TRAVEL GUIDE TO KANSAS CITY



Random fact about me: About 4 years ago my family moved from the Chicago suburbs to Kansas. My initial plan to move back home after graduation while looking for a job/saving money immediately went out the window. In hindsight, this probably worked out for the better because I'm sure I probably would have still had a curfew ... (jk love ya mom!!!!). I don't really see my family too often - they come and visit me for Thanksgiving and a few other random occasions and I go visit for Christmas and a few other random occasions (like the time I lost my Kansas ID and had to fly back to Kansas and get a new one, lol good times). Basically, what I'm trying to get at is that when I go "home" to Kansas, it still feels like I'm visiting a new place because I am usually going places I've never been before. This is why I decided to do a little travel guide to Kansas city post. Here's a few of my top things to do if you're ever in Kansas City :)




1. Joe's Kansas City BBQ  (this used to be called Oklahoma Joe's but I think was renamed due to ownership?? Very confusing, I know). I like to think of this as the Portillo's of Kansas. Not because the food is similar but because of the wait you will experience if you're going during lunchtime. The first time I went was a few years ago over the summer and the wait was wrapped around outside and took well over an hour. Anyways, this is a barbeque restaurant that has a few locations in Kansas but if you're a first timer you should check out 'The Original Gas Station' location. The restaurant was first established in a gas station in 1996 and when it took off, they got other locations but kept the original location and the gas station is now a gift shop with the actual restaurant attached to it. Cool aesthetic and great barbeque - definitely a place to try!
(This is the famous Z Man Sandwich - brisket, provolone cheese, 2 onion rings serviced on a Kaiser roll with fries)
2. Union Station. Union Station is a 100 year old train station with so many things to explore inside. First off, they have an AMAZING brunch buffet at Harvey's - right in the center of the station. There's even a movie theatre inside that was most recently playing Beauty and the Beast! Union Station also has restaurants, shops, and even a Science and Industry type of museum (Science City), another area for an Exhibit (I think this changes every so often... this past time was an exhibit on Pompeii), and a huge room with tons of different model trains set up. This part was really quite fascinating - tons and tons of different model trains set up with all different themes. Thinking of all the electrical work that goes into this is mind boggling. The best part of this is this is all free and open to the public. Attached to the Union Station is a free tram running all around Kansas City. What's great about Kansas City compared to Chicago is that exploring KC is really easy. Exploring Chicago can be an overwhelming hassle - everything costs money, public transportation can be difficult to figure out, parking downtown is expensive. Parking around KC is either free or very cheap ($8 to park for 12 hours) and there are so many free attractions to explore.

3. Power and Light District. This was my first time going to the Power and Light District and is hands down my favorite part of Kansas! After exploring Union Station, we took the (free!) tram to the Power and Light District. Described as 'the heartbeat of Kansas City', the Power and Light District is an epicenter of dining, shopping, and entertainment. The layout is just amazing - the stage is down in the front with bars and restaurants all along the sides.  It's basically one giant beer garden. In addition to the bars, theres actually a sort of 'general bar' called The Living Room that you can order drinks at if you just want to hang outside instead of going into one of the bars, which is very cool as well. The bars and restaurants are two levels but what's nice is that no matter where you are in the area you still have a good view of the stage. It's kind of hard to describe - you'd really have to see for yourself. If I lived in KC I'd be here all the time. They host concerts and comedy shows here and whenever there's a big sports game playing they play it on the flatscreen above the stage! We ate dinner at Cleaver & Cork, which was amazing. This was right next door to Lienekugal's Shandy Bar, which has a giant Jenga set outside that people were playing with - something I will definitely need to do next time I'm here ;)
* Sea scallops with spinach, prosciutto and brussel sprouts - soooo good!!
4. The Country Club Plaza. Going to The Plaza with my family is one of my favorite things to do with my family whenever I'm in town. I would describe it as an outside shopping area but it's not like your average outdoor shopping mall - it's like it's own town. You need a map to navigate around if you're looking for a specific store!  I learned it's 15 blocks of shopping and dining. Best part? Parking in the ramp is FREE! I know I keep mentioning the free transportation but as someone from Chicago, this is not something I'm used to. Additionally, many of the stores have refreshments, snacks and beverages to enjoy when stopping in.
5. Murals around KC. My sister and I love hunting down murals for the perfect Instagram shot ;) Downtown Kansas City is a pretty unique and cool area and just driving down and turning some random streets you may find something new you weren't expecting. This past weekend, we were on the hunt for the 'Crafted in Kansas City Mural' and found that it was attached to a really cool store, Urban Provisions General Store that handed out cocktails using locally made gin to enjoy when browsing the store. I was immediately sold ;)

4 comments

  1. I never thought about going to Kansas City. But it looks like really fun place to go! Thanks for sharing.

    xx, Melissa
    https://elephantontheroad.com

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  2. i've never been to Kansas City - the wall murals look super cool!

    www.luellapearl.com
    Caitlin

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  3. I'm loving all these murals!

    http://www.myclusterofthoughts.com/

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  4. I've never been to Kansas but your trip looks amazing. Love the murals.

    xx. Aubrey - The Coastal Confidence
    http://the-coastalconfidence.com/

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