13 Best Stops Between Kansas City and St Joseph

Last updated on August 6th, 2023 at 06:24 am.

Are you planning a day trip or road trip from Kansas City to St. Joseph and wondering how to make the journey as memorable as the destination? Look no further! The drive from KCMO to St. Joe is filled with plenty of quirky roadside attractions and must-visit stops that will make your trip unforgettable.

This scenic drive is filled with plenty of unique points of interest, including wineries, great BBQ, historic sites, hidden gems and other fascinating stops that are sure to make your Missouri journey just as exciting as your destination.

Road Trip Stops From Kansas City to St. Joseph

This is one of many Missouri road trips we have on the site. If you are into wild west history you will also love our Jesse James road trip and if you love presidential history we also have a Harry Truman road trip. We also have the best road trip stops between Kansas City to Branson.

The Route

The easiest road trip route from St Joseph, MO to Kansas City, MO or visa versa is on the I-29. The 55 mile route for this trip from Kansas City to St. Joseph takes just about an hour, which leaves a lot of time for fun stops!

  • Travel time without stops: About 1 Hour
  • Driving distance without stops: 55 miles from downtown Kansas City and 65 miles from the Brookside/Waldo neighborhoods
Map from Kansas City to St Joseph

Some of the towns you’ll be near on this route are Parkville, Gladstone, Weston and Dearborn. For reference, the Kansas City airport is just about 1/2 way between Kansas City and St. Joseph.

The entire drive is on the highway until your exit of choice in St. Joseph.

Best stops From Kansas City to St Joseph

The below roadside attractions and must-visit stops are in order from Kansas City to St. Joseph, Missouri.

Don’t forget to check days and times before planning your visit to any of the below locations to ensure that your desired attractions and stops are open and available during your trip.

Parkville

Parkville, Missouri mural with Alexa Meisler

Take a 10-minute detour from downtown Kansas City to visit Parkville, a quaint and historic Missouri River town settled in 1838. Explore the charming Main Street, which is filled with great street art, antique shops, boutique clothing stores, coffee shops, and restaurants.

If you are looking for a hike, the Old Kate Trail in the Parkville Nature Sanctuary (100 E 12 St, Parkville, MO 64152) is a 1 mile wooded trail through a wetland where you will also find a stream, bridges and a waterfall.

My favorite restaurant in Parkville is Café des Amis (112 Main Street, Parkville, MO 64152). They have a traditional French menu and highlights during my visit were the Prince Edwards Island mussels steamed in sherry wine, shallots, fresh herbs, and light cream. Reservations are recommended, especially on weekends.

Pura Vida

Address: 6203 NW 63rd Terrace, Kansas City, MO 64151

Pura Vida OG açai bowl
Photo Credit: Pura Vida

If you’re an açai fan, Pura Vida Açai Café is a must-visit spot. While their food truck makes appearances at different famers markets and special events in town, a visit to their café is a mandatory stop when you’re near the airport or heading to St. Joseph.

Açai is a Brazilian superfood frozen treat and their delicious bowls have won them prestigious title of “Best Food Truck in Kansas City” from The Pitch.

One of their signature offerings, the Pura Vida OG, is a combination of creamy açai topped with slices of fresh banana, toasted coconut, and almond butter. The flavors blend harmoniously, providing a delightful and satisfying experience.

For those looking for an indulgent twist, the Volcano bowl is my personal favorite. This açai creation is topped with crispy dark cocoa cookie crumbles, salted nuts, and a tantalizing berry puree drizzle. The contrasting textures and rich flavors create a taste explosion that will leave you wanting more.

Main Event

Address: 8081 NW Roanridge Rd, Kansas City, MO 64151

If you’re traveling with kids or simply a kid at heart, a detour to Main Even in North Kansas City is an ideal choice.

Kids and adults alike can enjoy laser tag, test their skills on the gravity ropes, or challenge each other to arcade games. For those who prefer a more laid-back experience, you can relax and play a game of billiards.

After working up an appetite, head over to the restaurant and treat yourself to their delicious burgers. It’s the perfect way to refuel and recharge before continuing your journey.

Scotts BBQ

Address: 11920 N Ambassador Dr, Kansas City, MO 64153

Scotts Kitchen BBQ Tacos

Scott Umscheid, a celebrated pitmaster, brings his fierce passion for barbecue to life at Scott’s Kitchen. This unique restaurant puts a creative twist on traditional barbecue by serving it up in the form of tacos, burritos, and bowls, delivering a fresh and exciting take on this beloved cuisine.

Setting a new trend in KCMO BBQ, Scott’s Kitchen proudly introduced pulled pork tacos to their menu, becoming the first barbecue joint in the city to offer this delectable creation.

While burritos take center stage at Scott’s Kitchen, make no mistake—this place is the epitome of authentic barbecue. From tender and succulent fall-off-the-bone ribs to juicy brisket and the restaurant’s renowned burnt ends,

However, breakfast at Scott’s is not to be missed, and the true shining star of the morning menu is the burnt ends breakfast burrito—a mouthwatering combination that will kickstart your day with a burst of smoky flavors.

They serve breakfast from 7:00 am to 11:00 am and the lunch and dinner menu until 6:30 pm. Scott’s Kitchen is open Monday – Friday.

Smithville Lake

Address: 17201 Paradesian Smithville, MO 64089

Smithville Lake is a 7,190-acre reservoir located on the Little Platte branch of the Platte River, near the town of Smithville. The lake offers a wide range of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, making it a perfect detour for a picnic lunch with beautiful views and opportunities for biking or walking or even fishing

This is a detour from Highway 29. You would take I-29 N to I-35 N to I-435 N to MO-291 S/NE toward Cookingham Dr.

Platte Falls Conservation Area

Address: 16800 Settles Sta Rd, Platte City, MO 64079

Platte Falls Conservation Area is an expansive 2,366-acre nature haven offering hiking, fishing, bird watching, canoeing, or even archery. It’s an ideal spot for a relaxing picnic or a leg stretch.

Don’t miss the Platte Falls Trail, a 2.8-mile out-and-back pathway located nearby. With its easy terrain, the trail can be completed in approximately 50 minutes to an hour. This trail is open year-round.

Historic Town of Weston

Phillips 66 gas station in Weston, MO

Located approximately 7 miles off I-29 on MO-273 S, you’ll discover the picturesque town of Weston. Founded in 1837, this quaint town is renowned for its preserved historic buildings, making it a fun destination for history enthusiasts.

One notable attraction in Weston is the McCormick Distilling Company (1 Mc Cormick Ln, Weston, MO 64098), the oldest whiskey distillery west of the Mississippi River and the oldest continuously operated distillery in the United States.

While exploring Weston, be sure to visit the historic Phillips 66 gas station, a fun landmark and photo opp that adds to the town’s charm. Additionally, the Polish pottery shops offer a unique shopping experience, showcasing the town’s cultural diversity.

Take a leisurely stroll along the streets of Weston and embrace the captivating ambiance of this historical gem. Immerse yourself in the well-preserved buildings and enjoy the town’s distinct character. Weston offers a glimpse into the past, inviting visitors to experience its captivating allure.

Pirtle Winery

Address: 502 Spring St, Weston, MO 64098

Pirtle Winery in Weston, MO
Photo Credit: Pirtle Winery

While in Weston, visit Pirtle Winery, a family-owned establishment founded in 1978 that is located in a German Lutheran Church dating back to 1867.

Enjoy the cozy ambiance of the indoor cellar on the first floor, featuring a wine bar and ample seating. The second floor is the tasting room and gift shop and a vine-covered wine garden. Don’t miss the popular red wine slushee, a perennial favorite.

The Mellow Red, made with 100% Concord grapes is their most popular wine. Whether you’re in the mood for a slushy, a wine tasting, or simply to pick up a bottle, the Pirtle Winery is a fun stop if you enjoy Missouri wines.

Take The Holladay Distillery Tour

Holladay Distillery barrels
Photo Credit: Holladay Distillery

Address: 1 Mc Cormick Ln, Weston, MO 64098

At The Holladay Distillery in Weston, you can delve into over 160 years of history and witness the art of crafting real Missouri Bourbon. Step back in time and explore the distillery’s fascinating heritage.

During the tour, you’ll have the opportunity to peer into the limestone spring that was first discovered by Lewis and Clark in 1804. The journey continues as you step inside the stillhouse, which dates back to the mid-1800s when Ben Holladay first began using limestone water to create bourbon. As you walk through the distillery, you’ll also encounter the aging barrels stacked in the bonded rickhouses, each one contributing to the development of fine bourbon.

Prepare to engage all your senses as you witness, smell, taste, and even touch Real Missouri Bourbon being made, following the original recipe from over 160 years ago. It’s a truly immersive journey into the world of bourbon production.

The tours at The Holladay Distillery are $25 and last approximately 90 minutes and include a Bourbon tasting, allowing visitors to savor the flavors and appreciate the craftsmanship firsthand.

Jowler Creek Winery

Address: 16905 Jowler Creek Rd, Platte City, MO 64079

Located approximately 30 minutes north of Downtown Kansas City and 20 minutes South of St. Joseph, Jowler Creek Winery is Missouri’s First Green Winery and a destination that offers more than just locally produced wines.

At Jowler Creek, you can indulge in wine tastings and explore a wide selection of locally crafted wines. The winery also offers an assortment of gourmet cheeses, fresh-baked bread, locally-produced meats, and other snacks.

Additionally, Jowler Creek Winery hosts a calendar of Live Music events throughout the year, providing the perfect ambiance to relax and unwind while savoring your favorite wines.

Weston Bend State Park

Address: 16600 MO-45, Weston, MO 64098

From I-29 take MO-273 N to Weston Bend State Park; a must-visit destination for nature lovers and outdoor enthusiasts. The park showcases a beautiful scenic overlook with panoramic views of the Missouri River, the sprawling wild bottomland forests of Fort Leavenworth, and stretches as far as 6 to 8 miles into Kansas.

You can walk the Weston Bluffs trail that winds through the woods and along the bluff’s edge, offering views of the river. It’s a chance to see the same scenic beauty that Lewis and Clark encountered during their historic expedition in 1804.

As Weston Bend State Park lies along the forested river corridor, it is great for bird watching, particularly during the spring and fall migrations.

The park offers well-maintained picnic areas that are yet another option for a picnic lunch.

Schweizer Orchards

Address: 5455 SE State Rte Ff, St Joseph, MO 64507

Alexa Meisler at Schweizer Orchards

Nestled in a scenic landscape, Schweizer Orchards is a destination not to be missed. For over four generations, they have been cultivating their most famous produce—River Bend Apples—known for their exceptional quality and flavor.

At Schweizer Orchards, visitors have the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the farm experience. It’s a place where you can pick your own fruit, plucking the ripest berries, peaches, apples, pumpkins, and even Christmas trees straight from the fields. This hands-on activity brings a sense of connection to the land and the joy of harvesting your own food.

In addition to the u-pick farm, Schweizer Orchards boasts a delightful market offering freshly picked fruit and produce. You’ll also find a tempting array of homemade jams and other locally made items that showcase the region’s culinary craftsmanship.

Whether you’re strolling through the orchards, enjoying the sweet aroma of fresh produce, or exploring the market brimming with mouthwatering treats, Schweizer Orchards promises an experience that combines the beauty of nature with the flavors of the land. Pay a visit to this generational haven and delight in the abundance of fresh, farm-grown delights that await you.

Stetson Outlet

Address: 3601 S Leonard Rd, St Joseph, MO 64503

Stetson Outlet in St Joseph with Todd Meisler

Make a pit stop at the Stetson Outlet, conveniently situated on the outskirts of St. Joseph. Just off the freeway, it’s a breeze to find and visit. This factory outlet is your go-to destination for renowned brands like Stetson, Resistol, Dobbs, and more.

However, it’s the Stetson Hats that steal the show, as they are globally recognized as the epitome of hat craftsmanship. Discover a wide range of cowboy hats for both men and women, available in straw, felt, or leather options. Capture the essence of Western spirit by owning your very own iconic Stetson hat.

Where to Stay When you Arrive in St Joseph

Shakespeare Chateau Inn Bed & Breakfast

For those seeking a truly enchanting lodging experience steeped in history and adorned with luxurious touches, look no further than the Shakespeare Chateau Inn Bed & Breakfast. Built in 1885, this magnificent chateau is nestled in the esteemed National Register Historic District, known as “Millionaires’ Row” by the locals.

Step back in time as you enter the grand entrance of the Shakespeare Chateau Inn. The opulence and elegance of the late 19th century is on grand display; each corner exudes charm and echoes stories of the past. Every detail of this historic gem has been thoughtfully preserved, allowing guests to relish in the splendor of a bygone era.

From intricately designed architecture to exquisite furnishings, the Shakespeare Chateau Inn offers a seamless blend of history and luxury.

Whether you’re a history enthusiast, a romantic soul, or simply seeking an extraordinary getaway, the Shakespeare Chateau Inn Bed & Breakfast is an unforgettable experience.

Check Shakespeare Chateau Inn Bed & Breakfast reviews on TripAdvisor.

Best road trip Stops Between 
Kansas City & 
St. Joseph

Book Your Trip

If you’re planning a Missouri trip, there are several tools and services that can help you find the best deals, experiences, and protect yourself from unexpected events. Here are some recommendations to consider:

Book Your Accommodation
If you’re looking for a comfortable and affordable place to stay during your travels, I love VRBO for vacation rentals. My favorite hotel booking sites are Hotels.com and Booking.com. I love that Hotels.com gives you one free hotel stay for every 10 you book.

Rent a Car
Missouri is a big place and renting a car is the best way to explore and enjoy off-the-beaten path recommendations. I’ve used RentalCars.com for more than a decade to find the best rental car rates—it’s an aggregator that scours the web for the most competitive prices.

Find Interesting Things to Do
Viator, a TripAdvisor property, offers a wide range of tours and activities in Missouri, from city tours of St. Louis and Kansas City to outdoor adventures in the Ozark Mountains.
GetYourGuide is another great option, with a variety of tours and experiences in popular Missouri destinations like Branson and Springfield. Whether you’re interested in exploring historic sites, enjoying the outdoors, or trying local cuisine, these companies can help you find the perfect activities to make your trip to Missouri unforgettable.

Protect Yourself With Travel Insurance
It’s never fun to think about what could go wrong on a trip. A good plan can ensure that emergencies that may come up – medical trouble, stolen items, damage to your belongings, etc. – are easier to handle, and at little to no extra expense to you.

I highly recommend checking out World Nomads before you travel. World Nomads travel insurance has been designed by travelers for travelers, to cover trip essentials and is very reasonable.

I recommend Travelex for family travel insurance. Not only does this company offer ‘cancel for any reason’ policies, Travelex also includes coverage for children under 17 when traveling with an adult at no additional cost. (Be sure to read all terms and conditions.)

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