Kansas City developed much like other large metropolitan areas. Its expansion often came from incorporating nearby towns and neighborhoods, as it pushed its borders out from the urban core. Some of these townships retained their identity, even as the city limits pushed beyond their borders. We find that each has its unique history and local flavors that are fun to explore. A weekend outing offered a couples escape in Parkville, Missouri. This river town has plenty to offer visitors, so lets look at some of our favorites.
We want to thank Main Street Parkville for their hospitality. Rest assured all opinions are our own.
The Early Days
Parkville had a simple enough start, as a steamboat landing site. In 1838, a land speculator named Col. George S. Park relocated to the area and built his home on the bluffs overlooking the Missouri River. He had plotted out the town of Parkville and by 1850 it was a thriving community. At that time, the town had a beautiful stone hotel, which was constructed near the river landing. This frontier facing river port thrived from the movement of hemp and other products. Steamboats, like the Arabia, moved goods from town to town, and served as transport on the “water highway”. You can see some of the goods that were common for the era at the Arabia Steamboat Museum. (Learn more about the Arabia Museum here.) For a period, Parkville was growing faster than neighboring Kansas City, to the south. From the earliest mention of the area, by a French trader, until the days leading up to the Civil War, Parkville seemed to be a city on its way up. This boom of growth would be curtailed by violence associated with the “war between the states”.
In 1853, Col. Park established one of the earliest newspapers in Platte County. The Industrial Luminary was produced with an abolitionist spin, which angered many of the pro-slavery folks in the region. In the Spring of 1855, a proslavery mob raided the newspaper office and threw the printing press in the river. During the war, violence was commonplace in the region, as attested by the phrase “border war” used in this area. In July of 1864, Confederate guerrillas, including Frank and Jesse James, invaded and occupied Parkville for two days. The end of the war did not curtail the political bitterness in Parkville, which had stopped commercial growth. The city of Parkville would remain a quaint river town on the banks of the Missouri River.
These days, you can make your own history in this downtown district. When we made our itinerary for an overnight stay, we looked for some interesting activities to enjoy. It wasn’t difficult to more than fill our couples escape in Parkville, Missouri. Budding or inspiring artists will find opportunities to hone their skills at one of the galleries. If you are looking for some time outside, perhaps a round of mini-golf or a stroll through the Farmers Market is more to your liking. Those needing some extra relaxation may want to drop by the yoga studio for a session. With so many activities, you may have to stay a couple extra days. (You can see more activities here.)
Everyone has to eat to survive, so why not enjoy your meals? Main Street Parkville has a few eateries to choose from. On the west side of the street we sampled dishes from three different restaurants. Each one offers unique atmosphere and experience. You can test the cuisine choices that run the gamut from pub food to fine French dining. So, you may ask yourself what falls between those two points? Well that would be a long established Italian eatery that’s popular with visitors and locals alike. (You can find the individual dining articles here.)
Of course, the east side of the street has some dining options, as well. The local pizzeria is a good place to enjoy an adult beverage with your meal. A popular spot for people watching would be the local coffee shop, Parkville Coffee. With plenty of hot or cold drinks being served up, the delicious smell of coffee can be intoxicating. If it’s breakfast time, why not grab a sandwich or pastry to accompany your beverage of choice. Finding good food and drink makes a couple escape to Parkville, Missouri memorable.
We would be remiss, if we failed to point out the delightful shopping opportunities in downtown Parkville. Whether you are looking for some new duds or accessories, you have some nice options. It’s a great destination for hunting that special something for a friend’s birthday. While you are there, you might as well pick up a little something for yourself, as well. Satisfy your sweet tooth, tune up your guitar game or just stroll the sidewalk, while window shopping. (You can read more about the shops here.)
One common theme that seems to repeat itself every place we visited was the friendly welcome we received. Whether it was the owners of the local B&B (You can read more about this lodging option here.), the staff at the coffee shop or just some people enjoying a glass at the local wine shop. That Midwest warmth permeates the area and is contagious. It will help you feel like a local during your own couples escape to Parkville, Missouri.
Plan Your Couples Escape in Parkville, Missouri
You can see why we love our visits to Parkville. Over the years, we have watched our metropolitan area change, yet this quaint river town has maintained it charm. Places like this offer visitors a chance to get away from their daily duties and just relax. This is one of the main reasons this area is so popular with couples and families alike. Isn’t it about time for you to plan your own couples escape to Parkville, Missouri? We know that they will welcome you like an old friend.