6 Reasons You’ll Love Lee’s Summit

6 Reasons You’ll Love Lee’s Summit


Lee’s Summit, Missouri was recently ranked by CNN/Money as one of the “100 Best Cities to Live in the United States.” With a population of 90,000 and only 20 minutes east of downtown Kansas City, it’s quickly becoming one of the busiest suburbs in the metro area. Here are 6 reasons why you’ll love Lee’s Summit.

The classic downtown.

This 6-block retail district in the heart of Lee’s Summit was named a “2010 Great American Main Street”—and features many historic homes and churches built in the 1880’s. Browse the eclectic shops, including Grains & Taps for home brewers; or the Lovin’ Soap Studio, where crafters make their own bath soaps. Try eating at the wacky Frankie Farelanes Fast(ish) Food, which serves F-Bomb Smoked Wings, Wanton Fries, and Raspberry Pork Tacos.

It’s a big sports town.

Legacy Park offers 704 acres of park land—with 12 baseball fields, 8 soccer fields, and 6 girls’ softball fields—plus a 45,000 sq. ft. Community Center with a pool, fitness center, racquetball, and basketball. If you like fishing and hunting, you’ll love the James A. Reed Memorial Wildlife Area, with 11 fishable lakes and ponds, 2 fishing docks, a boat ramp, and rental—nestled into 3,054 acres of woodlands, native grasslands, and wetlands.

Lots of history.

The “living history” museum at Missouri Town 1855 uses living actors and 25 buildings dating from 1820-1860 to recreate the feeling of pre-Civil War America. Authentic furniture, field crops, and rare livestock breeds complete the experience. Another site now on the National Register of Historic Places is Longview Mansion & Farm, a 17-building complex built in 1914 by R.A. Long for his daughter, a world-renowned horsewoman. The historic Lee’s Summit Train Depot was built in 1905, and hosts the Lee’s Summit Historical Society Museum.

Great shopping and dining.

Lee’s Summit is home to 2 large, modern shopping complexes—with stores and restaurants to satisfy any whim. The Summit Fair shopping center is a 550,000 sq. ft. open-air lifestyle center, with stores like Macy’s and JC Penney’s. SummitWoods Crossing shopping center has Old Navy, Best Buy, and SuperTarget—along with eateries like SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza, Bonchon, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque.

It’s the home of Unity Village.

Founded nearly 100 years ago, Unity Village is the world headquarters of the Unity Movement and is on the National Register of Historic Places. Stop by for a free tour of the classic, Mediterranean-style buildings, rose garden, fountains, and 18-hole golf course. The expansive grounds also include the Unity Hotel and Conference Center.

See the natural beauty of Powell Gardens.

Walk through this 915-acre botanical garden just east of Lee’s Summit, and you’re instantly transported by the beauty of nature. Check out the rare flowers, prairie vegetable gardens, hiking trails, peach orchards, lakes, and windswept meadows—and the rotating exhibits by Lego artists and traditional sculptors. Culinary classes also available.

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