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Kansas City area DUers - what to do and see in the KC region?

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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 02:45 PM
Original message
Kansas City area DUers - what to do and see in the KC region?
I got a summer job in Kansas City and I will be there through early August. I have never been anywhere in the US between Albuquerque and St. Louis, so the entire region is a mystery to me. Accordingly, I'd like to make the most of my time and see and do as many unique things in the Plains states while I can.

What's fun in KC? Where are the great local BBQ places? Any ideas for some good day/weekend trips? I have already decided to take trips to Lawrence KS and Omaha - is there anywhere else I should see? Is there anything in western Kansas worth making a weekend trip for? Any help would be greatly appreciated. I may be the only person in the world to ever say this about Kansas, but I am pretty excited about being there, and I don't want to miss out on anything great.
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El Supremo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 03:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. The Truman Presidential Library in Independence, MO
The best presidential library.

Also Union Station is fun and the Liberty Memorial is good (and high).
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TuxedoKat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 09:38 AM
Response to Reply #1
9. I second that!
Not a Kansan but a former Missourian (St. Louis area) but I visited the library and it is indeed wonderful. I would visit any Presidential library though. I never went to this place but this looks interesting. The artist, Thomas Hart Benton was a good friend of Pres. Truman, even though he was fairly conservative and his murals are a prominent feature in the library.

http://mostateparks.com/park/thomas-hart-benton-home-and-studio-state-historic-site
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 03:56 PM
Response to Original message
2. For BBQ go to Gates
You can also visit the Jazz and Negro Leagues museums...
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flying rabbit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 05:35 PM
Response to Original message
3. Arthur Bryants
BBQ is some excellent grub.
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Sky Masterson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 05:50 PM
Response to Original message
4. We have pretty good Mexican food here too.
But for Barbecue I would try Oklahoma Joes or Rosedale Barbecue.
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cbdo2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. My favorite Mexican food.....
is at Manny's on Southwest Blvd and a lot of people like Margarita's down there too. Though, my favorite Burrito in the world is at Dixon's Chili on 40 hwy in Independence.

Best donuts are on State Line and 103rd at Fluffy Fresh Donuts.
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cbdo2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 08:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. KC Barbecue.....and things to do....
Edited on Fri May-27-11 08:13 PM by cbdo2007
as you can tell from the responses, you need to try out many different BBQ places because everyone has their favorite.

In my opinion, the best ribs in town are Fiorella's Jack Stack (downtown) or Zarda (Blue Springs)

Best beef brisket definitely Arthur Bryants.

As for things to do IN Kansas City, the Zoo is alright, and the Union Station/Crown Center area is cool. Definitely do some shopping down at The Plaza/Westport area. It depends on what you like. Truman Home in Independence is cool. Jesse James farm in Kearney is interesting. First Fridays is when all of the art galleries in the Crossroads district stay open late and have horderves (sp?) so that's fun. They have a good Farmer's Market near downtown in the River Market on the weekends, also in the River Market is the Steamboat Arabia museum which I've heard is pretty cool. If you like art, the Thomas Hart Benton house/studio tour is interesting. Also, the Nelson Adkins art museum is really good and near that is the Kemper Contemporary Art museum which I enjoy. They have a cool new area downtown called the Power & Light District if you like hanging out at bars and stuff. I don't, but they have some good restaurants there also such as Flying Saucer and Chefburger. Let me know if you have more questions about any of this stuff.

Kansas City Ethnic Festival if a favorite of my family. This year it is August 19-22 at Swope Park.

Weekend Trips - Branson is interesting and is about 4.5 hours away. Weston (not really a weekend trip) is 45 minutes N of KC and has some really cool stuff like this old bar underground and cool shops.

what kind of stuff do you like to do?
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #5
14. I really like hiking and history
The Jesse James stuff sounds interesting, and I am definitely planning on a trip to the Truman library. I live in the Westport area so I will definitely be checking out the bars/restaurants/shopping in that area. If you know of any good parks for hiking, that's something I'm looking for too. It looks like there's a pretty nice park close by so I can go jogging. It looks like a nice city so I'm excited about the summer.
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cbdo2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 10:21 PM
Response to Reply #14
20. Yep, the whole area here is nice....
it kind of has a "small town" feel about it even though its kind of a big city.

The only places I know of that might have some type of "hiking" is just east of Independence in Blue Springs, Lake Jacomo has a handful of trails that you can hike on, also in Blue Springs is Burr Oak Woods and they have trails as well. Granted, if you're an avid/experienced hiker these are going to seem like walks for grade-school kids but it's all we've got. I'm talking trails of just like 1-2 miles each. It's fun though.

Yeah, if you're a Jesse James fan there are a lot of places in the area that are interesting. Frank James is buried in Independence, the James Family Farm is in Kearney, Robert Ford is buried in Richmond, MO, Jesse James house where he was killed is up in St. Joseph, there is a bank here in Liberty (where I am) that was the first daylight bank robbery in the US by the James Gang....you could make a whole day trip out of it and visit all this stuff :)

Lots of historical stuff around here too, lots of civil war battles, like the Battle Of Westport. I think you can even see wagon tracks there at the Battle of Westport park? Hmmmm. The Truman stuff is good and interesting. Also, I mentioned the Steamboat Arabia, it was a Missouri Riverboat from the mid 1800's that they dug up just North of KC with all these artifacts in perfect condition. I think they have a civil war fort you can go to out at Fort Osage. The Liberty Memorial I think is the only WW1 memorial in the US, and they have a huge WW1 museum there. I've never been in the museum but I hear it is interesting, and the Liberty Memorial has a special memory for me - seeing candidate Obama there with 75,000 other people in October 2008. :)

Yeah keep checking back, I might think of some more stuff. Have fun!
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 11:10 PM
Response to Reply #14
24. Van Meter State Park.
It's nearly 90 minutes but might be interesting if you like to hike.
"Trails:
Van Meter State Park offers many recreational opportunities and historical interests. While enjoying the pleasing scenery and relaxed setting, visitors can get a closer look by taking a hike on one of six trails.

Lakeview Trail : This .6-mile trail follows along the west shore of Lake Wooldridge.

Loess Hills Trail : As this two-mile trail circles the lake, it passes through prairielike areas and dunelike loess soil of the Pinnacles.

Earthworks Trail : Beginning in the day-use area, this 1.4-mile trail leads to Native American sites known as the Old Fort and Mound Field. It also winds up the Pinnacles and through the forested part of Oumessourit Natural Area.

Cemetery Trail : This .25-mile trail takes visitors to the Vanmeter (historical spelling) family cemetery, which sits atop a hill alongside ancient Indian burial mounds.

Oumessourit Wetland Boardwalk Trail : This .75-mile trail allows visitors to experience the wetland and bottomland forested areas of the Oumessourit Natural Area.

Missouri River Overlook : This short trail (.16-mile) follows the ridge of a pinnacle and ends with a vista of the Missouri River bottoms, the river?s forested edge, crop fields and oxbow lakes."
http://www.stateparks.com/van_meter.html

This was another party spot from high school, though few outside of the county actually know about the park. The burial mounds are almost not to be believed the first time you see them. Camping is allowed and it's something we still try to do at least once a summer. My favorite spot? The devil's backbone-a climb that you'll definitely feel.
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hibbing Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri May-27-11 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
7. some things
Hi,
Not from there, but have been there plenty of times. I would second the recommendation for the Truman Library, awesome. Baseball at Kaufman Stadium, they have fireworks every Friday night I believe. If you like amusement parks, Worlds of Fun, and there is also a water park nearby. The Negro League Baseball Museum is located in Kansas City also. Just a few suggestions, I know there are a lot of other attractions.


Omaha, their zoo is very good.

Have fun, and peace.
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LiberalAndProud Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-11 11:31 PM
Response to Reply #7
38. A second rec for the Henry Doorly Zoo, if you're looking to expand beyond the KC area.
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retread Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 05:56 AM
Response to Original message
8. You could watch the corn/milo/soybeans grow.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
10. See a T-Bones game.
We have the Royals too but the T-Bones are more fun to watch and quite a bit cheaper.http://www.tbonesbaseball.com/news/headlines/
BBQ is subjective. I prefer Gates and Oklahoma Joe's but everyone will tell you somewhere else to eat. Honestly, you should try them all!http://www.gatesbbq.com/ http://www.oklahomajoesbbq.com/

A show at Starlight is always fun and the tickets are inexpensive-about $10. http://www.kcstarlight.com/

KC Zoo has a new polar bear exhibit. I'm planning on seeing Nikita this summer! http://www.kansascityzoo.org/

We have the jazz district, the Negro Baseball League museum, Nelson-Adkins art museum (free!), Liberty Memorial (the only WWI memorial in the U.S.). We are the city of fountains-the second largest amount of fountains in the world.

Drive further north and you have lots of Jesse James. Excelsior Springs has a beautiful resort that should be visited at least once, even if not staying. It was built at a time when people traveled all over to "take the springs" and there are rumored to be ghosts on grounds. Weston is lovely-be sure to drive to Atchinson for all the Amelia Earhart places, along with a walking around the town that is considered one of the most haunted in the U.S.

Independence is Truman, Truman, Truman. You must visit! There are also links from when the LDS settled the area that make up an important part of the town's history.

Wanna drive further out? Lexington was a Civil War battleground. There is a cannonball still in the courthouse from the battle and Anderson House is fascinating to visit, as is looking at the houses all around town. I like driving up there during the school year, when Wentworth Military Academy is in session. Sometimes they drill outside and it's interesting to watch. Higginsville has a Confederate Memorial and Cemetery. Waverly is on the Missouri River and has lots of orchards.

Warrensburg is home to the Old Drum Trial, (Missouri small towns seem to focus on dogs), a state university, and Blind Boone. http://www.blindboonepark.org/ There are quite a few parks to take a picnic and sit for a few hours. Knob Noster is home to Whiteman AFB, home of the B2"Stealth" Bomber. At any given time you can park and watch it fly overhead-it's really cool to see. If you camp Knob Noster State Park isn't too bad-they have astronomy programs once a month too. Sedalia is a bit over an hour's drive. It's home to the Scott Joplin Ragtime Fest, the Missouri State Fair, Bothwell House (huge house built over a cave-kept the temps moderate in the home year round!), Katy Trail (a rails to trails project that runs a good distance through numerous towns).

Want more? Clinton has one of the largest town squares in the U.S., has a Civil War battle, and is within an easy drive of Truman Lake and Dam. We go there all the time to fish, swim, and camp.

Wanna go further out? Send me a pm and I can give you more info. The kid and I visit all the quirky sites and we make it a point of seeing all the state parks.
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Sky Masterson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 04:57 PM
Response to Reply #10
13. You would make a great ambassador for the city
:applause:
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 10:58 PM
Response to Reply #13
21. Thank you,
considering I actually live about 45 minutes outside.

My daughter and I spend lots of time finding quirky places.
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Sky Masterson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 01:20 PM
Response to Reply #21
28. You are welcome
I live about 5 minutes away from Oklahoma Joes in westport.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 05:48 PM
Response to Reply #28
29. I know Westport!
Are they doing any decent activities up there with the Battle of Westport this year? Most of the Civil War sites have big things in store this year because of the anniversary.
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Sky Masterson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 07:19 PM
Response to Reply #29
31. They are always doing something here
I'm not sure what they have planned for that but the pub crawls seem to happen a few times a week. :) I live about a minutes walk from the KC Flea Market.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. I need to get up to the flea market sometime.
I just wondered if there was anything special for the Battle of Westport, since it's the 150th anniversary for the Civil War? I know quite a few sites have special programs and such planned. We had a presentation about the Northern and Southern troops drilling in Warrensburg and its role in supplying troops to a few nearby battles.
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Sky Masterson Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 07:26 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. I haven't heard a thing.
I found this page here with a few links of interest.
http://www.battleofwestport.org/
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 07:52 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. I know Lexington, Carthage, Lone Jack,
and I believe Booneville are all doing something or another for the anniversary. Might be something for you to check into-could be something great or it could be something insane. Either way, it should prove to be amusing.

I hope the weather is holding up there. We were at Truman Lake today and the beach is flooded up to the sign now-there's about five feet of sand total and even that has some water on it. The southern part of Sedalia didn't look too hot either-lots of tornado damage from Wednesday. It skipped right past the high school.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 10:00 PM
Response to Reply #10
15. What a fabulous list!
I will bookmark this thread so I can remember all these great suggestions. I will send you a PM shortly, I LOVE history and nature and would love to check out some out-of-the-way state parks.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 10:59 PM
Response to Reply #15
22. and I sent you a pm back.
I added a few more suggestions. A few were in the suburbs, a few in St Joe (I can't stress seeing Glore just once, if only to say you've been there!), and a couple as an easy day trip.
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mwdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 10:03 PM
Response to Reply #10
17. My 2 1/2 year old grandson is a T-Bones fan!
He loves the game, and the T-Bones games are the best! The Royals Stadium is very nice, too. The Nelson Atkins museum is world class, not to be missed.
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 11:03 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. Did you sign him up for the kids club?
It's really cheap, considering everything they get for the price.

http://www.tbonesbaseball.com/lilchopskidsclubs/infomation/">LilChops

I also mentioned Fort Osage and Missouri Town 1855 in a pm to the OP.
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mwdem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #23
26. I sent the site to my daughter
Thanks!
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xmas74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 05:50 PM
Response to Reply #26
30. I recently gave one to a friend's son
for his birthday. It was a big hit.
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RKP5637 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #10
19. +1000 +++ n/t
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 12:29 PM
Response to Original message
11. Nelson-Atkins Gallery; Benton Home and Studio; Liberty Memorial; Union Station; Rosedale Barbeque...
(Bryants sucks - locals don't really go there); Westport; The Plaza; Garden of Eden (Lucas, KS); Wornalll House; go have a real steak.
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demtenjeep Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 02:10 PM
Response to Original message
12. Royals Baseball, Gates BBQ
The museum

World's of Fun
Oceans of fun

The Yard at Ledgends

Bass Pro Shop

Great Wolf Lodge
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 10:03 PM
Response to Original message
16. Thanks for all the great suggestions, guys!
I will probably try all the different BBQ places mentioned because it definitely seems like an individual preference thing. It should be a good summer - I moved in today and it looks like there'll be plenty to do with my time. Thanks again!

On a BBQ related note, has anyone here been to LC's BBQ? A friend recommended it to me, but I haven't heard it mentioned by any KCers. Worth the trip, or not really?
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cbdo2007 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 10:05 PM
Response to Reply #16
18. LC's....
yep, I've been there a few times and I think they even have live Blues on some nights. Definitely go on one of the live blues nights, but yeah it's a good place to try. That's the thing is there are about 50 barbecue places in the city, all with something different that's good about them, so they're all worth trying....but definitely being from out of town, be sure you try all the most famous places while you're here. Enjoy!
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elana i am Donating Member (626 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat May-28-11 11:19 PM
Response to Original message
25. BBQ recommendations
if you want pulled pork, sliced meats, or the best BBQ beans ever then zarda BBQ is the place to go. for ribs & burn ends, it's johnny's BBQ in mission because they have this absolutely fabulous dry rub they use on their ribs. zarda and johnny's have my favorite sauces.

also, if you're looking for something a little more upscale, there's a place in overland park and martin city called fiorella's jack stack that i think is the best for steaks, chicken, turkey & sausage.

i also second the recommendation of oklahoma joes (but go to the one in the old gas station on 47th st.) it's a dive, but the food is better there. another good one is quick's bbq.

BBQs to avoid - haywards & R.J.s bob-be-que shack. they are both a hybrid of kc style bbq and east coast vinegar based bbq. i think that the east coast vinegar and mustard stuff is nasty.
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Mabus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 12:46 PM
Response to Original message
27. Hit me when you get here
I'm in Lawrence and know a few DU'ers in KCK, KCMO and Topeka that are looking for an excuse to have a party.
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MilesColtrane Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 11:07 PM
Response to Original message
35. Visit Charlie Parker's grave at Lincoln Cemetery and listen to the birds.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jun-18-11 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
36. I've been here for 3 weeks and love it so far!
What a great city. I've eaten BBQ at Oklahoma Joe's, Fiorella's Jack Stack, and Gates so far - OK Joe's was my favorite, though they were all good and all different enough to have something to recommend about them. The Nelson-Atkins was great, and I work within a 5 minute walk of the Crown Center, so I've popped in there, too. I live very near Westport and the Plaza so I've done some shopping and dining along there - the Flea Market has awesome burgers and I just love walking around the Plaza. I love all the fountains and had no idea KC was this beautiful!

Thanks all for your tips and I look forward to doing more in your great city :)
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-09-11 11:15 PM
Response to Original message
37. Some pretty hot DU'ers
;)
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jul-10-11 07:28 PM
Response to Reply #37
39. You can't just leave that hanging out there
Details please!
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