Welcome to Kansas City, Missouri!
Boasting more boulevards than Paris, and just as many fountains as Rome, Kansas City is a place that almost tends to hide from tourists, which perhaps is a good thing. It keeps the city authentic, somewhere you don’t have to worry about living up to some type of predetermined idea of the city.
Kansas City is a perfect place for a worldwide local who wants to get immersed in a city that is laid-back, fun, and full of interesting curiosities and culture. Here are some of the best spots around town that scratch the surface of what Kansas City has to offer.
Worldwide Local Tip: Kansas City is located in what is known as “Tornado Alley.” Tornado sirens are in place around town, but if you’re visiting from somewhere where Tornadoes are not common, make sure to check local Kansas City weather forecasts and understand what to do if you find yourself near one.
Start with One of the Best Things to Do in Kansas City--BBQ!
Who has the best barbecue in Kansas City? This is a question that causes much debate around locals. The debate is always in good humor but expect some passionate answers. Kansas City locals take their BBQ very seriously. Everyone will have different answers about where you should go, and different restaurants will have their own unique recipes and take on different dishes. However, what Kansas City does like no one else is “burnt ends.” Little crispy bits from the ends of brisket which are chewy, smokey, and full of flavor. It is definitely a must-try for anyone visiting Kansas City.
Worldwide Local Tip: One of the most iconic spots around town is The Peanut, which originally opened in 1933 as a speakeasy. Q39 is known for their ice cubes, made out of meat juice, for whiskey. Sip on a glass and discuss the chances of the popular Kansas City Chiefs. Finally, Joes, which is located inside a gas station, was once visited by the late Anthony Bourdain, in the last season of his show Parts Unknown.
Music in Kansas City
One of the best things about Kansas City, and seems to be a little under the radar, is its live music scene. Acts going between Denver and St. Louis, tend to make a stopover in Kansas City, where the venues here are fantastic for live music. The Riot Room, Knuckleheads, and the Uptown Theater, are all great spots around town that often offer local acts performing live music. Records With Merritt is a tiny space that holds multi-act lineups in an area that holds up to 30 people; catching a show here is a very unique and fun experience.
Worldwide Local Tip: New Orleans might be the home of jazz, but Kansas City is its jazzy brother. Between 18th and Vine is the jazz district, an area of town that hosts some of the most popular jazz and blues clubs, as well as The American Jazz Museum. The Blue Room has music and drinks until dawn.
Kansas City Museums
Kansas City is home to some amazing museums. No matter what you’re into, there’ll be a museum in the city that caters to your taste. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is the city’s preeminent Art Museum, while the Negro League Baseball Museum documents the segregation of American baseball and the history of the league. The National World War I Museum is the best museum in the country for documenting the often forgotten war in American, by showcasing uniforms, weapons, and it also has some of the best panoramic views of the city.
Worldwide Local Tip: One of the more esoteric museums, in the city, is the Noir Arts & Oddities. Owned by Pamela Smith, the museum is held in a 19th-century brick building that is supposedly haunted. It’s filled with funerary antiques, taxidermy, medical antiques, and scientific specimens. Grab something unique to take home, or simply browse through the weirdness.
Have a Fantastic Time in Kansas City!
Kansas City doesn’t get enough recognition as a city for tourism, but as a worldwide, that doesn’t matter to you. The city has some amazing food, cool culture, and museums, all offering fun from sunrise to sunrise.