Trip Ideas: Presidential Stomping Grounds
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.
Morning

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.

223 N. Main St., Independence MO 64050, 816-254-9929
Hours: Mon.-Sun., 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.
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.
16506 E. Route 40, Independence MO 64055, 816-478-6958
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.; Sun., 7:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
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.
500 W. Route 24, Independence MO 64050, 800-833-1225
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. (May-September, Thursday hours extended to 9 p.m.); Sun., noon-5 p.m.
Evening
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.
Lexington Road at Little Blue River, Independence MO 64050, 800-748-7323
Hours: Self-guided.
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.
201 N Main St., Independence MO 64050, 816-461-4525
Hours: Mon.-Thur., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Afternoon

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.

10440 E. Route 40, Independence MO 64055, 816-353-5880
Hours: Mon.-Thu., 10 a.m.-11 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 10 a.m.-midnight; Sun., 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Enjoy a taste of Italy, and lunch on the Independence Square, at one of the city's most elegant restaurants.
206 W Lexington, Independence MO 64050, 816-833-0044
Hours: Mon.-Thur., 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat., 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
This 1852 mansion was built along the 1846 alignment of the Santa Fe Trail. It was once the home of Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham, who perhaps is most famous for his, "Order No. 11," which depicts the forced, Civil War evacuation of counties in western Missouri. Bingham later went on to become the University of Missouri's first art professor.
313 W. Pacific Ave., Independence MO 64051, 816-461-3491
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m.; Sun., 1 p.m.-4 p.m. (Closed January-March)
This is the only museum in the nation certified by the National Park Service as an interpretive site for five national historic trails: Lewis and Clark Trail; Santa Fe Trail; Oregon Trail; California Trail; and Mormon Trails.
318 W. Pacific Ave., Independence MO 64050, 816-325-7575
Hours: Mon.-Sat., 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sun., 12:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m.