Kansas City, Missouri – Great American Road Trip

categories: USA Travel

Kansas City, Missouri

JC Nichols fountain

We spent a weekend in Kansas City with the excuse of seeing the San Francisco Giants play the Kansas City Royals in what we now know was a preview of the 2014 World Series.

Kansas City is sometimes called the “Paris of the Plains” because of its many fountains. The city sprawls over the prairie and I was surprised by how pretty many of the public spaces of the city are.

Badmitton Birdie - Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is a free museum with a nice art collection. Kids (of all ages) will particularly enjoy the collection of 4 giant badminton birdies as well as the glass labyrinth on the lawn. Inside the museum, I particularly enjoyed the collection of Egyptian are other ancient art.

The nearby Country Club Plaza has a half-scale replica of the Giralda Tower of Seville, Spain. The neighborhood around the tower has a number of great restaurants. We enjoyed the food at both Jack Stack BBQ and Gram & Dun.

glass labyrinth

Kansas City River Market

Kansas City River Market

We had breakfast at Cascone’s Grill near the Kansas City River Market for a traditional American breakfast. The Market has some great shops and booths. We bought BBQ spices from one of the two spice merchants and loose tea from a tea merchant. All the while we were entertained by buskers. History buffs might want to visit the Arabia Steamboat Museum in the same complex which holds an old shipwreck.

Negro League Baseball Museum

Negro League Baseball Museum

One of the highlights of our Kansas City visit was a trip to the Negro League Baseball Museum which fit into both the baseball and civil rights themes of this vacation. The museum can be visited in an hour but is a must-see for baseball and history buffs. They set the tone for the visit with a video that starts with more modern baseball players celebrating victory. The players are black, white, Hispanic and Asian. The video points out how natural it looks to us now but for many years there was a color bar that kept black players out of the Major Leagues.

I loved one of the quotes from a Dodger fan who was worried about the first game or two when Jackie Robinson started with the team. With Robinson came black fans and for the first game things were tense, by the second they were all Dodger fans and by the end of the season, no one thought it was strange at all.

Near the Negro League Baseball Museum is also the American Jazz Museum but we did not have time to visit it on this trip.

Kauffman Stadium

Kauffman Stadium

The Kansas City Royals play at Kauffman Stadium which is a nice modern baseball stadium, but it lacks the character of Camden Yards or AT&T Park. The Royals had not been in the playoffs for a number of years but this year the quality of the baseball being played there in 2014 was great and they drew big crowds. The bad news is that tickets were cheaper when the team wasn’t any good.

Kansas City BBQ

My personal experience ordering Kansas City “burnt ends” was a bit disappointing. Two of the three restaurants where I ordered this famous BBQ dish the meat was fattier than I have had elsewhere.

Next Time

One museum that I still want to visit that I missed on this trip was the National World War I Museum located at the Liberty Memorial. I would also like to get to the Airline History Museum.

Kansas City photos

Things to do in Kansas City Missouuri


Great American Road Trip

Our home team was playing baseball in Kansas City. One week later we needed to be in Cincinnati for a wedding. It could only mean one thing: Road Trip!


Travel to Kansas City – Episode 380

Our Route

Map of Our Route

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by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast, and a co-host for This Week in Travel podcast.

One Response to “Kansas City, Missouri – Great American Road Trip”



I had incredible time at Kansas City when I was visited of this breathtaking destination. I really enjoyed hiking and walking. It was memorable moment of my life while I was captured majestic views of nature beauty in my camera. Now me and my some college friends have a plan to take in coming up days for having enjoyment.

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