I recently got back from spending ten days in Kansas City. There were multiple reasons for the trip — my grandma turned 80 and we had a big birthday party for her, my cousin’s baby shower, one of my best friend’s baby shower, I was doing paintings for a few people, and I was also there for a few days hosting a press trip with VisitKC.
Taking four other bloggers (Sarah, Erin, Yasmin, and Diana) around my hometown was tons of fun (you got to see part of it if you watch me on snapchat — user: megbiram). Usually when I go home for a visit, I don’t always have the time to just be a tourist and try out a bunch of new places to eat so this was a treat. I also never have the opportunity to stay in a hotel (I think the last time I stayed in a hotel in Kansas City was over 11 years ago for my bachelorette party, and that’s a story for another time…). We stayed at The Raphael on the Plaza and it was lovely to stay right in the heart of the city within walking distance to so much shopping and restaurants!
Coveted Home on The Country Club Plaza
I wasn’t shocked by how many new and amazing places there were in Kansas City, it was more like impressed. I’ve only been gone a little over five years, and there is so much more to do there now than when I lived there. The Royals winning the World Series last year helped put Kansas City back on the map to the rest of the US.
I still get people thinking that Kansas City is in Kansas — which part of it is in Kansas, but the downtown, the stadiums (Royals and Chiefs), the Sprint Center, the Performing Arts Center, the Country Club Plaza, the airport, and lots of neighborhoods — are on the Missouri side. Most of the city is on the Missouri side, and the Kansas side is mostly suburbs. I’m from the Missouri side, can you tell?
Even though I don’t think my husband and I will never move back, I’m a huge proponent of Kansas City and I love going back there to visit. The cost of living is super affordable, you can actually buy a house at a great price, the people are so kind and friendly, there’s a lot to do, and a lot of big companies have moved there recently because of all of these reasons. A few large companies headquartered in Kansas City are Sprint, H&R Block, Hallmark Cards, and Cerner. It’s a great place to raise a family, own a home, and still have the culture of an artsy city, which is why over two million people call it home.
Inside the new Halls
The Giralda Tower at the Country Club Plaza
Chanel beauty counter at Halls
Standard Style on the Plaza
Hoopla Nail Salon
In three days we covered a lot of amazing spots in Kansas City. Shopping wise we hit up the Country Club Plaza, were I made sure to stop into Coveted Home, Standard Style, Baldwin, HMK, and Charlie Hustle. We also went to one of the Made in Kansas City stores at Briarcliff (I had also stopped at the one in Corinth Square earlier that week) and we meandered around the Crossroads District where I got a much-needed manicure at Hoopla.
Drinks and sweets at Thou Mayest
Flight of frozen cocktails at Snow & Co.
Gram & Dun on the Plaza
Inside Gram & Dun
The ceiling at The American
You won’t get bored with the food in Kansas City. There are so many amazing restaurants! I’ll have a restaurant guide coming up soon, but we made sure to hit up as many places as possible! For meals we gorged at The American, Gram & Dun, Jack Stack, and Beer Kitchen. For drinks we stopped by Snow & Co., Double Shift Brewing Co., Thou Mayest, Tom’s Town, and Torn Label.
As the host for the trip, I had to show off some of Kansas City’s gorgeous views and attractions. The J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain at the Country Club Plaza is probably the most well-known fountain in Kansas City. And Kansas City has a lot of fountains. Fun fact, Kansas City has the second most fountains in the world, just behind Rome. Hard to believe, but true!
One of my favorite places in Kansas City is the Nelson-Atkins Gallery of Art (no surprise there). I grew up going to art classes in the basement every summer and this place had a profound impact on my love for art for the rest of my life.
One of the most memorable sculptures at the museum are the Shuttlecocks. Think of the large lawn surrounding the Nelson-Atkins as a playing field, and the museum as a badminton net. The four shuttlecocks are placed on the lawn as if they had just landed during a game of badminton.
The husband and wife team of Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen were commissioned in 1994 to design a sculpture for the museum and this is what they came up with — genius right!? Each shuttlecock weighs 5,500 pounds, stands nearly 18 feet tall and has a diameter of around 16 feet.
If you are a history buff, Kansas City has a spectacular World War I Museum and Memorial. While we didn’t have time to go inside or up in the tower (I’ve done both before and it’s absolutely worth it) I did want to take the girls up there to see the view of downtown Kansas City. Union Station is the building in the front left, which you may recognize if you saw the photos from the crowd after the Royals won the World Series.
Overall, I had so much showing off just a taste of what Kansas City has to offer. If you love barbecue, beer, shopping, nice people, baseball or football — you’ll easily love Kansas City. I wrote about the small business/local product renaissance Kansas City is going through, and the obvious pride of the people who live there in this Instagram, but in all seriousness I was really impacted by it. The energy in Kansas City has changed — everyone seemed to have a little extra spark, a bigger smile, and a lot of pride in their city.
More posts about where to eat and what to do in Kansas City coming up soon!
This post was sponsored by Visit Kansas City. All opinions are honest and are my own.