Kansas City, Here We Come!
Find out all about Kansas City before you join us for NSBE’s 43rd Annual Convention at the Kansas City Convention Center, March 29 – April 2, 2017. Register now.
Missouri or Kansas?
If you’ve never visited a city that spans two states, you may be surprised to learn that Kansas City is in both Missouri and Kansas. The metro area straddles the border, which is marked by State Line Road and the Missouri River. Missouri is east of State Line Road. Kansas is west. Kansas City International Airport is on the Missouri side, as is the Kansas City Convention Center, but many suburbs are on the Kansas side.
Kansas City may be best known for its barbecue, which is slowly smoked with a thick tomato and molasses-based sauce. Originally, pitmasters from the south were attracted to the city’s large stockyard and meat packing industry. Today more than 100 barbecue restaurants can be found all around the metro area. Some of the most popular are Arthur Bryant’s, Gates, Hayward’s, and Jack Stack. They all claim to be Kansas City’s best, so it’s up to you to decide. Try the burnt ends!
About the same time barbeque was catching fire in Kansas City, a style of jazz was developing. Musicians began to improvise and move from big band jazz to Bebop. Kansas City jazz musicians were legendary for their jam sessions. Today, you can head to 18th and Vine to find Kansas City’s historic jazz district and the American Jazz Museum. It’s an interactive experience with listening stations, touch-screens, and soundboards. Look for Charlie Parker’s saxophone donated by former president Bill Clinton, and listen to jazz in The Blue Room, the museum’s club. There are also lots of other spots to hear live jazz in the city. They include Green Lady Lounge, The Phoenix, and The Majestic.
Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
Next to the jazz museum, you’ll find the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The museum is dedicated to preserving the rich history of African-American baseball. The 10,000 square foot facility opened in 1997 and houses hundreds of photographs and artifacts dating back to the late 1800s.
Kansas City’s best-known shopping area is the Country Club Plaza. Modeled after Seville, Spain, the outdoor venue runs along Brush Creek and covers 15-blocks with more than 150 shops and dozens of restaurants. You’ll also find lots of shopping and dining downtown at Crown Center. It’s the site of the city’s Sea Life Aquarium and LEGOLAND Discovery Center.
Take a free ride on the KC Streetcar as it travels two miles through the heart of downtown with 16 platform stops. It runs from about 7:00 am through the night until the wee hours of the morning from the River Market on the north end of downtown to Union Station and Crown Center on the south.
The Kansas City Power & Light District bills itself as the entertainment epicenter of the city. The district is next to the Kansas City Convention Center. It has 50 bars, restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues including KC Live! which runs an entire city block with two levels of restaurants, taverns, and night spots.
If beer is your thing, you’ll be happy to find several craft breweries in Kansas City. The most popular is Boulevard Brewing, the largest specialty brewery in the Midwest. It offers a free 60-minute walking tour of its production facility. The city also has at least eight other craft breweries to try.