Where, When, and Why
I have found the best Kansas City, Missouri has to offer. This post is your ultimate guide to visiting KCMO, my newest US small city recommendation! Nicknamed the Paris of the Plains, this small city is home to an incredible food and art scene. I visited for a long girls’ weekend in late April 2021 to enjoy the great food, museums, and small city vibes. We caught a beautiful, sunny weekend. KC has very cold winters and hot, humid summers. Try to time your visit with spring or fall for ideal weather.
About The Destination
Kansas City, MO is quiet, clean, and lovely. This city is a foodie’s heaven! KCMO boasts many great restaurants. The city is extremely well maintained. It has lots of green space, clean sidewalks, and is very walkable. The numerous restaurants, bars, cafes, museums, and entertainment venues make KC a great getaway destination. It’s perfect for a low key weekend getaway. Their public transportation, the RideKC Streetcar is totally free to use.
As of 2021, the closest major airport to Kansas City is MCI. The airport is about 30 minutes from downtown. At peak times, an Uber into the city can be quite expensive. Typically, a one-way ride from the airport will cost you around $30. Thanks to KCMO’s walkable nature and free RideKC Streetcar, I don’t think renting a car is necessary for a long weekend visit.
Stay in Crossroad Arts District, City/River Market Area, or Downtown KC. They’re three really nice, safe, walkable areas.
I stayed at the brand new, gorgeous Loews Kansas City Hotel in the Crossroad Arts District. It was clean, the staff were friendly and accommodating, and the 7th floor rooftop bar was gorgeous. The hotel was perfectly located at just one block over from the KC Street Car and within one mile walking distance of most areas you’ll want to visit in KC. I booked directly through the hotel website for a great deal, saving myself $90 off the best price I found on third party websites. Loews often runs a ‘stay 2 night, get 3rd night free’ deal. Loews’ reviews are spectacular on Google, Expedia, TripAdvisor, Booking. The total cost for a deluxe queen room Thursday through Sunday stay in late April 2021 was $474.29. Their on site restaurants, bars, and cafe are all excellent! We also happened to visit when they were hosting 3 separate weddings. It made for some fun people watching and speaks to the beauty of this hotel.
Try This There
Things to do:
- Visit the Crossroad Arts District for shops, bars, restaurants, studios and galleries
- Visit Kemper Museum of Modern Art
- City Market has popular farmer’s market with local crafts and foods
- Open daily with an amazing farmers market on Saturdays from 7 am – 3 pm and Sundays 9 am – 3 pm
- Shop around outside Country Club Plaza
- Stroll the Berkley Riverfront promenade to the historic River Market area
- Brookside neighborhood has independent shops and art galleries
- KC Live! which is a city block of restaurants and nightlife
- 39th Street has lots of shops, bars, and restaurants
- Power & Light District hosts an enclosed, covered city block with bars and restaurants around the perimeter and an open space inside
- Union Station was restored in 1999 and now boasts restaurants, live theater and shops. Experiences here include the Model Railroad Experience, the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, and Science City
- Penn Valley Park has statues, a lake, landmarks, and a National WWI Museum. Climb the museum’s hilltop plaza for a great view of KC
- Kansas City Museum for a mansion turned museum of local history
- 18th and Vine is the city’s jazz district where the American Jazz Museum has exhibits and artifacts ties to jazz legends Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Charlie “Bird” Parker
- Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is in the same building
- Nelson Atkins Museum is a popular place to visit with great outdoor sections
- Sports: Arrowhead Stadium for a Chiefs football game, Kauffman Stadium for a Royals baseball game, or Cable Dahmer Arena for a Mavericks hockey game
- Kansas City Convention Center for exhibits, musicals, concerts, conventions and more
- Concerts: CrossroadsKC, Madrid Theatre, Riot Room, KCLive!, Truman
- Brown and Loe located in City Market is a MUST VISIT. The food is delicious! As a result, I went twice in one weekend.
- Cafe Sebastienne located inside Kemper Museum of Modern Art
- Westport Cafe – French food
- Gram & Dun has comfort food with creative drink pairings, go for happy hour
- Zocalo – Mexican food
- Prime Sushi – Japanese plates and sushi
- Parlor is a cool food hall with great options. I recommend Providence Pizzeria or Sura Eats.
- Rye for fried chicken, steaks, and great weekend brunch
- Avenues Bistro for brunch bar and their bottomless breakfast cocktails
- Mission Taco Joint fresh Mexican fare and margaritas
- Habashi House – Middle Eastern fare in City Market
- Blue Sushi Sake Grill – Japanese plates and sushi in Westwood
- Stock Hill – fancier steakhouse in Country Club Plaza
- Bo Lings – Chinese in City Market and other locations
- Il Lazzarone – Neapolitan style, wood fired pizzas
- Farmhouse – Farm to table restaurant with a seasonal menu in City Market
- Grünauer authentic Austrian food with indoor and outdoor beer-garden seating
- Bluestem for a fancy night out (reservations needed) for a 3, 5 or 7-course tasting menu
- Hamburger Mary’s drag brunch shows on Sundays at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm
- Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ works out of a functioning gas station and is everyone’s top recommendation. Their original restaurant is in Kansas across the river
- Q39 is very popular. However it is in a small, somewhat random plaza
- Arthur Bryant’s serves KC’s slow cooked, dry rub ribs
- Char Bar great platters
- Gates is a KC staple
- Jack Stack is a sit down, fancier restaurant
- Red Wheat Baking Co (Located in Loews hotel) has insanely good coffee and croissants!
- Kaldi’s Coffee
- Parisi Coffee (Flagship location is in Union Station)
- and other coffee shops
- Green Lady Lounge often hosts live music and frequented by locals
- Tannin Wine Bar has delicious appetizers and a great wine selection
- P.S. is a historic 1903s speakeasy under the Hotel Phillips
- The Monarch Bar has a bougie cocktail bar with amazing drinks. Mercury Room is by the same owners!
- Crossroads Hotel’s Percheron has a trendy rooftop bar
- Gram & Dunn both have cute patio if the weather is nice
- Tom’s Town is a prohibition themed distillery. Their products are found in many local establishments
- Julep Cocktail Club specializes in fine whiskey craft cocktails
- Ca Va is a champagne bar with outdoor patio
- Amigoni Urban Winery
- KC Wineworks
- Boulevard Brewing Company
- Torn Label Brewing Co
- Border Brewing Co
- Strange Days Brewing Co
- Kansas City Bier Company
- Belvoir Winery and Inn (outside of the city)
Enjoy your time in KC! Comment what you enjoyed most below.