Travel Notes

A Wonderful Midwest Weekend in Weston

Weston, Missouri is a charming historic town located just a few miles outside of the Kansas City metro area.

I first became acquainted with Weston when my family was stationed at FT Leavenworth. Seeking a running route that didn’t include outlines of the massive federal prison, I’d asked local for recommendations from my new neighbors. Weston – a neighboring community – was among the top recs by local yokels, followed by additional directions to Weston’s mouthwatering restaurants and winery to refuel following a long stretch.

While Weston is small, with a population of under 2,000 people, its historic downtown district, neighboring state park, u-pick orchards, and multiple breweries, distilleries, and wineries make it a definite must-see for anyone visiting the Kansas City area.

Throughout our time at FT Leavenworth, Weston became a fast family favorite. Since transitioning from Army life into the civilian world, my family has found ourselves returning to Weston on a regular basis; this little river town has maintained a special place in our hearts. Maybe it’s the dog art gallery, the church housed Pirtle Winery, or the always-a-good-time at O’Malley’s 1842 Pub – bottom-line: we just love Weston.

About last weekend…

Looking for a fun fall outing this October, we headed up to Weston on a last minute weekend trip with the sole intent of chillaxing, with the assistance of some local brew and hearty food.

Missing my home state hills of Tennessee (and it’s delectable whiskey – think Jack Daniels), we decided to drop by the historic Holladay Distillery, located at the McCormick Distilling Company right outside of Weston (stay with me…the liquor is worth it…I promise).

Jumping on a tour of the historic distillery grounds, we got a glimpse at the influential people who’d left their mark on the oldest distillery west of the Mississippi River. Founded in 1856, by the “Stagecoach King” Benjamin Holladay, Holladay Distillery embodies a long legacy of spirited trailblazing.

While he died a near-pauper, Benjamin Holladay enjoyed status as the largest private employer in the United States during the Civil War years and was once noted as one of the wealthiest men in the country. The distillery tour provides a very informative storyline of Holladay’s unique history, as the always-jovial tour guides share notable sites and relics, like the original spring and hand-dug storage cave, with group members.

The seven-story tall whiskey warehouses were of particular interest to me, noting their distinct designation as “IRS Bonded Warehouse” status. The impressive historic buildings currently store thousands of Holladay’s early stage bourbon-filled barrels set for distribution in 2019. Each barrel weighs upwards of 500 lbs., presenting a complex challenge in regards to transporting and storing the barrels within the 1800’s-era warehouse (there’s no room to forklift these bad boys into place).

Following the hour and a half walking tour, guests are invited back to the Welcome Center for complimentary drinks and snacks, among the museum-like parlor displaying multiple artifacts from the ol’ Holladay days. A few of the more interesting pieces included a handwritten George Washington letter and Elvis decanter collection (I told you I was from Memphis, right?). Once loaded up on some free feel-good spirits, guests can move outside to conveniently positioned Adirondacks overlooking the gentle hills of the Show Me State.

Visit www.holladaydistillery.com to learn more about events and tours.

Additional Weston Destinations for the Midwestern Traveler

Weston offers many family-friendly attractions for the adventurous weekender. After frequenting the charming community several times over the past few years, my family has come up with a list of favorite Weston attractions.

Here’s a line-up of Weston weekender must-sees:

Have you been to Weston?

Share your favorite Weston itineraries in the comments below!

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