…IDEAL for your next holiday in the Mid West.
Though the Midwest might not be top of the list when it comes to glamorous, all American destinations, it’s so often true that in the States, the most rewarding places are also the most untapped. Indeed, this is ‘real’ America, with a unique charm and intrigue by the barrel load; no wonder it’s nicknamed ‘the Heartland’.
Boasting a fascinating history and quaint traditions, a good time is guaranteed in Illinois, Missouri or Kansas. And, if you do happen to be spending the night or even a weekend in Kansas City, MO, then check out these; our 5 of the best places to visit in Kansas City, MO, IDEAL for your next holiday in the Mid West.
COUNTRY CLUB PLAZA
Country Club Plaza is the place to shop, dine, go for a movie or spend a quiet afternoon wandering. The outdoor shopping district is packed with a wide variety of chain stores, including the usuals, like H&M and Urban Outfitters, as well as high-end shops like Michael Kors and Charlie Hustle. While here, you might enjoy dining at a couple of American foodie institutions; check out PF Chang’s or Shake Shack to see how the locals like to get fed.
If you’re not into fashion or already have your tummy full, you can still wander around and marvel at the interesting architecture of the venue. The Plaza boasts Spanish-style fountains designed to look just like those in Seville, as well as statues and tiles that will certainly make a pretty backdrop for a selfie or two.
Kansas City takes both football (American, not soccer, but you knew that, right?) and baseball very seriously, indeed. Home of the Major League Kansas City Royals baseball team, the Kauffman Stadium was renovated in 2009 and is well worth your visit if you’re wanting to get under the skin of the city.
Depending on your budget and preferences, you’ll pay between $17 to $55 for a complete tour that lasts two and a half hours and ends with plenty of souvenirs you can purchase from the shops, if that’s your jam. The architecture of the stadium is pretty impressive also, so you don’t necessarily have to be a baseball fan to appreciate this venue. If you are intent on catching a game, baseball tickets start at $18, while seats to see the Chiefs NFL team are considerably more, the lowest costing around $100. Choose your poison accordingly.
POWER & LIGHT DISTRICT
All that shopping and sports must have gotten you hungry, huh? What better way to end the night than having dinner and enjoying the vibrant nightlife of Kansas City?
For a night on the tiles, head to the Power & Light District, the Midwest’s distant cousin to Las Vegas. The district is located downtown, near Sprint Center, and boasts over 50 restaurants, shops, bars, pubs, and clubs.
One of the newest venues is the two-floor KC Live entertainment venue which hosts over 150 concerts and art performances per year, including those from famous local and international artists. If you’re a fan of 90s music (who isn’t?), you can head to the Shark Bar and relish (or recoil) in the nostalgia of all that awkward fashion and even more awkward dance moves.
For something truly Mid Western, head to the PBR Big Sky and take on a mechanical bull ride; show these countryside men and women how it’s done. If it’s your first time, we suggest investing in some fully lined Kevlar jeans, just as the locals do, which will protect you from injuries. The best thing is that they look like an ordinary pair of jeans; no one will know you’re wearing them for protection and hopefully you won’t be declared a yellow belly by assorted onlookers.
VISIT THE HARLEY-DAVIDSON FACTORY
Harley-Davidson is one of the country’s most famous brands and recently opened its doors in some factory locations to provide a behind-the-scenes tour for those who want to learn more about its history, products, and assembly lines. There are currently three manufacturing sites across the country offering tours for groups in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Kansas City, Missouri.
If you happen to be in town, this has gotta be done. The Harley-Davidson experience in Kansas City begins with an introductory video that will tell you more about the company’s roots and legacy, as well as the operations that are currently held in the factory.
What’s best is that you can get a free factory tour from Monday to Friday, including in the summer months. Tours are offered for up to 36 people from November through March and up to 54 people in the rest of the year. And, yes, there is also a souvenir shop packed with branded goodies. You’ll probably leave talking in that famous Mid Western drawl.
THE AMERICAN JAZZ MUSEUM
Though jazz didn’t originate in the midwest (those bragging rights are held down south, in New Orleans), Kansas City played a huge role in the music genre’s expanding popularity, with the city inventing its own type of jazz during the 1920s. The style was more dance focused, with a little frivolity thrown in for good measure, and paved the way for the improv style famous today.
A visit to the city’s America Jazz Museum, then, is a must for music lovers of any description. There are interactive exhibits, displays of famous musicians of the time’s instruments (Charlie Parker’s alto saxophone is housed here) and a 500 seater concert hall, the Blue Room, which puts on regular concerts. If there’s one on during your visit, don’t miss it!