48 hours of Summer: Exploring the Midwest Charm of Kansas City, Mo.
From Lounge to Luxury, Kansas City offers food for the soul
A family trip or quick solitary getaway doesn’t have to be a lengthy road trip or break your wallet. You can feed your desire to explore -- whether traveling solo or with a group -- by tapping into the fun of Kansas City, Mo., a charming city with urban influences and plenty of cultural activities to satisfy every walk of life. With just $75-100 a day per person, you can maximize your time and have a vibrant experience in this metro-sized city. Let’s dive into the tools and information you need to know to make this trip worth every penny.
What to Wear: Maxi dresses, light colors, tank tops, linen, walking shoes/sandals; hair pulled back or a style that requires minimal maintenance or wear your favorite hat while the sun is blazing over you!
What to Eat: Under $10-15: Soul food favorites at Lutfi’s Fried Fish & Chicken on Main Street or a healthy smoothie from Ruby Jean’s Juicery in the Westport District; Southern influenced dishes at Peachtree Café in northeast KC; Sushi plates on the rooftop at Drunken Fish Sushi Restaurant and Lounge in the Power & Light District.
How to travel: You can get around easily between neighborhoods with enough thoughtful research. While not all areas are walkable, plenty of residential and business districts encourage biking and also have common rail and bus systems if you want to travel on a budget. For those not inclined to physical exercise while they travel or public transit, you can order an uber or rent a car. As always to ensure safety, please research the locations you want to experience in advance in order to find out what the best times of day are to visit. Try the Yelp.com travel app or browse through TripAdvisor.com for the most accurate reviews.
What to Experience | Traveling like a Tourist:
Kansas City has plenty of staple tourist attractions sprinkled with a few nice surprises if you’re patient enough to look for them. This city is known for barbeque eateries, live music and family-friendly outdoor events. You can shop until you drop at the Crown Center Plaza Shopping Center or take advantage of the hard-to-find deals at the antique and thrift stores around the city (Yelp.com has the most current listing of these businesses). Kansas City also offers live sports games including professional league teams such as the Kansas City Chiefs (football) and the Kansas City Royals (baseball). And if you’re daring enough, you can take the front seat of a 200-foot drop roller coaster at Worlds of Fun! For more outdoor fun, the public parks and fountains offer activities and great photo opportunities. Kansas City is referred to as the "City of Fountains" by the local media.
What to Experience | Traveling like a Local:
The Arts & Cultural scene of this city excites incoming travelers and keeps current residents inviting their out-of-town family and friends to join them. With numerous entertainment districts to explore, you can’t really get bored here. For Fine Art or Contemporary Performances, visit the Crossroads Art District five minutes away from the downtown Kansas City area. It offers more than a dozen locally owned art spaces plus a few art institutions like the Nelson-Adkins Museum of Art, the Kauffman Performing Arts and the Kansas City Art Institute. Many of the art galleries are free and offer live performances and festivals at least once a month for First Fridays.
Another energetic district to try is the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District, where you will find live music in at least three venues on a Friday night. This area is currently being considered for a major redevelopment grant to add more entertainment and cultural preservation for the corridor. This would create even more performance and cultural impact as the area progresses!
Just two more districts are waiting to be explored between the modern plaza styled Power & Light District and the Westport Business District. If you want to try out your dancing skills, parlay at happy hours and listen to live music, Power & Light is the place to be. If you enjoy more coffee shops and locally owned eateries and shops with public art, Westport District can offer such a setting. It has urban-influenced graffiti art, tattoo shops, juiceries, a piano bar, comedy theater and more than 45 restaurants.
Be sure to take a selfie stick with you to capture all of the fun you tap into for this trip because you are sure to capture memories for years to come. When you visit, don’t forget to tag @hopemag when you arrive, and we’ll be sure to meet you there!
Photos via Ruby Jean’s Juicery’s Facebook page.