Few people know that Kansas City, Missouri, is world famous for its great number of fountains, being surpassed only by Rome. We present you some other details that you probably didn’t know about the so-called “City of Fountains”: it has extensive parks, ample boulevards, and, in recent years, a growing number of young professionals and business travelers with refined tastes. A visit to this stylish, friendly Midwestern city offers a range of cool corridors, from luxurious Country Club Plaza to the relaxed and calm Westport, to the busy and vivacious Crossroads District.
In Kansas City, you’ll also find a booming cocktail scene, plenty of niche eateries, indie coffee shops, stylish stores, plenty of art, and, of course, two popular (and very successful) professional sports teams. Below you will find five reasons for which you should visit this particular city.
The historic East Bottoms is famous for the general store Urban Provisions which offers a wide variety of handcrafted products supporting local artisans (for example, soaps and candles). There is also a small niche department store named Halls, in Crown Center (where Hallmark has its headquarters) that carries classic and on-trend labels for men and women, from Ralph Lauren to Rag & Bone. The artist Peregrine Honig choose to place her fun lingerie boutique Birdie, which sells colorful intimates for every shape and size, in the trendy Crossroads District. The Webster House, situated in an old schoolhouse, offers the possibility to buy a broad range of antiques and gift options but also gives you the chance to have a great meal at the upstairs on-site restaurant. It offers dishes like seared salmon with tapenade potatoes that go perfectly with a refined sauvignon blanc.
On Country Club Plaza, which is an outdoor shopping area with beautiful Spanish architecture reminding of Seville, the fashionable Standard Style is the place for famous fashion labels like Aesop and 3.1 Phillip Lim. Just a little bit further, gentlemen will find lots of in-house-made jeans at Baldwin Denim. The small shops in the charming Crestwood offer an array of options from George, a bright lifestyle store selling clothing, local art and books; the Underdog Wine Company that provides you with a bottle of vino to go (there have around 400 bottles), bean-to-bar chocolate and craft beer.
DIVERSE DINING AND DRINKING OPTIONS
An abundance of food and drink are at your disposal in Kansas City. The famous Mexican Spot, Port Fonda, located in the historic Westport area, is always packed with people who come for margaritas, extra-large cans of Tecate and the authentic mescal program. Chef Patrick Ryan is an expert at dealing with the wood-burning oven, preparing delicious pork and red chile tamales with Chihuahua cheese, roasted pork belly with dried cherries, knob onions, frijoles, salsa, queso fresca and toasted peanuts.
The neighboring and freshly renovated Blue Stem, run by James Beard award-winning chef Colby Garrets, is an easygoing restaurant with high culinary goals like artfully plated tasting menus and a very well-stocked wine program. Just want a snack? Visit the bar for charcuterie board or a cheese plate and a decent libation.
Very close to downtown, in the Crossroads District, The Rieger Hotel and Grill boasts itself with a homegrown KC strip steak with smoked butter, or a hearty rabbit sausage that is paired with jasmine rice, tomatoes and zucchini sauce. Below, the candlelit bar Manifesto is as a late-night option for having your preferred cocktail.
The sunny, casual venue Belfry, managed by James Beard award-winning chef Celina Tio treats you with snacks like pulled-chicken nachos with Manchego cheese or classics like burgers and rigatoni with some house-made Italian sausage. Beer fans will appreciate a healthy selection of 20 different labels.
Opened since December 1933, Kansas City’s oldest bar and grill, The Peanut on Main Street, is a place with a lively crowd sipping on a multitude of beers in plastic cups and chewing on chicken wings covered in blue cheese dressing or triple BLTs containing crispy strips of bacon and lots of mayonnaise.
With an industrial-looking storefront furnished with wood and steel, Oddly Correct is the best choice for coffee lovers; their caffeinated drinks are served by gentlemen who take their brewing methods very seriously.
Don’t doubt that Kansas City takes its art pretty seriously and so should you. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (there’s a free admission) flaunts an amazing contemporary addition by Steven Holl. There’s also the great Isamu Noguchi Sculpture Court, a large collection of Asian Art and a new home for the Marion and Henry Bloch Collection of Impressionists and also Post-Impressionist Art. After admiring some art, have a glass of wine at the peaceful, indoor sculpture garden of Rozzelle Court.
Across the street, you can visit the smaller Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (also with free admission) which features an expanding permanent collection that includes works by Georgia O’Keeffe, Dale Chihuly and Louise Bourgeois.
Think about the fact that traveling is one of the best ways to get to know your country more. As often as you can, take a vacation, pack your bags and go with your friends and family to an out-of-town adventure; if you are lucky enough to travel for business reasons and that brings you here, we suggest you leave an hour earlier from work every day and go sightseeing. We’re excited to become the best travel partner you’ve ever had.
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Kansas City, MO
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