Kansas City Has More than Meets the Eye
The city on the border of Kansas and Missouri is often overlooked. It probably won’t make anyone’s top list of places to visit in the US, which is a shame because the city has a vibrant culture, interesting history, and damn good food. KC has very walkable neighborhoods. The residents are known for their Midwestern charm and friendliness. All in all, it is a very inviting place with a whole lot to offer.
Kansas City is well known for its amazing barbecue. People will fly in just to eat the burnt ends at Oklahoma Joe’s or LC’s Bar-B-Q. Each October the city hosts the American Royal World Series of Barbecue where 500 teams compete for the title of best BBQ. Arthur Bryant’s ribs cannot be missed. And it’s not far from the jazz district, another of KC’s specialties.
Music is as good as it gets in KC, home to some of the best jazz and blues you can find. Jazz has been popular in the city since the days of prohibition. Head to the American Jazz Museum to learn about music history then go over to the Blue Room to hear it live. The Mutual Musicians Foundation is a famous nightclub that’s been around since 1930.
KC also has a very trendy bar scene. The Power & Light District is where all the twentysomethings hang out. Westport has a plethora locally owned restaurants and bars and is your second best dining bet after the barbecue. You can take a tour of a brewery and tastes KC beer at Boulevard Brewing Company.
Museum and Architecture
KC’s rich culture does not stop at good tunes. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art has an extensive collection of both contemporary and ancient art. The best part is that admission is always free. The Crossroads Art District has 60 galleries. The city also has fine architecture. The Country Club Plaza is a great place to walk around to view Spanish architecture and sculptures. The city is sometimes referred to as the “city of Fountains” as it has 200 of them.
Kansas City offers a window into America’s past. KC was a major port on the Oregon Trail. It witnessed the famous Border War during the American Civil War. History buffs will love the National WWI Museum, which explores the often forgotten world war. The museum is so big and there is so much to see that the admission ticket is valid for two days, which you will absolutely need and want before you get your fill. The exhibits are set up as if a soldier was telling you his war narrative. On-site, the Liberty Memorial towers above the skyline, offering the best view of the city. The Arabia Steamboat was built in 1853 to ship cargo through the Missouri River. It later sunk and was missing for over a century before it was unearthed and turned into a museum. Culture, food, history, what’s not to like?
(All photographs are courtesy of the original owners unless otherwise indicated)