If Kansas City were a recipe it would go something like this : A slice of Middle America with a Dash of Western & a Pinch of Southern Flavor, mixed well with a cup of culture. You say you are going to Kansas City and someone says “Why?” ….this person has obviously never been. Reasons abound to visit the largest city in Missouri. Arts, History, music & nightlife, fountains rivaled only by Rome, shopping, and people with smiles to light up your day. Kansas City often referred to as “The Heart of America” has a heart as big as this country, a heart pumping with the love and pride those who live here have for their city.
Kansas City appeals to all the senses with a palette of sights, sounds, and tastes to woo even the most experienced of travelers. One moment you are inundated with the nostalgia of old west America, the next you feel like you have just stepped into the chic ambiance of a European city. Without missing a beat the atmosphere becomes the easy, sultry flow of the Deep South or the technological epitome of modern America.
Kansas City and surrounding areas offer shoppers a world class lineup to satisfy the gluttony of even the most well traveled, seasoned shopaholics. From the international montage of the City Market to the high fashion, designer glamour of the Plaza and the convenience of the new Legends Shopping District – shopping in Kansas City will give you everything from department stores, outlets, unique boutiques to fabulous vintage shops full of hidden treasure.
The Country Club Plaza, most often referred to simply as The Plaza, grew from humble beginnings as a swampy, unattractive tract of land to the nation’s first suburban shopping district. The Plaza was the dream and masterful design of one man, J.C. Nichols. Many called it “Nichols Folly” when construction began but soon The Country Club Plaza proved to be an enduring success, surviving and thriving through many generations of change. Designed in 1922, the Plaza is a mouth dropping, heart stopping, outdoor museum of stunning fountains, magnificent sculptures and art, Spanish architecture, heady aromas and exquisite shops and restaurants. One does not just see The Plaza, they feel The Plaza.
The Plaza is a mini vacation all wrapped up in a 14 block area. As the oldest shopping center in the country and with the diversity of wonders it has to offer, The Plaza attracts over ten million tourists each year.
One of the first things you think of when Kansas City is mentioned is BBQ and music. Without a doubt you will find the best of both in Kansas City, and even though BBQ was not invented in KC, it definitely was perfected there. Every meat imaginable, with sauces unimaginable can be found throughout the Kansas City area. Get ready for some serious finger licking.
The Kansas City Power and Light District in the middle of the city is a hotbed of restaurants, clubs, shops and outdoor stages and live music. Home to Kansas City Jazz, or Bebop, the jazz style that grew out of the days of prohibition when musicians rushed to play in the one city with open bars and all night jam clubs, Kansas City continues to be a rich center for not only Blues and Jazz but every genre of music from country to rap.
This Midwest City that looks like an island fortress rising up between rivers and highways has seen a large amount of refurbishment in recent years. Downtown areas once neglected are now being reborn and rediscovered. With 132 miles of boulevards and parkways winding through a city rich in historical homes and landmarks, and one of America’s largest parks, Swope Park, 1800 acres of woods, a zoo, golf courses, and lakes-Kansas City rivals some of the most sought after city destinations in the world.
The Kansas City International Airport, with its unique circular terminals where passengers can be driven within feet of their gate, and security that takes minutes not hours, is to those of us who have traveled through nightmare airports…a breeze. Although those with connecting flights often complain about the use of security at each set of gates, this is definitely one of the least stressful international airports for those flying directly in or out of Kansas City. Many say the airport needs to be updated but that could translate easily to more confusing. For now, flying in and driving out of the airport remains an easy task.
Discovering Kansas City is like discovering a historical thread of our past and the roots of many of America’s traditions, cultures, entertainment and the easy going strength of those who helped pave the way to the settling of the once wild west.
Little Kansas City tidbits
Mickey Mouse was born in Kansas City. This debonair Hollywood mouse was born from a fondness Walt Disney had for a mouse in his offices of Laugh-O-Gram Studio in Kansas City, Walt Disney’s first film company.
Kansas City was unaffected by Prohibition. Big city Boss Tom Pendergast kept the taverns open and the drinks flowing. When Carrie Nation came into Kansas City and entered Flynn’s Saloon, she was promptly arrested and taken to Police Court where she was fined and ordered by the Judge to leave Kansas City and never return.
In the 1800’s people who lived in the hills around Kansas City were called “goats” and those who came from the area’s near the river were called “rabbits”.
Westport got it’s name, West Port because it was the last place to get supplies before heading into the Kansas Territory on the Santa Fe Trail, the California Trail, and the Oregon Trail.
Harry Truman worked for big city Boss Pendergast after his fledgling company failed.
Kansas City Chiefs were in their first super bowl in 1967. They lost to the Green Bay Packers.
Experience Kansas City