The “Whereabouts” series is now taking guests! Have a location to share? Pitch your idea here.
Presenting ‘Kansas City, Missouri, USA’ according to Elizabeth of Seis Matters.
Although I grew up in London, I spent summers in Kansas City, where my dad lived. It’s quite a liberal town, you’d be surprised.
Settled in the heart of the Midwest, Kansas City straddles the state line of Kansas and Missouri. Many will argue the merits and disadvantages of both sides, but both hold quite a bit of potential. If you are thinking to yourself, There’s nothing to do there, why would I ever want to visit a fly-over state, I am here to tell you that you’ve been greatly misinformed. Kansas City offers a plethora of options for the cultural junkies, the foodies, the sports fanatics, and the partiers. You will see the spirit of the Kansas Citians and appreciate their passion for the land they roam. You will feel the special charm that echoes the walls of the city. You might even experience all four seasons in one day. You will learn to love a place with such a unique atmosphere; it will steal your heart whole, and you will ache to return.
1. Watch a game (or two) at one of the many stadiums
Have a favorite game you love to watch? Chances are that Kansas City’s got what you’re looking for. Need some baseball? Head over to Kauffman Stadium to see the Kansas City Royals. They just recently won the MLB World Series in 2015. Aching for some true American football? Check out the Kansas City Chiefs in Arrowhead Stadium, which still holds the Guinness World Record for the loudest stadium in the world at 142.2 decibels. Despite their overall track record, they’ve been doing well just recently. Fancy a game of soccer instead? Check out Sporting Kansas City at Children’s Mercy Park, a recently new MLS team that has a handful of Cup Titles in the bag. Either way you look at it, Kansas City has a plethora of professional sports venues for one to experience.
2. Grab a beer at Boulevard Brewing Co.
Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to be one of the largest and well known specialty breweries in the Midwest. They are specifically known for their beloved Boulevard Unfiltered Wheat Beer, the flagship Boulevard Pale Ale, and the hearty Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale. They have a variety of tours available from a free walking tour, a reserved tasting, or even a private tour for parties. Although being from the Midwest I may be completely biased, but I truly believe these are some of the best beers I have ever tried. I highly recommend this place to any Cerevisaphile (lover of beer) in your life.
3. Kansas City BBQ – need I say more?
Arguably (well, and it’s a fact) you will find the best BBQ in the world in Kansas City. It’s just what Kansas City DOES – they make amazing BBQ. It is an absolute MUST when visiting this part of the Midwest. Some places I recommend are Joe’s Kansas City (there’s one in Lenexa and one in Kansas City, KS) – try the Z-man sandwich and the brisket. Make sure to get there early as it’s always packed. Other places I highly recommend are Gates and Arthur Bryant’s. While Gates is incredibly tasty and has many locations all over KC, Arthur Bryant’s has developed into a fun and must-do tourist attraction and is well known throughout the country. Many of the locals fight over which one is better. Honestly, there are so many tasty places all over Kansas City, it’s hard to go wrong.
4. Dive into world-class museums
There are three museums in particular that I highly recommend – the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and the National World War I Museum and Memorial. For lovers of art history, definitely check out the first two. While the Kemper focuses on recent works (thus contemporary), the Nelson’s collection spans over 5000 years of history. The Nelson also, ironically enough, has one of the most extensive and largest Asian art collections in the entire world. It’s definitely a treat to the eyes. The National World War I Museum and Memorial stands as the nation’s only public museum dedicated to WWI. It’s filled with photography, weapons, and more. Don’t forget to take a photo of the iconic monument with the Kansas City skyline in the background – it makes for a memorable moment. If you’re looking for a free activity, the Nelson-Atkins has no admission cost.
5. Hit the town for Kansas City nightlife
Love going out and having a great time? The options in Kansas City are endless. There are many popular districts to check out if you’re new to the area. The most popular districts are Power & Light and Westport. Power and Light is a new eight-block neighbor in the heart of downtown Kansas City. While you will run into many Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties at P&L, be prepared to spend a little bit more money. Westport is Kansas City’s oldest entertainment district as it marked the passage into the Western Frontier. Here is where you may run into more locals catching a sports game or having a fun night out on the town. A newer area to check out is the Crossroad District near downtown. There are lots of little bars and restaurants, two of which have been featured on Diners, Drive Inns, and Dives. It’s got the atmosphere of downtown without the crazy high prices! Be sure to check out Nightlife KC for more info on events for specific dates.
- Worlds of Fun is an amusement park suitable for all ages.
- Opened since 1914, Union Station hosts exhibits, movies, restaurants, and a science center in a historic train station.
- If you’re looking to get some shopping done, check out The Plaza, a high end American shopping center with many delicious restaurants, check it out during the colder months to see the Christmas lights
- Feeling up for an easy day trip? Check out The University of Kansas in the historic and upbeat college town of Lawrence and drive through KU’s campus. You won’t regret it.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Born and raised in Kansas (Rock Chalk Jayhawk), Elizabeth Seis currently lives in South Korea with her husband. With a degree in Art History and nowhere to use it, she longs of working in museums, opening up a tea room, and traveling all over the world. She currently does some writing (both freelance and novel), English tutoring, and living up the Crazy Cat Lady status. Elizabeth can usually be found reading a book, exploring new worldly cuisine, or partying it up with her best friends. Read about her life overseas over at Seis Matters and check out her Instagram too!