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The Arabia Steamboat Museum picture in Kansas City
Courtesy of the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association

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  • Museums Type
  • 2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
4.6
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  • Value
    4.5
  • Facilities
    4.5
  • Atmosphere
    5.0

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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.

Today you can take a tour of the steamer's deck and hull, but there's also a great deal more to see. The museum features a general store, a cargo gallery and several other galleries with odds and ends recovered from the excavation of the great Steamboat Arabia. In addition to seeing many of the well-preserved cargo pieces that were excavated from the wreck, the tour includes a video summarizing the history of the Arabia and how they were able to retrieve the supplies.

Recent tourists said their visits here were fascinating. Many noted that it was interesting to learn about the history of the ship and added that the guides are very knowledgeable and friendly. Travelers also said the museum was easy to navigate and well laid out.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. on Sundays. Admission costs $14.50 for adults and $5.50 for kids between the ages of 4 and 12. Guided tours start on the hour and half-hour, and last about 20 minutes. The museum is located in the River Market neighborhood of Kansas City; there's a free parking lot nearby and a B-cycle bike-share station at 3rd Street and Grand Boulevard. For more information, visit the website

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#1 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 ... Read more » Courtesy of Visit KC

#2 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 ... Read more » Courtesy of the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association

#3 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 ... Read more » Courtesy of WesportKC

#4 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 ... Read more » Courtesy of Boulevard Brewing Company

#5 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 ... Read more » flyfshrmn98 / Flickr

#6 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 ... Read more » Courtesy of the National World War I Museum

#7 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 ... Read more » Courtesy of Visit KC

#8 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 ... Read more » Courtesy of the Power & Light District

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Boulevard Brewing Company picture in Kansas City
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National World War I Museum picture in Kansas City
Take Me Out to the Ballgame picture in Kansas City
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Boulevard Brewing Company picture in Kansas City
The Plaza picture in Kansas City
National World War I Museum picture in Kansas City
Take Me Out to the Ballgame picture in Kansas City
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The Nelson-Atkins is arguably one of the best art museums in the Midwest. (It also has some interesting lawn installations, including the large badminton birdies pictured.) Courtesy of Visit KC

Travelers say a visit to the Arabia Steamboat Museum is a must when in Kansas City. Courtesy of the Kansas City Convention & Visitors Association

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Locals just call the Country Club Plaza "the Plaza." It's known for its shops, restaurants and boutiques, plus its captivating architecture. flyfshrmn98 / Flickr

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