When people think of Missouri, Kansas City and St. Louis are always at the top two cities to visit, with Columbia, Springfield, and Branson following behind. What people are missing, are the interesting small towns, on the outskirts, but providing unique, local charm and new things to do that are just a short drive away.

President Obama signed a cup of coffee at Parkville Coffee suring a surprise visit to the shop.

Historic Parkville, Missouri is located about 10 miles north of Downtown Kansas City. Driving down Main Street Parkville is like entering a Vail, Colorado town. With antique shops, art galleries, fantastic eateries, and down-home feel it is easy to spend the day in this quaint town. Set off the Missouri River, English Landing Park provides a great place to take the kids, picnic, exercise, sit on a nice bench and enjoy the view. Locally-owned stores are the heart of the town that gained some fame last year when President Obama visited Parkville Coffee on his way out of town during a surprise visit.

Our picks to try in Parkville:

For a nice dinner out: Cafe Des Amis, a charming authentic French bistro owned by a Parkville couple from France.

For a nice glass of wine: Wines by Jennifer Built in a historic house, this part shop/part art gallery is the perfect setting to enjoy a glass of wine and intimate conversation.

11034946_805813202827746_6674872004065163688_oFor a good time with music: Check out Parkville Cruise Nights. On August 1 and September 5th, find your ultimate dream car while you listen to the cool tunes of yesterday in English Landing Park. Take in a little shopping and grab a tasty bite at one of Parkville’s terrific restaurants.

For the Kids: Parkville Days To end the summer on a high note, Parkville Days takes place August 21-23rd.  Parkville Days offers great family entertainment and fun in downtown Parkville. This year’s event offers something for everyone! Browse and enjoy dozens of art, craft, and food and specialty booths. The Evans Midland Empire Carnival will run all weekend. There will be great jazz and blues on the main stage Friday night and Saturday starting at 4 pm. The downtown shops and restaurants will host their end-of-summer sales and specials Friday and Saturday. It is a great way to bring out the family and explore Parkville!

Regardless of the reason, make a plan to visit Parkville and support the local community. It is truly a hidden gem in Missouri.