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Independence, MO (Population: 110,208)

Independence, Missouri has a population of 110,208, and is the county seat of Jackson County. Founded in 1827, Independence was an important frontier town as the farthest west that any large boat could travel on the Missouri River. Independence was also the beginning point of the historic Oregon Trail. From the 1830s to the current day, the city has remained an important center for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

In celebration of the history of Independence as the starting place for three historic trails (the Santa Fe Trail, the California Trail and the Oregon Trail), the annual Labor Day festival is known as the Santa-Cali-Gon day. Another celebrated aspect of Independence is hometown hero Harry Truman, the 33rd president of the United States. Truman sites around the city include the Truman Presidential Museum and Library, the Truman Home, the Truman Courthouse and Office, the Truman Memorial, and more.

For a taste of history, some fine cuisine and even some shopping, be sure to stop by the historic Independence Square. For antiquing, there's no place better in town! You can even take a covered wagon ride through the historic downtown district or visit the 1859 Jail, Marshal's Home & Museum. Other attractions include the Puppetry Museum, with live performances monthly; the Center for the Study of the Korean War, where scholars come from around the word to study the Korean war; and Leila's Hair Museum, a tribute to Victorian-era hair jewelry and wreaths. For a family day in the sun, Adventure Oasis Waterpark is always a great option.