If you’re not familiar with the greater Kansas City metro area, what you’ll find may surprise you! A vibrant city and flourishing suburban communities, rolling hills and tree-lined boulevards, a thriving economy driven by thousands of small businesses, tech start-ups, medical research, and robust and ever evolving legal community.
Kansas City is a community of good schools, cultural amenities, acclaimed dining (particularly our BBQ) and affordable living. Most importantly, it’s a community with a heart – friendly, easy-going, and forward-thinking. That’s why Kiplinger Magazine and other publications have rated Kansas City as one of the 50 Smart Places to Live!
With more than 200 fountains trickled throughout the city, its no surprise how we earned our nickname, “The City of Fountains.” An array of arts includes the Kansas City Symphony, Opera and Ballet and the internationally recognized Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. We have an active professional sports scene that includes the Kansas City Chiefs, Kansas City Royals, KC Current, Sporting Kansas City, and the Missouri Mavericks to name a few. We are also wild about college sports in this town.
Many outsiders are confused that there’s a Kansas City, Kansas and a Kansas City, Missouri. Simply put, we are one big metropolitan area that happens to have a state border down the middle. Each side has its bragging rights but we Kansas City residents treat it as one.
Crossroads for Many Beautifully Diverse Cultures and Experiences
The Bruce R. Watkins Cultural Heritage Center is a living museum that pays tribute to the legacy of Kansas City’s early African American pioneers. The center exemplifies the culture, art, and history of the African American experience. Bruce R. Watkins was a political and social activist who saw a need to recognize the many contributions African Americans have made to develop Kansas City.
Celebrate the rich influence of Hispanic and Latinx cultures in Kansas dating back to before statehood when Mexicans came through the territory as vaqueros on cattle drives or on the Santa Fe Trail. Find traditional fiestas, inclusive Latinx art festivals, and celebrations of authentic Hispanic food, drink, and music. Hispanic and Latinx traditions and culture continue to be part of the fabric of the metropolitan area with legacies that endure through generations.
Offering over a half million square feet, the Kansas City Power & Light District is the Midwest’s premier entertainment epicenter. With more than 45 unique and captivating retail outlets, restaurants, bars, and entertainment venues, the District offers something for everyone. Located in the heart of downtown neighborhood which links the Convention Center to the T-Mobile Center. Additional world-class attractions include Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland and KC Live! Entertainment District.
Celebrate Kansas City’s rich jazz heritage in one of the most interactive museums in the country, the American Jazz Museum. It features exhibits dedicated to jazz masters Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald and Kansas City’s own Charlie “Bird” Parker. Re-create the look, sounds and feel of Negro Leagues Baseball. Video presentations, exhibits and memorabilia chronicle the history and heroes of the leagues from their origin after the Civil War, to their demise in the 1960s.
The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is the world’s only museum dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its impact on the social advancement of America.
Joyce C. Hall checked into the Kansas City YMCA in 1910 and soon after began selling postcards, stored in a shoebox, to local merchants. Thus was born the world’s largest greeting card company, Hallmark Cards. Artists including Norman Rockwell, Pablo Picasso and Georgia O’Keeffe later would contribute to the Hallmark line, while presidents beginning with Dwight Eisenhower in 1957 tapped the company to create official White House Christmas cards.
President Calvin Coolidge dedicated Liberty Memorial to World War I veterans in 1926. Since then the Memorial’s museum has amassed an unrivaled collection of WWI artifacts, weaponry, uniforms and additional memorabilia. Most visually striking is the memorial’s 217-foot tower, guarded by two giant sphynx-like figures. The tower’s observation deck provides some of the city’s best views of nearby Union Station, Crown Center and the city skyline.
The Nelson-Atkins sprang from an $11 million bequest from William Rockhill Nelson, the founder of the Kansas City Star newspaper who died in 1915, and $1 million donated by reclusive art patron Mary Atkins. Nelson’s money was earmarked for art acquisitions, while Atkins’s went for the land and building. Instead of starting with an existing collection, museum trustees took advantage of Depression-era economics to buy art and artifacts from around the world. Today the collection includes one of the most significant Asian aggregations in the country as well as American and European art that includes works by Monet, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Homer and Bingham.
Kansas City’s Union Station opened to the public in late October, 1914. Residents were awed by the 400-by-800-foot Grand Hall and the North Waiting Room, which stretched longer than a football field. The nation’s third largest passenger station (now second only to New York’s Grand Central Station) was the city’s hub for more than three decades, while travelers from throughout the country took advantage of its central location. Missouri and Kansas voters backed the nation’s first bi-state sales tax to save their beloved edifice. Two years and $253 million later, Union Station exceeded even its initial grandeur and today ranks among Kansas City’s finest accomplishments. The station, open to the public, now includes Science City science museum, restaurants, shops and rotating displays.
For more information, go to https://www.visitkc.com/.