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Kansas City Travel Guide

USA

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.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in Kansas City

Free
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art appeals to many kinds of visitors, such as little kids who appreciate the giant badminton birdie installations (four 18-foot shuttlecocks, to be exact) on the 22-acre lawn, or adults who enjoy the play of light in Caravaggio's "Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness." The art museum's permanent collection spans thousands of years, includes more than 35,000 pieces and features art from Europe, Asia and America. The museum also displays interesting architectural pieces like centuries-old furniture and stained glass windows, in addition to more modern paintings, prints and drawings, sculptures and photography. What's more, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art showcases different exhibitions every year across a variety of mediums; check the site for upcoming exhibits during your visit.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art appeals to many kinds of visitors, such as little kids who appreciate the giant badminton birdie installations (four 18-foot shuttlecocks, to be exact) on the 22-acre lawn, or adults who enjoy the play of light in Caravaggio's "Saint John the Baptist in the Wilderness." The art museum's permanent collection spans thousands of years, includes more than 35,000 pieces and features art from Europe, Asia and America. The museum also displays interesting architectural pieces like centuries-old furniture and stained glass windows, in addition to more modern paintings, prints and drawings, sculptures and photography. What's more, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art showcases different exhibitions every year across a variety of mediums; check the site for upcoming exhibits during your visit.
... more

#2

#2 in Kansas City

The side-wheel steamer Arabia was constructed in 1853 for powering through the muddy Missouri River waters with up to 200 tons of supplies in tow. But later, it snagged a felled tree trunk and quickly disappeared under the sea. More than a century later, David Hawley discovered the sunken steamer a half-mile from the river bank beneath 45 feet of earth; it then became the focus of the Arabia Steamboat Museum.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Arabia Steamboat Museum
The side-wheel steamer Arabia was constructed in 1853 for powering through the muddy Missouri River waters with up to 200 tons of supplies in tow. But later, it snagged a felled tree trunk and quickly disappeared under the sea. More than a century later, David Hawley discovered the sunken steamer a half-mile from the river bank beneath 45 feet of earth; it then became the focus of the Arabia Steamboat Museum.
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#3
Westport Free

#3 in Kansas City

Free
Just north of the Country Club Plaza, Westport is a popular neighborhood where people flock to enjoy shopping, dining and a night out on the town. It's known for being the oldest established community in Kansas City and, fun fact, Westport was where pioneers began their trek along the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s. Today, the area is filled with bars, restaurants, local shops, entertainment venues and hotels. There's everything from Ernie Bigg's Piano Bar and The Kick Comedy Theater to laid-back and upscale eateries. (Travelers recommend stopping in Ca Va Champagne bar to try its sparkling wines and creative cocktails.)
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Entertainment and Nightlife Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Westport
Just north of the Country Club Plaza, Westport is a popular neighborhood where people flock to enjoy shopping, dining and a night out on the town. It's known for being the oldest established community in Kansas City and, fun fact, Westport was where pioneers began their trek along the Oregon Trail in the mid-1800s. Today, the area is filled with bars, restaurants, local shops, entertainment venues and hotels. There's everything from Ernie Bigg's Piano Bar and The Kick Comedy Theater to laid-back and upscale eateries. (Travelers recommend stopping in Ca Va Champagne bar to try its sparkling wines and creative cocktails.)
... more
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#4

#4 in Kansas City

Free
Kansas City residents are a little bit prideful about the Boulevard Brewing Company, as if to say: "So what if  St. Louis has Anheuser-Busch, we have Boulevard." Among its many beers, this brewery offers its fans everything from unfiltered wheat (a favorite) to pale ale to pilsner. The brewery has become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest and ships its beers to more than 30 states across the U.S, and Washington, D.C. The brewery has seen such success and growth that it opened a visitors center in the summer of 2016 with beer exhibits, a larger tasting room and an expanded retail shop.
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Wineries/Breweries Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Boulevard Brewing Company
Kansas City residents are a little bit prideful about the Boulevard Brewing Company, as if to say: "So what if  St. Louis has Anheuser-Busch, we have Boulevard." Among its many beers, this brewery offers its fans everything from unfiltered wheat (a favorite) to pale ale to pilsner. The brewery has become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest and ships its beers to more than 30 states across the U.S, and Washington, D.C. The brewery has seen such success and growth that it opened a visitors center in the summer of 2016 with beer exhibits, a larger tasting room and an expanded retail shop.
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#5

#5 in Kansas City

Free
One of Kansas City's most popular places to dine, shop, movie watch or simply just walk around is the Country Club Plaza. This outdoor shopping district offers mostly chain stores (Anthropologie, Gap and the like), hotels and eateries, but also a handful of high-end shops like Michael Kors and Coach. The biggest draw here, though, is the architecture. The plaza boasts Spanish-style fountains (modeled after those in Seville), tiles and statues that fill the district and make for some excellent photo ops.
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Shopping Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Country Club Plaza
One of Kansas City's most popular places to dine, shop, movie watch or simply just walk around is the Country Club Plaza. This outdoor shopping district offers mostly chain stores (Anthropologie, Gap and the like), hotels and eateries, but also a handful of high-end shops like Michael Kors and Coach. The biggest draw here, though, is the architecture. The plaza boasts Spanish-style fountains (modeled after those in Seville), tiles and statues that fill the district and make for some excellent photo ops.
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#6

#6 in Kansas City

The National World War I Museum is arranged in narrative form, as if WWI soldiers were telling visitors their own war stories through the exhibits. The museum features replicas of trenches, theaters, propaganda posters and guns. What's especially moving is the glass bridge, which spans an abyss of 9,000 poppies, symbolizing the 9 million lives lost during the war.
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Museums Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
National World War I Museum
The National World War I Museum is arranged in narrative form, as if WWI soldiers were telling visitors their own war stories through the exhibits. The museum features replicas of trenches, theaters, propaganda posters and guns. What's especially moving is the glass bridge, which spans an abyss of 9,000 poppies, symbolizing the 9 million lives lost during the war.
... more

#7

#7 in Kansas City

Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals make their home at Kauffman Stadium and the Royals are beloved by their Kansas City fans. The stadium was renovated in 2009 and, even better, this team has seen a resurgence over the past few years, bringing a new wave of enthusiasm across town. The Royals made a trip to the World Series in 2014 and secured a World Series win in 2015 – the first championship won by the baseball team since 1985. The stadium itself is filled with food and drink vendors, plus tickets to a game are on the more affordable side. Kauffman Stadium also offers ballpark tours during the offseason and on select Saturdays; these range in price from $17 to $55, based on the type of tour (discounts are available for children). 
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Sports Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Kauffman Stadium
Major League Baseball's Kansas City Royals make their home at Kauffman Stadium and the Royals are beloved by their Kansas City fans. The stadium was renovated in 2009 and, even better, this team has seen a resurgence over the past few years, bringing a new wave of enthusiasm across town. The Royals made a trip to the World Series in 2014 and secured a World Series win in 2015 – the first championship won by the baseball team since 1985. The stadium itself is filled with food and drink vendors, plus tickets to a game are on the more affordable side. Kauffman Stadium also offers ballpark tours during the offseason and on select Saturdays; these range in price from $17 to $55, based on the type of tour (discounts are available for children). 
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#8

#8 in Kansas City

Free
This district (right next to downtown's Sprint Center) consists of more than 50 shops, restaurants and nightlife venues – and it's one of Kansas City's newer and most popular areas. One of its coolest features is its two-floor KC Live entertainment venue, which hosts about 150 concerts and other performances each year. But on an off night, there are plenty of other places to keep you busy – like PBR Big Sky (where you can ride a mechanical bull), Shark Bar (where you can dance to '90s music) or Howl at the Moon (where you can sing along with the dueling pianists).
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Entertainment and Nightlife Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Power & Light District
This district (right next to downtown's Sprint Center) consists of more than 50 shops, restaurants and nightlife venues – and it's one of Kansas City's newer and most popular areas. One of its coolest features is its two-floor KC Live entertainment venue, which hosts about 150 concerts and other performances each year. But on an off night, there are plenty of other places to keep you busy – like PBR Big Sky (where you can ride a mechanical bull), Shark Bar (where you can dance to '90s music) or Howl at the Moon (where you can sing along with the dueling pianists).
... more
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