Visiting Richmond, Missouri: The Mushroom Capital of the World

The miles traveled by the Corps of Discovery revealed the wonders of America’s newest territory. Some of those sites have become well-known tourist destinations and bustling cities such as Kansas City, Missouri and Portland, Oregon. Other stops along the way remain a mystery for many and are calling out to be explored. This blog will highlight the best things to do while visiting Richmond, MO. Just an hour outside of Kansas City, visiting Richmond, MO provides a perfect change of pace.

Missouri marks an important landmark for Lewis and Clark’s Corps of Discovery: the very beginning. In 1804, the band of men set off on the Missouri River outside of St. Louis and began their voyage. Adjacent to the Missouri River, outside of Kansas City, Richmond beckons.

Missouri River near Richmond Missouri
Missouri River

Though Missouri has drastically changed since the Corps of Discovery began their journey, the charm still remains. With preserved architecture, farm-to-table options, and a diverse variety of … mushrooms, visiting Richmond, MO is a must.

What makes Richmond, MO the Mushroom Capital of the World’? 

Nestled in Ray County, Missouri, Richmond was established in 1827, and boasts a rich history. Living so close to the Missouri River, Richmond’s residents played an important role in developing the trade routes that grew American markets. 

Most importantly, however, Richmond has become renowned for its biodiversity, namely of the morel variety. The broad range of mushrooms found in the region have warranted the title ‘Mushroom Capital of the World.’ This title lends itself not only to the celebration of Richmond’s mushrooms, but of all of its natural offerings.

Mushrooms in Richmond, MO
Mushrooms

If you’re looking for a beautiful natural area while visiting Richmond, MO the Crooked River Conservation Area contains a diverse range of ecosystems and animals. This is a great spot for an immersive perspective of Missouri’s natural environment. Similarly, Ray County Lake is a network of beautiful trails, ideal for bird-watching and fishing. Meanwhile, if you are looking for something with a little more guidance, the Big River Ranch has horseback riding opportunities and even seasonal rodeos. 

The mushrooms, though, are always the star of the show. One of the best things to do in Richmond, MO is go to the annual Mushroom Festival, which instills pride in the town and brings all of its local businesses together. Consisting of a car show, carnival, corn-hole tournament, tons of vendors, etc., the Mushroom Festival is not all about mushrooms. 

Other than mushrooms … what is there to eat and drink when visiting Richmond, MO

Despite the plethora of mushrooms to choose from, there are plenty of other options for food and drinks in Richmond. Get in touch with nature and produce by visiting Of The Earth Distillery. Located on a farm surrounded by rolling hills, the Of The Earth owners are creating delicious varieties of brandy, made from the fruits and vegetables from their farm. Their brand and methods reflect an unrivaled dedication to sustainability. 

Just a few miles away, the Van Till Family Farm Winery offers a lovely selection of Missouri wine. Based on a farm, they also specialize in wood-fired pizzas, sourcing ingredients from the property and embodying a farm-to-table approach.

Missouri Winery

These delicious options highlight the richness of Missouri’s land. Whether it is mushrooms, grapes, or livestock, the products of Missouri’s land are plentiful and the imaginative residents have transformed those ingredients into magical culinary creations. 

Riveting anecdotes about visiting Richmond, MO 

Of course, farms and food are not the only things to do in Richmond, MO. The small towns of the Missouri Traverse played an important role in building up the United States of America. Though history is often complicated, there is much to learn when it comes to Richmond’s past. The Ray County Museum outlines the long, complex tale of the entire county and is a must-see destination while visiting Richmond, MO. 

One of many compelling anecdotes to be found at the Ray County Museum is the story of Bob Ford, who is buried in Richmond. The story of Bob Ford conjures images of the outlaws of the wild, wild west. Ford, however, was no outlaw; rather, he is known as the “dirty little coward” that killed famed outlaw, Jesse James. I will let you visit the museum to learn the rest of the story, but you are sure to leave with a new set of fun facts after visiting Richmond, MO.

Farris Theatre, Richmond, MO
Inside a Theater

If you’re looking for a glimpse into turn-of-the-century architecture, the Farris Theatre is a must-see. This theater was built in 1901 and is a time capsule to that era. Built to be a center for culture and the arts, the Farris Theatre remains a pillar of the community. The theatre hosts events from the annual Mushroom Festival to movies, concerts, and much more. 

If we haven’t sold you on visiting Richmond, MO yet… 

As Lewis and Clark worked their way westward, they relied on the resourcefulness of their team and the connections they made along the way to navigate, stay safe, and gain a thorough understanding of the new territory. Today, there are a few more resources to plan a great trip and find great places to stay and explore

Though you may not have heard of Richmond, Missouri, we are sure that you now will never forget it. Richmond’s proximity to Kansas City makes it the perfect setting for a unique expedition to get away from city life. 

Richmond’s culture embraces their connection to the land. From farms to wineries to distilleries, Richmond’s community demonstrates peaceful coexistence with the land. Furthermore, their dedication to preserving history makes visiting Richmond, MO a fantastic opportunity for immersive learning experiences. 

Visiting small towns can do wonders for their economies and is a great way to practice sustainable tourism while having a lot of fun. We hope you can make the most of the LCNHT and uncover all of the hidden gems in Middle America.

Missouri Road Trip
Map for a Road Trip

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