Kansas City Quick Facts
|County||Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass|
|Area||316.0 sq miles|
|Population||463,202 (2011 estimate)|
About Kansas City
Kansas City is the largest city in the state of Missouri and one of the two county seats of the Jackson County (the other being Independence). The city grew on the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers.. The city was founded in 1838 and incorporated in 1850.
Kansas City was deeply affected during the American Civil War and was the site of many battles including the crucial Battle of Westport. Post-Civil War, the city prospered, particularly after the construction of the Hannibal & St. Joseph Railroad Bridge. During late 19th century, it became one of the finest examples of the “City Beautiful” movement and even today, it is admired for its boulevards and parks. This city ranks second only to Rome in the number of fountains and is aptly nicknamed “The City of Fountains”.
Kansas City is one of the ten regional office cities of the Federal Government of the United States and the government is the city’s largest employer. Kansas City is also the hub of business, particularly relating to agriculture. Ford Motor Company and Sanofi-Aventis have important plants here. The Federal Reserve Bank has two headquarters in Kansas City and the one dollar bills issued by the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City have “Kansas City” printed on them.
Kansas is well known for its vibrant music scene, notably jazz and blues as well as its “Kansas City style barbeque”. Its rich culture, breathtaking cityscape, and awesome food makes Kansas City a much sought after tourist destination.
When to visit Kansas City
April, May, September, and October are the best months to visit Kansas City. If you want to experience the real Midwest, plan your trip in October and November, when the two months long American Royal celebration is in full swing. You can also visit Kansas City in winter. But don’t forget to bring extra warm clothes with you as the temperature can dip below zero degrees. Summer is hot and humid in Kansas City, so it is better to avoid traveling in this season.
Airports/Public Transport in Kansas City
Kansas City is served by the Kansas City International Airport. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) runs the local bus line. A proposal for Downtown Streetcar project is also on cards. The city, however, does not have a subway or light rail network.
Hotels in Kansas City
Looking for a luxury hotel in Kansas City? Some of the best options are The Raphael Hotel Autograph Collection, Ambassador Hotel Downtown Kansas City, Ameristar Casino Hotel Kansas City, Hilton President Kansas City, The Westin Crown Center, and Hotel Phillips. Kansas City also has a number of budget hotels. Some of the well known ones are Quality Suites Airport Kansas City, Fairfield Inn Kansas City Airport, Best Western Country Inn – North, Super 8 Kansas City Airport, and Homestead Studio Suites – Kansas City – Airport.
Things to do in Kansas City
Visit the National World War I Museum which has one of the largest collections of artifacts belonging to the World War I. Kansas City has a big community of Irish Americans. Get to know about them in the Irish Museum and Cultural Center. Visit the Missouri Town 1855 History Museum and get to see how this pulsating city looked like in the 19th century, or know about Kansas City’s contribution towards the westward expansion of the US, at the Kansas City Museum. If you are interested in arts, then, you would thoroughly enjoy your visits to the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Arts, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, and the Belger Art Center. Kansas City also has a museum dedicated to jazz – the American Jazz Museum. Some other museums in the city that are a must-see for any visitor are the Money Museum, Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, Kaleidoscope (Children’s Museum), Toy and Miniature Museum, and American Royal Museum.
Parks, Gardens, and Zoo
Kansas City is known for its parks and boulevards. The Swope Park is one of the largest city parks in the United States and has an amphitheatre, two golf courses, two lakes, woodland, a zoo, and various picnic spots in its ambit. Take a walk at the beautiful Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden, located at the heart of the city. Go to the mill Creek Park and savor the serenity of the magnificent J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain, by Henri-Leon Grber. Some other beautiful parks and gardens in Kansas City are Loose Park Rose Garden, Tiffany Springs Park, Riverfront Park, Blue Valley Park, and Eastwood Park.
Take your children to the expansive Kansas City Zoo or to the Sea Life Kansas City Aquarium and spend a fun filled day with them.
Entertainment Options in Kansas City
Enjoy theatrical performance at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre or Starlight Theatre and catch the Kansas City Symphony in action at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The Kansas City Ballet is also based at the Kauffman center and its performances include both classical and contemporary ballet.
If you are in mood for some live music, you will find a lot of venues, particularly in the Westport entertainment district and Country Club Plaza. Jazz is still big in Kansas City and every year the city hosts the “Kansas City Blues and Jazz Festival” which attracts visitors from all over the country.
Food and Dining Options in Kansas City
Kansas is famous for its barbeque and there are more than 90 barbeque joints in the city!! Some well known ones are Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbeque (Martin City and Downtown), B B’s Lawnside Bar-b-que, L.C.’s BBQ, Gates Bar-B-Q and Gates. But Kansas is not only about barbeque. Taste some mouthwatering Asian delicacies at Blue Koi Noodles & Dumplings, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Nara Kansas City and Genghis Khan Mongolian Grill; grab some spicy Indian food at Swagat, Korma Sutra, Taj Palace, or Curry in a Hurry; savor the taste of Italy at Garozzo’s, Lidia’s, Cascone’s Italian Restaurant and Cupini’s; and enjoy awesome French cuisine at Le Fou Frog, Blue Bird Bistro, Tatsu’s French Restaurant, and PotPie.
Where to shop in Kansas City
Shop till you drop in the fabulous malls of Kansas City – the Metro North Mall, Landing Mall, Oak Park Mall, Town Center Plaza, and Red Bridge 4. Visit the legendary Country Club Plaza which rates high on the shopper experience quotient. If you are looking for some bargain shopping Legends Outlets is a definite must-visit. Independence Center, Crown Center and Great Mall of the Great Plains are other favorite shopping destinations.
Universities/Colleges in Kansas City
There are many higher education institutions located in Kansas City. Some of these are the University of Missouri-Kansas City, Rockhurst University (Jesuit University), Avila University (Catholic University), Park University (private university), DeVry University, Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences, Kansas City Art Institute and William Jewell College. Kansas City also has some notable theological institutions like Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Nazarene Theological Seminary, Calvary Bible College and Theological Seminary and Saint Paul School of Theology.