Kansas City, Missouri, often called the “City of Fountains,” is a vibrant destination with diverse attractions and activities. Having had the privilege of exploring this remarkable city extensively, I’m excited to share with you an in-depth list of must-visit places and experiences. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff, art enthusiast, or simply looking for a memorable vacation, Kansas City has something exceptional.
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What Are the Best Things to Do in Kansas City?
Admire Art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Art lovers will find solace in the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. As you explore the vast collection of Asian, European, and American art, you’ll discover masterpieces that span centuries. The museum’s beautiful sculpture garden, adorned with captivating installations and iconic shuttlecocks, provides a serene setting for reflection and appreciation.
Indulge in the World’s Best Barbecue
When it comes to things to do in Kansas City, savoring its renowned barbecue is an experience like no other. The city’s smoky and savory barbecue scene is nothing short of legendary. Go to Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que or Arthur Bryant’s for a mouthwatering journey through brisket, ribs, and burnt ends. The tender, flavor-packed meats, and secret recipe sauces will captivate your taste buds, whether you’re a barbecue connoisseur or a novice.
Explore the Historic 18th and Vine District
Kansas City’s rich jazz and African-American history come to life in the 18th and Vine District. This cultural epicenter houses the American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, offering immersive exhibits that take you on a journey through time. Dive into the world of jazz legends like Charlie Parker and Count Basie and learn about the baseball pioneers who broke barriers. It’s an opportunity to appreciate the cultural contributions that shaped this city.
Take a Scenic Stroll at Loose Park
For a tranquil escape from the city’s hustle and bustle, Loose Park beckons with its 75 acres of natural beauty. Meander through the meticulously maintained rose gardens, listen to the soothing sounds of water at the park’s pond, and follow the winding trails beneath the shade of trees. It’s a perfect spot for a leisurely picnic, an afternoon of reading, or a romantic rendezvous.
Get a Taste of Kansas City’s Craft Beer Scene
Kansas City’s craft beer scene is burgeoning, and it’s an absolute must for beer enthusiasts. Boulevard Brewing Company, a local gem, opens its doors for brewery tours and tastings. Here, you can sample a delightful array of handcrafted brews, gaining a deeper appreciation for the city’s passion for the craft beer movement. The brewery tour is an educational journey through the brewing process, with tastings to top it off.
Experience the Country Club Plaza
The Country Club Plaza, lovingly called the “Plaza,” is a testament to Kansas City’s architectural and cultural splendor. Its Spanish-inspired design creates a unique ambiance as you wander cobblestone streets lined with upscale boutiques, fine dining establishments, and captivating fountains. The Plaza dazzles with enchanting lights during the holiday season, making it a magical destination.
Witness the Elegance of the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
For those who appreciate the performing arts, the Kauffman Center is a true gem. Not only does it host world-class performances ranging from ballet to symphony concerts, but the building itself is a work of art. The architectural design is a masterpiece, featuring dramatic glass structures and sweeping curves that make it a sight to behold, even from the outside.
Take a Ride on the KC Streetcar
To explore downtown Kansas City with ease, hop aboard the KC Streetcar. This complimentary mode of transportation efficiently connects you to many of the city’s top attractions, including Union Station, the River Market, and the Power & Light District. It’s convenient and a great way to enjoy the city’s urban vibe.
Cheer for the Kansas City Chiefs
Sports enthusiasts should take the chance to cheer the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The electric atmosphere, passionate fans, and iconic tailgating culture create an unforgettable experience, even if you’re not a die-hard football fan.
Visit the National World War I Museum and Memorial
In the heart of Kansas City, you’ll find the National World War I Museum and Memorial, which holds an impressive collection of items and exhibits about World War I. Inside, you can explore hands-on displays, discover how the war affected the entire world, and enjoy a breathtaking view from the top of the memorial tower, where you can see the whole city from above.
Discover the Historic West Bottoms
Explore the Historic West Bottoms, an area with a rich industrial past that has transformed into a haven for antique lovers and vintage enthusiasts. The district is brimming with unique shops and warehouses filled with retro furniture, clothing, and collectibles. You’ll uncover treasures and artifacts from bygone eras around every corner.
Experience Science Fun at Science City
Science City at Union Station is a must-visit for families and science enthusiasts. This interactive science center features hands-on exhibits and activities that cater to all ages. From exploring the cosmos in the planetarium to conducting fascinating experiments, Science City offers an engaging and educational experience.
Immerse Yourself in Local Music at Knuckleheads Saloon
If you’re a music lover, take advantage of Knuckleheads Saloon. This iconic venue hosts diverse live music acts, from blues and rock to country and jazz. With indoor and outdoor stages, it’s the perfect place to catch a live performance and enjoy Kansas City’s vibrant music scene.
Take a Riverboat Cruise on the Missouri River
Experience the charm of the Missouri River with a riverboat cruise. Several companies offer relaxing cruises along the river, providing scenic views of the city skyline and opportunities to learn about the region’s history. Whether a romantic evening cruise or a daytime excursion, it’s a serene way to see Kansas City from a different perspective.
Experience the Power & Light District
The Power & Light District reigns as the city’s premier entertainment hub, offering a vibrant nightlife scene. You’ll find endless entertainment opportunities with numerous bars, restaurants, and live music venues. Whether you’re seeking a delectable meal, a night of dancing, or a place to catch the latest game, this district has it all.