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Guidebook for Kansas City

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Guidebook for Kansas City

Food Scene
Great for a little caffeine boost, fresh squeezed juice or tasty snacks. There is usually a daily quiche and great sandwich options for lunch. The Filling Stations is a fresh, relaxed atmosphere - especially on a nice day when the garage doors open to the patio.
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Filling Station Coffee | Midtown
2980 McGee Trafficway
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Great for a little caffeine boost, fresh squeezed juice or tasty snacks. There is usually a daily quiche and great sandwich options for lunch. The Filling Stations is a fresh, relaxed atmosphere - especially on a nice day when the garage doors open to the patio.
You came to Kansas City for BBQ right? Well this place is one of KC's favorites and known for its great atmosphere too. Go early or expect a little bit of a wait. This area is known as The Crossroads Art District and has galleries and studios open to walk through on the first Friday of every month. You could make a whole night of hanging out in the Crossroads and eating some BBQ.
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Jack Stack Barbecue - Freight House
101 West 22nd Street
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You came to Kansas City for BBQ right? Well this place is one of KC's favorites and known for its great atmosphere too. Go early or expect a little bit of a wait. This area is known as The Crossroads Art District and has galleries and studios open to walk through on the first Friday of every month. You could make a whole night of hanging out in the Crossroads and eating some BBQ.
Yum, just yum. Tom Yum and Pad Thai - yes please - our family could eat here every week. Lulu's is fresh and delicious. So many great specialty cocktails to have with your meal too.
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Lulu's Thai Noodle Shop
2030 Central Street
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Yum, just yum. Tom Yum and Pad Thai - yes please - our family could eat here every week. Lulu's is fresh and delicious. So many great specialty cocktails to have with your meal too.
If you need to please vegetarians in your group, this is the place to go. Even non-veggies will be satisfied with the variety of filling and nutritious vegan food options available in a cool Crossroads location.
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Cafe Gratitude Kansas City
333 Southwest Boulevard
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If you need to please vegetarians in your group, this is the place to go. Even non-veggies will be satisfied with the variety of filling and nutritious vegan food options available in a cool Crossroads location.
It's right out the front door, call ahead and walk across the street to pick it up and eat in the comfort of Midtown Blue. And if you need to bring back a KC souvenir for the in-laws or the dog sitter, a bottle of Gates BBQ could be just what you need. (816) 753-0828
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Gates Bar-B-Q
3205 Main Street
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It's right out the front door, call ahead and walk across the street to pick it up and eat in the comfort of Midtown Blue. And if you need to bring back a KC souvenir for the in-laws or the dog sitter, a bottle of Gates BBQ could be just what you need. (816) 753-0828
Just a few blocks from the house is our favorite local donut shop. Sugar for breakfast - you're on vacation so why not?
LaMar's Donuts and Coffee
3395 Main Street
Just a few blocks from the house is our favorite local donut shop. Sugar for breakfast - you're on vacation so why not?
If you ask people from Kansas City where they go when they want BBQ, you'll hear Joe's come up over and over again. Once featured on Diners Drive-in's and Dives, you will know you have arrived when you see the gas station on the corner of 47th and Mission Rd. Yep, it's in a gas station.
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Joe's Kansas City Bar-B-Que
3002 West 47th Avenue
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If you ask people from Kansas City where they go when they want BBQ, you'll hear Joe's come up over and over again. Once featured on Diners Drive-in's and Dives, you will know you have arrived when you see the gas station on the corner of 47th and Mission Rd. Yep, it's in a gas station.
Breakfast, brunch (Sundays), lunch, dinner and desserts. open from 7am to 9pm seven days a week. It's convenient to reach from the house and they do take reservations if you are looking for a group. Described in Kansas City Spaces magazine as "sort of everything to all people," because of the variety of meal options from chilaquiles, to risotto, to rice bowls to lamb kofta. Cafe Europa is highly recommended! Make a reservation on Yelp or call (816) 214-5425.
Cafe Europa Union Hill
2976 Gillham Rd
Breakfast, brunch (Sundays), lunch, dinner and desserts. open from 7am to 9pm seven days a week. It's convenient to reach from the house and they do take reservations if you are looking for a group. Described in Kansas City Spaces magazine as "sort of everything to all people," because of the variety of meal options from chilaquiles, to risotto, to rice bowls to lamb kofta. Cafe Europa is highly recommended! Make a reservation on Yelp or call (816) 214-5425.
Whether you just need a caffeine pick up, a smoothie between meals, an evening cocktail, a sugary baked treat or burger and fries - The Opera House has you covered. My family loves to frequent here when we do our weekend shopping at the farmer's market. Plus the KC Streetcar has a stop right at the front door that you can ride (for free) all the way to Union Station.
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Opera House Coffee & Food Emporium
500 Walnut Street
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Whether you just need a caffeine pick up, a smoothie between meals, an evening cocktail, a sugary baked treat or burger and fries - The Opera House has you covered. My family loves to frequent here when we do our weekend shopping at the farmer's market. Plus the KC Streetcar has a stop right at the front door that you can ride (for free) all the way to Union Station.
This place typically has a wait to get in because many Kansas City residents love to eat Ponak's when they are in the mood for Mexican. Just order a pitcher or Margaritas while you wait and once you get to order, your food will come fast. Plus if the wait is too long for you and your party - there are many other Mexican restaurants within a few blocks up and down Southwest Blvd.
Ponak's Mexican Kitchen & Bar
2856 Southwest Boulevard
This place typically has a wait to get in because many Kansas City residents love to eat Ponak's when they are in the mood for Mexican. Just order a pitcher or Margaritas while you wait and once you get to order, your food will come fast. Plus if the wait is too long for you and your party - there are many other Mexican restaurants within a few blocks up and down Southwest Blvd.
If you came to KC for a tour of BBQ, make sure to include Q39 on your list. Like many of the areas best BBQ places, there are now several locations of Q39 but the original spot is this one on 39th street. And as a vegetarian who sometimes has to entertain carnivorous visitors who crave BBQ, I prefer taking them here - where I can order an deliciously amazing veggie burger!
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Q39 - Midtown
1000 West 39th Street
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If you came to KC for a tour of BBQ, make sure to include Q39 on your list. Like many of the areas best BBQ places, there are now several locations of Q39 but the original spot is this one on 39th street. And as a vegetarian who sometimes has to entertain carnivorous visitors who crave BBQ, I prefer taking them here - where I can order an deliciously amazing veggie burger!
Our next door neighbor, The Russell is a busy spot for brunch and lunch 6 days a week (open 10am-4pm). The menu changes according to be what can be made fresh: sandwiches, soups and salads. You order at the counter and sit to eat, there are a few smaller tables most are community tables.
The Russell
3141 Main St
Our next door neighbor, The Russell is a busy spot for brunch and lunch 6 days a week (open 10am-4pm). The menu changes according to be what can be made fresh: sandwiches, soups and salads. You order at the counter and sit to eat, there are a few smaller tables most are community tables.
Sightseeing
You will love the view from here! Just down Main Street from Midtown Blue you will find the driveway into the museum. Park and walk up to enjoy the view of Union Station and the Kansas City skyline (the museum is down below - built into the hill.)
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National WWI Museum and Memorial
2 Memorial Drive
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You will love the view from here! Just down Main Street from Midtown Blue you will find the driveway into the museum. Park and walk up to enjoy the view of Union Station and the Kansas City skyline (the museum is down below - built into the hill.)
Inside Union Station there are shops, restaurants, events, rotating exhibits, Science City for kids and more. One of our family favorite activities is walking the sky walk between The Westin Crown Center to Union Station, looking at the model trains there and then hopping on the KC Street Car to ride to the city market and back. We call it "Urban Exploring." It's a fun outing and the best part is that those things are free!
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Union Station
30 W Pershing Rd
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Inside Union Station there are shops, restaurants, events, rotating exhibits, Science City for kids and more. One of our family favorite activities is walking the sky walk between The Westin Crown Center to Union Station, looking at the model trains there and then hopping on the KC Street Car to ride to the city market and back. We call it "Urban Exploring." It's a fun outing and the best part is that those things are free!
This location is famous for jazz music, BBQ, blues and baseball. Rich with historical significance, live music and cultural enrichment, people from all over the world have been drawn to 18th and Vine for decades. And for baseball fans, you will also want to check out the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum there.
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18th And Vine And Downtown East
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This location is famous for jazz music, BBQ, blues and baseball. Rich with historical significance, live music and cultural enrichment, people from all over the world have been drawn to 18th and Vine for decades. And for baseball fans, you will also want to check out the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum there.
The Crossroads has a variety of bars, restaurants, small music venues and events spaces - even an adult bar/arcade (UpDown). In the Crossroads there is a monthly open event called "First Fridays" where the art galleries and studios open to browse through with wine and live music. If it is good weather on the first Friday of the month you can expect it to get pretty crowded around this area of town.
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Crossroads
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The Crossroads has a variety of bars, restaurants, small music venues and events spaces - even an adult bar/arcade (UpDown). In the Crossroads there is a monthly open event called "First Fridays" where the art galleries and studios open to browse through with wine and live music. If it is good weather on the first Friday of the month you can expect it to get pretty crowded around this area of town.
One of our favorite weekend locations is turning into a hot spot all week long. There has been a lot of development in the River Market area in the past few years building loft apartments and adding new restaurants. This is the largest weekend farmers market for fresh produce, flowers and meat. But all week long you can enjoy the specialty food markets and great places to eat. We buy spices and loose tea here and like to stop for coffee and lunch at The Opera House, dine at Bo Lings or Minsky's Pizza, and dessert at Betty Rae's Ice Cream. And if you don't want to stress about driving downtown and finding parking, just park at Union Station and the KC Streetcar will take you there.
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River Market
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One of our favorite weekend locations is turning into a hot spot all week long. There has been a lot of development in the River Market area in the past few years building loft apartments and adding new restaurants. This is the largest weekend farmers market for fresh produce, flowers and meat. But all week long you can enjoy the specialty food markets and great places to eat. We buy spices and loose tea here and like to stop for coffee and lunch at The Opera House, dine at Bo Lings or Minsky's Pizza, and dessert at Betty Rae's Ice Cream. And if you don't want to stress about driving downtown and finding parking, just park at Union Station and the KC Streetcar will take you there.
Shopping
This is where our family brings out of town guests who want to shop. The Plaza has something for everyone in the family plus dining, bars and coffee shops to quench your appetite or thirst. Beyond the shopping, we love the architecture of the buildings and all of the fountains. If you have some time after shopping we would highly recommend taking a drive West/South on Ward Parkway - it's an iconic street with some amazing houses to view.
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Country Club Plaza
4706 Broadway Boulevard
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This is where our family brings out of town guests who want to shop. The Plaza has something for everyone in the family plus dining, bars and coffee shops to quench your appetite or thirst. Beyond the shopping, we love the architecture of the buildings and all of the fountains. If you have some time after shopping we would highly recommend taking a drive West/South on Ward Parkway - it's an iconic street with some amazing houses to view.
This fun boutique is a favorite to find clothes and gifts, located in Kansas City's Westport area if you don't find something you love at The Bunker it might lead you to discover some other unique stores and restaurants in this iconic neighborhood.
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The Bunker
4056 Broadway Boulevard
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This fun boutique is a favorite to find clothes and gifts, located in Kansas City's Westport area if you don't find something you love at The Bunker it might lead you to discover some other unique stores and restaurants in this iconic neighborhood.
You could spend days getting lost through floors upon floors of antiques, reclaimed pieces and boutique items in the old warehouse buildings at the West Bottoms. This area has exploded for it's unique shopping experience during the first weekend of the month but the West Bottoms now has some stores open all week long, plus they now have a Blade and Timber Axe throwing spot, haunted houses during the Halloween season and a great restaurant/nightclub called The Ship that is worth the trip.
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West Bottoms
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You could spend days getting lost through floors upon floors of antiques, reclaimed pieces and boutique items in the old warehouse buildings at the West Bottoms. This area has exploded for it's unique shopping experience during the first weekend of the month but the West Bottoms now has some stores open all week long, plus they now have a Blade and Timber Axe throwing spot, haunted houses during the Halloween season and a great restaurant/nightclub called The Ship that is worth the trip.
Crown Center has a little bit of everything - shopping, food, entertainment and culture. Loads of family activities you will want to check out their rotating free exhibit in the lower level in the corner by The Coterie Theater. The Coterie puts on plays intended for kids and is often interactive. Crown Center also has a Crayola Store, Lego Land, Sea Life Aquarium and Kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscope is a free exhibit provided by Hallmark for kids to be creative, but you will want to check the open times online before planning your trip. Crown Center also has outdoor activities like ice skating in the winter for example.
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Crown Center
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Crown Center has a little bit of everything - shopping, food, entertainment and culture. Loads of family activities you will want to check out their rotating free exhibit in the lower level in the corner by The Coterie Theater. The Coterie puts on plays intended for kids and is often interactive. Crown Center also has a Crayola Store, Lego Land, Sea Life Aquarium and Kaleidoscope. Kaleidoscope is a free exhibit provided by Hallmark for kids to be creative, but you will want to check the open times online before planning your trip. Crown Center also has outdoor activities like ice skating in the winter for example.
Parks & Nature
We love love love Loose Park. It is Kansas City's equivalent to New York City's Central Park - minus the zoo and skyscrapers surrounding it. Loose Park attracts runners, tennis players, disc throwers, family photographers, dog lovers, gardeners, kids and people looking to relax. You will find wide open spaces, a playground, free splash pad in the summer, tennis courts, a pond, picnic tables and a walking path all the way around. If you make it to Loose Park, don't leave without visiting the rose garden!
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Jacob L. Loose Park
5200 Wornall Road
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We love love love Loose Park. It is Kansas City's equivalent to New York City's Central Park - minus the zoo and skyscrapers surrounding it. Loose Park attracts runners, tennis players, disc throwers, family photographers, dog lovers, gardeners, kids and people looking to relax. You will find wide open spaces, a playground, free splash pad in the summer, tennis courts, a pond, picnic tables and a walking path all the way around. If you make it to Loose Park, don't leave without visiting the rose garden!
Swope Park is HUGE. This is where you will find the Kansas City zoo, a golf course, pond for fishing, enclosed dog parks, tree top adventure course and Starlight theater. In August Swope Park plays host to one of our favorite annual events - The Cultural Enrichment Festival, where different ethnic groups around Kansas City share food and traditions for everyone to enjoy.
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Swope Park
3999 Swope Pkwy
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Swope Park is HUGE. This is where you will find the Kansas City zoo, a golf course, pond for fishing, enclosed dog parks, tree top adventure course and Starlight theater. In August Swope Park plays host to one of our favorite annual events - The Cultural Enrichment Festival, where different ethnic groups around Kansas City share food and traditions for everyone to enjoy.
This tiny treasure of Kansas City has picturesque gardens, it is near UMKC, The Country Club Plaza and The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art but you wouldn't notice it unless you were looking for it. This is a beautifully quiet spot in the city if you need a place to be at peace, meditate or enjoy some flowers - plus it is free to enter.
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The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden
4800 Rockhill Road
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This tiny treasure of Kansas City has picturesque gardens, it is near UMKC, The Country Club Plaza and The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art but you wouldn't notice it unless you were looking for it. This is a beautifully quiet spot in the city if you need a place to be at peace, meditate or enjoy some flowers - plus it is free to enter.
Drinks & Nightlife
Located in Martini Corner, Sol Cantina and the bars and clubs along the this street will give you variety for a great night out with friends. I love Sol Cantina for the margaritas and bar that opens to the patio.
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Sol Cantina
408 East 31st Street
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Located in Martini Corner, Sol Cantina and the bars and clubs along the this street will give you variety for a great night out with friends. I love Sol Cantina for the margaritas and bar that opens to the patio.
Power and Light is next to the Sprint Center so if you are in town for a concert, show or basketball game you can stop at P&L before the event for a bite to eat of afterwards for a night out. You will find all kids of different bars with different music and atmospheres to suit a wide range of people. This spot is great for groups of friends or bachelor/bachelorette outings.
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Power and Light District
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Power and Light is next to the Sprint Center so if you are in town for a concert, show or basketball game you can stop at P&L before the event for a bite to eat of afterwards for a night out. You will find all kids of different bars with different music and atmospheres to suit a wide range of people. This spot is great for groups of friends or bachelor/bachelorette outings.
Interested in night time entertainment for you and your girlfriends? Look no further - Missy B's has the best drag shows in town.
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Missie B's
805 West 39th Street
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Interested in night time entertainment for you and your girlfriends? Look no further - Missy B's has the best drag shows in town.
This speakeasy is under The Rieger Hotel, you have to be invited in by texting a reservation and enter through an alley backdoor. It's a dark bar, a cool intimate experience and fresh handcrafted cocktails. This bar is not meant for groups and they are closed on Sundays. The number is (816)536-1325
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Manifesto
1924 Main St
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This speakeasy is under The Rieger Hotel, you have to be invited in by texting a reservation and enter through an alley backdoor. It's a dark bar, a cool intimate experience and fresh handcrafted cocktails. This bar is not meant for groups and they are closed on Sundays. The number is (816)536-1325
A downtown jazz club to unwind with friends or a romantic date for two. Live music, drinks and a cool atmosphere. There are two floors to spread out it doesn't feel crowded and can accommodate larger groups.
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Green Lady Lounge
1809 Grand Boulevard
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A downtown jazz club to unwind with friends or a romantic date for two. Live music, drinks and a cool atmosphere. There are two floors to spread out it doesn't feel crowded and can accommodate larger groups.
This bar is super close to Midtown Blue. It has several levels and a relaxed atmosphere. Great for happy hour or a whole evening of hanging out with friends.
Brick House KC
400 E 31st St
This bar is super close to Midtown Blue. It has several levels and a relaxed atmosphere. Great for happy hour or a whole evening of hanging out with friends.
Video games on a jumbo screen, giant Jinga, Packman, and Skee Ball but no kids. Yup, that's right - it's an adult bar/arcade. Located in the Crossroads District it's only a mile and a half down Main Street, hang a left at Southwest Blvd and you're there.
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Up-Down KC
101 Southwest Boulevard
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Video games on a jumbo screen, giant Jinga, Packman, and Skee Ball but no kids. Yup, that's right - it's an adult bar/arcade. Located in the Crossroads District it's only a mile and a half down Main Street, hang a left at Southwest Blvd and you're there.
This is a busy sports bar with fantastic food and a wide variety of options. Located in the Country Club Plaza area, there is a lot of shopping, restaurants and bars to choose from. Just follow Main Street south, the Plaza is just west of Main between 47th Street and Ward Pkwy.
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The Granfalloon Restaurant And Bar
608 Ward Parkway
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This is a busy sports bar with fantastic food and a wide variety of options. Located in the Country Club Plaza area, there is a lot of shopping, restaurants and bars to choose from. Just follow Main Street south, the Plaza is just west of Main between 47th Street and Ward Pkwy.
Kelly's is one of the oldest and most recognized bars in the Westport area. If you go to Westport for a night of drinking and partying, it's guaranteed that someone in your group will stop to eat a slice of pizza at Kelly's at some point during the night. Westport is just south of Midtown Blue on Main Street, you'll be in the bar district when you take a right on Westport Road.
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Kelly's Westport Inn
500 Westport Road
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Kelly's is one of the oldest and most recognized bars in the Westport area. If you go to Westport for a night of drinking and partying, it's guaranteed that someone in your group will stop to eat a slice of pizza at Kelly's at some point during the night. Westport is just south of Midtown Blue on Main Street, you'll be in the bar district when you take a right on Westport Road.
Friendly staff, good food, and big selection of beer. Hi-Dive is a neighborhood dive bar located on the West 39th street near KU Med and the eclectic Volker neighborhood. 39th street has a variety of great restaurants, bars, tattoo parlors, hookah and boutique shops.
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The Hi-Dive Lounge
1411 West 39th Street
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Friendly staff, good food, and big selection of beer. Hi-Dive is a neighborhood dive bar located on the West 39th street near KU Med and the eclectic Volker neighborhood. 39th street has a variety of great restaurants, bars, tattoo parlors, hookah and boutique shops.
Essentials
Staying for a little while or inviting a group of people - you may need a Costco run. Good thing it's right around the corner from the house. Use your membership card to stock up on food trays, beverages or the household essentials you may have forgotten to pack.
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Costco Wholesale
241 Linwood Blvd
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Staying for a little while or inviting a group of people - you may need a Costco run. Good thing it's right around the corner from the house. Use your membership card to stock up on food trays, beverages or the household essentials you may have forgotten to pack.
Need to pick up a few groceries for your stay? This Sunfresh is not to far to go but if there is no need for a full grocery run you could stop at a CVS or Walgreens instead.
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Marsh's Sun Fresh Market
4001 Mill St
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Need to pick up a few groceries for your stay? This Sunfresh is not to far to go but if there is no need for a full grocery run you could stop at a CVS or Walgreens instead.
Arts & Culture
Have some young guests in your group? They might enjoy their favorite books being brought to life at this children's puppet theater. You may want to plan to buy tickets in advance because the small theater sells out fast.
Mesner Puppet Theater
1006 Linwood Boulevard
Have some young guests in your group? They might enjoy their favorite books being brought to life at this children's puppet theater. You may want to plan to buy tickets in advance because the small theater sells out fast.
Back before there were Targets by the dozen in every major city, household goods were sold off of steamboats going up and down rivers. This museum is dedicated to one such steamboat that unfortunately sank but preserved all of the goods on-board. Here is your chance to step back in American history and see what life was like. Plus, this museum is located in The Rivermarket - great resturants, weekend farmers markets and access to ride the free streetcar all the way from Union Station down to the market and museum.
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Arabia Steamboat Museum
400 Grand Boulevard
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Back before there were Targets by the dozen in every major city, household goods were sold off of steamboats going up and down rivers. This museum is dedicated to one such steamboat that unfortunately sank but preserved all of the goods on-board. Here is your chance to step back in American history and see what life was like. Plus, this museum is located in The Rivermarket - great resturants, weekend farmers markets and access to ride the free streetcar all the way from Union Station down to the market and museum.
From ancient to contemporary works of art, this museum internationally renown and free to the public. And be sure to take a picture out front with the shuttlecocks - iconic statues and landmarks in Kansas City.
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The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
4525 Oak Street
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From ancient to contemporary works of art, this museum internationally renown and free to the public. And be sure to take a picture out front with the shuttlecocks - iconic statues and landmarks in Kansas City.