Clay County, Missouri

Nestled in the wooded hills of northwestern Missouri, Clay County offers the best of both worlds: a major metropolitan area surrounded by miles of outdoor fun. Located just minutes from downtown Kansas City, get away with Clay for a range of exciting attractions, outdoor adventures, charming communities and Jesse James history.

Play With Clay

If it’s thrills you seek, head to Worlds of Fun, the region’s largest theme park and waterpark. You can even stay onsite at Worlds of Fun Village, which features cozy cottages, charming log cabins and deluxe RV sites designed for the big rigs. It’s located so close to the thrills that you can walk to the entrance of both parks.

If you like the thrill of gaming, head to Ameristar or Harrah’s Casino. Both feature large gaming areas, live entertainment and delectable eateries. For local nightlife, head to North Kansas City, which features local favorites like Chappell’s sports museum and new favorites like Cinder Block Brewery or Chicken & Pickle, where you can try your hand at pickleball.

Relive Yesterday with Clay

This is Jesse James country, so it’s the perfect place for history buffs. Tour the Jess James Museum & Birthplace, which houses the world’s largest collection of James family artifacts. Or head to the historic Liberty Square to the site of the first peacetime daylight bank robbery at the Jesse James Bank Museum.

Nearby Excelsior Springs abounds with scenic beauty steeped in a rich history that dates back to its mineral waters. Explore the local shops in the Downtown District. Then, learn about the famous waters that put the city on the map at the Hall of Waters, which houses the world’s longest mineral water bar.

Stay With Clay

For nature lovers, Smithville Lake is a must. The 7,200-acre lake features two swim beaches, boating, fishing and hunting, as well as two golf courses, four disc golf courses and miles of biking, hiking and equestrian trails. The area offers 777 campsites, including both tent and RV sites with electrical hookups. You’ll even find 90 campsites reserved for equestrian campers and a new pavilion that can be used to house horses along with family gatherings. Immerse yourself in nature in the surrounding 2,300-acre native grassland revitalization project. Public hunting includes managed goose hunts as well as youth and ADA whitetail deer and wild turkey hunts.

Or, visit Watkins Woolen Mill State Park, home to a 100-acre lake with a paved bicycle path around it, plentiful fishing and a picturesque campground. You’ll find 96 campsites, 74 with electric hookups. The park is adjacent to the Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site, a National Historic Landmark. Tour the elegant home and a three-story woolen mill that have been preserved to give visitors a sense of life in the 1870s. The mill is the only 19th-century textile mill in the United States with its original machinery still intact.

For more information, check out Clay County Missouri.

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