Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Sedalia, MO

  • Published 2023/04/12

Sedalia is a city in Pettis County, Missouri, and is known for being the earliest railhead in the country.

This city is packed with various events all year round, including a number of festivals, celebrations, and the world-famous Missouri State Fair!

Rich in history, you can also find numerous historical sites with much cultural significance that can give you a glimpse into the past of Sedalia.

This city is also situated next to the Whiteman Air Force Base where you may catch various American aircraft bombers flying overhead!

Whether you’re looking for a simple, peaceful getaway or a thrilling, fun-filled vacation, Sedalia can cater to all your needs!

Here are the best things to do in Sedalia, Missouri:

Visit the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art

Within the State Fair Community College at the heart of Sedalia sits the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, a popular art museum that houses a variety of artworks!

Since its opening to the public in 2002, this museum has showcased a number of art, exhibits, collections, and galleries under a wide range of genres.

From modern works to contemporary masterpieces, this museum seeks to inspire creativity and give visitors an educational experience in the artistic field regardless of age.

They also offer tours where you’ll be taken throughout the entire facility, admiring each artwork and exhibit on display.

This museum has over 1,500 different masterpieces made by talented and distinguished artists over the past 5 decades.

Drop by the Daum Museum of Contemporary Art and behold the art, skill, and talent they have to show you!

Learn About Local History at The Sedalia Katy Depot

This historic tourist attraction in Sedalia is a restored railroad originally built in 1895 with much to learn and see!

Featuring a trailhead with a number of art galleries, this establishment can give you a glimpse into the rich past of this city!

Due to its historical and cultural significance, The Sedalia Katy Depot has also landed a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

One of the most popular attractions in this depot includes the exhibit entitled “Sedalia and the Railroads,” a local story on the city and its railroads.

You also have the option to explore this depot with a tour guide or go on a self-guided tour where you get to see the different attractions, exhibits, displays, and more scattered throughout this facility.

The Sedalia Key Depot is also family-friendly where you can take the kids to see the trains and caboose displays which they’re sure to be mesmerized by!

You can even check out their gift shop which sells a variety of items ranging from railroad-themed souvenirs, books, and more to remind you of your visit!

See Sedalia’s Historic Monument at Trail’s End Monument

Just as the name suggests, Trail’s End Monument is found near the end of the city where you’ll find iconic and monumental sculptures of cowboys, cattle and cattle cars, windmills, working dogs, and a water tower.

This landmark has much historical value and is said to honor the western heritage of Sedalia and acknowledge the city’s contribution and significance as the earliest railhead, making it a must-visit destination for tourists.

With each statute standing as tall as 1.25 meters, this attraction also gives tourists a feel of the western, cowboy spirit that Missouri is known for!

Whether you’re stopping by for some pictures or just wish to get a closer look at these bronze sculptures, you’re sure to have a lovely time.

Your trip to Sedalia wouldn’t be complete without visiting Trail’s End Monument so try and drop by!

Purchase Local Goods at Sedalia Area Farmer’s Market

Shopping for local goods on a sunny morning is always fun!

Sedalia Area Farmer’s Market sells a variety of local produce and items that are sure to catch your attention.

From fresh fruits and vegetables to homemade pastries, plants, food samples, and more, there’s a wide range of items for you to check out!

Since its establishment in 2009, this farmer’s market has been a community staple with locals flocking over to see what the vendors have in store.

Whether you’re stopping by for a casual stroll or wish to purchase groceries, you’re sure to have an enjoyable time visiting this market.

Support the local businesses of Sedalia by taking a trip to Sedalia Area Farmer’s Market!

Tour the Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site

Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site is one of the most popular attractions in the entire state of Missouri, known for its scenic beauty and representation of the midwestern era.

This lodging area was once a residential home with over 31 rooms built by and for Sedalia’s very own John Homer Bothwell as a recreational lodge.

Taking nearly 31 years to complete, this establishment is found on top of two caves and its eclectic, indoor decor will take you back in time to when this home was originally constructed.

Inside you’ll find a number of artifacts and treasures that are as old as 100 years and original and preserved furniture that’ll give you a glimpse into the life of a wealthy countryman in circa 1900!

There is also a trail on which you’re allowed to explore by walking, hiking, biking, and more, providing you with a great day outdoors!

​​Bothwell Lodge State Historic Site is only a short drive up north so try and add this architectural treasure to your itinerary!

Attend the Missouri State Fair

A ferris wheel at Missouri State Fair

Jon Kraft /

Sedalia is known for a great number of events and tourist attractions but the Missouri State Fair is one you wouldn’t want to miss!

This event takes place in August and lasts up to 11 days, each with a different schedule of activities such as concerts, exhibits, shows, competitions, and more!

There are also food and beverage stands selling a variety of snacks to keep you energized and going for the remainder of the event.

Totally fried food booth at Missouri State Fair

Jon Kraft /

As the third-largest fair nationwide, it attracts both locals and visitors, even some from across the state who wish to join in on all the fun!

Various artists, both local and international, often take the stage to entertain you with singing and dancing.

This fair is also family-friendly so feel free to bring the kids and let them enjoy the kid-friendly shows, arts and crafts, and food!

The Missouri State Fair is an annual event that’ll complete your vacation in Sedalia!

A music show at Missouri State Fair

Wirestock Creators /

Take a Stroll Through Downtown Sedalia Historic District

Road arch of Downtown Sedalia Historic District

Joseph Sohm /

Characterized by elegant buildings, numerous boutiques, and busy streets, Downtown Sedalia Historic District is the best way to capture the essence and vibe of this lovely city in Missouri.

Often called “The Avenues” for short, this street along the heart of Sedalia is the entertainment and thriving hub in the entire city where you’ll find great dining options with a wide range of cuisines, retail hubs, outfitters, and other local businesses.

Buildings along Downtown Sedalia Historic District

Henryk Sadura /

This district also encapsulates the art and culture of Sedalia with its graffiti-stained buildings and active community that showcases the diversity in this city!

Its also known for having a great nightlife scene with its bars, hangout spots, and eateries!

Whether you’re dropping by for a leisurely stroll with the whole family or are looking for great buys for amazing prices, Downtown Sedalia Historic District has what you need!

Enjoy the Outdoors at Liberty Park

Sedalia is home to many parks but Liberty Park is at the top of the list with its wide selection of activities and amenities you can enjoy!

Providing both indoor and outdoor facilities, you won’t run out of things to do in this park at the heart of the city.

You can challenge your loved ones to a friendly game of either basketball, volleyball, or tennis, or simply enjoy a lovely picnic.

You can also find an indoor recreational center inside this park where you can take the kids for a nice swim!

This park is often the venue for different activities and events such as pow-wows and flea markets so be on the lookout for those!

Eat Sedalia’s Favorite Barbecues at Kehde’s Barbeque

Kehde’s Barbeque is a local diner in Sedalia that has made a reputation for selling the best barbecues that this city has to offer!

Its vintage, external decor takes you back into the 1900s era as you bite down on their traditional barbecue meals.

Serving the community since its opening in 1955, Kedhe’s Barbeque continues to be a family-owned and operated restaurant, having been passed down from generation to generation.

They also use the same, classic recipe that has put them at the top of their competition!

Some of their best sellers include their barbecued prime ribs and pork tenderloin, always cooked to perfection, that’ll have your mouth water!

Drop by and see why Kehde’s Barbeque is one of the best eateries in all of Sedalia!

See How Bullets are Made at Sierra Bullets Factory

Have you ever wondered how bullets were made? Sierra Bullets Factory can answer these questions!

You don’t necessarily have to know a lot about guns or bullets to have a great time at this factory where you get to see the full process of how these tiny projectiles are made.

Operating for over 70 years since 1947, this factory prides itself on creating and manufacturing only the finest, high-quality bullets for hunting or aiming purposes.

This factory also offers tours where they’ll run you through each step that these metal projectiles undergo before they’re completely transformed into a bullet!

You may even hear some gunshots coming from their underground testing range where they make sure each bullet is up to par before being sold.

It’s not every day that you can see how a bullet gets made so try and visit Sierra Bullets Factory for an insightful trip!

Join The Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival

Calling all ragtime music fans! This event was made just for you!

Honoring the artist himself, Scott Joplin, this festival is dedicated to celebrating and preserving ragtime music in Sedalia.

This 4-day event has various activities scheduled each day such as singing and dancing, ragtime performances, and more, as they revere the works and life history of Scott Joplin and honor Sedalia’s contribution to the ragtime genre.

This festival has become a sought-after event in Sedalia for both locals and tourists alike with all the fun and excitement this event entails.

Some activities are open to the public while some require tickets due to seating arrangements so don’t forget to check that out.

Ragtime music fan or not – you’re welcome to join The Scott Joplin International Ragtime Festival!

Dine at the Iconic Guberburger

Guberburger is a popular eatery in Sedalia known for its hamburgers – but with a twist!

The burgers they sell at Guberburger may look like your average, American favorite, but its buns and patties are actually slathered with peanut butter!

After much experimentation, the original creator of the Guberburger was tired of adding traditional condiments (ketchup, mayonnaise, mustard, etc.) to burgers before trying out peanut butter.

Since its establishment over 70 years ago, this burger joint continues to sell its Guberburgers to interested tourists and locals who have grown to love it and is now one of the most successful eateries in Sedalia.

This unlikely combination may have you in shock, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it!

Grab a Refreshing Beer at Craft Beer Cellar

Touring and exploring the city gets tiring and you may need a cold, refreshing glass (or pint) of beer to keep you going!

Craft Beer Cellar is found right in the city center and has over 12 different rotating taps and sells classic alcoholic beverages since its opening in 2014.

You can drop by and see what other drinks they have on their shelf or head over to the bar and enjoy a nice cold beer.

This locally-owned and operated craft house makes use of only local goods and products and prides itself on carrying a wide range of drinks to cater to every palate no matter how picky!

Whether you’re stopping by for a drink or planning to take home a 6-pack, Craft Beer Cellar has got you covered.

Solve Clues and Mysteries at RAKS Escape Room

Escape rooms are always a fun and thrilling experience and they’re even more enjoyable with friends and family!

RAKS Escape Room is found along Sedalia’s Main Road and offers guests a variety of themes and adventures per room!

From mad scientist-inspired rooms to solving the clues and mysteries to Houdini’s tricks, you’ll be forced to work together with your team to figure out the rooms’ secrets and escape!

You’ll also be tested on how well you do under pressure as you work to beat the clock.

This establishment has also added virtual reality games to their list of options in case you’d like to try that out too!

Think you got what it takes? Visit RAKS Escape Room while on your vacation!

Wind Down for a Nightcap at The Korner Lounge

Open since 1973, The Korner Lounge is Sedalia’s go-to bar and lounge for those who are winding down for a nightcap!

This family-owned and operated business offer a variety of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, but they’re best known for their refreshing, cold beers!

You can also play traditional bar games with your friends such as pool and darts.

In case you get hungry, you can also grab a light meal including pizza, wings, nachos, and more to pair with your drink of choice!

Whether you’re coming down to hang out with friends or just want a nice drink, The Korner Lounge will be glad to have you!

Do Recreational Activities at Clover Dell Park

Clover Dell Park is a great spot to do some recreational activities like sports and walking in Sedalia.

It’s located right by a small lake in the city, giving it a serene and relaxing atmosphere that’s perfect for an early morning visit.

Clover Dell Park has a disc golf course, soccer fields, and playgrounds for children, teens, and even adults.

There’s even a self-service archery range here that goes to show how versatile the park is.

Whether you’re here for relaxation or exercise, Clover Dell Park has something for everyone—access it along West 32nd Street.

Bring the Kids to Wheel Thing Skate Center

Wheel Thing Skate Center is a nice place to bring kids who are into roller skating.

The indoor facility has a great atmosphere, further accentuated by its music and vibrant lighting.

The skating rink is modern and safe, and the place even offers lessons to younger children.

Adults can also enjoy the place, especially since they serve lots of food and beverages as well.

Found along South Grand Avenue, Wheel Thing Skate Center is a great addition to your itinerary if you have some spare time.

Go Jogging at Centennial Park

Centennial Park is a city park in Sedalia, famous for its sprawling trails that’s perfect for an early morning jog.

Stretching throughout South New York Road, Centennial Park is a great all-day destination because of its sheer size.

While jogging is a famous activity here, the park also has other amenities like baseball fields, a swimming pool, and picnic areas.

There are also playgrounds and picnic areas here which makes it a great all-rounder for families with children.

One of the best green spaces in Sedalia, don’t miss out on Centennial Park.

Taste Local Food at Clara’s North 65 Cafe

Sedalia is underrated for having a robust local food scene, and Clara’s North 65 Cafe is one of the best places to experience this.

The cafe is conveniently found along North 65 Highway (hence, the name) and they specialize in breakfast which makes them a great stopover in Sedalia.

One of their best items here are their biscuits and gravy, empanadas, and their fried chicken steak.

The service is stellar and the ownership is attentive to feedback; Clara’s North 65 Cafe is regarded by many as one of the top eateries in the city.

A must-try for all tourists, don’t miss out on this culinary icon in Sedalia.

Go Shopping at Thompson Hills Shopping Center

Whether you need to stock up on essentials or you’re just in the mood for leisurely shopping, Thompson Hills Shopping Center has got you covered.

A big shopping district in the heart of Sedalia, you can find a lot of classic American brands here ranging from JCPenney to Dollar Tree and TJ Max.

Lots of restaurants and fast food chains are also found here, so it’s a great stopover throughout your trip.

To make things better, the center is also surrounded by other shopping districts and malls, giving you incentive to explore this spot in the city.

Thompson Hills Shopping Center is found along Thompson Boulevard.

Final Thoughts

Sedalia, Missouri, has a reputation worldwide for its historical attractions, thrilling and exciting year-round events, and family-owned and operated diners and businesses!

Whether you’re traveling with the whole family, with your partner, or by yourself, there’s a wide variety of things to see and do in this amazing city!

From art museums to historic sites and everything in between, there’s so much to explore on this getaway.

It provides relaxation and serenity for those looking for a peaceful vacation or exciting nightlife for adventure-seekers.

You can even go on a food trip and taste all of Sedalia’s local favorite eateries that’ll make you and your stomach happy!

Look no further for the ideal vacation and book your next trip to Sedalia, Missouri!

© All rights reserved.