An easy 45-minute drive south from the Kansas City metro area, travelers find an interesting collection of stops that offer a break from the city's busy-ness. Paola's lovely Park Square offers fun places to shop, while Louisburg Cider Mill is known throughout the region for its fresh-pressed cider and baked goods. Osawatomie's John Brown Museum State Historic Site showcases interesting memorabilia related to the Civil War abolitionist. On Saturday evenings, Powell Observatory holds stargazing sessions that take advantage of skies that don't suffer from light pollution. Hillsdale Lake is a great place to spend time on or near the water.
A handful of restaurants stand out, including the stellar German cuisine at Beethoven's No. 9, and nationally acclaimed barbecue sauce from Hillsdale Bank Bar B-Q. Wine lovers like to spend an afternoon taking in live music and tastings at Somerset Ridge Vineyard and Winery; other worthwile wine stops include nearby NightHawk Vineyard and Winery and Middle Creek Winery and Graue Vineyards.
And when you're ready to crash, young grape vines line the gravel driveway leading to Casa Somerset Bed and Breakfast, a luxurious Italian-style villa in rural Paola. Cozy Canaan Oaks offers modern amenities in wooded surroundings. This isn't a place for people looking for a lot of great shopping or small towns brimming with a weekend full of activities, but the scenery and the individual attractions make the region a worthwhile, relaxing weekend getaway.