Kansas City, MO straddles the Kansas-Missouri state line and is Missouri’s largest city in area and population. The town was founded in the 1830s as an important port city on the Missouri River. What made it indispensable was its location at the confluence of the Kansas River.
The Settlement of Kansas City, MO
Kansas City, MO was officially a town on March 28, 1853. Originally inhabited by Native Americans, it slowly began to grow as new settlers arrived. The Spanish took over from the French as part of the Treaty of Paris in 1763.
In 1804, the Louisiana Purchase brought the area into American hands. Lewis and Clark recognized the importance of a settlement at the confluence of two rivers, and western expansion literally began in Kansas City. Anyone who wanted to travel west started their official journey here in Missouri.
Places to Go in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri is home to more than 200 fountains and many architectural wonders to see. Some places are simply office buildings that add character to the cityscape. Others help show you the history of Kansas City, MO. Some notable places to check out are:
City Market is one of the largest public farmers markets in the Midwest. More than 30 merchants offer their wares year-round, including fresh meats, seafood, and specialty foods. You will also find other options such as cafes, floral arrangements, and home accessories.
The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
This Museum showcases displays from almost every culture, including an extensive collection from Asia. In 2007, Time Magazine ranked it one of the ten best architectural marvels globally. Admission is free, and visitors can enter from any of the seven entrances. The collections include paintings, sculptures, pottery, photography, and Native American art.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
The Kauffman Center is available for special events, dining experiences, and performance rentals. Here you can find performances for kids, such as Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood, as well as live concerts with past performers such as Martina McBride and the Beach Boys. If comedy is your thing, you can also watch well-known stand-up comedians like Trevor Noah.
The Power and Light District
This district is located in Downtown Kansas City. Here you will find offices, dining, shopping, and entertainment developments. It covers a span of nine blocks and is one of the largest development projects in the Midwest. You can also experience live music by artists such as Dierks Bentley, Macklemore, Grouplove, and The Lumineers.
Liberty Memorial - The National World War I Museum & Memorial
Established in 1926, the Liberty Museum became America’s official World War I museum in 2004. This museum features a Renault FT Tank, soldier uniforms, munitions, maps, and photographs. You can also see international propaganda posters, participate in interactive displays, and view replica trenches. The Edward Jones Research Center houses over 75,000 documents and 9,500 library titles.
Arabia Steamboat Museum
In 1856, a steamboat named Arabia sank in the Missouri River. The 130 passengers on board all survived, but the steamboat was lost under the water. Not long after, the river changed its course and the sunken cargo was buried. For 132 years, the wreckage sat buried under a cornfield in Wyandotte County, Kansas.
A full-scale replica of the steamboat’s main deck is where you’ll see the original boilers, anchor, and engine, as well as a reconstructed paddle wheel. The steamboat was carrying supplies for frontier general stores, so the collection also includes everyday items such as boots, shoes, hats, ax heads, and even jars of pickles.
From November 1988 to February 1989, David, Greg, and Bob Hawley dug for the wreckage. Instead of selling what they found, they created the Arabia Steamboat Museum. While visiting, you can watch videos explaining the sinking of the ship and the excavation. You can also see the artifacts from the steamboat and the preservation lab.
Places With Free Admission
Are you looking for a fun but cheap way to enjoy the city? Start with the 2.2-mile KC Streetcar line that takes you through Downtown Kansas City. Stops run through the Crossroads Arts District, River Market, and the Power and Light District.
On Wednesdays, the Boulevard Brewing Company provides a free 40-minute tour of their brewery, or you can visit the Crown Center for dining, entertainment, fountains, and free outdoor movies. The Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is also an option that gives your kids the chance to feed barnyard animals. Admission is free from 2 pm to close Monday through Thursday.
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s Money Museum teaches about the Federal Reserve. Learn about how the federal reserve serves a role in the national economy. Experience the region’s biggest cash vault, President Truman’s coin collections, and a 27-pound gold bar.
If you’d rather spend your time outside, a visit to the Ernie Miller Nature Center is a must. Here you can experience Kansas City’s beautiful natural environment while exploring educational exhibits, including bird exhibits. For other outdoor activities, visit the Kauffman Memorial Garden that’s located at the Kauffman Legacy Park. There are thousands of plants and several water features that you can enjoy for free.
Professional Sports to Enjoy in Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City is home to the Chiefs, the NFL Super Bowl Champions from the 2019 season. Led by quarterback Partick Mahomes, the Chiefs ended the 2019 season with a 12-4 record. They beat the San Francisco 49ers after coming back from a 10-point deficit. If football is your thing, be sure to check the schedule and head to one of the games at Arrowhead Stadium.
Kansas City Royals are Kansas City’s MLB team. They are in the American League and are 2015 World Series Champions. If you’re in the area, you can listen to their games on the radio with KCSP at 610AM on the dial. If you’d rather watch them live, you can catch their games at Kauffman stadium or at any of the local sports bars in Kansas City.
If soccer is your thing, Kansas City also has a MLS soccer team called Sporting KC. The team competes in the Western Conference and plays at Children’s Mercy Park. They won the MLS Cup Championship in 2013, defeating Real Salt Lake. It was the coldest MLC Cup game ever recorded.
With all of the things to do and places to explore, you might find yourself driving a lot. With that being said, if you’re out exploring the sights of Kansas City, Missouri and end up having car trouble, call Roadside Services Towing Kansas City. We’re available 24 hours a day and are an AAA Towing Service Partner. Our experienced operators can tow your car wherever you need, giving you peace of mind.