Lexington is one of those special Midwestern towns that people return to time and again. Founded in 1822 atop bluffs overlooking the Missouri River, it was the river that brought life and commerce to Lexington.
Still possessing a distinctly "gracious Southern heritage," Lexington was the site of a significant Civil War battle, the three-day Battle of the Hemp Bales, waged in September 1861. A museum, visitors center and the Oliver Anderson House, which served as a hospital during the battle, sit on one of the battle sites. The house changed from Union to Confederate forces three times. The Lafayette County Courthouse, built in 1847-49 -- still in use -- has a cannonball embedded in the east column as a relic of the Confederate victory.
Lexington has more pre-Civil War homes and buildings than any other community regardless of size in the state of Missouri, over 120, and numerous quaint and comfortable Bed & Breakfast inns.
For antiquers and day-trippers looking for a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, Lexington has dozens of antique dealers and specialty shops.
"The combination of what we have is what no one else has," said Anne Crume, executive director of the Lexington Area Chamber of Commerce.
Upcoming events include "What A Girl Wants" Spring Ladies Night Out sponsored by Downtown Merchants on April 20, 3-9 pm, and Heritage Days Festival, June 7-9.
Runner-up: Weston, MO