Kansas City: Paris of Plains
Spicy Barbecue, Smooth Jazz & Endless Fountains
Trevor and I spent five days in Kansas City for spring break. Maybe not the most conventional spring break, but it was actually really fun. Any change from studying and staring at the computer screen is my kind of break! Here’s a little breakdown of where we stayed, what we did, and where we ate. Enjoy!
Courtyard Marriott in Westport
It was very clean, central to a lot of restaurants, and the staff was very friendly. There was even a little breakfast bar that we were able to grab something each morning. The area we stayed at was only a few minutes walk from the Country Club Plaza, a huge outdoor high-end shopping center, and most of the places we visited were only a 15-20 minute drive away.
I feel like if I lived in Kansas City, I’d totally live in the River Market. It had a very trendy-hipster vibe. The City Market is a highlight of the River Market. Coming off the winter season the market was filled with artisan goods, but the locals assured us that during the summer weekends the City Market is filled with people picking out fresh flowers and colorful produce from local farmers!
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
This was definitely a highlight of the trip for me, although not so much for Trevor haha. The museum included fine arts with a cultural and historical setting. The permanent exhibits were FREE to visit, which was really cool. They had two exhibits that you could pay to go to, but just to go through the permanent exhibits took us about three hours. If you decide to go don’t forget to go visit the museum lawn. It’s absolutely beautiful and there’s a nice walking path.
Side note: on the lawn there is a small glass maze and a group of young kids decided to sprint through the maze as Trevor and I were there… let’s just say they ended up with a lot of red bumps on their heads haha
College Basketball Experience
Since Trevor suffered through the Nelson-Atkins Museum with me, I promised him we would visit the College Basketball Experience (I was actually kind of interested in it too). It’s a pretty neat museum even if you’re not super into college basketball, or sports in general. There were a ton of interactive games and fascinating facts on the teams, the players, and their coaches. My favorite part was the tournament Cinderella stories. It was all fun and games until…. I fractured my finger on an interactive exhibit and had to sit out the rest. I hope I can go back sometime and try out more of the exhibits.
Kansas City Public Library
The Kansas City Public Library is known for its life-size books on the parking garage. I came here solely to grab a pic, but the lighting was not in our favor. Oh well! While we were there, we decided to peek inside the library. Let me tell you… it was gorgeous inside! The library was four or five floors with a mini Midwest museum. Definitely take a look inside if you get the chance.
Kansas City Zoo
Some decide to stay out to 3 am partying, while Trevor and I decided to go to the Zoo at 9 am haha. Best. Idea. Ever! Who could resist cute animals. We only had about four hours to navigate around the zoo, which sounds like a lot of time, but in reality it was a gigantic zoo and we were speed-walking for the whole four hours.
Kansas City Taco Company
Stop here for some fresh fish tacos and fries or a savory meat filled quesadilla! A local recommended we get lunch and I’m already planning when we can go back. Every Tuesday they have $5 tacos, which is really fun! It was a tiny restaurant on one of the main streets and it was surprisingly packed with people. Trevor got the “tres cerdos”: a chorizo, pork, and bacon quesadilla. He managed to save me a bite and I’m not going to lie it was amazing (this coming from someone who won’t normally eat meat). You know if there are fish tacos on the menu, I gotta get them and they were delicious!
We grabbed dinner at a casual restaurant called Beer Kitchen in Old Westport, a great bar town. Trevor got a mushroom burger and I got a veggie burger, probably one of the best veggie burgers I’ve had in awhile. Trevor and I agreed the coasters were pretty cool and took four… you didn’t hear that from me haha.
Westport Flea Market
Trevor and I saw this burger mobile driving around town and a couple of locals told us about the Westport Flea Market. They claim to have the best burgers in Kansas City and apparently everyone else agrees because they’ve been featured in Food Network, Zomato, etc. It’s weird because it looks like a run-down arcade, but you see people in suits all lining up to get a burger.
We found this place wandering around near downtown and saw they had some yummy appetizers so we stopped in for a quick bite. Sometimes you just gotta make a meal of appetizers, or is that just me? Salty pub food always puts me in a good mood or a food coma. Same thing haha. They had a really cute mural and since it’s a jazz bar I’d assume it’d be pretty cool to check this place out at night.
Joe’s Kansas City BBQ
Kansas City is known for its barbeque. I’m not huge meat fan, but I know good barbeque when I see smell it, even if it’s from a gas station. You heard me right! Joe’s is a little restaurant connected to a gas station. Trevor got a rack of ribs and I had a bite, but was mostly excited about their homemade BBQ sauce. The BBQ sauce with the seasoned fries were to-die-for. If you want to try the barbeque out for yourself, make sure to go at an off-peak hour so you’re not waiting in a ridiculous line. Although, if there is a line it’s worth the wait!
Black Dog Coffeehouse
After touring four apartment complexes, Trevor and I were dragging. I needed a coffee IV stat! We happened to find this super aestically pleasing cafe/bakery in a little strip mall of all places. Grab a cold brew or one of their delicious bakery items, you won’t regret the extra calories.
If you’re in Kansas City and you’re a coffee lover like us, you have to visit Quay Coffee. I’m pretty sure it was featured on Buzzfeed so you know it’s going to be good. They actually have two locations: one connected to the Nelson-Atkins Museum and the “true” coffee shop in the river district.
Trevor and I found this chain coffee shop wandering around the Plaza. We sat down for an hour to do some work on our laptops and it somehow turned into three. Something about cute little coffee shops, screams productivity. That could also be all the caffeine…
Power & Light District
This is the one place I’ll mention alcohol! Haha Trevor and I got many bar recommendations in the Power & Light District. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to go out in the area. We were there a couple times during the day, but we definitely want to come back and check out the nightlife.
I’m excited to visit KC again soon. What else should we do next time? Leave a comment!