Why Go To Kansas City
Kansas City is a friendly place, filled with salt-of-the-earth Mid-Westerners who smile at strangers as they pass them on the streets. But KC is also cool: The Power & Light District brims with trendy bars and restaurants and equally trendy 20- and 30-somethings. The city's cultural, too, with some surprisingly great museums like the Nelson-Atkins. Plus, the city's history – as a trading post in 1821 and an important stopover on the Oregon Trail in the early 1800s – gives it an interesting narrative. You can view parts of this history at the National World War I and Arabia Steamboat museums. The city's jazz and barbecue are just about unparalleled, but Kansas City has also successfully delved into other types of music and food (more on that in the dining section). And just so you won't be confused, Kansas City straddles both the Show-Me State of Missouri and the Sunflower State of Kansas. If you're a tourist, you'll probably be spending most of your time on the Missouri side since that's where most of the city's top attractions can be found.
The U.S. News & World Report travel rankings are based on analysis of expert and user opinions.
Houston is ranked as:
#1 in Best BBQ Cities in the U.S.A.
#4 in Best Places to Visit in Missouri
Best Things To Do In Kansas City
From interesting districts like Westport and the Power & Light to history museums like the National World War I and Steamboat Arabia, Kansas City offers its visitors a variety of things to do. Plus, there are all the stores you could want at the Country Club Plaza, an open-air, Spanish-design shopping district. For art – and a bit of whimsy (a giant badminton birdie installation) – there's the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.
Kansas City Travel Tips
Barbecue rules - Kansas City's signature barbecue style is a slow-smoked, dry-rubbed meat and its sauces are typically tomato- or molasses-based with tangy, spicy and sweet flavor notes. You've got to sample some signature KC barbecue when you're in town.
Bring comfy shoes - The Power & Light District, Westport and Country Club Plaza areas of the city were made for walking. Pencil in some time to stroll around and enjoy the outdoors.
Keep an eye on the weather - Kansas City sees everything from extreme heat to tornadoes to vicious thunderstorms. Check the weather before your trip and plan accordingly.
Trade four wheels for two - Kansas City offers a bike-share program, B-cycle, which is a good option for getting around to see the top attractions and exploring the neighborhoods. The first 30 minutes of usage are free, then it's $2 per half hour after. Multiday options are also available.
Find free things to do - Many of Kansas City's popular attractions are free. Wander around Westport, check out interesting outdoor art or hop on a free brewery tour.