Even if you may not have been born and bred in a particular city, if you have been living there long enough—and really enjoy it—you can’t help but puff your chest out with pride on occasion when it receives glowing accolades from far and wide.
That’s how I’m feeling about Kansas City right now – a town I have come to know and love that embraced me with many surprising and welcome attributes that keep growing on residents and delighting visitors year after year.
I and many others have written about various aspects of the city in numerous publications, touting its wealth of history, multifarious personalities, world-renown jazz heritage and jazz venues, and where to eat, play, and shop ‘til you drop.
Seasonal offerings are abundant as well, for example, in the fall the annual Kansas City Renaissance Festival, visiting the best pumpkin patches, tailgating at Arrowhead Stadium, WaterFire, holiday traditions and more. In fact, Travel + Leisure agrees, naming it #11 on this year’s list of America’s Best Cities for Fall Travel.
Although Kansas City may not be a 4am-last-call-town like some bigger cities, it does have plenty of distinctive nightlife spots to suit all tastes and lifestyles. And if you need to get away from it all, there are oodles of special places to explore.
Area day trips are plentiful as well, including to Lawrence, the wine country, and other parts further afield.
The cultural arts are also big here, including the architectural marvel added to the Bloch Building to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, which has been ranked as one of the world’s most beautiful buildings by both The New Yorker and Travel + Leisure, among others. The New York Times also loves the new $413 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, another architectural coop here designed by world renowned architect Moshe Safdie.
Denizens and visitors alike love our revitalized downtown area, named among America’s Best Downtowns by Forbes, the centerpiece of which is the Kansas City Power and Light District.
Besides the Chiefs, Royals and Sporting KC, we are known for other sports history including the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum which made the list of America’s Top 5 Baseball Museums by Yahoo! Sports.
But let’s not forget what some would consider the city’s biggest claim to fame – Barbecue! With over 90 cue joints by some accounts, you’ll find every barbecuing or smoking style, cut of meat, sauce, rub, seasoning, family secret (never mind, they won’t tell), side dish, ambiance, and lighthearted but serious opinion you can think of! It is no wonder that Travel + Leisure also recently named Kansas City as #1 for barbecue and as the #1 Affordable Getaway in their annual survey that compares 35 cities by more than 50 topics.
What’s Next for Kansas City?
The coming year looks promising too when you have one of the best travel entities in the country, Frommer’s, touting us among the Top Destinations in 2012 (by the way, Kansas City was the only American city on that list!).
If you’re short on time and have only, say, 36 hours to spend here, check out how the New York Times spent their time here last year.
Well, regardless of if you only have 36 hours, a weekend, a week or longer, Kansas City is sure to delight and inspire…whether you are from here, a transplant, or just passing through.