This story was originally published in our September 2021 issue. 

Kansas Citians longing for rolling countryside and scenic views overlooking the Missouri River have long known about the secret day trip forty-five minutes to the north in Weston.

But that secret is now out, and the popular daytrip beckons other travelers looking for an escape and a bit of historic, pastoral charm.

Weston is an idyllic river town where sprawling pastures with old tobacco barns can be found, and antebellum homes are restored for visitors to view. The area is packed with experiences, and perhaps you’ll love the libations from one of the wineries or, if it’s a warm day, a cool draw from a local brewery.

Lodge at the Weston Firefly Inn, right off of Washington Street. There are three cozy suites from which to choose in a central location with easy access to shops and restaurants. Help yourself to breakfast served every morning, and make a new friend at the social each evening beginning at 5 pm. Or you can stay a block off Main Street at The Hatchery House, named such because the house was once apartments in the 1940s where newlyweds lived. Many had their first babies while living there.

The Weston Firefly Inn is housed in a home built in 1885.

Dine at The Vineyards Restaurant with seafood selections such as crab cakes and mussels, or indulge for dinner with beef tenderloin, duck, or short ribs. The restaurant also serves brunch. Enjoy live music on the back patio in the fall on Friday nights.

The Pan Seared Sea Scallops at Vineyard’s Restaurant incorporates polenta and bacon crumbles.

If a low-key night is preferable and the opportunity to take in one of the local wineries arises, try Pirtle, which offers reds, whites, fruit wines, and mead. You can also grab a slushy mix for making your own treat. Or visit Riverwood Winery where there is a full whiskey menu including dozens of Scotch and Japanese whiskeys. If beer is more your style, try a brewery tour available at 1, 3, and 5 pm Saturdays at Weston Brewing Company.

Visit the Weston Red Barn Farm. The pumpkin patch and orchard provide an idyllic escape in the fall. There is no admission to the farm, and you can pay as you go when picking your pumpkins. Try the apple cider doughnuts, and pick apples at the orchard.

For a bird’s-eye view of the Missouri River, take a quick drive down Highway 45 to Weston Bend State Park where there is a three-mile paved bike trail, picnic sites, a campground, and an overlook that offers glimpses of the Mighty MO below.

Photos // Downtown Weston, Weston Firefly Inn, Vineyard’s Restaurant