The state’s second-largest metro has way more to offer than just its famed jazz and barbecue. See our guide for recommendations on what to do, where to eat and where to stay.
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Kansas City
Union Station
| Credit: John Noltner

Do

American Jazz Museum

Learn about jazz greats, such as Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, through exhibits and recordings.

Arabia Steamboat Museum Kansas City
Arabia Steamboat Museum
| Credit: Courtesy of Visit KC

Arabia Steamboat Museum 

Cargo recovered from a steamboat that sank in 1856 gives insight into life in that era.

Arrowhead Stadium And Kauffman Stadium 

Come to watch the National Football League's Chiefs at Arrowhead or baseball's Royals at neighboring Kauffman.

Boulevard Brewing Company 

Enjoy tastings and tours at one of the Midwest's largest lines of specialty beers.

Country Club Plaza 

High-end stores, restaurants and some of Kansas City's signature fountains (one modeled after a 14th-century fountain in Seville) fill this 99-year-old Spanish-style shopping district.

Crossroads Arts District Kansas City Missouri
Crossroads Arts District
| Credit: Blaine Moats

Crossroads Arts District 

Outdoor murals reflect the creative spirit of this area, which has more than 250 galleries, restaurants and shops. Find letterpress cards at Hammerpress and stylish KC apparel at Charlie Hustle

Sea Life Kansas City Aquarium
Sea Life Aquarium
| Credit: Courtesy of Visit KC

Crown Center 

Visit the Sea Life Aquarium, with a turtle rescue center and harbor exhibit, as well as Legoland Discovery Center. Learn about the history of greeting cards at the free Hallmark Visitors Center.

The Iron District 

Repurposed shipping containers house shops, bars, restaurants and other vendors in buzzy North Kansas City. 

Kansas City Zoo
Kansas City Zoo
| Credit: Jay Wilde

Kansas City Zoo 

See more than 1,700 animals, including 60-plus penguins, a sea lion show and a lively gang of orangutans who show off painting skills.

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts 

Two venues offer world-class acoustics for productions from the Kansas City Symphony, the Kansas City Ballet and the Lyric Opera of Kansas City.

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art Kansas City
Kemper Museum
| Credit: Courtesy of Visit KC

Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art 

This free museum packs a lot into a relatively small space. The artistry continues at the museum's Cafe Sebastienne. 

National Museum of Toys and Miniatures

Peer at tiny masterpieces and vintage toys among the collection of 72,000 objects

National World War I Museum and Memorial 

Exhibits at the nation's leading World War I museum reveal the high cost of a war often overshadowed by World War II.

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum Kansas City
Credit: Courtesy of Visit KC

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum 

Learn about racial segregation's effect on America's pastime and see tributes to players.

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City Missouri
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
| Credit: Jay Wilde

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art 

A 22-acre sculpture park acts as prelude to the museum's global collection

Power and Light District 

The downtown entertainment area pulses with energy from bars, clubs, restaurants, shops and theaters.

River Market

Kansas City's oldest neighborhood has ethnic grocers, shops and loads of restaurants, plus it hosts a farmers market on weekends. 

The Roasterie

Take a factory tour or sign up for a class to learn about the cupping, roasting and blending process for their coffees.

Union Station

A 1914 depot houses shops, Science City, a planetarium, traveling exhibits, a stage and movie theater. Pierpont's at Union Station serves steaks and seafood in an upscale turn-of-the-century ambience. 

Westport

Since 1850, Westport has been known as a resupply spot; these days, visitors hit the neighborhood's cafes, galleries and boutiques.

Worlds of Fun 

One ticket grants entry to both the theme park and Oceans of Fun water park.

Eat and Drink

The Antler Room 

The husband-and-wife team of Nicholas and Leslie Goellner create memorable small plates with local and global influences in their intimate West Bottoms spot.

Char Bar Kansas City Missouri
Char Bar
| Credit: Blaine Moats

BBQ 

The town has too many barbecue joints to list, but here are a few to whet your appetite: Arthur Bryant's, BB's Lawnside Blues and BBQ, Char Bar, Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue, Gates Bar-B-Q, Scott's Kitchen and Q39.

Blue Bird Bistro

This cheerful cafe just west of Crossroads puts locally sourced organic ingredients to tasty use. 

Cafe Gratitude

The all-organic, plant-based menu features starters, salads, burgers and dishes like I Am Flourishing tacos (rice, mushrooms, coconut bacon, onions) and I Am Zesty veggies (spicy baked cauliflower in sauce).

Corvino Supper Club and Tasting Room 

Live music every night amps up the energy. Try shareable plates at the Supper Club or a chef's menu with wine pairings.

Eggtc 

Start the day with a veggie-filled Garden of Eden Frittata or crepes with salmon and goat cheese at this popular spot.

Farina 

Opened in 2019 by James Beard Award-winning chef Michael Smith, the modern Italian restaurant delivers dishes like potato gnocchi with braised rabbit. 

The Farmhouse 

Simple farm-to-table brunches and dinners star in the River Market restaurant

Fox and Pearl 

Both the space and the menu aim for a mix of comfort and contemporary. Creations might include quail with stewed field peas or grilled Missouri trout. 

Gram and Dun

Specialty beers pair well with starters of hand-cut potato chips served with three ketchups and meals of mac 'n' cheese with burnt ends at Gram and Dun.

Grunauer

Schnitzels, gulash, sausages and other Austrian dishes star at the fine-dining spot.

La Bodega Kansas City
La Bodega
| Credit: Courtesy of Visit KC

La Bodega 

The best place in town for Spanish tapas and cuisine is always packed. Diners especially love the three paella dishes.

Lidia's Kansas City 

North of Union Station, PBS TV chef Lidia Bastianich lends her name (and her recipes) to a menu of authentic Italian fare

PotPie 

It's hard to choose from among traditional potpies and entrees like pan-seared scallops at this cozy Westport restaurant.

Rye 

Midwest classics such as pork chops, fried chicken and pie star at the Plaza spot, run by James Beard Award-winner Colby Garrelts and his wife, Megan, a James Beard semifinalist. 

Westport Cafe and Bar 

The black-and-white checkered floor and brick walls create a casual space for impressive French-inspired food

Stay

21c Museum Hotel 

History and art blend at the 120-room boutique lodging that was once home to the Savoy Hotel and Grill. A $50 million renovation preserved features like a stained-glass dome and added an art museum. 

The Fontaine Kansas City Missouri
Credit: Courtesy of The Fontaine

The Fontaine 

A rooftop pool and hallway tiles signed by celebrity guests hint at the 132-room hotel's modern, stylish accommodations.

Missouri
Hotel Kansas City
| Credit: Courtesy of Visit KC

Hotel Kansas City

This relative newcomer on the KC lodging scene opened in fall 2020 in the 1922 building that used to house the Kansas City Club. Original stained glass and walnut woodwork look grand in the Tudor Ballroom, while the 144 guest rooms are bright and modern.

Hotel Phillips 

Original Art Deco details and helpful staff make the 20-story downtown hotel sparkle.

Raphael Hotel 

Opened in 1928, this boutique hotel in Country Club Plaza mimics an English manor. The lounge features nightly live music. 

Southmoreland on the Plaza 

In 2022, the 1913 Colonial Revival switched its focus from a bed and breakfast to a 14-bedroom art boutique hotel. Guests may book on the website or Airbnb.

For more information visitkc.com