By far the most populous city in Missouri, Kansas City
booms with life and culture. With local jazz and blues musicians playing on a regular basis, you’ll meet with a melodious experience once you come to the center of the city.
The residents of Kansas City take pride that they live in the place where Walt Disney once lived and began his animation career. Disney’s elementary school and several of the places where he lived have been persevered and remain tourist attractions. Kansas City also calls out to those Civil War history buffs interested in standing on the ground where the Border War took place.
Restaurants & Nightlife
Though central Kansas City claims to have some of the best Kansas-style barbeque in the United States and plenty of restaurants along Summit Street wait for you to find them, Grunauer reminds its customers that Austrian and German food can make for just as good a meal. With generous side orders of Austrian salads and sweet red cabbage, Grunauer delights everyone who steps through the doors. Make a reservation to skip the long wait.
If you aren't in the mood for fine dining, take the kids over to Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant. Since the food comes out on miniature trains, this restaurant makes for dinner and a show. Make sure you get an order of the thick, crinkle-cut fries or the freshly dipped onion rings when you go. The fun of ordering via the old phone on the table and getting your food on a train makes this the perfect place to bring your little ones.
If you’re not worried about pleasing the kids, You Say Tomato makes a splash in the dining scene of central Kansas City. This classy breakfast and lunch destination takes pains to create the perfect tastes as well as beautiful presentations. The baked French toast and the freshly made cinnamon rolls make up the local favorites, though the quiche made with leeks, summer squash, rainbow chard and goat cheese also makes the visit well worth it.
History & Culture
Because the city sits between the Kansas and the Missouri rivers, the city began to flourish in 1853 when it was officially incorporated into the United States. During the Civil War, Kansas City became very contended, caught in a tug of war by the military
of both sides over the course of the bloody battles. Once reconstruction began in the South, central Kansas City began to grow once more, and it now hosts many agricultural as well as manufacturing industries.
Central Kansas City remains the home of the American Jazz Museum, located in the Historic Jazz District, where you can listen to live jazz or check out the rotating exhibits that the museum puts on display. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum also resides within the Historic Jazz District and houses
a collection of photographs and multimedia displays that preserve the history of baseball in the United States.
When you live in Central Kansas City, a cornucopia of public transportation options present themselves. From the rapidly moving MAX trains to the downtown streetcar, Kansas City puts you on the move with ease. The bus routes 12, 15, 24, 25 and 27 provide the best methods of moving out of and into the downtown Kansas City area, and the average one-way ticket costs $1.50.
Downtown Kansas City lies about 5 to 10 minutes from I-70 or I-435, though Highway 71 runs right along the downtown area and makes for one of the more efficient ways to get around town. To put it in perspective, Kansas City has more highway lanes per capita than any other U.S. city. Parking in downtown can make for a challenging experience, but the parking garages and parking meters try to mitigate the parking scarcity in the heart of central Kansas City.
Out of the 50 largest U.S. cities, Kansas ranks 43rd in walkability, so many residents choose to take public transportation, cars or bikes. With over 2,000 bike trails in the whole of Kansas City, many biking enthusiasts ride the roads and pathways, though Kansas City drivers still need to get used to the influx of bikers.
Uber has become an option for residents and tourists in central Kansas City, but many people still prefer to pay the extra fee to call a more traditional cab company.
Living in a big city usually means you’ll have big bills, but Kansas City’s cost of living lies under the national average by 5 percent. Housing makes up for a large percent of that decrease as the average one-bedroom
apartment costs around $700. With regard to groceries, utilities and transportation, Kansas City meets the national average for cost.
Paying for gas, on average, costs 2 percent less than the national average, and paying for a beer at a local pub runs about $4-$5.
No one could possibly talk about shopping in central Kansas City without mentioning the Country Club
Plaza. With 15 blocks of stores to browse, you could walk the lanes of the Country Club Plaza all day and still not see it all. High-end stores like White House Black Market and Armani Exchange call the plaza home.
and Independence Center also provide a great selection of chain stores, and plenty of locally owned boutiques happily sit outside the mall scene. Socks 101, for instance, sells socks by the pair and signs customers up for memberships so that they can get a pair sent to their house every month. Birdie's Panties Swim Boutique can help you find that perfect outfit for a special night or your new favorite swimsuit.
Cosentino's Downtown Market remains the most popular grocery store in central Kansas City, but the famous City Market puts all the chain grocery stores to shame. Restaurants, local farmers and artists come out year round for this 150-year-old farmers' market tradition.
In the very heart of downtown lies Penn Valley Park, a huge park with a baseball diamond, tennis courts, a dog park and miles of branching pathways with expansive trees that give you the feel of the great outdoors even while in central Kansas City. The wide picnic area and the free annual concert given by Kansas City’s symphony, Celebration at the Station, appeal to all visitors that come to the lush area that the park claims.
Near there lies Washington Square Park, a much smaller park whose biggest feature remains the large equestrian statue of George Washington along with the Missouri Korean War Memorial. This park makes for a better place to sit and reflect on our nation without the commotion that larger parks often have. Both parks remain free and open to the public.