Kansas City is nothing like the cow town many imagine it to be. From its sprawling suburbs to its big-city skyline, this charming, hospitable place offers visitors plenty to see and do.
The booming Northland provides many visitors with their first glimpse of Kansas City. The city's largest airport, Kansas City International, is situated in this area, while rolling hills and farmland are just minutes away. Several hotels, including the
A booming economy has made the Northland an area of widespread growth, with new houses and businesses popping up regularly. Visitors staying close to the airport do not have to venture far in search of fun. The area is packed with shopping centers, strip malls and restaurants, including
Kansas City's impressive downtown skyline can be seen from most surrounding suburbs. Its tall buildings cast reflections on the nearby Missouri River and draw travelers to this central location. The recent renovation of
A number of historic hotels, including the
Charming and classy yet avant-garde is a good description for the popular
Kansas City, Kansas
Like its Missouri neighbor, Kansas City, Kansas (known as KCK) is a place on the move. The
Johnson County Johnson County, KCK's southern neighbor, is also growing, with new businesses and residential neighborhoods sprouting up everywhere. The area has a reputation as a classy place both to live in and to visit. Public venues, such as
The stadiums that house the Kansas City Chiefs and the
For those wishing to forego sports and opt instead for a slice of history, Independence is worth a stop. This historic town is the birthplace of former President Harry S. Truman and is home to the
The East Metro area offers great places to stay, including the
South Kansas City
Like its northern counterpart, South Kansas City is experiencing growth in both the business and residential sectors. Locals and travelers alike enjoy dining at the many area restaurants, including the
Travelers in search of entertainment can make a stop at
Kansas City is a diner's paradise. Known for its outstanding steak and barbecue, Kansas City also includes noteworthy establishments offering everything from juicy burgers and spicy Mexican fare to fresh seafood and vegetarian cuisine. So dig in and see what tasty treats Kansas City has cooked up for you.
Since the Northland is home to a slew of businesses, residential neighborhoods and shopping areas, it is no surprise that the area boasts some excellent restaurants as well. If an intimate dining experience is what you are looking for, an evening at Cascone's Italian Restaurant is a good bet. This establishment offers the perfect spot at which to woo a client over lunch or a sweetheart over dinner. For a much more casual experience, try Chappell's Restaurant & Lounge, a veritable sports museum masquerading as a restaurant. The burgers are deluxe, but the real draw is the awe-inspiring collection of sports memorabilia, including a size-20 sneaker that once graced the foot of basketball great, Shaquille O'Neal. If some great Kansas City barbecue is in order, stop by the Smokehouse Barbecue North, where burnt ends are just the beginning of a finger-licking meal you will never forget.
If you find yourself downtown when hunger strikes, there are plenty of terrific restaurants to fill the void in your stomach. The Hereford House Restaurant, a Kansas City landmark since 1957, is a traditional, yet intimate steak house offering tender cuts of beef prepared to order over a hickory-fired grill. The wine list here is tops: the restaurant was presented with the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence in 1996. Lidia's Kansas City serves excellent Northern Italian cuisine in one of the most stunning dining rooms in the city. The 30-foot fireplace and the monstrous chandeliers (constructed from blown-glass Grappa bottles) help make Lidia's a restaurant to remember. Meanwhile, romantic upscale dining can be found downtown at both the Savoy Grill and the American Restaurant. If you are in the mood for a fiesta, try Manny's Restaurante Mexicano, where authentic Mexican cuisine is served in a festive atmosphere.
The Country Club Plaza and Westport neighborhoods offer dining at its finest. In fact, the Plaza's many outstanding restaurants make choosing just one nearly impossible. When in doubt, try Plaza III - The Steakhouse, which offers traditional steakhouse dining in a very upscale atmosphere.
In Westport, the chefs at Figlio Italian Restaurant and Bar pride themselves on using only the freshest ingredients available. The eclectic menu, outstanding wine list and inviting terrace seating keep diners coming back time and time again. Californos Westport offers contemporary dining in a elegant atmosphere. In warm weather months, the restaurant offers one of the finest outdoor "dining rooms" in the city, so order a cocktail, sit back and soak in the charm of Westport. For dinner and a show, try Hibachi Japanese Steak House, where chefs prepare your meal right before your eyes.
This booming area of town offers a delightful blend of dining experiences. For a romantic meal, try the upscale Italian bistro Il Trullo, a popular KC tradition. If authentic barbecue is what you are craving, give the KC Masterpiece Barbecue & Grill a try. This popular spot offers its sauce at grocery stores across the country, so don't fret if you get hooked. You can readily pick up more sauce when you get home.
East Metro/South KC
The East Metro dining scene is alive and well with a variety of restaurants to please every palate. For upscale fine dining, the EBT Restaurant is a sure bet. Located in what used to be a large department store, EBT offers an atmosphere that is ideal for special occasions as well as romantic or business dining. For some of Kansas City's most popular barbecue, try LC's Barbecue, where the chefs smoke the meats outside, distributing the succulent scent throughout the neighborhood.
For comfort food, look no further than Stephenson's Old Apple Farm Restaurant. The large portions, "down home" menu and apple-based desserts keep locals and tourists coming back for more. Fried chicken is the specialty at Stroud's Restaurant, a South KC favorite known for big portions and long waiting lists. Reservations are not accepted, but don't let that scare you. The food is worth the wait.
There is never a dull moment in Kansas City. Whether you're a theater lover or a sports enthusiast, a history buff or a roller coaster fan, you will find plenty to keep you busy in this vibrant Midwest metropolis.
If there is one attraction that brings more visitors to Kansas City than any other, it has to be Worlds of Fun. This 175-acre theme park features more than 140 rides and attractions. Be sure to take a spin on the Mamba, one of the longest, tallest and fastest steel roller coasters in the world. Worlds of Fun's sister park, Oceans of Fun, offers more than 60 acres of wet and wild entertainment. Bring your swimsuit, nose plug and lots of sunscreen.
The concrete playground known as downtown Kansas City mixes the town's rich heritage with its exciting modern attractions. One of the most popular stops is Union Station, which was recently restored to its former grandeur and now houses Science City, a tiny town built inside the station featuring 50 "neighborhoods," each with a different science-based focus. Another downtown mainstay is Crown Center. This massive complex not only houses the international headquarters of Hallmark Cards, but it also includes excellent restaurants, lots of shopping, live theater performances and two hotels. Meanwhile, a trip to Kansas City would not be complete without a visit to the 18th & Vine District, known the world over as the site where Kansas City-style jazz music was born.
If you are the "shop until you drop" type, you will love the Country Club Plaza and Westport districts. Designed in 1922, the Plaza is the country's first shopping area especially designed to accommodate automobiles. The Spanish architecture, one-of-a-kind shops, national retailers and outstanding restaurants make this a popular destination for locals and visitors alike. Whereas the Plaza is more upscale, Westport is down to earth.
Museums and Galleries
To satisfy your more cultural tastes, try a few of the city's outstanding fine art museums. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is considered one of the finest in the nation, thanks to its collections of European, American and Oriental art, Chinese Temple Room, outdoor sculpture garden and more. The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art offers permanent and traveling exhibits featuring some of the most respected artists of our time. And if you think art is only for serious adult viewing, think again. The Toy & Miniature Museum offers a delightful display of antique dolls, doll houses, trains, miniatures and Victorian toys that will charm the young and the young at heart.
The Shawnee Indian Mission Historical Site, which began as a mission school serving Native American children in the 1820s and 30s, later became a popular resting area for settlers traveling the Santa Fe Trail. If you are looking for something fun for younger visitors, try the Deanna Rose Children's Farmstead, a five-acre farm complete with a petting barnyard, picnic areas and nature trails. For a taste of history, try a trip to Independence for a stop at the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum and the Truman Farm Home.
It is all about sports in East Metro. Here you will find Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium. Whether you are a Kansas City Chiefs fan, a Kansas City Royals fan or both, you will feel the excitement from the moment you take your seat in either of these venues.
Cinema and Theater
On the grounds of the Zoo is the Sprint IMAX Theatre, where you will experience movies such as Everest and Dolphins on a screen more than six-stories tall. South Kansas City is also home to the Starlight Theatre, one of only two professional open-air theater companies in the nation.
Kansas City caters to travelers. No matter what your destination or budget, Kansas City has much to offer due to its seemingly endless array of exciting attractions, world-class restaurants and ongoing events. Whether you are visiting for business or pleasure, for a day, a week or longer, you will find a wide variety of historic hotels, chain-affiliated properties, one-of-a-kind bed-and-breakfasts and homey extended-stay lodgings to meet your needs.
The Northland is a densely populated area that includes the smaller towns of Gladstone, Parkville, Liberty, Riverside and North Kansas City. This area is especially attractive to travelers due to its proximity to Kansas City International Airport. There are many hotels in and around the airport, each with its own individual character. If convenience is what you are looking for, the Kansas City Airport Hilton is a fine choice, as it sits less than one mile from the busy airport runways. The Embassy Suites Hotel KCI Airport, located just four miles from the airport, features a tropical setting with an eight-foot waterfall cascading through the lobby.
Another set of attractions that brings visitors to the Northland is Worlds of Fun, one of the Midwest's largest and most popular amusement destinations, and its sister park, Oceans of Fun. Located just minutes from the action is Best Western Country Inn - Worlds of Fun, the perfect choice for visitors who want to stay near both parks. If you have something more unconventional in mind, try the Basswood Country Inn & Resort, a resort/campground combination with lakes, a country store, games, activities and more.
If you crave the hustle and bustle of urban life, downtown Kansas City is the place for you. Here you will find all of the amenities of big city living, along with a friendly, small town attitude. Both the Hyatt Regency Crown Center and the Westin Crown Center Hotel are adjacent to Crown Center, a hub of activity dotted with retail shops, live theaters, an outdoor ice skating rink and the Hallmark Greeting Cards world headquarters. If you are looking for the comfort of a bed-and-breakfast, the Hotel Savoy is sure to please.
Midtown Kansas City is home to Country Club Plaza and Westport. Both areas draw tourists and locals alike with unique shopping, exquisite dining, beautiful fountains and exciting nightlife options. Some of the city's most luxurious hotels can be found here, just steps from the action that makes the Plaza and Westport such attractive destinations.
The Raphael Hotel, built in 1927, offers fine dining, large suites and a spectacular view of the Plaza. The Embassy Suites Country Club Plaza, located half-way between the Plaza and Westport, is another all-suite hotel that features separate living rooms and bedrooms in every unit. If funky Westport is more your style, try the Quarterage Hotel Westport, a moderately priced property with upscale amenities.
Johnson County, which encompasses the cities of Overland Park, Shawnee and Olathe, is experiencing a time of exciting growth, with homes, shopping and businesses filling its hills and valleys. Adjacent to this hub of activity is the Doubletree Hotel Kansas City-Corporate Woods, the perfect place for business or leisure travelers. Another favorite accessible to the College Boulevard corridor is the Overland Park Marriott. For a cozy family-owned property, check out the White Haven Motor Lodge, which has been privately owned and operated since 1957.
It's all about fun in East Metro Kansas City, where you'll find the Truman Sport Complex, home to the Kansas City Chiefs professional football team and the Kansas City Royals baseball club. The Holiday Inn Sports Complex is adjacent to the stadiums, and offers an ideal place to hang your hat between games.
Independence, Missouri, with its historical attractions such as the Harry S.Truman Library & Museum, is also located in the East Metro. For comfortable lodging in this historic area, try the Woodstock Inn Bed & Breakfast.