As the Kansas City Royals play in the World Series, VisitMO takes a look at some of Kansas City’s most well-known cultural attributes.
Grab your camera and dancing shoes and throw some wet wipes in the car: The architecture, jazz culture and famous barbecue of Kansas City are calling.
There’s perhaps no better spot to capture a magnificent photo of Kansas City than from the top of the city’s famed Liberty Memorial. Standing 217 feet tall, the Memorial is a must-see site in Kansas City and serves as a tribute to Armed Forces members who served the U.S. in World War I.
From the Memorial, take in the sweeping views of the city, including the downtown skyline and Kansas City’s famous Sky Stations, an art installation created by R.M. Fischer that sits atop Bartle Hall.
Today, the Memorial houses the National World War I Museum and Memorial, which in 2004 was designated as the nation’s official World War I Museum by the U.S. Congress. The museum is open for exploration; it houses some 55,000 artifacts from the war and is one of Missouri’s most culturally significant institutions.
Speaking of cultural significance, you can’t overstate the role Kansas City had in the development of jazz music in America.
Jazz is part of Kansas City’s soul, with hometown product Charlie Parker among the legendary musicians with ties to the city.
While jazz clubs are found throughout Kansas City, there’s perhaps no better place to connect with the genre than the American Jazz Museum found in the historic 18th and Vine District (which includes the must-see Negro Leagues Baseball Museum).
Exploring the museum, you find information on a who’s who of jazz greats – including Parker, Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald – all of whom made a lasting impression on the genre.
A highlight of your visit to the American Jazz Museum is a trip back in time, to the early days of jazz, courtesy of audio-enhanced exhibit stations. Put the headphones on, close your eyes and listen to the music; you’ll be tapping your toes and swaying to the beat in no time flat.
Heading to Kansas City after hours? The American Jazz Museum has you covered then, too. On-site, The Blue Room jazz club offers live music four nights a week. It’s also an integral part of the museum experience, as it includes a variety of artifacts – from instruments to concert programs – that are an important part of Kansas City’s jazz culture.
Of course, nothing goes with a great night of music like a great meal. And if barbecue is your thing, well, Kansas City is pretty much heaven.
Kansas City is known around the country as being home to great barbecue. From legendary stops such as Arthur Bryant’s and Gates to newer spots like Q39, Kansas City boasts in the neighborhood of 100 barbecue joints.
If you’re keeping score at home, that’s enough to visit one each day from Memorial Day through Labor Day (a summer bucket list we can support!), with the occasional day off for salad.
Kansas City’s barbecue joints are famous for the delicacy that is burnt ends. Not sure what that is?
Look no further than VisitKC.com for the answer: That crispy portion of the brisket not suitable for slicing, but delicious and full of flavor on its own. Pitmasters will chop it into cubes or chunks, and then submerge it into sauce, often times returning it to the smoker for even more smoking.
Sounds pretty tempting, right?
On your next trip to Kansas City, be sure to experience the offerings at their award-winning – and always-tasty – barbecue joints. You packed those wet wipes, right?
Still hungry for more Kansas City? You’re in luck, because around the area, you find:
• An awesome zoo where penguins and polar bears play
• Fabulous art and history museums
• More restaurants than we ever could mention.
• Awesome amusement parks like Worlds of Fun and Oceans of Fun
• Vibrant nightlife, including the popular Power and Light District
• Wineries and breweries that allow you to savor Missouri's flavor
• Snack treats galore, from Christopher Elbow Chocolates to Topsy’s Popcorn
These are just a few of the experiences to enjoy as you head to Kansas City to cheer on the Royals in the World Series. Help them #TakeTheCrown in 2014!