Whiteman Air Force Base, University of Central Missouri, Powell Gardens, and Buckeye Acres are plenty of reasons to go, but wait there’s more. Blind Boone Park, Green Truck Bakery, and a Retrograde Charitable Toy and Video Game Museum seal the deal.

By Pam Clifton

You’ll want to visit Warrensburg as soon as you watch this episode of Missouri Life TV. From the home of the world’s only B-2 Spirit stealth bomber unit to the peaceful grounds of Powell Gardens to the family-owned Buckeye Acres, you’ll find the perfect blend of fun things to do.

High in the Sky
Missouri Life Season 5, Episode 2 begins with adventurer Meredith Hoenes’s stop at Whiteman Air Force Base. The base is named after Second Lt. George Allison Whiteman who was believed to be one of the first casualties of the attack at Pearl Harbor.

Whiteman has one of the most powerful weapons systems with the 509th Bomb Wing. Col. Jeffrey T. Schreiner says the B-2 bombers “have launched out of Whiteman and struck almost every corner of the globe in various conflicts and then returned home all in one strike. The idea that you could fly a jet for 30-40 hours all the way around the world and then come back is a pretty amazing capability.”

The base hosts an air show called Wings Over Whiteman every two years where crowds may see an F-22 Raptor paired with a B-2 bomber parked on the ramp. The next show is in 2024.

College Campus Tours
After visiting WAFB, Meredith makes a quick stop at the University of Central Missouri campus. Founded more than 150 years ago, the school is the only public institution in the state and one of a few in the United States that has its own airport.

The university emphasizes its robust flight-oriented aviation program and direct connection with Whiteman. UCM President Roger Best believes the university prepares students with “skills and aptitudes to allow them to develop for careers that don’t even exist today.”

Lovely Landscapes
The 970-acre peaceful Powell Gardens, about 30 minutes from Warrensburg, is the next stop in this episode. The expansive and elegantly maintained landscapes attract sightseers, plant lovers, bird watchers, and even soon-to-be newlyweds.

Guests need at least a full day to explore the former cattle farm which now has seven themed garden areas and includes dogwoods, an aquatic garden, a 12-acre lake, three-tiered pools, a wedding chapel, and so much more.

The garden’s horticulture and education departments work together to plant and harvest produce, delivered weekly to four local restaurant chefs who create programming and culinary experiences for Powell Gardens guests.

Pick-your-own Produce
The next stop is Buckeye Acres, a you-pick operation with a large selection of fresh fruits and vegetables including the 20,000 strawberry plants the family plants by hand each year.

Buck and Heather Counts took over the family farm in 2009 from Buck’s parents Jim and Jean who started the operation in 1982.

“People realize when you eat fresh and what’s available, how much better it tastes and how long it lasts,” says Heather. “Our vision for the farm is just to be a place where people can come in and see what we do and that we care about what we do.”

The farm is their livelihood, and they want guests to make great memories when they visit and feel like they have a stake in what is being grown locally.

Fresh Breads & Unique Flavors
Meredith’s next stop is Green Truck Bakery in downtown Warrensburg where Carl Schick demonstrates how to make garden bread with locally sourced honey. He explains how this popular Swedish bread contains vegetables which make it moist and soft. The artisan bread is made by hand from all-natural ingredients and is baked in a wood-fired brick oven. Fruits and vegetables from the local farmer’s market are often included in the freshly baked goods.

Carl learned how to make fresh bread as he watched his mom bake each week when he was growing up.

Time for Fun
The final stops in Warrensburg are a unique combination of history and fun.

Blind Boone Park honors John William Boone’s life and legacy. He lost his sight at a young age, so the town paid for him to attend the Missouri School for the Blind where he learned how to play piano. He later furthered his playing by learning from an accomplished pianist in Iowa. He overcame racism, poverty, and disability to become a nationally acclaimed musician and composer.

The three-acre park includes a bronze Blind Boone statue, a wind harp, braille signs, a gazebo, picnic tables, and a walking trail.

One volunteer who helped update the park said, “What once set us apart now brings us together.”

Down the road is an all-inclusive playground where people of all ages, abilities, and gender come together to have fun.

A trip to Retrograde Charitable Toy and Video Game Museum is the perfect finale. Brian Chamberlin and Ryan Edmondson’s operational charity is a common space for the community. It’s filled with video games, collectibles, toys, exhibits, and board games.

Ryan says his favorite thing is “seeing people’s smiles and seeing the kids have a good time.”

The Warrensburg community is a city of fun, flavor, and friendship. Spark your spirit of discovery and watch this episode of Missouri Life TV to see why Warrensburg should be your next must-see destination.