A Day in Smithville, MO
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A Day in Smithville, MO

Found within the rural hills of Clay County is the city of Smithville. Though it is most widely known for Smithville Lake, Smithville is much more than a lake-town. At the heart of the city is its historic downtown, founded in 1822. Smithville was first settled by a man named Humphrey “Yankee” Smith and was originally named “Smith’s Mill” after him.

There are so many awesome getaways to be had in Smithville, you might even be surprised by what all you can do there in a day!

Like most of us right now, I’ve been hankering for some easy and quick trips outside of the usual few places I’ve been visiting these months. So I did a little research and made it a date. Binoculars and “Compact Guide to Missouri Birds” in hand, we hopped in the car Saturday morning and headed to the lake for our very first destination.

My husband in something of an amateur ornithologist, so birdwatching is an avid pastime of his. We hit the trails, making sure to stick close to the water so that we could spot as many birds as possible.
There weren’t very many people on the trail that morning, which was nice since we were trying to social distance—we brought our masks along just in case though! We spotted several birds that morning, plenty of the usual geese and ducks that we were used to seeing, but a few interesting species as well! The Great Blue Heron and the American Coots were my favorites.

Next up on our trip was lunch at Aroma Bistro. The restaurant is found along Hwy 169, just a 19 minute drive away from the lake. The outside of the restaurant is quaint, but inside their décor is fresh and modern and fits well with the high-end, creative cuisine they offer.

I ordered the Chicken Carbonara, which is egg pappardelle pasta with chicken bacon, green onions, cream egg yolk, and a four cheese blend—it was super tasty! The meal paired nicely with the sangria I ordered.

While we were eating we overheard another diner talking about a local Moonshine distillery called Little Platte Distillery. We looked it up and saw that it was a quick six minutes away, so we decided we had to go.


Downtown Smithville is charming and has a very historic feel to it. We explored a little before heading to the distillery.
I’d never had a Moonshine cocktail before, but I was excited to try! I ordered the Strawberry Shine-Aid, which was a truly refreshing strawberry lemonade cocktail. The distillery has outdoor patio seating, which was both comfortable and social distancing friendly! While there we learned that they offer Pecan Pie and Apple Pie Moonshine!I was too curious no to try, so I purchased a bottle of the Pecan Pie to take home!
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