Barbeque is a tradition, jazz swings, and fountains dance. Professional sports teams, museums, Hallmark and The Country Club Plaza make Kansas City a unique place to live and work.
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, this vibrant, new eight-block neighborhood links the Convention Center to the Sprint Center and is bringing the beat back to Kansas City. World-class attractions include the Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland, The Mainstreet Cinema and the KC Live! Entertainment District.
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.
Kansas City is known as the “City of Fountains.” Travel throughout the city and you’ll discover hundreds of picturesque fountains. Among the many fountain favorites is the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain on the Country Club Plaza. Sculpted by France’s Henri Greber in 1910, the fountain’s mounted figures were originally planned for a Long Island estate. And Crown Center boasts a series of skyward-shooting water columns that children run among during spring and summer days.
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.
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 sphinx-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/.