Take a day or weekend trip to two small towns filled with big things to do. From historic homes, to a stunning art gallery to an array of great things to eat. Visit an above-ground pool built in the early 1900s and learn about these towns’ Civil War history.

Photo courtesy of Russel Gibson

FOUNDED IN 1823, FAYETTE is located in the rolling farmland of central Howard County and is the location for the historic Howard county courthouse. Many of the antebellum homes and buildings around Fayette are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Driving around Fayette you will see charming shops like Gold Apple Boutique and the Attic as well as several destination restaurants like Emmet’s Kitchen & Tap, Miknan’s, and Bee’s Knees Taphouse. Central Methodist University is located a block from the downtown square and is home to the Ashby-Hodge Gallery of American Art, the Stephen’s Museum, and Central Museum of History.

Beautiful parks and lakes surround Fayette, and don’t miss the domed Morrison Observatory, located at the edge of Fayette City Park on the west side of the city. In the same location you will find the historic Fayette above-ground pool built in the early 1900s. Located just west of town, outdoor enthusiasts can hike, picnic, and fish around three city lakes. Enjoy many events on the downtown square, including the Festival of Arts the first weekend in August, a Spooktacular Trunk or Treat in October, and a wonderful Christmas Light Festival during December. Visit FayetteMainStreet.org

COMING FROM THE WEST at night on Route 240, drivers first see Glasgow as a chain of sparkling lights along the Missouri River bluff ahead of them. Glasgow, named after one of its 13 founders, was one of the most prosperous towns in Missouri in the 1800s.

Photo courtesy of Lydia Wagy

You can shop at unique boutiques and stores located downtown. Riverbend Family Restaurant has the best breakfast around. The Rolling Pin Bakery is famous for their pies as epitomized by their motto “Eat dessert FIRST!”. Enjoy tasty pizza and wings at Muddy Mo Pizzeria. Eating on the back deck which overlooks the Missouri River is a special treat. Beckett’s Winery also features a deck overlooking the river. Then head across the street to Beckett’s Restaurant, a Glasgow legend. Visit The Beak for drinks or a burger for weekday lunches. Stop by Henderson’s Pharmacy, the state’s oldest family-operated pharmacy. The Glasgow Museum is located just down the street from the library and open by appointment. The Old-Fashioned Boat Parade is held the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and all through December, enjoy winter Christmas lights in Kuemmel Park. Sip and stroll at the Glasgow Wine Walk the second weekend of April. Visit GlasgowMo.org.



  1. Destination Restaurants on the Historic Downtown Square
  2. Fayette Business District
  3. Art Gallery & Museums on CMU campus
  4. Historic Central Methodist University campus
  5. Fayette City Park including the Historic City Pool & Morrison Observatory
  6. Fayette City Lakes


  1. Stump Island
  2. Historic Downtown
  3. The Overlook
  4. Lewis Library
  5. John Donaldson Statue & Field

Article originally published in Missouri Life’s Scenic Rides and Drive Guide 2023.