Kansas City Missouri Overview
Welcome to Kansas City this city sits on Missouri’s western edge straddling the border with Kansas.
Known to some as the city of fountains or the heart of America Kansas City Missouri offers visitors from all over the world.
A chance to experience world-class attractions, historic landmarks, diverse shops, jazz clubs, culture, baseball, barbecue and all around Midwestern family fun.
It’s also known for being the childhood home for many famous people including Walt Disney, Paul Rudd, John Sudeikis, Janelle Monae, and President Harry Truman. Let’s start the journey at Kansas City’s number one destination for shopping, dining, and entertainment.
Kansas City Missouri Attractions
Let’s explore the Kansas city Missouri Top attractions for families including food, history, and culture starting with Union Station.
Union Station Kansas City
Union Station is where Kansas City connects in this 100-year old historic building.
Union Station offers many family-friendly activities including the Science Center or you can come inside to take a look at the Grand Hall with the beautiful large hanging chandeliers.
Inside Union Station, you’ll find the model train exhibit which is fun for the whole family and includes real-life details.
Kansas City is known as the city of fountains and outside Union Station, you’ll see one of the tallest ones.
World War One Museum
Across the street, you’ll notice a 20 story tall tower this is the World War 1 Museum. Here you’ll find quite possibly the best view of the city.
Head inside the exhibit which explains why World War 1 wasn’t the last. War one lasted for four years and dramatically changed to the world.
This museum showcases the chain reaction of events that led to the war and shows how the war was fought including a recreation of the trenches.
The museum is highly educational and interactive and shows the tough decisions leading up to the war in US is involvement.
The museum also showcases how Americans became recruited to the war including Harry Truman who will see you later in this video.
Outside of the museum is the tower. go to the top for a bird’s-eye view of Kansas City.
You’ll have to allow a fair amount of time to explore the 18th and fine historic jazz district.
Here you’ll find the American jazz museum with the Blue Room attached for great night jazz as well as the Negro Leagues baseball museum rich in the history of African-American baseball.
The city is a jazz city so we have Oliver jazz musicians.
Barbecues in Kansas City
You can’t come to Kansas City without trying the mouth-watering barbecue.
Here we have more barbecue per capita than anywhere else in the US.
Arthur Bryant is a legendary barbecue joint established in 1908.
It serves casual cuisine and considered by some to be the most famous barbecue restaurant in America.
The restaurant is notable for its vinegar-based barbecue sauce and it’s burnt ends. The restaurant is frequented by many famous visitors including Barack Obama.
Truman Presidential Library
The Next Attraction of Kansas City Missouri is the Truman Presidential Library and Musuem. The museum shows how the situation in Europe looked much different.
At Truman library and Museum and they’re discussing the Marshall Plan that was implemented during President Truman’s tenure. He recently went to Hamburg which is a beautiful city on the North Sea.
It was wrecked and ruined during World War 2 largely because of the UK bombing and then the same street seven years later rebuilt with the United States Marshall Plan money.
The street looks about the same today.
According to the Marshall Plan, they gave about 9% of the federal budget to rebuild after the war.
The museum has an interactive representation showcasing the tough decisions Truman how to make during his presidency including u.s. involvement with Korea and Japan.
Truman was a Missouri native and the bottom floor of the museum traces his early life living on the farm to enlisting in World War 1 serving in France to becoming the 33rd president of the US and even his travels including the Key West.
Address: 30th and Metropolitan Ave., Kansas City, KS 66101; Tel. 913.321.5800
Nelson-Atkins Museum is one of the best art museums in the city the Nelson Atkins library of Art which features nearly 40,000 works of art from ancient to contemporary collections.
Across the street from the museum is the historic urban village of Rockhill neighborhood which features some of the most beautiful houses.
Outside of the museum is the sculpture park which includes the larger-than-life shuttlecocks which caused quite a stir when they were installed in 1994.
Nelson Atkins library is of Art justice super spectacular that coming here alone is worth the prices the price of the place.
This 220-yard-long, 30-foot high mural was painted in 1998 by a team of artists under the direction of Jésus Ortiz to depict the history of Kansas City’s Argentine area.
4601 State Ave., Kansas City, KS 66102; Tel. 913.287.8888
Kansas City’s Children’s Museum features more than 40 hands-on activities for children ages 2-8 and their families.
Kansas in the Osage Questas woodlands; Tel. 785.842.8562
The numbers — 1,500 acres, 460 campsites, and 25 miles of mountain biking trails — may sound impressive, but they do little justice in describing the natural beauty of the landscape at Clinton State Park. Natural prairie grasses, untouched forests, even a cross-country skiing path make for a unique environment that provides the perfect getaway spot.
In fact, half the 460 campsites are what Park Manager Jerry Schecher calls “primitive” — nothing more than a small clearing and patch of gravel for a fire. “In very few cities can you drive this short of a distance (4 miles) and come to a completely different world,” Schechter says. (Source: Pitch Weekly, October 19, 2000)
Papa was just eighteen when he arrived in October 1917, eager to start his first job as reporter with The Kansas City Star. (Sure, he left after about six months to join a World War I ambulance corps in Italy.) Start the tour at Union Station, where Ernie rescued an unconscious smallpox victim, taking the patient by taxi to the hospital.
He wrote it up under the headline “Throng at Smallpox Case.” Then stop by the old General Hospital site at 24th and Cherry, where Hemingway got material for his charming chronicle of the graveyard shift’s parade of shooting, stabbing and fistfight victims titled “At the End of Ambulance Run.”
Look in on the Star’s offices at 17th and Grand, where a main-entrance display memorializes the leathery man of letters. Head south to 3629 Warwick Boulevard, the home of Hemingway’s aunt and uncle, and 3733 Warwick, where Hemingway boarded during his Star tenure. Cross the state line and check out 6435 Indian Lane in Mission Hills, where Hemingway stayed with his pregnant wife in 1928 while writing his classic A Farewell to Arms.
And then quote Hemingway’s 1933 story “God Rest You Merry Gentlemen”: “In those days the distances were all very different, the dirt blew off the hills that now have been cut down, and Kansas City was very like Constantinople.”
Barney Allis Plaza, 12th & Wyandotte; Tel. 816.452.4712
Sponsored by Kansas City National Hispanic Heritage Committee, the two-day celebration of Hispanic heritage takes place downtown in September.
1420 S 78th St., Kansas City, KS 66111; Tel. 913.299.0373
1862 Georgian-style home of Indian trader and farmer Moses Grinter overlooks the Kansas River and features furnishings from the late 19th Century.
The only Harley-Davidson plant west of the Mississippi offers an hour-long walking tour that includes the actual production line where Sportster and V-Rod motorcycles are assembled.
The tours are free and take place from 8am-noon, Mon-Fri. Children must be 12 or older and accompanied by an adult. No open toe shoes. Photography is prohibited on tours; lockers are available. The gift shop sells Harley-Davidson logo merchandise.
7th and Ann Streets, Kansas City, KS 66101; Tel. 913.321.5800
Huron Indian Cemetery, established in 1843, has resisted schemes to commercialize the sacred burial ground as a casino, a parking lot or department store.
Thanks to preservation efforts, the cemetery today memorializes the members of the Wyandot Nation who died of typhoid, cholera and exposure to the elements during the forced migration from their homes near Upper Sandusky, Ohio. Members of the Wyandot Nation of Kansas still live in the Kansas City area.
Independence, Missouri is still, and will forever be, a bastion for good old American values. Downtown is a dead ringer for Mayberry, with its quaint shops arrayed around the picturesque Truman Court House.
There’s even an old-fashioned soda shop where folks can belly up to the counter and lap up a root beer float. With its many tributes to its native son, Harry Truman, Independence is all about history. The late president’s home is just a short walk from the courthouse.
Tours through the fourteen-room Victorian home — known as the “Summer White House” during Truman’s presidency — commence every fifteen minutes. From there it’s a short drive to the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum which contains a collection of gifts President Truman received from foreign heads of state and fourteen million pages of papers, books and other historical materials relating to the man who said “The buck stops here.” (Source: Pitch Weekly, Best of Kansas City, October 18, 2001)
The 17-acre Kansas City Sculpture Park includes the largest collection of bronze sculptures by Henry Moore in the United States. Also on the grounds is Shuttlecocks — four sculptures of 18-foot-tall badminton birdies. Admission to the Kansas City Sculpture Park is free, and it’s open during daylight hours. Picnic lunches on grounds are allowed.
More than 400 animals populate one of the Midwest’s best zoological parks, which comprises more than 200 acres of Africa- and Australia-themed natural habitat. See elephants roam through a 4.5 acre re-creation of Botswana’s Okavango Delta replete with pond and mudbaths. Watch sable antelope, impala, kudu, cheetah, lion, giraffes, black rhino and hippo traverse the plains along Lake Nakuru.
In the Congolese Forest, leopard, bongo and lowland gorillas play in the trees. Chimpanzee frolic in the Tanzania-themed area. For visitors’ enjoyment, the zoo provides indoor restaurants, train and pony rides.
400 Speedway Blvd., Kansas City, KS 66111; Tel. 913.328.7223
State-of-the-art motorsports facility about 15 miles west of downtown Kansas City hosts NASCAR, Busch, Truck and Indy racing events. The 1.5 mile, 55-foot wide tri-oval track is suitable for all types of racing and has grandstand seating for 78,000 people.
5615 Wolcott Dr., Kansas City, KS 66109; Tel. 913.299.2040
Half-mile dirt oval track hosts weekly NASCAR racing events on Friday nights from March through September.
This urban sightseeing tour suggested by Pitch Weekly stretches from the Plaza to Penn Valley Park and passes through inner-city neighborhoods, Westport’s residential and shopping areas and the Olde Hyde Park Historic District. Full review available from The Pitch.
1609 NW US Hwy 50, Kingsville, MO 64061; Tel. 816.697.2600
A 915-acres botanical garden with nature trails, contemporary architecture and chapel located 30 miles east of Kansas City. Major features include the Perennial Garden, Rock & Waterfall Garden, Island Garden and Wildflower Meadow. Built on lands donated to the city by Kansas City businessman George E. Powell, Sr., Powell Gardens offers year-round events and classes, with an emphasis on horticulture and conservation.
27th & Sewell. Kansas City, KS 66104; Tel. 913.321.8024
Preservationists scored a major victory in 2002 with the naming of the Underground Railroad destination where which African-American slaves attained the freedom to the National Register of Historic Places.
The Quindaro Ruins are what’s left of Quindaro, an abolitionist community in Northeast Kansas City, Kansas, that may have once had as many as 5000 residents and 100 businesses during its mid-1800s heyday.
Abandoned for more than a century, a handful of historical buildings and foundations remain of two hotels, a drugstore, a newspaper office, a brewery, and residence. There’s also a statue of John Brown, the Vernon Center, a cemetery overlooking the Missouri River Valley, spring-fed creeks and abundant wildlife.
35th Street & Booth, Kansas City, KS 66103; Tel. 913.677.5097
Inspired by Paris’ Arc de Triomphe, the Rosedale Memorial Arch was built in 1923 to pay tribute to America’s World War I soldiers. In 1993, a monument was installed under the Arch to honor World War II, Korea and Vietnam veterans.
2100 Grand Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64108; Tels. 816.221.4444, 800.366.FEST
The Kansas City Spirit Festival takes place the weekend after Memorial Day and features exhibits, crafts booths and carnival rides along with performances by noted local and regional jazz, blues, rock, reggae, country, gospel and swing acts.
720 N. 4th St., Kansas City, KS 66101; Tel. 913.371.3264
Historic 1887 Victorian mansion contains original furniture, stained glass windows, and gold inlaid Bavarian crystal chandeliers. Museum pays tribute to the area’s Eastern European immigrant communities.
91st & Leavenworth Rd., Kansas City, KS 66109; Tel. 913.596.7077
Just northwest of Kansas City, Kansas, sits the 400-acre lake and 1,500 acres of oaks, hickory, and sycamores with hiking and equestrian trails. The park is popular with winged creatures, including Canadian geese, northern shovelers, northern pintails, green- and blue-winged teal, goldeneyes, herons, wild turkeys, buffleheads, screech-owls, great horned owls and mergansers — and sometimes osprey, warblers, vireos, bald eagles and hawks. Four-legged residents include white-tailed deer, beaver, opossums, raccoons, and foxes.
Kansas City Missouri Shopping
The Country Club Plaza (Kansas city MO Shopping Mall)
With over 150 shops including small boutiques plus top-notch brands, you will need to be plenty of room in your suitcase.
There are many Restaurants at Shopping Plaza offering indoor and outdoor options fine dining or casual dining.
Also at the Plaza, you will find the JC Nichols memorial fountain which is one of the most iconic fountains in the Kansas City.
The spectacular fountain was dedicated to JC Nichols a prominent commercial real estate developer who established at the Country Club Plaza.
Festivals in Kansas City This Weekend
Kansas City’s three-day Spirit Festival is a commemoration not only of all things Missouri but all things America. The Spirit Festival is the largest weekend music festival of Kansas City and takes place around the 4th of July.
While it’s a party with dancing, music and all, the idea behind this nonprofit fundraiser is to pay tribute to Kansas City’s heritage as well as America’s independence.
The Spirit Festival boasts the largest fireworks display in Kansas City. 200,000 people attend the annual Spirit Festival, which is in downtown’s Penn Valley Park on the Lincoln Memorial.
Music performers have included the Wallflowers, former Styx frontman Dennis DeYoung and the Kansas City Civic Orchestra. Admission is $10.
Accommodation in Kansas City
Kansas City Restaurants Guide
Kansas City Missouri Travel Guide is pleased to present this selective restaurant guide for the city of Kansas City, Missouri, featuring reviews by The Pitch.
Try our online reservations. It’s free and books the table immediately in the restaurant’s reservation system. You’ll also receive Dining Bonus Points redeemable at thousands of restaurants nationwide.
Best Time to Visit Kansas City
Kansas City is Missouri’s largest city and well known for its contributions to the musical styles of jazz and blues.
Located near the Missouri and Kansas rivers, Kansas City has four distinct seasons.
Kansas City Weather in July and August
The summers are very warm too hot and it can be humid in July in August.
Kansas City Weather in May and June
The wettest months are May and June.
Thunderstorms and severe weather are frequent during the spring and summer months as Kansas City is also located on the edge of Tornado Alley.
Winters are cold with occasional snow.
Kansas City Weather in September and October
The best months to visit Kansas city would be in September into early October.
It could rain during that time but the chances of severe conditions in cold weather are low.