Things to do in Independence Missouri

Best Independence Missouri Attractions

The historic city of Independence, Missouri played a pivotal role in the birth of our nation.

As the fourth largest city in Missouri, Independence is home to a plethora of patriotic and pioneer related attractions. In addition, it is home to vibrant nightlife, boutique shops, antebellum-style mansions, and amazing cuisine.

What follows is an abbreviated list of just a few of the city’s more prominent attractions.

1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home Museum

The “1859 Jail” received acclaim as being one of the prisons that housed the infamous Wild West outlaws Jesse James, Frank James, and one of their many accomplices.

The accompanying “Marshal’s Home Museum” is the original Federalist style home that once housed the city’s marshal. It is located just a few feet from the jailhouse itself.

Visitors to the “1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home Museum” can visit both locations for one admission price. As of 2010 admission to the “1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home Museum” is $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children ages 6 to 16. Children under 6 are admitted for free.

Combination tickets that combine admission to these two attractions along with others in the city are available as well. Details on the combination tickets can be found on the museum’s website.

1859 Jail and Marshal’s Home Museum
217 North Main Street
Independence, MO 64055

1827 Log Courthouse

This prestigious structure has deep historic roots. Not only did it house President Harry Truman during his time as a judicial figure in the 1930s, it also served a significant role in the Mormon religion.

As of 2010 admission to the “1827 Log Courthouse” is free. The facility is open from April 1st until October 31st from 10:00 am until 2:00 pm. Additional visitation is available by appointment only.

1827 Log Courthouse
107 West Kansas Avenue
Independence, MO 64055

Bingham Waggoner Estate

Renowned Civil War artist George C. Bingham as well as the original founders of the “Waggoner Gates Mill” once called this gorgeous 3-story Victorian mansion home.

In addition to being a remarkable example of early pioneer aristocracy, the south side of the estate’s lawn contains authentic circa 1830 wagon swales created by the brave men and women who perilously traveled along the Santa Fe Trail.

“Bingham-Waggoner Estate” is open from April 1st until October 31st during the hours of 10:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Saturday and 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm on Sunday. Admission is $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children ages 6 to 12. Children under the age of 6 are admitted for free.

The “Bingham-Waggoner Wagon Swales” is located behind the “Bingham Waggoner Estate House” and run for ¼ a mile. Admission to the swales area is included within the estate admission price.

Bingham Waggoner Estate
313 West Pacific
Independence, MO 64055

1879 Chicago and Alton Depot

Heralded as the oldest 2 story train depot in the state, the “1879 Chicago and Alton Depot” is sure to be a hit with railroad enthusiasts and historians alike.

Both floors of the depot are available for viewing. The first floor was the actual railroad station and the second floor served as living quarters for the station master.

As of 2010 admission to the “1879 Chicago and Alton Depot” is free, though donations are warmly accepted. All donations go towards the daily upkeep of this historic structure.

The depot is open during the months of April through October. The hours of operation are 9:30 am until 4:30 pm on Mondays and from 12:30 pm to 4:30 pm on Thursdays through Saturdays.

Chicago and Alton Depot
318 West Pacific
Independence, MO 64055

Leila’s Hair Museum

“Leila’s Hair Museum” is a curious place devoted to exploring the history of Victorian hair art and jewelry. If you have never heard of or seen a Victorian hair wreath, “Leila’s Hair Museum” will rectify that. It affords a unique look into the early years of women’s fashion that visitors would be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.

“Leila’s Hair Museum” is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Currently, admission is $5.00 for adults and $2.50 for children ages 12 and under.

Leila’s Hair Museum
1333 South Noland
Independence, MO 64055

Vaile Mansion

The “Vaile Mansion” is an opulent display of the sense and sensibilities of former U.S. Mail contractor Harvey Merrick Valle. In addition to what one would normally expect to see in a mansion of that period, it also contains the most amazing hand-painted murals that adorn both the walls and high reaching ceilings.

The “Vaile Mansion” maintains hours of operation from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm Monday through Saturday and 1:00 pm until 4:00 pm on Sundays during the months of April through October.

The mansion is closed for the month of November as well as the months of January through March. Special holiday hours are available during the month of December. Details on holiday events and hours are listed on the “Vaile Mansion” website.

The latest posted admission is $5.00 for adults and $2.00 for children ages 6 to 16. Children under 6 years of age are admitted for free.

Vaile Mansion
1500 North Liberty
Independence, MO 64055

Additional Information

Other significant Independence Missouri enticements include; the “National Frontier Trails Museum”, “Pioneer Spring Cabin”, “Clinton’s Soda Fountain”, “Independence Square”, “Puppetry Arts Institute” and the “Pioneer Trails Adventures.”

Those wishing to discover more about what Independence, Missouri has to offer should log onto the city’s tourism website.

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