the Ted Ensley Gardens or the Gage Park is just what you need.

For some art and culture, visit the Mulvane Art Museum or take in a show at the Topeka Performing Arts Center.

If you’re traveling with the kids, then they’re sure to enjoy the Combat Air Museum with its display of 43 different airplanes, the Topeka Zoo with its wide variety of animals or the Kansas Children’s Discovery Center, where they can learn while having fun.

Recommended Hotel: Cyrus Hotel, Topeka, a Tribute Portfolio Hotel

11. Pittsburg


Pittsburg, KS (620) 231-4100

Located in the southeast end of Kansas, close to the Missouri border, is the city of Pittsburg, which began as a coal mining camp way back in the 1870s.

Home to the Pittsburg State University, this campus town is a thriving, diverse city that has plenty on offer for art, culture and adventure buffs.

Visit the Crawford County Historical Museum to know more about the history of the city, see a Gilbert and Sullivan opera, check out the performance at the Pittsburg Memorial Auditorium or head out to The Bicknell Family Center for the Arts for a theater performance.

If you love sports, then see if you can catch a game at the Carnie Smith Stadium with the Pittsburg State Gorillas or head out to Jaycee Ballpark for a baseball game.

If the kids want a respite from the heat, head over to the Pittsburg Aquatic Center and enjoy a cooling dip in the huge pool or enjoy the two water slides.

Or, if they want something more thrilling, then head out to the Kiddieland Amusement Park with its miniature train, Ferris wheel, the spinner and the oldest roller coaster in Kansas.

If you want to try your luck at the slot machines, then a trip to the Kansas Crossing is a must-do.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn & Suites Pittsburg Kansas Crossing

Related: Best Resorts in Kansas

12. Lake Shawnee

Lake Shawnee

3137 SE 29th Street Topeka, KS 66605 (785) 251-6800

Cited as one of the top destinations in Kansas by the tourism industry, a trip to Lake Shawnee is definitely one of the best romantic getaways in Kansas.

This gorgeous area is truly breathtaking, where you can enjoy a stroll hand-in-hand with your loved one.

If you and your partner are the outdoorsy types, then check out numerous hiking and biking trails or you can go swimming, fishing, sailing, camping at one of the 140 campsites, boating, playing baseball, tennis or golf.

With a backdrop of gorgeous streams, waterfalls and stunning sunsets, 9.5 acres of gardens and 11 acres of Arboretum, it’s no wonder that Lake Shawnee is one of the most sought-after outdoor wedding venues in Kansas.

Recommended Hotel: Homewood Suites By Hilton Topeka

13. Cheney State Park

Cheney State Park

16000 NE 50th Cheney, KS 67025-8487 (316) 542-3664

A popular attraction in Wichita, Cheney State Park is a true gem with its beautiful beaches, swimming coves and gorgeous sunsets.

At the Cheney State Park, you can get your heart’s fill of outdoor and adventure activities, be it fishing, boating, sailing, hiking, biking or camping.

Once you’re done, you can set up camp and enjoy the beauty and serenity of the night under the stars with your sweetheart at one of the many campsites along the west and east shores of the Cheney Reservoir.

Recommended Hotel: Rodeway Inn Goddard

Related: Places to Visit in Kansas

14. Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie

Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie

2480B KS-177 Strong, KS 66869 (620) 273-8494

Of the 170 million acres that the tallgrass prairie covered in North America, only around 4% remains intact today in The Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie.

The preserve was established in 1996 to protect the remains of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem.

A visit to the Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie is a must-do if you’re a nature lover.

You can experience 11,000 acres of beautiful vistas, wide-open spaces, wildlife, wildflowers, the ranch, the school built with limestone and loads of serenity and calm that you can enjoy with your sweetheart.

Open throughout the year, the prairie has numerous hiking and biking trails that you can explore.

Walk through the wildlife zone, where you can see more than 150 species of birds and over 40 reptile and amphibian species.

Recommended Hotel: Chase County Cabin on Middle Creek

15. Ted Ensley Gardens

Ted Ensley Gardens

3650 SE West Edge Rd Topeka, KS 66605 (785) 251-6800

The Ted Ensley Gardens is situated in Topeka and is among the most romantic places to visit with your partner.

Part of Lake Shawnee, the Ted Ensley Gardens is spread across 38 acres offering gorgeous views of the lake.

Home to many native plants and flowers, 300 varieties of roses, annuals, shrubs and trees and 1,200 perennials, the 80,000 tulips planted by the volunteers are truly the showstopper.

Stroll through the meandering paths of the gardens and click pictures with your love at the beautiful arboretum, gazebo, arboretum trellis, pergola and pagoda in the garden.

Enjoy the water and rock gardens, try your hand at fishing or simply enjoy a lovely picnic with your sweetheart in one of the many picnic areas in the garden.

Recommended Hotel: Hampton Inn Topeka

16. Camelot Ballroom

Camelot Ballroom

6635 West 151st Street Overland Park, KS 66223 (913) 897-4622

If you’re in Overland Park for the weekend and are looking to do something special with your partner, then check out the Camelot Ballroom.

The elegant ballroom and dance studio is not only a beautiful venue to celebrate special events, but you can simply come to the Camelot Ballroom and dance.

You can or join in the many open dances or dance parties that the Camelot Ballroom hosts every week.

Simply enjoy the music and set the dance floor on fire with your moves.

Or, if you’re just starting, then you can join one of the classes offered by the Camelot Ballroom and learn how to dance with your partner.

Recommended Hotel: Home2 Suites By Hilton Overland Park, KS

17. Zombie Scavengers Game

Zombie Scavengers Game

8039 Santa Fe Dr Overland Park, KS 66204 (843) 212-6741

Irrespective of whether you’re in Overland Park or Topeka with your partner or with your kids, you’re sure to find the Zombie Scavengers a fun and exciting experience.

The idea of the game is to go on a scavenger hunt in the city and collect food, supplies and shelter to survive the zombie apocalypse using your smartphone.

You need to avoid zombies everywhere and find the things to survive and the greater number of things you gather, the more points you’ll get.

Along the way, you must answer a trivia question or complete a challenge and get rewarded with virtual weapons that you can use to defend yourself.

Recommended Hotel: Marriott Kansas City Overland Park

Related: Things to Do in Kansas

18. Wizard of Oz Museum

Wizard of Oz Museum

511 Lincoln Wamego, KS 66547 (785) 458-8686

If you’re a fan of the Wizard of Oz classic, then a visit to the OZ Museum is a must-do.

Located in Wamego, Kansas, the OZ Museum will transport you to the wonderful world of Dorothy and her companions, making their journey to the Emerald City to meet the Wizard.

Travel through the technicolor world, following the yellow brick road and experience more than a century of Oz history.

Shop at the Auntie Em’s Gift Shop and view rare artifacts on display from the original 1939 Wizard of Oz movie and also from Wicked , the Broadway musical version.

Recommended Hotel: Simmer Motel

19. Kansas City Indoor Skydiving

Kansas City Indoor Skydiving

10975 Metcalf Avenue Overland Park, KS 66210 (913) 305-4359

If you love adventure and want to get your adrenaline pumping, then you must include a visit to iFLY, the indoor skydiving experience in Kansas City in your itinerary.

Enjoy the thrill of defying gravity and experience bodyflight without jumping from an airplane in a state-of-the-art wind tunnel.

When you sign up, you will undergo private training with your instructor who will get you flight ready.

Once you complete your training, you can enjoy two sessions of free-fall flight time in the wind tunnel, after which you will receive your flight completion certificate.

The indoor skydiving experience is a must-do for adrenaline junkies.

Recommended Hotel: DoubleTree by Hilton Kansas City – Overland Park

20. Bank Heist Escape Room

Bank Heist Escape Room

7810 West 151st Street Overland Park, KS 66223 (913) 827-0999

If you’re traveling with your older kids to Kansas City and are looking for something to do, then the Bank Heist Escape Room is guaranteed to offer you a super-fun experience.

Form a crime syndicate with your cronies and rob a bank to impress your mob boss.

Solve the puzzles that will let you get into the vault, get a crack at it and escape with the loot before the cops get there on the scene to arrest you.

A fantastic adrenalin-pumping experience, a visit to the Bank Heist Escape Room is an exciting, must-visit attraction that your kids are sure to love.

Recommended Hotel: Candlewood Suites Overland Park W 135th St, an IHG Hotel

21. Grace Hill Winery

Grace Hill Winery

6310 S Grace Hill Road Whitewater, KS 67154 (316) 799-2511

If you want to amp up your romantic weekend getaway experience, then a visit to the Grace Hill Winery is a “must-do.”

The trip to the winery is sure to offer the finest and most authentic winery experience along with tours of the vineyard, winery and a wine tasting experience you won’t forget.

After your tour and wine tasting, you can sit on the patio and observation deck and enjoy the exquisite wines of the winery accompanied by the stunning scenery of the 11 acres of the Grace Hill Vineyard around you.

Or, you can also have a wine tasting experience along with a 5-course meal or you can bring your picnic and have a romantic afternoon with your partner.

Recommended Hotel: Holiday Inn Express Newton, an IHG Hotel

Related: Things to Do in Kansas with Kids

22. Botanica, The Wichita Gardens

Botanica, The Wichita Gardens

701 Amidon St Wichita, KS 67203-3199 (316) 264-0448

Opened in 1987, Botanica, The Wichita Gardens is spread across around 18 acres of land in Wichita, Kansas.

The garden has more than 24 themed gardens including a butterfly garden and a 2,880 sq. ft. butterfly house, an aquatic collection, a juniper collection with over 30 types of junipers, a tropical greenhouse, a peony collection, a rose garden with over 350 rose plants, rock garden, Shakespearean Garden and more.

You can also stroll with your loved one along the meandering paths of the garden and explore the beautiful fountains, sculptures, streams and waterfalls.

Botanica, The Wichita Gardens is truly one of the most romantic places to visit in Wichita.

Recommended Hotel: Hyatt Regency Wichita

23. The Raphael Hotel

The Raphael Hotel

325 Ward Parkway Kansas City, MO 64112 (816) 756-3800

A luxury boutique hotel located in Kansas City, the Raphael Hotel, Autograph Collection by Marriott has a European-style charm and elegance.

Housed in a historic Renaissance-style building, dating way back to 1928, the Raphael Hotel has a romantic ambiance and offers a wonderful romantic getaway with your soulmate.

Voted as the “2020 Best Historic Hotel” and winner of many other awards and accolades, the Raphael Hotel offers the best combination of vintage hospitality along with modern service.

The hotel is situated in the heart of the city and at a close distance from most of the city’s attractions and just a few steps away from the Country Club Plaza, the premier destination for dining, shopping and nightlife in Kansas City.

24. The Fontaine

The Fontaine

901 W. 48th Place Kansas City, MO 64112 (816) 753 8800

Situated in the center of the Country Club Plaza, the chic shopping area in Kansas City, The Fontaine is a luxury hotel that is elegant and sophisticated.

The shiny marble floors, the intricately carved wood paneling, chandeliers made from Venetian glass and Renaissance-style artwork add to the artsy ambiance of the hotel.

The elegance of the hotel along with the luxuriously appointed rooms featuring walk-in showers, oversized bathtubs and hardwood floors are all designed to delight and dazzle your senses while making you completely relaxed.

The hotel also has facilities such as a state-of-the-art fitness center, rooftop swimming pool and an upscale Mediterranean restaurant with gorgeous views of Kansas City.

25. Chateau Avalon Hotel

Chateau Avalon Hotel

701 Village West Pkwy Kansas, KS 66111 (913) 596-6000

Situated in Kansas City, the Chateau Avalon Hotel is a boutique hotel that offers you an amazing experience.

The contemporary award-winning hotel with its lavish décor features 61 rooms and suites.

The suites have unique themes and have features such as a jet tub with LED lighting and some even have 2 and 3 stories with winding staircases overlooking the in-room jacuzzi.

The Chateau Avalon Hotel offers a plethora of amenities such as outdoor and indoor wine bars, live music and more, making it one of the best and most romantic places to stay in Kansas.

Related: Family Hotels in Kansas

26. Anderson Bed & Breakfast

Anderson Bed & Breakfast

1719 Fairchild Ave Manhattan, KS 66502 (785) 539-4994

Situated in Manhattan, Kansas, the Anderson Bed & Breakfast is a charming and cozy B&B.

The Anderson Bed & Breakfast is situated in a 1910s limestone house, which has been completely renovated into a modern B&B and is owned and run by the friendly hosts Phil and Dawn Anderson.

Overlooking a tree-lined street in the serene university neighborhood, you can sit in the quaint sitting area of the Anderson Bed & Breakfast and listen to the sounds of the KSU marching band or simply watch students as they walk to and fro.

The rooms of the cozy B&B are well-appointed and have all the modern amenities needed for a comfortable and relaxed stay.

You can use the bicycles offered by the B&B and explore the Kansas University campus and the neighboring areas or go golfing.

You can also visit the neighboring attractions, including Kimble Castle.

And, after a long, tiring day, you can simply get back to the Anderson Bed & Breakfast, relax and enjoy their superb hospitality.

Recommended Hotel Nearby: Fairfield Inn Manhattan, Kansas

27. Aloft Hotel Leawood

Aloft Hotel Leawood

11620 Ash Street Leawood, KS 66211 (913) 345-9430

Situated in Overland Park, near Kansas City, the Aloft Hotel Leawood is a fantastic weekend getaway for you and your loved one.

The hotel with its bright, vivid and fun colors and patterns, has a very cool and airy ambiance that you’re sure to love.

The themed hotel has well-appointed and furnished rooms with luxurious amenities.

The hotel also offers its guests a variety of facilities, including a bar and stylish remix lounge where you can enjoy the live music and sip on refreshing cocktails, watch the sunset from the hotel’s outdoor terrace with your sweetheart, work out in the 24/7 fitness center or swim in the pool.

The Aloft Hotel Leawood is located a few minutes away from the Overland Park Convention Center, shopping areas and other places of interest.

Wrapping Up

So, that brings us to the end of our list of some of the best weekend getaways in Kansas.

We hope that with this information, you’re able to plan an itinerary that your loved ones will enjoy.

Map of the Best Weekend Getaways in Kansas

27 Best Weekend Getaways in Kansas for 2024

  • Kansas City
  • Overland Park
  • Lake Shawnee
  • Cheney State Park
  • Flint Hills Tallgrass Prairie
  • Ted Ensley Gardens
  • Camelot Ballroom
  • Zombie Scavengers Game
  • Wizard of Oz Museum
  • Kansas City Indoor Skydiving
  • Bank Heist Escape Room
  • Grace Hill Winery
  • Botanica, The Wichita Gardens
  • The Raphael Hotel
  • The Fontaine
  • Chateau Avalon Hotel
  • Anderson Bed & Breakfast
  • Aloft Hotel Leawood

best breakfast in wichita, ks

Port Fonda

The Ultimate Kansas City Girls Weekend

By Kathryn Greene

Whether you’re coming from near or far, you’ll discover quickly that between cocktail bars, shopping, nightlife, the art scene and more, Kansas City has everything girls need to have fun. So pack your bags and gather your closest girlfriends—it’s time for a getaway.

Here are some of the best recommendations for a memorable girls weekend in KC:

State of the Art

best weekend trip from kansas city

Kick off the weekend by meeting up with the girls for dinner at Café Sebastienne . Located inside Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art , you can’t go wrong by dining in either the bright courtyard or art-filled dining room. Afterward, savor the latest exhibits as a post-dinner digestif.


After-hours, head to SoT in the Crossroads Arts District . With inconspicuous signage and a tucked-away patio, SoT not only feels like being let in on a well-kept secret but is perhaps the perfect place to exchange a few of your own among friends. The elevated lounge is known for its interactive cocktails that allow you to be a mixologist—if only for a few minutes.

Shop ’Til You Drop

Country Club Plaza | Michelle Chan

No girls weekend would be complete without some retail therapy. Wander the historic Country Club Plaza for unbeatable outdoor shopping with a view. Be sure to stop into Kansas City original stores like  Baldwin KC for selections you won’t find anywhere else. When it’s time for a break, stop and recharge at  T. Loft , which sells fresh-pressed juice and protein balls. 

Brunch Time

best weekend trip from kansas city

As the weekend draws to a close, reminisce about the memories you made throughout the trip over brunch. Avenues Bistro , nestled in Kansas City's charming Brookside neighborhood, anchors a string of independent shops and art galleries. Try one of their signature bottomless breakfast cocktails like pomegranate punch or a "spritzzle me this." Each entree includes access to the brunch bar, which is stocked with homemade pastries, desserts, seasonal fresh fruit and assorted charcuterie and cheeses.

Take It Home

Charlie Hustle

Looking for something to remember your girls’ getaway? Charlie Hustle on the Country Club Plaza sells the now-iconic Kansas City Heart Tee, a favorite among visitors and locals alike.

Everything You Need to Know about Shopping in Kansas City

From craft goods and luxury retailers to antique picking and one-of-a-kind souvenirs, there’s no shortage of unique shopping options available in KC.

Bakeries and Baked Goods in KC

Warm and flaky or sweet and moist, Kansas City’s bakeries are serving hungry patrons with scratch-made pastries, cupcakes, loafs and, well, pretty much anything that rises in the oven and gets our stomachs growling.

Boulevard Brewing Tasting in Kansas City MO

25 Date Night Ideas in Kansas City

25 offbeat ways to paint the town. Couple up and explore KC with your sweetheart.

Oddly Correct

A Guide to Kansas City Coffee Shops

Consult our go-to guide to Kansas City’s coffee shop scene to sample some of the best in the region.

Spas and Salons in KC

best weekend trip from kansas city

The Village at Briarcliff

Phone: (816) 741-8540

Get Directions

best weekend trip from kansas city

Touchwork of Weston Massage Therapy

Phone: (816) 640-2788

best weekend trip from kansas city

Region: Northland

Phone: (816) 587-8180

One Day in a City

24 Hour Travel Itineraries to Make the Most of a Day in a Destination

Best Girls Weekend in Kansas City: What to Do & Where to Stay

November 12, 2023 By Gina Posts on this site may contain affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here .

How to Have an Epic, Unforgettable Girls Trip in Kansas City

How to have the best girls weekend in Kansas City, Missouri

One city that I personally find to be an excellent choice for a girl’s weekend and which is often overlooked is Kansas City, Missouri. If you’re here, I’m guessing you’re considering a girls trip to Kansas City so bravo ! You and your friends are in for a fabulous time.

To help make your trip planning easier, this article breaks things down into the best neighborhoods in Kansas City for a girls weekend. This will help you figure out which area of the city you want to focus on, the top things to do while there, and where you want to stay.

Then get ready for a fabulous time in KC with your besties!

Where to Stay: Top Hotels in Kansas City Perfect for a Girls Trip

Many of the popular Kansas City neighborhoods for visitors are pretty close to each other. This makes it easier for choosing a hotel. Pick a centrally located lodging spot for your girls getaway and you’ll be close to a large number of attractions no matter where you choose to stay.

Here are a few well-rated options for where to stay that are close to some of the best areas to spend time in during a girls trip to Kansas City. 

  • The Fontaine: Upscale hotel close to shopping at Country Club Plaza.
  • Hotel Indigo: Trendy hotel located in downtown Kansas City.
  • Ambassador Hotel: Swanky hotel close to the Power and Light District

Or check out this handy map for more options: I added points of interest for each of the neighborhoods discussed below to make it easier for you to find a hotel in the area best for you and your friends.

Now let’s get to all the things to do and places you may want to hang out while in Kansas City for a Girls Trip! Read on for our top tips on what to see and do on your ladies weekend away in KC!

Kansas City is a great spot for a girls weekend with lots of arts, culture, and party hot spots.

18 th & Vine: Kansas City’s District of Live Music

18 th & Vine is known as the historic Jazz district in Kansas City. In this area you will find incredible history, fantastic music and live entertainment, as well as delicious eats.

If your friend group is one that is a fan of live music, this is certainly a spot that you will want to spend a lot of time during your girls weekend away. 

Things to Do Near 18 th & Vine:

If you are looking for somewhere to hear live music, particularly Jazz, some great locations include Jammin’ at the Gem and the Blue Room. Also don’t miss a walk through the interactive American Jazz Museum. 

For some interesting history, also visit the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. 

What to Eat Near 18 th & Vine:

Some of the best and most popular options for dining near 18 th & Vine include slow-smoked barbecue at Arthur Bryant’s or flavorful Cajun cuisine at Bayou on the Vine.

Read More: How to Have a Fabulous Girls Trip in Napa

Country Club Plaza: Upscale and High End Girls Weekend in Kansas City

Country Club Plaza in Kansas City is a great spot to check out on a girls trip.

Country Club Plaza is a great place to spend a trip for a group that enjoys sophistication and the arts. 

Country Club Plaza is renowned for being the premier retail center in Kansas City. The area is filled with trendy and designer boutiques and shops spread throughout a 15 block radius. 

Shops include favorites like Kate Spade, Kendra Scott, and Charlie Hustle. 

The area, particularly at night, becomes lit up and beautiful with the décor of Spanish-inspired architecture and fountains. It’s a beautiful area for taking pictures and commemorating your girls trip. 

—> Read More: Best Girls Trip Ideas for Austin, TX

Things to in Country Club Plaza:

Aside from the epic shopping in Country Club Plaza, there are plenty of attractions in the area as well. Some notable and popular experiences include the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. 

Where to Eat Near Country Club Plaza:

Country Club Plaza is a beautiful area for enjoying a patio meal in one of their incredible cafes. Some great options include Gram & Dun featuring comfort food favorites paired nicely with a variety of drinks, Rye which features delicious southern cooking, and Shake Shack which is great for a quick and greasy cheeseburger. 

Downtown Kansas City: Vibrant and Busy Girls Trip

Downtown Kansas City is a good place to base yourselves for a fun and memorable girls weekend in KC.

Downtown Kansas City has been named one of the top 10 downtown cities by Forbes and rightfully so. There is so much to do and so much vibrant energy within downtown Kansas City. If your group of friends enjoy night life and the hustle and bustle of a city, downtown may be where you want to spend a lot of your trip. 

Things to Do in Downtown Kansas City:

There is so much to do in downtown Kansas City that will surely keep you all busy. 

One of the coolest things to do that is perfect for a girls weekend is seeing a movie at Alamo Drafthouse, which is not your average movie theater. Not only do you get to enjoy the show, you also get the added effects of quote-alongs and in-theatre pyrotechnics. It is a very cool experience!

A couple other neat things to do include the College Basketball Experience and the Garment District. 

Where to Eat in Downtown Kansas City:

Because of its popularity, downtown Kansas City has a lot of really delicious and unique dining options. Some of those include a delicious steak dinner at The Majestic, authentic Italian cuisine at Tavernonna Italian Kitchen, and incredible farm-to-table dining at The Westside Local. 

—> Read More: How to Have a Perfect Girls Trip in Washington D.C.

Power & Light District: Partying and Events Central

The Power and Light District is an exciting and trendy neighborhood perfect for a weekend night out in downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

If you and your friends like to have a wild time and dance the night away, the Power & Light District in Kansas City is the perfect destination for your group.

The Power & Light District has been described as a large playground for all ages. It’s a huge entertainment hub in Kansas City, situated across an eight block radius. You’ll find lots of cocktail bars, restaurants, and upscale night clubs.

Things to Do in the Power & Light District:

The Power & Light District includes a wide array of things to do, whether you’re looking for sporting events, concerts, dancing, or just some good eats and drinks. 

There are often events happening in Power and Light District so check the events calendar here before arriving in case you want to attend any during your Kansas City girls weekend.

One of the best attractions to check out during a girls weekend is KC Live!, which is a covered outdoor courtyard that hosts over 150 free events for locals and tourists alike to attend each year. Some of these events include watch parties for the hometown teams including the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals.

In the summer months there are events including Urbana KC which includes live music, art displays, and food & drink – it has essentially been described as a giant block party and might be fun to plan your Kansas City girls trip around. 

Where to Eat in the Power & Light District:

If you are looking for good eats in the Power & Light District, you won’t need to look far. There are plenty of amazing and decadent dining experiences within the area. A few places that come highly recommended include County Road Ice House, BRGR Kitchen + Bar, and No Other Pub.

Want More Girls Trip Ideas? Check Out These Articles :

  • Top Destinations for a Girls Trip in the USA
  • Best Places in Texas for a Girls Weekend
  • Epic Destinations in Florida for a Girls Trip
  • Top Spots for an Arizona Girls Getaway
  • Top Girls Trip Spots in Tennessee
  • Best Hawaii Girls Trips: Island by Island

Have Fun with Your Best Girls in Kansas City!

Kansas City is really a great city to visit for any occasion, including an unforgettable girls trip. If you are planning a getaway to Kansas City with your friend group, I hope that this has provided some insight to the kind of experiences you can have while visiting.

Embark on a fabulous girlfriend getaway with our guide to a Kansas City Girls Trip! Discover the vibrant arts scene, indulge in delicious barbecue, and explore the charm of this Midwestern gem. Your ultimate Kansas City adventure awaits!

I'm a former travel agency marketing director turned freelance travel writer. My editorial and copywriting work has been published on and in USA TODAY, Travel + Leisure, the Travel Channel Cities app, TripSavvy, and many more online and print publications. I especially love sharing my knowledge of traveling with limited vacation time, making the most of cruise ports of call, and vacationing with kids. I also enjoy sharing my favorite travel gear and products to make traveling easier!

Search for a Destination…


  1. The Perfect 3-Day Weekend Road Trip Itinerary to Kansas City, Missouri

    best weekend trip from kansas city

  2. 30 Best & Fun Things To Do In Kansas City (Missouri)

    best weekend trip from kansas city

  3. 48 Hours in Kansas City: The Perfect Itinerary

    best weekend trip from kansas city

  4. 48 Hours in Kansas City: The Perfect Itinerary

    best weekend trip from kansas city

  5. 48 Hours in Kansas City: My Weekend Kansas City Itinerary

    best weekend trip from kansas city

  6. Things to do in KANSAS City

    best weekend trip from kansas city


  1. Doggo Road Trip: Kansas City to Denver 🚗


  3. Kansas City, Kansas

  4. Kansas City

  5. Memorial Day travel weekend expected to be the busiest in over 20 years

  6. Cheap Weekend Getaways and Day Trips: Top Spots in the US


  1. 24 Best Day Trips from Kansas City (Plan a Weekend Getaway)

    1000 S. Hawkins Lane, Goddard, KS 67052. (3 hours, 8 minutes) Tanganyika Wildlife Park is one of the most unique day trips from Kansas City. Not sure if it would be a day trip, since it is 3 hours, but could be a great weekend getaway in Kansas!

  2. Top 17 Weekend Getaways From Kansas City, Missouri

    1. Ha Ha Tonka State Park. There are plenty of fun things to do alone in and around Kansas City and one of them certainly is heading off to Ha Ha Tonka State Park. It is located approximately 160 miles (257.50 kilometers) southeast of Kansas City, Missouri, and is a fantastic road trip destination.

  3. 9 Fun Weekend Road Trips from Kansas City, Missouri

    If you need another way to beat inclement weather on your weekend trip, check out Fantastic Caverns. A few miles north of downtown, the main attraction is a 55-minute-long jeep tour through the caves, which are a comfortable 60 degrees F year-round. Distance from Kansas City: 166 miles; Drive time without stops: 2 hours, 40 mins

  4. 30 Best Weekend Getaways From Kansas City

    Open in Google Maps. Eureka Springs is a city in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas known for its preserved Victorian buildings. The trip from Kansas City will take you about 4 hours and 20 minutes away. Eureka Springs has amazing attractions in both the historic downtown center and the surrounding countryside.

  5. 31 Best Day Trips From Kansas City

    Lawrence, KS. (785) 856-3040. Visit Website. Social Media. Open in Google Maps. If you're looking for a relaxed day in a locale where culture and history ooze through every cobblestone, Lawrence must feature on your list of Kansas City day trips. Lawrence is a convenient, short 40-minute drive from Kansas City.

  6. The 20 Best Day Trips From Kansas City

    3. Concordia, Kansas. Distance: 211.9 miles. Travel Time: 3 hrs. Concordia is pushing it for a day trip, we admit, but it is well worth the drive. The historical city is loaded with interesting sites for the history buff. Stop in the Cloud County Historical Museum for a brief history of the area.

  7. 16 Best Day Trips From Kansas City, Missouri (2024 Guide)

    Distance from Kansas City: 201 miles. Driving time: 3 hours. Mushroom Rock State Park in the heart of central Kansas is another one of the best day trips from Kansas City. The park's namesake, Mushroom Rock, and its companion rocks, shaped by centuries of erosion, resemble giant mushrooms rising from the earth.

  8. 9 Best Weekend Getaways From Kansas City

    4. Lake Ozark - 403 Hwy 134, Kaiser, Missouri. Tom Williams/Flickr. Lake Ozark is a classic place to vacation away from home, but if you can find a spot away from people, you're treated to all the best views without the crowds. In a mere 2 hours and 40 minutes, you can spend your day out hiking in nature or just relax with your feet in the water.

  9. Best 15 Day Trips From Kansas City For Small Town Lovers

    Powell Gardens. Photo Credit: Canva. If you live in Kansas City, you must make the requisite trip to the Powell Gardens, located forty-five minutes southeast of the city. There you'll be able to take in more than 6,000 unique varieties of flowers and plants in Kansas City's "official" 915-acre botanical gardens.

  10. 11 Best Day Trips from Kansas City

    Lindsborg, Kansas. Best Places to Stay. "Little Sweden USA" as Lindsborg is known due to the influx of Swedish settlers that arrived back in 1869, is located just under three hours west. For those with Swedish ancestry, it's really a must as a great place to appreciate Swedish-American history.

  11. 15 Best Day Trips from Kansas City

    Here are the best day trips from Kansas City: 1. Powell gardens. Source: Silvlandia / shutterstock. Powell gardens. Spanning for 915 acres and less than 45 minutes away from Kansas City's downtown, Powell Gardens provide a splendid natural attraction for a day trip.

  12. Top 20 Road Trips From Kansas City

    Grant's Farm, Missouri History Museum, St. Louis Science Center, and Art Museum to name a few! The City Museum isn't free, but one of the most popular spots for visitors! Travel Time: 3h 30m / 248 miles. 4. Fort Collins, Colorado. A large Andy Warhol art piece on the campus of Colorado State University in Fort Collins.

  13. THE 20 BEST Road Trips from Kansas City

    1. Lake of the Ozarks. 🚗 150 miles ⏱️ 2 hours, 30 minutes. Beautiful scenery and outdoor fun combine, Lake of the Ozarks is a favorite destination for water activities, beautiful landscapes, and lively entertainment options. This is the perfect destination for families and outdoor lovers for a day trip. On the way, you can also visit ...

  14. 17 Best Romantic Weekend Getaways from Kansas City, Missouri

    The award-winning Cedar Crest Lodge is a popular destination for a romantic getaway, engagement, wedding or other celebration. The sprawling 100-acre property is conveniently located just an hour from Kansas City, where it offers a unique country-style ambiance.

  15. The Best Day Trips From Kansas City, Missouri

    Getting There: By car, Weston, Missouri is 45 minutes from downtown Kansas City. Or if you're already at the Kansas City International Airport (MCI) you can take a 20-minute shuttle ride directly to the distillery. Travel Tip: Walk-ins are accepted based on availability, so try to make a reservation in advance. A majority of the tour is ...

  16. 8 best Amtrak trips from Kansas City

    8 best Amtrak trips from Kansas City. May 1, 2022November 4, 2023 by Travel Guide. Two Amtrak routes stop at the beautiful Kansas City Union Station, the regional Missouri River Runner and the long-distance Southwest Chief route. You can take a day trip or overnight trip on one of these trains to explore small towns, big cities and even a ...

  17. Weekend in Kansas City: The Perfect Itinerary (According to a Local!)

    Kansas City is a great location in the Midwest with a lot of things to do, see, and eat! even National Geographic has identified Kansas City as a top destination (#10!) for 2019. We have lived in Kansas City, Missouri for more than three years now and have explored the city as both tourists and locals. This weekend in Kansas City itinerary captures some of our favorite things and some of ...

  18. Kansas City, MO Weekend Trip: A 3-day Kansas City Itinerary from a

    Sample 3-Day Kansas City Weekend Itinerary. Day 1 in Kansas City: West Bottoms. Day 2 in Kansas City, MO: River Market & Crossroads Arts District. Day 3 in Kansas City, MO: Plaza and Midtown. Other things to do in Kansas City: Where (else) to Eat in the City: Other Tips to know before visiting Kansas City, MO:

  19. 27 Best Weekend Getaways in Kansas

    Leawood, KS 66211. (913) 345-9430. Situated in Overland Park, near Kansas City, the Aloft Hotel Leawood is a fantastic weekend getaway for you and your loved one. The hotel with its bright, vivid and fun colors and patterns, has a very cool and airy ambiance that you're sure to love.

  20. The Perfect Weekend in Kansas City Itinerary

    January 7, 2024. When Kansas City comes to mind, most people will think of The Wizard of Oz, great barbecue, and jazz. While you can count on finding those things in the city (minus Toto and Dorothy), there are so many other things to do and see. The perfect Kansas City itinerary consists of a little bit of everything, both traditional and new ...

  21. Couple's Weekend in Kansas City Itinerary

    The City Market : No KC weekend trip is complete without touring The City Market's farmers market, a rain-or-shine showcase of the area's finest produce, spices, goods and more. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art : Speaking of things that can't be missed, this museum is one of the finest such institutions in the country—and completely free.

  22. The Ultimate Kansas City Girls Weekend

    Brunch Time As the weekend draws to a close, reminisce about the memories you made throughout the trip over brunch. Avenues Bistro, nestled in Kansas City's charming Brookside neighborhood, anchors a string of independent shops and art galleries. Try one of their signature bottomless breakfast cocktails like pomegranate punch or a "spritzzle me this."

  23. Best Girls Weekend in Kansas City: What to Do & Where to Stay

    Country Club Plaza: Upscale and High End Girls Weekend in Kansas City. Country Club Plaza is a great place to spend a trip for a group that enjoys sophistication and the arts. Country Club Plaza is renowned for being the premier retail center in Kansas City. The area is filled with trendy and designer boutiques and shops spread throughout a 15 ...