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Image of white flowers in the spring

Things are heating up in Independence -- and we're not just talking about the weather! April is the perfect time for a visit as our events season starts up. From our historic sites to our many trails, there is something for everyone to see this spring.

Historic Sites Open for the Season

April marks the beginning of our historic sites opening for the touring season! Here are a few of our favorites you'll want to see on your next trip to Independence:

Image of the Vaile Mansion in spring
Vaile Mansion

Vaile Mansion

This majestic architectural masterpiece was known as the "most princely house" in the West in 1881. With 31 rooms, 9 marble fireplaces, indoor plumbing (flushing toilets), and a 48,000-gallon wine cellar, we'd agree it is a princely home!

Image of the Bingham-Waggoner Estate in the spring with pink flowers in the foreground
Bingham-Waggoner Estate

Bingham-Waggoner Estate

This home is recognized as one of the more significant historical sites in Western Missouri for its role in history and those who lived there. Independence is the Queen City of the Trails, and wagons heading west crossed this property on their way to Oregon, California, and Santa Fe. 

Image of the Chicago Alton Railroad Depot in the springtime
Chicago Alton Railroad Depot

Chicago Alton Railroad Depot

Built in 1879, this railroad depot is believed to be the only fully restored two-story train depot in Missouri. This spectacular building has three rooms on the first floor and the station master's residence on the second floor. 

Image of the courtyard at the 1859 Jail Museum
1859 Jail Museum

1859 Jail Museum

This historic property, established in 1859, was in use as the Jackson County jail until 1959. The Jackson County Historical Society preserves the Jail Museum, sharing the stories of the jailers, their families, and the criminals who occupied the cells. 

Image of the Truman Home in springtime
Harry S. Truman National Historic Site

Truman Home

Known as the Summer White House during President Truman's presidency, the Truman Home offers a glimpse into the personal, simple life of Harry and Bess Truman before, during, and after the presidency.


Parks and Nature Trails

Historic sites aren't the only thing in bloom -- our trails are picturesque this time of year. Remember to pack your camera as you'll see wildlife and flowers in abundance.

Image of the lake at Waterfall Park in the spring
Lake at Waterfall Park

Waterfall Park

As the name suggests, Waterfall Park features a waterfall, lake, walking trails, fishing, and more next to shopping centers in Independence. Enjoy wildlife, grab a bite to eat, go for a stroll, and go shopping all in one location!

Image of flowers at George Owens Nature Park in the springtime
Purple flowers in bloom at George Owens Nature Park

George Owens Nature Park

This hidden gem in the heart of Independence is 86 acres of natural beauty, inspiring adventure around every corner of the trails. Explore forests, lakes, hiking trails, and wildlife at our free nature park and nature center. 

Image of flowers on the Little Blue Trace Trails in the foreground. Woods in the background.
Flowers along the Little Blue Trace Trails

Little Blue Trace Trails

This trail is over 15 miles long, perfect for biking, walking, or running alongside the Little Blue River, lakes, and rural landscapes. If you're looking for a way to escape the hustle and bustle, this trail offers solitude during the quieter times of the day. 

Image of a deer at Santa Fe Park
Deer at Santa Fe Park

Santa Fe Park

Santa Fe Park is more than a playground; it has walking trails, a dog park, and tennis courts nestled on 45 acres. See wagon ruts (or swales), wildlife, and more at this unique destination.


Walking Trails 

If you like to walk without being surrounded by nature while learning about history -- we have you covered! Enjoy our many historic trails.

Image of Truman Walking in Independence with crowd
President Truman walked in Independence with a crowd.

Truman Historic Walking Trail

President Truman believed you should start each day with a walk, so we've put together a 2.7-mile walking trail. Along the trail, you'll discover landmarks and plaques noting the significance of each stop. Download a map at

Image of daffodils in bloom at Hiram Young Park
Daffodils in bloom at Hiram Young Park

African American Historic Sites Trail

African Americans played a vital role in the history and development of Jackson County and Independence. In celebration of their role, the African American Historic Sites Trail highlights notable African Americans who contributed to the history of Independence. Download the brochure at

Image of a plaque for the Missouri Mormon Walking Trail
Missouri Mormon Walking Trail plaque 

Missouri Mormon Walking Trail

Step into the history of the Mormon movement in Independence. Our Missouri Mormon Walking Trail showcases 14 plaques depicting instrumental Mormon sites on a one-mile-long trail. Download the interactive map at

Image of a marker telling about the second battle of the Civil war in Independence.
Civil War Marker on the Square

Civil War Driving Tour

Independence is home to one of the first urban battles of the Civil War on our Historic Independence Square. If you're a lover of the Civil War or just want to learn more about the history of Independence, this driving tour is for you! Download our brochure at


Stop by for a visit this spring to see the rich history and the blooming beauty of Independence!


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Entertainment, History