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A Kansas City Visitor Checklist- A Guide to Experiences You Can Only Have in Kansas City

April 1, 2014 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

When you come to Kansas City, there are certain things that you just have to do.

These uniquely KC experiences separate a trip to Kansas City from anywhere else in the world. Whether you are staying a day or a week, seek these experiences out and check them off this list. You’ll return home saying, “You’ll never guess what I discovered in Kansas City!”

Eat Kansas City-style Barbecue

Kansas City offers more than 80 barbecue restaurants from legends like Gates and Arthur Bryant’s to smaller, local favorites.

Attend the American Royal Barbecue

Nicknamed the “World Series of Barbecue,” the American Royal is the largest barbecue competition on the planet and is held in Kansas City’s West Bottoms each fall.

Listen to Live Jazz

Kansas City gave jazz its swing, and this rich heritage can be heard nightly at many local clubs. 

Shop the CountryClubPlaza

Opened in 1922, the nation’s first outdoor shopping district designed for the automobile covers 14 blocks with Spanish-inspired architecture and dazzling fountains.

Tour Kansas City‘s world-famous fountains

With more than 200 fountains, Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains—boasting more fountains than any other city except maybe Rome.

Visit the Museums at 18th & Vine

Relive the history of this historic African-American neighborhood at the AmericanJazzMuseum and the NegroLeaguesBaseballMuseum.

Tailgate at a Kansas City Chiefs Game

Kansas City is a true sports town, but no tradition looms larger than fans arriving hours before the game to cook out in the stadium’s parking lots. 

Head to the CrossroadsArtDistrict for First Friday

More than 60 art galleries and shops stay open late the first Friday of each month for one of the nation’s largest art walks. 

Visit the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial

Dedicated in 1926, Congress has declared this museum and monument as “America’s National World War I Museum.” Travel to the top of the 217-foot tower for a bird’s-eye view of the city.

Picnic next to a Shuttlecock

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s Kansas CitySculpturePark offers 22 acres of outdoor art including four badminton “birdies,” each nearly 18 feet tall, as well as the largest collection of Henry Moore sculptures outside of England.

Relive the Wild West through Jesse James

Visit the home where Jesse and Frank James grew up. Don’t miss the JesseJamesBankMuseum, the site of the first daylight, peacetime bank robbery.

Tour the remains of a 1850s steamboat

When the Hawley family started digging for the sunken Steamboat Arabia, they never knew they would uncover the world’s largest collection of pre-Civil War artifacts, now housed at the ArabiaSteamboatMuseum.

See how your greetings are made inKansas City

J.C. Hall started Hallmark by selling cards out of a shoebox in 1910 at the local YMCA. A century later, visitors can view the history of the world’s largest greeting card company and watch artists create real cards at the HallmarkVisitorsCenter.

Learn why “The Buck Stops Here”

From the decision to drop the atomic bomb to end World War II, to the start of the Cold War, Harry S. Truman—America’s 33rd president—presided over a tumultuous time. Explore the sites of his hometown of Independence, Mo., including the Truman Presidential Museum and Library and the TrumanHome.

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