Top 10 Reasons to Visit Kansas City – Now is the time to Visit Kansas City Missouri for world class food, shopping, entertainment, and art! There has never been more to do in Kansas City – it’s time to rethink Missouri’s largest city for your next vacation!
Update 2020: We’re re-sharing some of our favorite destinations to jumpstart your wanderlust when it is safe to travel again. We hope you enjoy wandering the world online as much as we do while staying safe at home.
This post is sponsored by VisitKC – and me! I used to live in Kansas City during my freshman year of college and my dad’s family lives in Kansas City – and it has always been a little home away from home for me.
I was thrilled to partner with VisitKC and encourage you to check out why this city is one of my favorite places to visit, and see #HowWeDoKC !
For tons of ideas on how you can have a memorable vacation in Kansas City, please visit the VisitKC website – they have a TON of sample itineraries, tour ideas, fun finds, and in my opinion is one of the best websites a city has set up to find lots to do.
(They didn’t ask me to say that, I promise, but as a travel writer I am always frustrated with the lack of information a lot of cities put out – Kansas City’s dedication to tourism is really top notch!)
Top 10 Reasons to Visit Kansas City
1 – Kansas City is Affordable
Kansas City is surprisingly affordable – with tons of big city attractions and entertainment, but much easier price tags than many major cities.
From luxury hotels, to gourmet dinners, craft cocktails, and world-class shopping – you’ll find tons of big-city thrills that will match any budget in Kansas City.
As someone living in Denver where the price to do just about anything has skyrocketed, I really appreciate how much you can truly do and experience in Kansas City for a fraction of the price.
2 – Kansas City is Romantic
Kansas City is an amazingly romantic city – full of nationally acclaimed restaurants with fresh, locally sourced food and stellar wine and cocktail programs – making it a great city for dates!
Kansas City Date Night Ideas:
- Stroll the plaza and take in the glittering river as you walk.
- Take in some jazz at Chaz at the Raphael on the Plaza (outside on the weekends in summer), then walk to enjoy steaks and wine at Stock Hill, then head to Monarch for craft cocktails.
- Walk through the Crossroads Arts District and sample bonbons at Christopher Elbow Chocolates, then into Novel for drinks and dinner.
3 – Kansas City is Fun
There are so many fun and unique neighborhoods to explore in Kansas City – and so many things to do!
Fun Kansas City Ideas:
- Hit up the record stores in the Crossroads Arts District, then take in live music at and finish the night with beers at Brewery Emperial.
- Check out Boulevard Brewing Company and see how Kansas City’s most famous craft beer is made with a tour, followed up by a tasting!
- Head to Kansas City’s historic Jazz spots for a fun and funky hangout.
- Catch a Royals or Chiefs game – or hit one of the bars in Wesport or the Power and Light District to watch the game over beers (and tons of cheering!).
4 – Kansas City is Great For Families
Kansas City is easy to explore – with tons of parking, lots of interesting and unique activities, and tons of open space to explore (Kansas City has some of the BEST parks), Kansas City is a great option for families to visit.
Day Out Ideas in Kansas City:
- Explore Union Station and catch a 3d movie before riding the cable car to River Market for fresh fruit and snacks from the market vendors.
- Picnic in the grass in front of the Nelson Atkins Art Museum near the giant shuttlecocks.
- Head to the plaza for a scavenger hunt to spot fountains, tile work, and hidden statues across the outdoor mall complex.
- Head to Swope Park or Loose Park for a stroll, the swope park zoo, and fun playgrounds!
6 – The Plaza
Kansas City’s Country Club Plaza was originally opened in 1923 as the country’s first mall set up to accommodate people coming in by car – with plentiful on-street parking around the outdoor mall that spreads across many city blocks.
When the plaza was built, it was meant to rival Seville’s architecture and style – with many beautiful touches like Spanish tiles and frescoes scattered throughout.
As time has worn on, the stores on the plaza have kept up this gorgeous tradition, keeping the plaza one of the most beautiful malls you’ll ever visit.
Fun Facts About Country Club Plaza:
- The Giralda Tower was based off it’s namesake at the Cathedral of Seville – and is a half-size replica of Seville’s famous Giralda Tower.
- The Country Club Plaza’s Christmas light decorations started in 1926 with a single strand of multi-colored lights – and the first official Christmas lighting ceremony took place in 1930. Kansas City’s Christmas lights along the Country Club Plaza continue to be a popular tradition every year!
- There are over 30 statues, tiles, and mosaics around the Country Club Plaza.
5 – Art and Culture
Kansas City is home to two world-renowned art museums – the Nelson Atkins Art Museum and the Kemper Modern Art Museum.
The Nelson Atkins Art Museum has been open since 1933, and has always been dedicated to showcasing well known and loved pieces – the museum hosts several highly acclaimed international exhibits a year, as well as boasts their own outstanding American, Asian, and European collections.
My personal favorite is the Impressionism room – full of my favorite works from Monet, Manet, and Pissarro and other French Impressionists.
The Kemper Modern Art Museum is a delight for modern art lovers – and like the Nelson Atkins Art Museum it is free (though donations are encouraged to help keep art accessible to everyone!)
The Kemper, on the other hand, focuses on mostly-living contemporary modern artists, hosting several well known exhibits that travel the globe – as well as a dedication to new and innovative pieces that evoke intense reactions and make the viewer consider current social and political events.
When visiting the Kemper Art Museum, don’t skip lunch at their Cafe Sebastienne – which is gorgeously adorned with small modern takes on classic well-known and loved pieces.
The bright primary-colored works are the perfect backdrop for a delicious meal and perfect for a great day out with friends.
6 – History
Kansas City’s dedication to honoring the past in a way you can interact with it and let history come alive is one of the best reasons to make Kansas City a must-visit for serious history buffs of all ages.
With affordable and easily accessible options all over the city, if you love experiencing history, you will love Kansas City!
Historical Outings in Kansas City
- Visit the World War I Museum and Monument (don’t forget to also buy a ticket to go to the top of the tower for one of the most spectacular views of Kansas City’s skyline) to learn all about WWI, America’s war efforts, and pay tribute to fallen soldiers in the war.
- Visit the “Posters as Munitions” exhibit at the WWI Museum (if still open) to learn all about propaganda and commercial printing and their roles in the war.
- Head to the Negro Leagues Museum to learn about baseball’s Negro Leagues and see one of the largest collections of memorabilia.
- Visit the American Jazz Museum (next door to the Negro League Museum) to learn all about Jazz, check out a show at The Blue Room, and spot tons of memorabilia from American Jazz favorites.
7 – Shopping
Kansas City has long been known for world-class shopping thanks to the Country Club Plaza – but the “Paris of the Plains” is booming with tons of vintage, antique, unique shops, and small boutiques that have only strengthened Kansas City’s draw as a shopping mecca in the midwest.
Kansas City Shopping Ideas:
- Explore your favorite shops at the plaza – from well known chains like J Crew and Anthropologie , to high end lines from Michael Kors, and gorgeously curated boutiques.
- Head to the Made in KC shop for local goods.
- Stop by Simple Human for unique and fun printed shirts, cards, and hand-pressed felt pennants.
8 – Fountains
Kansas City is known as the “City of Fountains” – for a good reason.
There are over 40 public waterworks scattered around Kansas City – more even than Rome.
While the actual claim to the city with the most fountains is a bit unclear, Kansas City is often recognized as the city with the most fountains in the world.
Kansas City’s famous fountains and waterworks are a great way to explore the city – from swanky and elaborate pieces along Ward Parkway, to small and whimsical pieces tucked into corners of the plaza, and large flowing orbs in Swope Park, there are tons of water features to explore in Kansas City.
9 – Amazing Food and Drinks
Finally, the last reason (though, admittedly, it’s my favorite) reason to visit Kansas City – is all of the FOOD!
Kansas City is known for BBQ – brisket, burnt ends, and ribs dripping in Kansas City’s well loved sweet tomato based BBQ sauce – as well as out-of-this-world-delicious fried chicken catfish, and other midwestern staples.
Kansas City is not simply the BBQ capitol of the plains states – the dedication to craft brewing and distilling, artisan coffee, and locally sourced fresh foods has exploded across Kansas City in recent years.
To see more of my top picks and What to Eat in Kansas City (that isn’t BBQ) – please click here.
10 – Kansas City Is Easy To Get To
Since Kansas City is in the Middle of the United States, it is easy (and affordable) to get to – making it a great destination no matter where you live.
The Kansas City Airport has a ton of flights from large cities across the US (and the globe) daily, and services United, Frontier, Spirit, American, Delta, Frontier, Southwest, Alaska, and Allegiant Airlines – as well as Air Canada and Iceland Air.
Kansas City is also less than five hours drive from Saint Louis, and less than 10 hours drive from Denver.