Downtown Kansas City should be one of the first destinations for visitors. The downtown area is home to several distinct and very different neighborhoods, including the Power and Light District, West Bottoms, the River Market, Crossroads Arts District and the nearby Westport.
The West Bottoms and River Market neighborhoods are both lively and pedestrian friendly, with plenty to see. The West Bottoms has undergone a complete revitalization, becoming unrecognizable from the blocks of empty warehouses that it was many years ago. Now, the West Bottoms is the antique capital of Kansas City.
If browsing through antique shops and flea markets is something you enjoy, than be sure to make this neighborhood a destination. Visitors should note that the first weekend of the month is prime for shoppers, due to business owners opening every shop during that weekend.
The nearby River Market is another great neighborhood for visitors. River Market was the first area established in the earliest days of Kansas City. Today, the blocks of historic buildings are home to bars, restaurants, shops and ethnic markets.
The City Market is a major attraction of the neighborhood and what gives the area its name. Essentially, the City Market is a massive farmers market. Vendors are present on weekends to sell local produce and handmade goods. It must be experienced firsthand when in the area.
In regard to history, visitors must be sure to visit the neighborhood of Westport. At one time, Westport was its own city but was annexed by Kansas City in 1897. Today, it is one of the most vibrant areas of town with locals and tourists alike visiting the shops and restaurants by day and experiencing the nightlife at night.
Westport is home to several bars and music venues, making for a great time on evenings and weekends. It can be considered an alternative to the popular Power and Light District of downtown, another neighborhood that draws massive crowds for the bar and club scene.
Lovers of art are in luck when visiting Kansas City as well. As a matter of fact, the city has an entire district dedicated to it. The Crossroads Arts District, located downtown, offers blocks of galleries and studios.
The district also has many great dining options for whenever a break is needed from being inspired by incredible local art. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, not far from downtown, is an experience in itself and should not be missed. It is one of the premiere art museums in the country.
The majestic architecture of the building alone is worth the visit, not to mention the countless pieces of priceless art and artifacts inside. The best part? Admission is always free.
One last thing: live music. Kansas City has an abundance of it. Jazz music is a major aspect of the city’s history and a museum dedicated to it is located on the intersection of 18th and Vine, a block where many of the greatest jazz musicians who ever lived played during the style’s heyday.
Many other historic venues line the streets of Kansas City, including the Midland Theatre. The Midland was built in 1927 as a grand movie house that showcased silent films. Today, it is one of the best venues in the city to see a concert. The Uptown Theatre is another historic venue, still open today.
The Riot Room, Record Bar, and The Truman are all notable spots to see some of the best in alternative music. Sprint Center, in the Power and Light District, is a 19,000 seat arena that regularly books the biggest names in the industry. Whatever your preference of music may be, Kansas City has it covered.
Ultimately, congratulations to the Chiefs. It is a great team that represents one of America’s great cities. For students of Missouri Southern, be sure to visit and take advantage of everything Kanas City has to offer. It is only a couple hours up the road.