Are ready to go on an adventure? Well, buckle up, grab a few snacks, and hold on tight! We’re heading north, busting out of city limit boundaries, and sharing all the gems of the world just across that beautiful bridge and mighty Missouri River.  

I’m Ashley Varner, Holts Summit resident, health enthusiast, and lover of supporting local businesses and organizations — and I’ll be your tour guide! You could say I shop, dine, and live in a dual-community world, spending time working and living in Jefferson City and Holts Summit.   

Ashley Varner
Ashley Varner

Taking a cycling tour is a great way to get the blood pumping while taking in the sights. If you find yourself ready to ride but lacking equipment, the SPIN bikes and scooters provide an economical way to hit the trails for a day of fun! Grab one of those bright orange beauties and explore what north Jefferson City and Holts Summit have to offer.  

One of my favorite breathtaking activities is to walk or ride on the pedestrian bridge. Something about being next to fast moving cars high up in the air over the massive movement of water reminds me how expansive the power of nature is and how minimal my ego should be.  

Follow the path down to the river recreation area and then over to the Katy Trail. What a gem! We have a 237-mile statewide trail in our backyard. It follows Lewis and Clark’s path up the Missouri River (for the history buffs) and allows trailgoers to walk, ride, or run beneath towering river bluffs while eagles circle overhead.  

Ready for the next stop? Connect to Summit Drive in southern Holts Summit. Follow our bike sharrows up the hill to Canterbury Hill Winery! Enjoy a well-deserved rest after that hill and recuperate and refresh with my favorite — a dragon wine slushie paired with dragon skins. No, I’m not Khaleesi (mother of dragons) from “Game of Thrones,” but I am sure this is fare she would love! Stay and play here — their “murder mystery” dinners and live entertainment are smash hits. 

OK, now time to shop.  Work your way north to Rooster Creek Quilting Company, and not just for sassy sewing ladies —  they have an ice cream shop!  Mention this article to owners Mike and Teresa Cuno and receive a FREE small ice cream cone! Don’t forget to sign up for their unique classes and events!  

We’ve exercised our bodies and wallets; now let’s expand our minds. Head over to the North Plaza and check out Retold Tales, Mid-Missouri’s largest bookstore! The Holts Summit Community Empowerment Foundation uses money from book sales to fund the brand new Library located next door. Retold Tales is open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Interested in donating, but can’t make it to the store? Donate online at 

Drone photo of Holt's Summit
Holts Summit by Photographer Levi Willis

Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my favorite taco place, Taqueria La Tapatia 2, located in the South Plaza. I think I might average three times a week eating carne asada tacos here. At $2.50 per taco with outside patio dining and live music on weekends, this taqueria puts this girl in heaven!   

Our tour is almost over. Let’s practice a little mindfulness in our new community garden on Summit Drive next to city hall. Weed the orchard, enjoy the butterfly garden, and pick some produce to take home. Thanks for visiting! Next time you’re looking for something to do, maybe it’s time to head north.

While you’re in the area


The Burlap Sack
275 Karen Dr., Holts Summit

135 City Plaza, Holts Summit

Bike on Katy Trail
North Jefferson Trailhead