Communities To Visit in Clay County: Town Facts & Info
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Unique Communities

Excelsior Springs

Excelsior Springs abounds with scenic beauty steeped in a rich history dating back to its mineral waters. Explore the local shops in the Downtown District. Pamper yourself at The Elms Hotel & Spa, which harkens back to the grandeur of another age. Or, take a self-guided mineral water walking tour and visit the Hall of Waters, where you can sample the famous waters at the world's longest mineral water bar.

Quick facts about Excelsior Springs, Missouri:
  • It was founded in 1880 on the site of mineral spring waters once settlers discovered the medicinal properties of the water.
  • Excelsior Springs' mineral waters were bottled and sold worldwide.
  • During the Chicago World's Fair in 1893, Excelsior Springs gained international attention when Regent Springs Water and Soterian Ginger Ale were awarded medals.
  • Construction on the Hall of Waters began in 1935.


Home to an abundance of parks, cultural events and entertainment venues, this exciting community in the heart of the Northland has something to offer for everybody. Gladstone has reinvented the town square - head to Linden Square for concerts, outdoor movies & special events. In the winter, enjoy the open-air ice rink. In the summer, bring a blanket or lawn chair for the free Theater in the Park at Gladstone Amphitheater. Or, spend the day at the beautiful and historic Atkins-Johnson Farm. Be sure to check out what's growing in the heirloom garden.

Quick facts about Gladstone, MO:
  • The Gladstone Farmers Market meets May-October Wednesdays (2:00-6:00) and Saturdays (8:00-1:00).
  • The city was incorporated in 1952.
  • The Gladstone Community Center has a gym, swimming facility, banquet hall, and outdoor water park (Gladstone Pool).
  • Gladstone is home to many fun events including: Gladfest during the fall, Friday Fright Night in October, and the Summertime Bluesfest!

Kansas City

Part of a 1.9 Million sprawling metropolis, Kansas City North of the River is home to hundreds of unique shopping districts, hotels, restaurants, parks, museums, sports and entertainment venues. Clay County is home to the northeast section of Kansas City, Missouri.

Head to Worlds of Fun & Oceans of Fun for miles of outdoor thrills. Or check out the area's largest casino, Ameristar. Go shopping at Briarcliff Village, or head to the Downtown Airport for the National Airline History Museum and TWA Museum. For history lovers, tour a frontier town in the 1800's at Shoal Creek Living History Museum.

Quick facts about Kansas City (North), MO:
  • Worlds of Fun gets spooky during the fall - Halloween Haunt is perfect for a good scare.
  • The Anita B. Gorman Park is home to the Clay County Veteran's Memorial.
  • The Shoal Creek Living History Museum often has reenactors on site for events.
  • The Worlds of Fun Village is a unique place for visitors to stay.


One of the best places in the Northland to raise a family, Kearney has a lot to offer visitors interested in history. This is Jesse James country, so it's the perfect place for history buffs. Tour the Jesse James Museum & Birthplace, which houses the world's largest collection of James family artifacts. Explore the nearby cemetery where James is buried. For live entertainment, take in a concert at Kearney Amphitheater, or attend annual events like the Jesse James Festival and Jesse James Outlaw Airshow.

Quick facts about Kearney, MO:
  • Kearney was built in 1869 when the railroad came to the area. At one time there were roughly sixty trains going through Kearney each day.
  • Kearney was once renowned for its cattle (Black Angus and Hereford) and sold more cattle per square mile of population than anywhere else in the US.
  • Visit the birthplace of outlaw Jesse James in Kearney.
  • Kearney likes to celebrate its most infamous son with the Jesse James Festival.


One of the fastest growing community in the Northlands, Liberty has a wealth of shopping and entertainment to offer. Amazing parks and the beautiful historic Downtown complete the picture.

The County Seat for Clay County, be sure to visit the historic downtown Liberty Square for unique local shops, restaurants and special events. Relive history at the Jesse James Bank Museum, the site of the first peacetime daylight bank robbery.

Or, tour the Liberty Jail, which housed LDS leader Joseph Smith. Spend the afternoon at Belvoir Winery, whose historic estate offers the perfect escape.

Quick facts about Liberty:
  • Settlers began arriving in the Liberty area in the early 1800's.
  • In 1822 Liberty became the County Seat for Clay County.
  • Founded in 1894, William Jewell College is one of the oldest private colleges in Missouri.

North Kansas City

On the periphery of metropolitan hustle and bustle, North Kansas City is the ideal place to move up, but not away. Near Kansas City, life in North Kansas City is quietly convenient. A community where houses and warehouses converge, the burgeoning downtown is home to local favorites like Chappell's Restaurant and Sports Museum and new favorites like Cinder Block Brewery or Chicken N Pickle, where you can try your hand at pickleball. Enjoy a night on the town at nearby Harrah's Casino, or try indoor rock climbing at RoKC.

Quick facts about North Kansas City:
  • North Kansas City was incorporated in 1912.
  • Downtown NKC is a great location for shopping and dining.
  • Macken Park, a 60 acre recreational park located just 5 minutes North from Downtown KC, is the largest park in NKC.
  • Kansas City's Children's Fountain (found in Waterworks Park), it's a beautiful sight in NKC. It was installed in 1995.


Situated in the northwestern corner of Clay County, Smithville is home to one of Greater Kansas City Area's premier recreational locations: 7,200-acre Smithville Lake. The downtown heritage district offers award-winning dining and unique local shops with special events year round. Or head to nearby Ladoga Winery to sip local varietals and enjoy fantastic views.

If you love the outdoors, head to the 7,200-acre Smithville Lake which features camping, boating, fishing and hunting. You'll also find miles of trails for biking and hiking, golfing and 26 miles of equestrian trails.

Quick facts about Smithville, MO:
  • Smithville was named for the Smith family, who settled along the Little Platte River in 1822.
  • Smithville became a town in the 1830's.
  • The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began impounding Smithville Lake in 1979, creating today's popular recreational lake.
  • Smithville is home to many fun events, including Smithville's Backyard BBQ Bash (Amateur BBQ Contest).
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