Get the Presidential Treatment in Independence, Missouri

Posted April 30, 2009 by Kate Hamman

MI-Independence-TrumanMuseumOval-DEF With a name like Independence, it's not surprising that a president was born, raised, and retired in this Missouri town. You can walk in Harry S. Truman's footsteps at a museum dedicated to his life and legacy, sit at a soda fountain on the site where he once worked, and shop in the same square where he launched his career. Best of all, Independence is so very affordable, you may decide to stay.

Harry S. Truman Library and Museum: Pay a visit to the Harry S. Truman museum to learn more about the man behind the presidency. Explore the ongoing exhibits of Truman's experiences before, during, and after his years in the White House. You can also discover more about his life through letters exchanged between him and his wife, Bess. The museum also features a nearly exact replica of the Oval Office, so you can see what it's like to be president for a day. Admission costs $8 per person.

Clinton's Soda Fountain: History always tastes a little sweeter with an old-fashioned malt to go along with it. At Clinton's Soda Fountain (no relation to Bill or Hillary), you can sit at an old marble counter and imagine what it was like when Harry S. Truman worked at the original Clinton's Pharmacy and Soda Fountain on the same location. And though the original shop is no longer in service, you can still treat yourself to Harry's Favorite, a butterscotch sundae with chocolate ice cream for $4.19. The cafe also serves a range of sandwiches and hot dogs.

The Independence Square: This historic, preserved square, where Truman began his political career, is the perfect place to spend a day browsing and taking in the sights. Wander through buildings dating back to 1827, where more than 30 antique and specialty shops sell one-of-a-kind crafts, art, and homemade goods. Prices vary according to shop, but the real value is walking in the footsteps of history.

To search for flights and compare prices to Kansas City, which is home to Independence’s closest major airport, please use our price-comparison tool.

(Photo: Missouri Division of Tourism)

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