Paris of the Plains: A Local’s Guide to Visiting Kansas City, Missouri
Over the past few years, since returning to live in the U.S., my focus has largely shifted to domestic travel. And in a country is large and diverse as the United States, that’s given me plenty of opportunity to see new places that I’ve grown to love. One place I haven’t been yet but am intrigued to see? Kansas City. Knowing little about Missouri’s largest city, I spoke to a local to find out more.
After growing up living all over the United States and Europe, Sage Scott writes her travel blog from America’s Heartland in Kansas City. From the midwestern city affectionately called the Paris of the Plains, she shares her travel experiences and provides helpful travel tips on her blog, Everyday Wanderer.
Thanks so much for talking to me about Kansas City, Sage! What do you love about this city? What makes it special to you?
Maybe it’s because it is located in the heart of America where it is saddled with unfair stereotypes. Or maybe it’s because of Dorothy and Toto from the Wizard of Oz. But for some reason, people seem to have low expectations when they visit Kansas City for the first time. But in this thriving metropolis, Kansas City’s art, architecture, culture, food, history, and two million friendly people tend to win over even the harshest critic.
I’m intrigued! What’s your all-time favorite sight, attraction, or spot in Kansas City?
While it’s hard to pick just one attraction, it’s easy to pick my favorite spot. At the base of the Liberty Memorial, a 220 foot cylindrical tower built in the early 1920s to honor those who served in World War I, you will find the best view of the Kansas City skyline. It is definitely a “can’t miss” destination when you visit Kansas City!
I’m always down for a great view. If a traveler only had 24 hours there, what are some places you’d tell them they absolutely can’t miss?
For art lovers: Be sure to visit the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art when you visit Kansas City. Both museums are free and will easily keep you busy for an entire day. At the Nelson-Atkins, be sure to explore the sculpture gardens on the museum grounds, including the iconic shuttlecock statues and the glass maze. Wrap up your visit to Kansas City by hunting down its most famous murals and other street art experiences.
Related Article: 5 Tips to Help Kids of All Ages Appreciate Art Museums
For history buffs: While taking in the amazing view at the Liberty Memorial, history buffs will want to go inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial at the same site when they visit Kansas City. This museum is one-of-a-kind, boasting the largest collection of World War I objects in the world. When you’re done exploring it, head down the hill to the Union Station. This is another spot that history buffs will enjoy when they visit Kansas City. Did you know that the 33rd president of the United States hailed from Kansas City? Don’s miss the Harry Truman presidential library and museum on the east side of town.
Related Article: 10 Things to do for FREE in Kansas City
For Shoppers: Inspired by the architecture of Seville, Spain, the Country Club Plaza was the country’s first shopping center designed for patrons arriving by car. With retail shops ranging from Bath & Body Works to Burberry, there’s a little something for everyone at the Plaza, even if it’s just window shopping. If you prefer to shop for antiques and one-of-a-kind finds when you visit Kansas City, then head over to Kansas City’s West Bottoms. Here several city blocks are dedicated to vintage clothing, home decor, and other unique merchandise every weekend.
For Sports Enthusiasts: When you visit Kansas City, you’ll quickly appreciate that the town is proud of its sports teams. Go to the Truman Sports Complex for a tour of Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs football team, and a tour of Kauffman Stadium, home of the Kansas City Royals. Depending on when you visit Kansas City, try to catch a game, as well. If you a basketball fan, then you won’t want to miss the College Basketball Experience. This 41,500 square foot, interactive experience is as close as you can get to suiting up and taking center court.
Sounds like there’s a little something for everyone! Is there any food, dish, or cuisine that you MUST try when you’re there? Where’s the best place to try it?
Known as the Barbeque Capital of the World, you can’t visit Kansas City and not try its legendary barbeque. With more than 100 barbeque restaurants in the metro area, this guide to the five best barbeque joints in Kansas City will “steer” you in the right direction. Don’t eat meat? No problem! Many restaurants offer pescetarian and vegetarian options. Try the wood-fired grilled salmon at Q39 or the portobello Z-Man at Joe’s Kansas City.
Thanks again, Sage! Can’t wait to see Kansas City for myself.