Should I go to Kansas City?
December 23, 2006 10:25 PM   Subscribe

I am thinking about a visit to Kansas City one of these days. Aside from the delicious BBQ, is there anything else worth taking a look at in this fair city?

If I end up going, I am probably going to spend about 3 or 4 days in the Kansas City metropolitan area. I think I'll have access to a car, so anything in the region (as long as it's not too far) is fair game.

The problem is this -- I've looked it up on the internets and, frankly, there isn't too much that sounds interesting about the fair City of Kansas. There must be something I'm overlooking.

Also, I'm interested if you know any good barbecue joints.
posted by dhammond to Travel & Transportation around Kansas City, MO (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
posted by amyms at 10:32 PM on December 23, 2006

On preview... You called it "the fair City of Kansas" but metropolitan Kansas City is mostly in Missouri.
posted by amyms at 10:34 PM on December 23, 2006

It's a pretty drab and conservative city, aside from the BBQ and the truly great Nelson-Atkins museum (and a few other art museums near it.) Lawrence - about an hour away - is a cool university town.
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 11:29 PM on December 23, 2006

Best answer: 3-4 days? Yeah you should go. Honestly, I don't know if there's enough of interest to fill more than that, but I think you can keep yourself busy for 3 or 4 days.

Things to do there and:
-The Nelson-Atkins
-The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
-The Country Club Plaza (high end shopping)
-Crown Center (shopping center and hallmark HQ)
-Do not go to Union Station (unless you have kids, then take them to science city) it is boring despite what the city would have you believe
-Loose Park, especially the rose garden (if you go during warm weather, that is)
-Swope Park (some people will tell you it's soooo dangerous. I've camped over night there (yeah, it's big for a city park). You shouldn't be worried about your safety there).
-BBQ as you mentioned
Arthur Bryant's
Jack Stack (those are the big three)
Oklahoma Joe's (my personal favorite)
-Hereford House
-Pick up some meat from McGonigle's
-if you go during football season, and like football, and can get tickets, go to a chief's game
-Big Brutus in southeast kansas is the world's largest steam shovel. I don't know if they let you go all the way on top nowadays
-18th and Vine
Negro League Hall of Fame
Blues and Jazz Museum
Some other stuff
-Liberty Memorial. They just opened the WWI museum.
-Last time I was there, downtown was still pretty lame
-Hereford house
-BB's Lawnside BBQ. Good live entertainment wed-sun (I think) nights. The house band plays on thursdays. Can't go wrong.
-Toy and Miniature Museum
-Westport (some cool shops during the day, bars and restaurants at night)
-Steamboat Arabia Museum (I'm not a fan, personally)
-You can maybe catch a good concert in Lawrence, KS, an hour away (there might be some in KC, but lawrence is a college town and usually has better small venue shows)
-Which reminds me, you could catch a KU basketball game, again if you like basketball and are lucky enough to find tickets
posted by gauchodaspampas at 11:29 PM on December 23, 2006 [2 favorites]

Things to do there and:
posted by gauchodaspampas at 11:31 PM on December 23, 2006

having had to kill quite a few hours in KC over the last few years, i will echo the Negro League HOF, and Blues&Jazz museum. That whole area is good for digging.
Also, the dork in me has always loved Ike's places in town - his presidential library and his home in Independence, MO.
[yes, eat the bbq, too]
posted by rubberfish at 5:40 AM on December 24, 2006

Check out Pitch, the KC alternative free weekly paper.
posted by bingo at 6:56 AM on December 24, 2006

posted by asuprenant at 7:00 AM on December 24, 2006

rubberfish, it's Truman you're thinking of.
posted by cog_nate at 7:43 AM on December 24, 2006

Oh, and the Lawrence alternative paper is We get some pretty decent shows both downtown and at the Lied Center.
posted by cog_nate at 7:46 AM on December 24, 2006

I came down to KC from Minneapolis with the wife for xmas to see her family. When we first started coming down, I didn't really think to much of it, but now I think it's a great city. Just driving around the city and even older communities like Independence is an interesting tour. There are so many great old buildings, which are unfortunately falling apart now, but have a lot of history behind them.

The plaza is a decent place for shopping if you like that sort of thing, but it's at least worth a trip at night to see the lights.

gauchodaspampas list pretty much has it all though!

If you are here during the baseball season, Coffman stadium is a great place for a game. Just don't come during a hot summer day unless you want to burn.

I just walked through Elmwood Cemetery yesterday, which is the oldest in KC.

I wouldn't want to move here, but it is a great city to visit, especially if you are coming from a more modern city, something without the history that a city like KC has.
posted by emoeby at 8:45 AM on December 24, 2006

My partner loved the main branch of the library when she was there a few months ago. I drove out to Leavenworth when I was there, and while the countryside is beautiful and the entrance to Fort Leavenworth wasn't what I expected, the city itself wasn't all that exciting.
posted by QIbHom at 10:13 AM on December 24, 2006

Pitch is usually a good guide for good food and places to go. I recommend downtown, midtown and the stalwarts of Plaza and Westport. Try the Crossroads.
posted by geoff. at 11:05 AM on December 24, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great suggestions, guys. Between the Negro League and Blues and Jazz musuems, this sounds like fun. Oh, and the BBQ, of course. Merry Christmas!
posted by dhammond at 12:17 PM on December 25, 2006

Best answer: If you're a jazz fan, ask at the Jazz Museum for a map to Charlie Parker's grave. It's a fun little scavenger hunt.
posted by donajo at 7:25 AM on December 29, 2006

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