EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, Mo. — Say “Excelsior Springs” and the first thing that comes to mind for many people is The Elms — arguably, the city’s most recognizable destination.
But before you get here, you have to know a little bit about the city’s history.
“People were drawn here for the healing waters. They thought the waters would heal so that’s why The Elms was created to begin with,” said Kara Harrington of The Elms. “They built it to house these people who traveled here to take part in these healing waters.”
The magic waters are hard to come by these days. The pipes carrying those waters just couldn’t stand the test of time.
But the city has kept the magic alive — by transforming into a destination where people can escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a little while.
“It’s a great attraction for us. It’s a novelty. It’s not something you see at other golf courses,” Dean Berry said.
Berry is talking about a log cabin from 1838, nestled inside the clubhouse at Excelsior Springs Golf Course. The descendants of the owners still live in the area.
The city’s Hall of Waters, a place to relax and rejuvenate, now serves as City Hall.
It comes complete with displays of visitors like Harry Truman and Al Capone, as well as natives like actor Lyle Waggoner and NFL coach Gregg Williams.
The hall is surrounded by many mom and pop businesses, offering things you just can’t find anywhere else.
And while the famous water’s healing properties may be dubious claims, it’s clear the historic water continues to breathe life into the Excelsior Springs community.
Four places you must check out in Excelsior Springs
Stop 1: The Elms
Stop 2: Excelsior Springs Golf Club
Stop 3: Willow Springs Mercantile
Stop 4: Hall of Waters