Kansas City, Missouri
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Kansas City MO - Overview
The title of the cookbook published by the Kansas City Barbecue Society (Barbecue...It's
Not Just For Breakfast Anymore) gives visitors an idea of what to expect
when surveying the town's restaurant options.
Kansas City, home to
dry-rub BBQ, is bursting with barbecue. Subtle and sweet, tangy and hot, there's
a strain of sauce for every palate. While early pioneers may have moved westward
from Kansas City, you can blaze a BBQ trail from one smoky spot to the next
without ever leaving town.
After a fiery feast, cool down with some smooth jazz in the city where Count
Basie, Charlie "Bird" Parker and others did some of their own best cooking.
Stroll down to the American Jazz Museum for exhibits, a studio replica, and
evenings of live jazz.
Known as the
City of Fountains, Kansas City is a town split between two states. Kansas City
has been home to many U.S. icons, such as Hallmark greeting cards, Russell
Stover candies and Mr. Walt Disney.
City of today boasts one of the finest museums between Chicago and California in
the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The city's 200-plus fountains add to its
cosmopolitan character, as do the clubs and shops of Westport and Country Club
Plaza. And happily, the syncopated rhythms of jazz continue to drive the city
and provide an enjoyable link to its past.
said goodbye to a significant part of its history when it closed its enormous
stockyards in 1991, and the decision produced a symbolic shift in the city's
economy. Today, the former cow town boasts an expanding telecommunications
industry as well as growth in tourism, banking, finance and the service sectors.
Kansas City sprouted on the southern bank of the Missouri River, but the city
now extends in all directions, including across the Kansas-Missouri border.
Visitors will find the majority of attractions on the Missouri side of the city,
which lies on the east side of State Line Road. Most of the initial growth was
south of the Missouri River, and this area remains the heart of Kansas City.
streets are numbered, with the numbers increasing as you travel south from the
river. The River Market area is just south of the Missouri (Second-Fifth
streets). Just south of that is the downtown area, with its art-deco skyscrapers
. A little east of downtown is the historic 18th and Vine District, birthplace
of the city's jazz scene.
downtown is the trendy Westport area, home to some of the oldest buildings in
the city. It falls roughly between 40th and 43rd streets. Country Club Plaza, an
upscale shopping and entertainment district, is bordered by 47th Street on the
north and Brush Creek (a well-lit walking area with fountains, waterfalls and
boat rides) on the south. Continuing south, the neighborhood surrounding the
University of Missouri-Kansas City is known as Brookside, a leafy area that
extends through the streets numbered in the 50s and 60s. Still farther south is
the up-and-coming Waldo District.
Powell Gardens; the River Market/City Market area; the restored grandeur of
Union Station, which includes the interactive exhibits at Science City; the
19th-century Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, and the Kemper Museum of
Contemporary Art all add to the pleasure of a visit to Kansas City.
Kansas City has a nice mix of historical sites, cultural museums and pleasant
public spaces. One of the best places to start a tour of the city is the 18th
and Vine Historic District. This historically significant African-American
neighborhood was a hotbed of jazz players in the first half of the 20th
century: a legacy that is chronicled in places like the American Jazz Museum.
blocks northwest of 18th and Vine is the Country Club Plaza area. A pair of art
museums lies just east of the Plaza: the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, renowned
for its outstanding collection of Asian art, and the Kemper Museum of
Contemporary Art, with notable works by Jasper Johns and Robert Rauschenberg.
Just north of
Kansas City is Fort Leavenworth. In operation since 1827, it is the longest
operating fort west of the Mississippi River. Its museum and monuments allow
visitors from the 21st century to touch the Old West.
history on display in Independence, a suburb just east of Kansas City that was
the home of 33rd U.S. President Harry S. Truman. The Truman Library and the
former president's home pay homage to one of Missouri's favorite sons. Another
lovely place east of the city is Powell Gardens, a large botanical garden with
picturesque waterfalls. There are more mansions just off the parkway in the area
called Mission Hills, home to many local celebrities and sports stars.
Kansas City is
a city of carefully preserved memories and of the ultimate in urban planning and
economic progress. It has fulfilled the words of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s song
from Oklahoma: “Everything’s up to date in Kansas City!”