This Missouri River town is an agricultural center and transportation hub famous for its friendly citizens, steaks, barbecue, art, jazz and shopping. The city has beautiful architecture and an urban landscape composed of tree-lined boulevards and fountains. Kansas City's past was shaped by Native American culture, westward expansion and the Civil War. Kansas City is Missouri's largest city. The metropolitan area is home to more than 2 million.
Kansas City is a great place to eat out. Visitors come to experience Kansas City's famous barbecue. More than 100 restaurants specialize in barbecue of all varieties. For 120 years Kansas City was home to one of the largest cattle stockyards in the country. This cattle heritage is evident in many of the city's restaurants, which serve the Kansas City Strip and other steaks.
The city has a vibrant art scene anchored by the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Kansas City Sculpture Park. The Crossroads Art District in downtown features more than 60 art galleries and shops.
Kansas City was the capital of Jazz in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. The American Jazz Museum pays tribute to the giants of the city's jazz scene, Count Basie, Charlie Parker and others with interactive exhibits and jazz recordings. The museum also features live performances in the Blue Room and Gem Theater. Jazz clubs serve up the city's most popular music nightly.
Kansas City offers first-rate shopping. The Plaza is the city's premiere shopping destination. This 15-block, open air shopping district offers more than 200 stores housed in Spanish-influenced architecture. The Plaza's holiday light displays are spectacular. Crown Center, the home of Hallmark Cards, mixes card-making history, with shopping, dining and entertainment venues. Visitors looking for antiques and arts shop the Crossroads Arts District, Brookside, and Crestwood.
Sports fans enjoy professional baseball and football, as well as NASCAR racing. Four riverboat casinos offer gaming, entertainment and restaurants on the Missouri River. For the kids, the Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun theme parks are side-by-side. Kansas City has a ballet troupe and a variety of theaters.
Kansas City is 155 miles north of Joplin and 135 miles west of Columbia. It is accessible via Interstate Highways 29, 35 and 70 and U.S. Highways 24, 71 and 169. There are many lodging options throughout the Kansas City metro area including several premiere hotels downtown.
Across the river in Kansas is the other Kansas City, along with the Olathe and Overland Park areas. These cities create a stimulating pulse in the Kansas countryside, characterized by upscale shopping, dining, culture and recreation. The area is home to numerous institutions of higher learning which influence the cultural and recreational scene significantly.