A visit to this endearing, laid-back town might be just what’s needed for a getaway.
Paola presents all the amenities expected from the county seat – a historic downtown complete with a park square, unique local boutiques, homestyle restaurants and ample opportunities to explore the outdoors.
The most revered part of Paola is the historic Downtown Park Square, built in 1867. The square was gifted to the City of Paola by Baptiste Peoria, one of the city’s founders. Complete with benches, play equipment, and mature trees for shade, the Square has an enchanting Victorian gazebo, center fountain and monument. It hosts numerous events, concerts and festivals such as Music and the Market, a hybrid live concert and farmers market each Saturday May through September. It is also home to the Paola Heartland Car Show during June. Each August, the community’s population doubles with visitors attending the Roots Festival. The festival originally started as a community picnic and has grown into a two-day festival packed with blues and bluegrass from the best performers locally and across the country.
A hidden gem near the Square, the Miami County Historical Museum educates visitors on the county’s history and contains one of the largest collections of American Indian artifacts in the state.
Home to more than a dozen local restaurants, good eats await in Paola.
A local favorite, Paola Eatery is known for its comfort food ranging from American chicken fried steak to Italian lasagna to authentic German Schnitzel. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, the eatery serves generous portions and complimentary made-from-scratch cinnamon rolls served warm.
Milo’s Steakhouse is home of an oversized pork tenderloin. Be sure to save room for a slice of homemade cheesecake or get it to-go. Another favorite is Spudley’s Family Restaurant where the potato is king. Spudley’s serves potatoes all sorts of ways from scalloped potatoes and ham, Irish nachos, and more. Beyond potatoes, the restaurant also serves burgers, sammy’s and other hearty entrees. El Potro not only offers traditional Tex-Mex, but their outside seating area is the perfect place to sip a margarita when the weather gets warm.
Paola Town Square
To eat with the locals, Circle C Café serves giant pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and smothered pork chops. Café Latte is the local spot for hot and cold coffee and espresso drinks, as well as sweets and lunch options. Revive Paola: Smoothie and Juice Bar offers healthy shakes and tea options. But if fried sweet goodness is the ticket, head to the highly addictive Daylight Donuts. Barbeque lovers may want to try Papa C’s BBQ Bar & Grill, while those craving a juicy burger can head on down to Grandstand Burgers.
For a truly unique view visit We-B-Smokin’ where they serve up BBQ and breakfasts adjacent to the Miami County Airport’s runway. Simple Simon’s will satisfy your craving for Italian food with their menu of pizza, pasta, calzones, stromboli’s and more.
Food isn’t the only thing sold at the Salebarn Café. On Fridays, visitors can watch how a livestock auction works while enjoying a home-cooked meal and a slice of their Miami County Fair purple-ribbon pie.
After a great meal, it’s time for some retail therapy. On the historic Park Square, visitors will find a collection of locally owned, independently operated specialty shops and boutiques. Adorned on Gold sells girl’s and women’s clothing, home décor and antiques. The shop also provides a sauna and spray tanning. Other shops on the Square offering new and antique items are Home Town Market & Floral and Town Square Antiques & Gifts. Located just off of the square, Fire Lake Soapery features made-on-the-premises soaps, candles as well as various kitchen and bath items.
Pamper yourself at Be Well Spa, an environmentally friendly and health-conscious spa. To score a hidden treasure, stop in Twisted Roots, a boutique and salon.
Whether indoors or outdoors, Paola’s allure is its idyllic respite from big city life.
The ever-peaceful Casa Somerset offers the tranquility and quiet of the country life only minutes away, while Paola Inn & Suites offers traditional hotel comforts right off the highway.
During the third week in July, Paola hosts the Miami County Fair and Rodeo which celebrates the area’s agricultural heritage. A parade, mutton bustin’ for children, rodeo, auction, food vendors and 4-H exhibitions offer entertainment for the entire family.
Adjacent to the Miami County Fairgrounds is Wallace Park. Indulge in a variety of recreational activities including a playground, biking, walking trail, basketball and tennis courts, baseball field, swimming pool and skateboard park.
Or head to scenic Lake Miola for plenty of water sports – boating, skiing, swimming, or fishing on the 200-acre lake. Off the water, visitors can trek the seven-mile hiking trail around the lake or camp. Visitors with pets will appreciate the Paola Dog Park located by the Lake Miola boat docks. Fishing and archery supplies are available at Roth Outdoors which also features an indoor archery range.
A casual stroll on one of the multi-use Paola Pathways trails will lead to key locations throughout the city including parks, recreational facilities and Lake Miola. Walkers, runners and bicyclists are all encouraged to enjoy the trail system.
Experience a movie under the stars at The Drive-in at Midway, which is one of only five drive-in movie theaters still operating in Kansas.