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Kansas City Travel Guide

A little bit of Kansas City, right at your fingertips.
Last Updated
February 17, 2024
Editorial Staff
Kansas City, Missouri, USA downtown skyline with Union Station
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When you see “Kansas City” in the movies, you probably picture endless fields of corn and tumbleweeds rolling through a ghost town. And yes, the city has fields. But tumbleweeds? Girl, please. Kansas City is so underrated it hurts our feelings.

Between the mouthwatering scent trails wafting from the seemingly infinite BBQ joints and the sweet, sweet sounds of jazz pouring into the streets, Kansas City packs a one-two punch of flavor and soul. We’d even bet Aunt Gladys’ famous peach cobbler that one weekend here will have you forgetting what city you actually live in.

And don’t get us started on the crazy diehard fans rooting for the Royals each season. Sure, watching games at Kauffman Stadium lacks some coastal “glam”. But juicy Duff’s wings, cold Boulevard beer, and the cross-generational community energy create an electric atmosphere you’ve gotta see in person.

Whether you’re a foodie chasing ribs glazed with sweet, tangy, finger-lickin’ sauce or a music head thirsty for the jazz tradition that bred Charlie Parker himself, Kansas City dips a bit of everything in downhome flavor. You may arrive with Midwest misconceptions – but between the BBQ comas, historic nightlife, and heckling at live games, you’ll quickly become a converted Kansas Citian clamoring to visit this city again soon.


About Kansas City

View of Kansas City skyline  in Missouri
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Kansas City is the largest city in the U.S. state of Missouri. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had an estimated population of 481,420 in 2016, making it the 37th most populous city in the United States. It is the central city of the Kansas City metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas–Missouri border.

Kansas City was founded in 1838 as a port at the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas rivers and became a key stop for the westward expansion of the United States. The city was settled near Westport Landing on May 1, 1850.


Why Go to Kansas City

Kansas City, Missouri
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Whether you’re a foodie or just looking for a great place to go for an ice cream cone, Kansas City has something for everyone. The River Market, for example, is a popular shopping and dining area. Foodies will appreciate the array of options, from organic groceries to bubble tea cafes and international cuisine. The River Market also has a lively farmer’s market and is a great place to get your daily dose of fresh produce.

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is free to visit and has a diverse collection of Asian art, ceramics, photography, and centuries-old furniture. History buffs will also appreciate the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the only museum in the United States dedicated to the Great War.

There’s also plenty of music and art to enjoy. The Kansas City Jazz District was once the home to Charlie “Bird” Parker. If you’re interested in art, the Historic Westport neighborhood offers antique shopping and river cruises. Whether you’re looking for a place to eat, shop, or visit an art museum, Kansas City has something for everyone.


Best Time to Go

A bell tower in Country Club Plaza, Kansas City, Missouri
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There are several good times to visit Kansas City. This historic city has plenty of attractions and isn’t overly crowded. The city is known for barbecue, its jazz history, and Romanesque fountains. The city doesn’t get too hot during the summer and stays cool enough during the winter. Depending on the time of year, you may choose to visit during spring, autumn, or winter. While traveling to Kansas City, make sure to check out the Art Deco district. This area of the city is full of impressive, elegant buildings from the early 20th century. You can tour the area with a walking tour.

Kansas City is also known as one of America’s musical centers, and you can listen to excellent jazz in the many bars and clubs. You can even attend a jazz show at the famous Knuckleheads Saloon. If you are planning a trip to Kansas City, the best time to visit is from mid-April to early October. In these months, temperatures in Kansas City will average between 28-33°C, and they will rarely get colder than 30°C. However, there is a high risk of tornadoes in the area, so it is best to be extra cautious during this season.


How to Get Around

Kansas City on a map
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One of the best ways to get around Kansas City is to take the bus. Kansas City is a small city with a big-city feel. Driving through the city can be time-consuming, especially in high-traffic areas. But if you want to avoid the hassle, consider taking the bus instead. The Main MAX bus line runs down Main Street every 15 minutes and operates on a 24-hour schedule.

If you don’t feel like riding public transportation, you can rent a car. The Kansas City International Airport is home to several car rental agencies. It can be a time-consuming process to navigate public transportation, so a car is a better option if you’ll be taking a long road trip. Moreover, having a car will allow you to explore the city and its surrounding counties. Parking downtown can be difficult, but there are a number of businesses that validate parking.

Another option for getting around Kansas City is to take the streetcar. This public transportation system is free and runs every 15 minutes. It makes stops in Crown Center, a vibrant shopping district, and Union Station. It also passes through the National WWI Museum.


Best Restaurants

Restaurant view of Jax Fish House

Kansas City has many wonderful restaurants to choose from. From extensive happy hour menus to sumptuous brunch selections, there are countless options. Many restaurants offer pre-selected wine pairings to make dining an experience. Whether you’re looking for a great steak, seafood, or vegetarian dish, Kansas City has a restaurant that will satisfy your needs.

One of the best Kansas City restaurants is Stroud’s Oak Ridge Manor. It has sinful cinnamon rolls to start and a mouthwatering menu that includes pan-fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and green beans. This restaurant also offers homemade chicken noodle soup and garden salad. The ambiance is cozy and the service is perfect. The staff is friendly and accommodating to those with special dietary needs.

Jax Fish House is another place to visit. This restaurant serves sustainably-sourced seafood. You can order fresh oysters, steak, pastas, and more. You can also get a sushi bento box, and you can order curbside pickup. Sayachi is also a great place to get a sushi fix when you visit Kansas City. You’ll find yourself coming back to this restaurant for more!


Things to Do

Liberty Memorial in kansas City Missouri
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One of the best things to do in Kansas City is visit the city’s museums. The city is home to many museums that showcase art from different eras and countries. The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art is one such place. This free museum features artwork from several different time periods. The grounds of the museum are full of sculptures and flower gardens. The museum also features a giant shuttlecock sculpture. There is also a museum dedicated to contemporary art called the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. This museum also has one of the best restaurants in Kansas City.

There are numerous family-friendly attractions in Kansas City. From museums and art deco architecture to sprawling amusement parks, this city is sure to entertain even the pickiest visitor. The city is also home to several world-class zoos and aquariums. You can also visit one of the many outdoor markets to get a taste of local culture and food.


Neighborhoods to Know

Urban Kansas City neighborhood architecture at sunset
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If you’re planning a trip to Kansas City, there are a few neighborhoods you should know about before you set off. This Midwest city sits on the western edge of Missouri and straddles the state’s eastern border. It’s known for barbecue, jazz heritage, fountains, and more. You can learn about its history by visiting the American Jazz Museum, located in a building that shares space with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. You can also visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, home to nearly 40,000 works of art.

Another great neighborhood to check out is Westwood. It’s located six miles southwest of Downtown Kansas City, but you can get there in 15 minutes or less. The area offers a sense of serenity while being just a short drive from shopping and dining. The neighborhood sits west of Country Club Plaza and has a lot to offer.

Brookside – If you want a quiet, family-friendly neighborhood that is close to Downtown, Brookside is the neighborhood for you. This area is home to several hundred years-old homes, a quaint downtown, and unique shops. In addition, Brookside has some of the best schools in the city.



Kansas City Missouri
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The climate of Kansas City varies a lot. Summers are typically hot and muggy, while the winters are often cold and snowy. Temperatures are mostly pleasant, but the city has a few months when temperatures are very cold, with lows as low as -18°F. The hottest month is July, which usually reaches highs of around 90°F. The coldest month is January, with average high and low temperatures falling from -0.5°C to -4.4°F.

The average hourly wind speed in Kansas City varies widely throughout the year. It tends to be higher during the windier part of the year (October 13 to May 21), but winds are typically calm in the rest of the year. A Kansas City weather forecast should show you when the windiest days are and how many to expect each day.

The climate in Kansas City is typical of the Midwest region, with cold winters and hot summers. There are frequent thunderstorms. The city is located at an elevation of 270 meters, near the Missouri River. It is also on the border with Kansas. Due to the climate, Kansas City can experience sudden temperature changes and even snowfall in winters.







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