A Day in Smithville, MO

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

How many times have you thought to yourself, it would be so nice to have a day with your spouse to just hang out together without the kiddo(s). If you're anything like me, this doesn't happen very often, aside from a casual date night here and there, so we took full advantage of our day date last Friday! We headed out to Smithville, MO, just a short 45 minute drive, and took in this small, quaint town. On the drive there, we opened up the sunroof, played tunes we love, and chatted about nothing in particular. That alone was a nice little treat. But the day got better from there!

We had lunch plans at noon, but got there a little earlier than we planned, so we took a little drive around town to get familiar with the area. Smithville Lake is just a short 20 minute drive away, and had we had more time, we would have headed that way. Next time for sure! Instead, we headed downtown, drove through the quiet neighborhoods that lined the outskirts of town, and took in the farm land that surrounded us. The views were lovely. 

We lunched at KoZak’s Lakeview Grill, a local establishment that was bustling at noon! It's industrial interior is mixed with rustic art work that gives it a modern farmhouse feel. Their specials are written on chalkboards that line galvanized walls. And they have a deep purple wall that caught my eye immediately! 

Our meal was all of the chef's signature dishes and not one of them disappointed! We started with pulled pork nachos that were meant for a table of six, but we plowed through, and devoured them. A spicy dish, they're served with a wasabi cream and sriracha, came with chunks of pulled pork and a cooling coleslaw. They were amazing! Next up were their fried green tomatoes topped with rock shrimp and a Tabasco pimento sauce. I thought Joel was going to eat the entire dish! The tomatoes were tender and the entire appetizer was divine! I know you're thinking, and that's a wrap on lunch, but you would be wrong! Up next was their Cajun Pasta. Oh man! So good! Full of shrimp, chicken, and sausage, this pasta was the best pasta dish I've eaten in awhile! The sausage was my favorite protein within the dish, but let's be honest, it's pasta! It's all my favorite dish. I seriously had to stop myself. I need to try and recreate it at home or just head back for dinner! Lastly, it was dessert. Not something we had to have, but who I am kidding, I never turn down dessert. Especially when it arrives at the table in the form of three layers of chocolate! This slice of heaven had a brownie crust, chocolate mousse cake middle, and a chocolate mousse top. And homemade whipped cream on the side. We didn't leave a crumb behind! And as a result, we rolled ourselves out of the restaurant ready for a nap or a long walk! The walk was what we took! 

Turning onto Main Street, I felt like we had walked into a Hallmark movie! You know that scene. Downtown USA lined with brick buildings and there respective store signs outside their front doors. Flags and banners that hang from street lights and hanging baskets full of blooms. We parked at the edge of town and walked. 

On our drive through town before lunch, we passed Heritage Park, a little red caboose, and fun filled playgrounds. We decided to walk off lunch and wander down to the park area. We stopped at the caboose first, a replica of the "Ole Number Three" that last ran through Smithville in 1939. My son McKinley will now want to regularly visit Smithville just to stand here and look at this sweet little caboose! It stands proudly on the lawn of Heritage Park.

 The park is surrounded by several large ballparks and two awesome playgrounds. And a giant blue slide built into the ground that literally slides down the hill! We didn't make it all the way there, but man, it was tempting to say the least!! All the mud from the earlier morning rain kept us from hiking through the grass....lame, I know! A covered picnic area for summer shade and family or friends gathering is located right in the middle of everything so nothing is truly out of sight. It was one of the most peaceful afternoons. 

 We made our way back to town, passing a sign for the Smithville Historic Museum and Inn and took a minute to sit on a bench and grab some shade in Courtyard Park. And had a birds eye view of the brick lined downtown buildings.

Our first stop was into Nellie's Sweet Shoppe. Who doesn't love a sweet shop! And the most glorious aroma met us as we opened the door. Fudge, ice cream, chocolates, and more lined the shelves and cabinets. We had the nicest visit with co-owner Ronna about how Nellie's started and you can read their sweet story here. I can tell you it brought tears. Just read for yourself. 

Their fudge is homemade, and even though we gorged on lunch, we found room for some samples. And, we may have shared a scoop of cookie dough ice cream. I swear all we did was eat! We made our way back later in the day for a box of samples and you can have some too. Want fudge a of the month? Sign up for their Fudge a Month Subscription Box! Get all the details here.

As you leave, you are met with these wise words. "Take time to enjoy each day" was the motto of Ronna's late sister Nellie. A phrase I think we all should take to heart!

Here are some additional photos of downtown Smithville.

My favorite doorway!

I picked up this darling Halloween plate at Thorny Creek Market. I also picked up an antique flour and sugar container set from Poshabilities, an antique shop in town, that match a cake plate cover I got from an estate sale a couple of years ago!

I adore the blue entry to Not Too Shappy, a darling boutique on the edge of town.

Joel enjoying a little rest under the gazebo while I snapped a few more photos.

There was a flood that swept through town in 1965 and this is the water line. It wiped out several businesses on the other side of the street, where Courtyard Park now stands. I was shocked at how high it truly reached!

 After a lovely stroll around downtown, it was time to head to Ladoga Ridge Winery. I know, twist my arm! Lodaga Ridge is a local winery that's been in business for eight years. The owners lived on the land, prior to opening the winery, and planted the vineyard themselves. 

This place is a happening hot spot in town, serving locals on the weekend, and providing weekend events throughout the year. On this particular Friday evening, they had live music from local singer/song writers around their enormous patio that overlooks the vineyard. They also had local restaurant, Chop's BBQ and their food truck on hand for all those attending. (Let's be honest, the food looked amazing, but there was no way we could eat another bite!) Instead of eating, we drank! We each had a wine tasting, compliments of the vineyard, that offered five different wines. We each sampled a white, red, rose, fruit, and slushy. We tried each others samples and discussed what we liked most. And, we were gifted a bottle of our favorite, the Sully's White Demi-Dry that's named after the owners father, Sullinger. 

After the tasting, we wandered outside for the songwriter showcase and found a table right up front. As we sipped our wine slushies, perfect for the warm evening, we sat and listened to some very talented artists, Bryton Stoll and Taylor Lynn Cullen, perform covers and several songs that they had written. And all their songs and EPs can be purchased online! 

I have to thank Smithville for providing the most funfilled afternoon and evening! Joel and I haven't had a "vacation" like this in a long time! It was nice to feel like we had gotten away for a bit, even if it was only 45 minutes away from home! If you haven't been to Smithville, you need to go! It's such a lovely getaway when you need a minute to recharge and spend time with someone you don't get to hang with often! Looking forward to the next time!


This was a sponsored post, but all opinions expressed were my own.


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