Kansas City, located on the western border of Missouri, is known for its vibrant heritage, including its commitment to jazz music and delicious barbeque. Home of the 2020 Super Bowl champions, Kansas City also has a history of sports success.
If you’re planning an extended visit to Kansas City or simply passing through, you’ll want to take some time to research all the sights, tastes, and experiences the city has to offer.
Culture and History
While in Kansas City, you can experience not only the rich local history but also international history through the numerous museums. A few notable examples include:
- Learn more about the legacy of jazz at the American Jazz Museum.
- Better understand the history of segregation in baseball by visiting Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.
- Visit one of the best collections on WWI history at the National World War I Museum.
- Check out an impressive collection of European and Asian artwork at the Nelson Atkins Museum.
- See a show at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, which features architecture reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House.
Scenery, Nature, and Adventure
In late spring into early summer, Kansas City offers temperate weather, perfect for walking around and exploring. A few local and tourist favorite activities include:
- Take a self-guided tour of the famous Union Station Kansas City, also known as Science City.
- Check out the stunning Spanish architecture of Country Club Plaza.
- Stop by one of the most uniquely designed libraries in the country, the Kansas City Public Library, better known as the “Community Bookshelf.”
- Take a stroll alongside the Independence Temple, famous for its spiral architecture.
- Have a picnic by the fountain at Loose Park.
- Stop and smell the roses at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.
- Sip cocktails in style at a Kansas City speakeasy, like Manifesto
- Explore everything the Kansas City Power & Light District has to offer, from food to dancing to ax throwing.
- Spend the evening at one of Kansas City’s famous jazz or blues clubs and casinos.
If you’re in Kansas City, you have to try the city’s signature style of BBQ cooking. Excellent BBQ restaurant options include:
- Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant
- Slap’s BBQ
- Chiusano’s Brick Oven Pizzeria
- Woodward Bar-B-Que
- MeMas’s Bakery
- Corvino Supper Club
- EJ’s Urban Eatery
- Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
Of course, Kansas City’s food scene has more to offer than just BBQ. While in town, check out these fine-dining options:
- Eddie V’s Prime Seafood
- Trezo Mare Restaurant & Lounge
- Capital Grille
- The American Restaurant
Events, Celebrations, and Festivals
If you can plan your visit ahead of time, you may want to consider traveling to Kansas City during one of their monthly or annual events, such as:
- Mardi Gras Kansas City
- Fountain Day
- Gatsby Days
- Celebration at the Station
- NASCAR races at Kansas Speedway
- Fiesta Kansas City
- American Royal World Series of Barbecue
- Jazz Walk of Fame
- Vaile Strawberry Festival
- KC Fringe Festival
- Grand Carnivale
- Within Kansas City, you have overnight options like the elegant The Raphael Hotel Autograph Collection, located within the Country Club Plaza. There’s also the Hilton President Kansas City, which maintains its 1920s style and is located within the Power and Light District.
- However, staying overnight in the city itself can be pricey, and hotels sell out quickly during peak tourism. To avoid the hassle, consider one of the hotels in Lenexa, KS, near the City Centre.
Whether you stay for a day or a week, there’s no shortage of exciting things to do in Kansas City. Whether you look for food, history, music, or adventure— Kansas City is the perfect one-stop destination.