Located in the Northwest tip of Missouri is Kansas City, the state’s largest city and the cultural and business hub of the region. Kansas City is a top destination for entertainment, cuisine and music, and there’s always something to do.
Overlooking Kansas City’s skyline is the Liberty Memorial. Erected in 1926, the pillar is a tribute to the men and women who served in World War I. At night, the top of the 217 foot tall memorial tower is illuminated with a “flame” thanks to a series of orange and red lights, creating a powerful image. Underneath the tower itself lies the National World War I Museum, an extensive facility that guides visitors through the history of the Great War and its effect on America and the entire world.
In the heart of downtown is the Power and Light District, the entertainment and shopping center of Kansas City. The district itself takes up around ten city blocks of the downtown loop. Watch out for Kansas City Live! The highlight of the Power and Light District, this particular area of the loop boasts a slew of world class restaurants and night spots that are open year-round. Come to the Power and Light District for an experience that’s very unique and special to Kansas City.
Kansas City is proud of its deep and vibrant roots in jazz, which since its beginning in the 1920s has been influential to the development of music in America. Jazz was a major facet of culture here and served as a community-base for artists and fans all throughout the Midwest. As a result, jazz still has a big presence in the city today. Stop by any neighborhood joint for authentic, live jazz music or take a trip to the American Jazz Museum on 18th Street for a history lesson, jazz-style.
You can’t go to Kansas City without indulging in its famous barbecue. Kansas City barbecue is known for its wide variety of meats that are historically cooked by being slowly smoked “pit style.” Almost as important as the meat itself is Kansas City’s barbecue sauce, which is always within arms’ reach at any backyard stand or neighborhood restaurant. If you’re to go to one place for barbecue in Kansas City, check out Joe’s, arguably the best restaurant for authentic barbecue in the entire city.
Craft beer is on the rise in Kansas City, and there’s no better place to experience it than at the Boulevard Brewing Company. As the largest speciality brewer in the Midwest, a visit to the high quality Boulevard includes a variety of public and private tours, in addition to access to the tasting room, open every day of the week.
Riding a recent wave of massive success are the defending World Champions of Major League Baseball, the Kansas City Royals are Kansas City’s beloved local team. Locals are absolute fanatics for their Royals and always come out in full force to support their boys in blue. Up to 800,000 people showed up for the Kansas City Royals recent World Series victory parade. A trip to Kauffman Stadium is a true Kansas City experience that is sure to be a great time for anyone who is passionate about baseball or is just curious to know what it’s like to live in the city.
In the spirit of baseball, there’s an extremely important and historical museum in Kansas City that revolves around the period of history when baseball was segregated between whites and people of color. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum charts the history of the leagues that were exclusively for non-whites, and highlights the often unheralded early heroes of the sport who were African-American or athletes of color. Founded by a group of former Negro Leagues baseball players, the museum is an important and inspirational history lesson for anyone, baseball fan or not.
Founded in 1909, Kansas City Zoo is 202 acres large and serves to connect the community with animals and habitats from all over the world. Cruise through the polar bear and penguin exhibits and walk the many natural trails that extend throughout the entire park. Particularly renowned are their Australia and Africa sections, with the African section able to be viewed from the air from their modified ski-lift, the African Sky Safari.
In downtown Kansas City is the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Known for its architectural beauty and artistic influence in the Midwest, the museum welcomes over half a million visitors every year and boasts more than 35,000 works of art that span many eras of human history. Whether you visit for the many paintings, historical artifacts or exciting sculptures, there’s always a positive and worthwhile experience waiting for you at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
A visit to Kansas City is not complete until you go to the historic City Market on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon. The City Market is an open-air and “jack of all trades” market experience that offers just about anything and everything you could ever imagine. With farmers market stands, ready to eat food and a constantly changing events calendar, a trip to the old City Market is a lively and local experience.