Presidential Stomping Grounds

See Photo Location

Well before Harry Truman moved to town, Independence was playing a pivotal role in our nation’s history. The city was seen as a “jumping off” point for several westward trails, including the Oregon, California and Santa Fe, and two Civil War battles were fought in the city, where an 1859 jail once housed outlaw Frank James.


A. Harry S Truman National Historic Site – Visitor Center

Located in the historic Independence Fire Station No. 1, this is the place to obtain tickets for touring the Truman home in Independence.

The visitor center contains an audio/visual program about Harry Truman's home life, exhibits of objects from the Truman home, a bookstore and restrooms.

Closed New Year's, Thanksgiving, Christmas days.

B. Big Biscuit – Independence

Offers generous breakfast and lunch portions. Locally famous for an incredible helping of biscuits and gravy. Chicken-fried steak is a lunchtime favorite. Breakfast served all day.

C. Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

Learn more about the life and times of Harry S. Truman. Contains an amazing collection of Truman family possessions, plus papers from Truman's presidential years. Explore interactive and hands-on exhibits; see a replica of The Oval Office; visit Truman's grave.


A. Second Battle of Independence Self-Guided Tour

Take this self-guided walking or driving tour of Independence to see sites associated with the Civil War's Second Battle of Independence (1864), also known as the Battle of the Little Blue.

B. Ophelia’s Restaurant & Inn

This upscale eatery is a local favorite; it overlooks Independence Square. Popular choices include the Chateaubriand and filet mignon, along with seafood, duck and lamb selections.


A. 1859 Jail, Marshal’s Home and Museum

The dungeon-like cells of the jail housed thousands of prisoners during the bloodiest time in Jackson County's history, including Frank James and William Quantrill. An 1870s schoohouse completes the site. Closed November and January-March.

B. Gates Bar-B-Q — East Location

A Kansas City barbecue tradition since 1946. Gates Bar-B-Q will satisfy your craving for a truly unique and satisfying barbecue experience. A major reason for the success of Gates Bar-B-Q is their barbecue sauce: sauces and seasonings are sold in the restaurant, and in many grocery stores.

Award-winning barbecue is served cafeteria style.

C. Café Verona

Enjoy a taste of Italy, and lunch on the Independence Square, at one of the city's most elegant restaurants.