#93 – Independence Square
108 S Liberty St, Independence, MO 64050
Cost: Free – $$
Good for: Finding everything you need in a 6-block radius.
Tip: Don’t skip ice cream at Clinton’s.
The Independence Square feels as though you’re stepping into the county-seat of a small town. In the center of the Square is the courthouse, which is surrounded on four sides with shops, restaurants and bars. The Square pays a lot of homage to President Harry Truman, who grew up in Independence and worked on the Square.
About the Independence
The City of Independence has a lot of history behind it, starting with pioneer settlers. Independence was the starting point for the California, Oregon and Santa Fe trails and in the 1860s, Independence saw two large Civil War battles. To see Independence through the eyes of pioneer settlers, Civil War generals and more, you can take a mule-drawn wagon ride around Independence.
The Square itself is a focal point of former President Harry Truman, as he spent a lot of time on the Independence Square in his early years. Many historical sites and markers about Truman can be found around the city, including the Harry Truman Presidential Library, Harry Truman’s Home, his walking path and more.
Where to Visit on the Independence Square
Even those who are not history buffs with enjoy the Independence Square as it is a beautifully revitalized area, filled with locally owned shops and restaurants.
- Café Verona – Traditional Italian in the heart of Independence.
- Courthouse Exchange – Classic American bar and grill. (The Vaile Mansion volunteers recommended their tenderloin sandwiches).
- Rheinland – Classic German cuisine.
- Ophelia’s – Upscale American in a cozy bed-and-breakfast.
- Up Dog – Hot dogs complete with crazy toppings.
- Square Pizza – Creative pizzas and arcade games.
- Main Street Coffee House – Ordinary coffee shop with a cute patio.
- Wild About Harry – Men’s accessories store named after President Harry Truman.
- The Keeping Room – Antiques and collectibles shop.
- Gilbert, Whitney and Co – Kitchenware and grocery store.
- Scandinavia Place – Food, trinkets and more from countries around the world.
- Clinton’s – Historic soda fountain and drug store that once employed Harry Truman.
- Truman Courthouse – The still-functioning courthouse where Truman was once a presiding Judge of Jackson County.
- National Frontier Trails Museum – A museum chronicling the lives of settlers as they moved West.