One of the best ways to explore the Kansas City metropolitan area is to just get in your car and drive. Hidden all over Kansas City are plenty of natural and beautiful sceneries. From parks to byways, the area offers an abundance of picturesque places for you and your family to discover. Check out some of our favorite scenic drives across the KC metro with plenty of things to do along the way!
SHAWNEE, KS Home to a 120-acre lake that features both a beach and a marina, Shawnee Mission Park is a 1,600 acre-park that contains 12 shelters with scenic views. Cruise through the aptly named Beach Road and all along 79th Street, 80th Terrace and Barkley Drive to catch glimpses of the glistening rays bouncing off the lake. Looking to stretch after the long drive? Get out and check out the 4 short hiking trails listed here! FYI – nothing beats a catching beautiful Kansas sunset at Shawnee Mission Park. We encourage you to go then….
MERRIAM, KS While only 4.3 square miles end to end, Merriam offers picturesque neighborhoods with tree-lined streets and stunning flower baskets adorning the downtown. One of the most beautiful drives through Merriam will be during the week of the Fourth of July. Flags 4 Freedom will transform Merriam and Johnson Drive into a breathtaking sea of red, white and blue as more than 1,200 U.S. flags are placed in perfect rows to salute our nation’s independence. Come visit the flag field, walk amongst Old Glory and take part in the July 4 activities in downtown Merriam. Learn more at https://www.exploremerriam.com/854/Events
CLAY COUNTY, MO If you’re taking a scenic road trip through Kansas City, we suggest you plan a drive up to Smithville Lake in Clay County. The lake is nestled in the rolling country hills of Smithville and is surrounded by beautiful farmland and prairies. When you drive around the 7,200 acre Smithville Lake, you will see Missouri wildlife, wildflowers, forested areas, stunning lake scenes, and more! Drive through the countryside surrounding Smithville Lake to experience a side of Kansas City that is rural and outdoorsy.
OLATHE, KS The newly renovated Lake Olathe boasts a swim beach, playgrounds, sprayground, dock and fishing pavilion, disc golf, amphitheater, and 4 miles of accessible hard and soft surface trails. Lake Olathe is the perfect stop on your scenic road trip! https://www.olatheks.org/government/parks-recreation/parks-trails-bike-lanes/parks/lake-olathe-park The City of Olathe is proud to be home to a wide variety of sculptures and art. A scenic drive through Olathe following the sculpture exhibit map is fun for the whole family! Be sure to snap a picture at your favorite sculpture and post using #VisitOlathe. https://gis.olatheks.org/maps/sculpture/
GARDNER, KS At the southwestern edge of the KC Metro, Gardner is your place to replenish and refuel before your trip into the neighboring countryside. Whether you’re visiting Hillsdale Lake or the wineries to the south or picking berries and pumpkins to our west, no trip is complete without a classic burger from Blazer’s or a Carmelicious from Groundhouse Coffee to fuel your day.
KANSAS CITY, KS Enjoy a scenic drive around Wyandotte County Lake and Park. Watch the sunset or rise over the beautiful 400-acre lake. The park features 1,500 acres of wooded area with plenty of opportunities to see wildflowers, geese, squirrels and deer. https://www.visitkansascityks.com/listing/wyandotte-county-lake-%26-park/184/
LEAVENWORTH, KS Visit Leavenworth and drive the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway. This beautiful Scenic Byway extends from Leavenworth to White Cloud, KS. You will enjoy gentle rolling wooded hills, rock strewn valleys with running streams. Get out and enjoy a Sunday Drive.