Clay County

Where prosperous and scenic small-town America meets urban vibrance and conveniences.

Welcome to Clay County 


Clay County is a picturesque area of western Missouri that balances the vibrant hustle and bustle of the Kansas City metropolitan area with the tranquil, spacious countryside. The birthplace of famous American outlaw Jesse James, Clay County is today the fifth most populous county in Missouri. It is an increasingly desirable location for newcomers of all backgrounds to lay their roots. With incredible parks and charming tree-shaded neighborhoods, Clay County maintains small-town charm as it continues to grow into one of the premier suburban locations surrounding Kansas City. Beyond its stunning natural beauty, Clay County also offers many delicious dining options and fashion-forward shopping centers. In no time at all, you’ll come to see why Clay County is an amazing place to call home. 

What to Love

  • Contemporary conveniences with small-town charm
  • Scenic recreational opportunities and lush greenspaces
  • A lively calendar of local events

Local Lifestyle 

Clay County’s scenic landscapes and friendly communities make it a wonderful place to explore for residents of all ages and backgrounds. The county’s abundant natural beauty and lively culture augment the high quality of life here. If you’re not headed into the city for a professional sports event or an upscale dinner celebration, there’s still so much to enjoy on a local level in Clay County’s many fantastic towns. Clay County is an excellent place for date nights and gatherings with friends with prosperous small businesses and fabulous food. Visit one of the county’s stunning parks for a long hike through the woods or a nice bike ride on a trail. For golf lovers, hit the links at Excelsior Springs Golf Course. Given the county’s excess of verdant green space, it's also great for picnics and camping trips.  

Dining, Entertainment & Shopping 

Since Clay County blends the beautiful Missouri countryside with the vibrant cultural institutions of Kansas City, Clay County offers a mixture of charming small businesses and larger retail establishments. For chic vintage gifts and intriguing specialty items, visit Shabby Chic Boutique and Liberty Antique Mall. Its desirable location makes Clay County the perfect place to find your kids gifts or to buy yourself fashionable new clothes. 

Clay County has a variety of restaurants representing diverse culinary backgrounds. Of course, the local tradition is rooted around some of the nation’s best barbecues, and Jousting Pigs BBQ offers mouthwatering pork belly, ribs, and baked beans. For amazing Asian-inspired dishes, Penguin Kitchen offers authentic Chinese cuisine that residents love. Try their incredible orange chicken or their delicious lo-mein. 

Clay County also boasts a bountiful selection of coffee shops. Perfect for sampling tasty pastries or finding your new favorite morning cup, community staples include Hammerhand Coffee, Over Flow Coffee House, Cornerstone Coffee, and the North Kansas City location of Post Coffee Company


Things to Do

Clay County offers a variety of family-friendly local events throughout the calendar year that help to bring residents together for festive fun. Among the favorite events for locals is the annual Gladfest that takes place in Gladstone every fall. With various booths selling specialty products, live entertainment, arts and crafts events, and carnival rides, residents are likely to find more than enough reasons to join in on all of the community fun! Another fabulous festival is the Jesse James Festival, which features a rodeo, a demolition derby, kids' activities, and local bands' performances. For a day out at the park, consider visiting Penguin Park for a hike or a game of tennis on one of the community courts. To cool off on a hot summer day or for a scenic outing, take the family to Smithville Lake. There are two public golf courses, two beaches for swimming, hundreds of campsites, and a variety of lakeside dining options. It's the perfect place to soak in the sun on a day trip or to pitch a tent and spend a few nights under the stars.

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