Straddling the border between Kansas and Missouri, Kansas City was founded in the 1830s as a river port. It’s renowned for its jazz heritage, craft breweries and unique style of barbecue, and is home to the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League.
Things to do in Kansas City
In Kansas City’s historic 18th & Vine Jazz District is the American Jazz Museum where you’ll find exhibits dedicated to Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald. It shares its building with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which features uniforms and bats once belonging to some of the best players in America, including the “Black Babe Ruth”, Josh Gibson.
Art from across the globe is showcased at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is famed for the giant shuttlecocks that dominate its grassy lawns. The museum’s Asian art collection is particularly impressive, as are the paintings by the locally-based artist, Thomas Hart Benton. Don’t miss the beadwork and sculptures of Jamie Okuma that form part of the museum’s Native American collection.
Travelling with kids? They’ll love spending a day at Worlds of Fun, which is the largest amusement and water park in the Midwest. Originally opening to punters in 1973, it is themed around Jules Verne’s book “Around the World in Eighty Days”, with five main sections - Scandinavia, Africa, Europa, the Orient and Americana. Get your thrills on the Boomerang and Mamba roller coaster, ride the Viking Voyager log flume and soak up the views from the Skyliner Ferris wheel.
Getting around Kansas City
Kansas City International Airport is around 20 minutes’ drive from the city centre and has flights to destinations across North America. Trains connect from Chicago and Los Angeles to the Kansas City Union Station and buses travel throughout the city. Modern streetcars travel through the Downtown area.