Itinerary – See Kansas City in a Single Day
Some of the best sights, sounds and tastes in Kansas City can be experienced in a single day. Whether in town for a convention or traveling in for the day, there’s no shortage of unique stops worth visiting in the City of Fountains.
Check out one of KC’s excellent cafes for a bit of caffeine to get your morning going.
- Messenger Coffee Co.: Chic environs define this three-story café and bakery.
- Quay Coffee: A River Market favorite only steps away from the KC Streetcar.
- The Roasterie: Dependable and delicious coffee concoctions.
- Kaldi’s Coffee: Find this popular roaster at two shops on the Plaza and in the Power & Light District.
Once you’re properly awakened, fuel up at a breakfast or brunch spot—you’ll need your strength for a full day of sightseeing.
- Rye: Down-home favorites like biscuits & gravy and fried chicken make any breakfast or brunch amazing.
- Mildred’s: Simple, tasty breakfast sandwiches and scratch-made pastries in the Crossroads Arts District.
- Happy Gillis: Friendly morning diner with a filling menu of classic and craft options.
Finish the morning by heading to one of Kansas City’s incredible museums for a glimpse of history, from local heroes to global stories of service and sacrifice.
- National WWI Museum and Memorial: Pay tribute to those who lost their lives in this global conflict that still shapes our world today.
- The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: More than 5,000 years of human art is catalogued and showcased at this free institution.
- Negro Leagues Baseball Museum: Trace the trials, tribulations and triumphs of Negro Leagues baseball players in this remarkable museum.
- Harry S. Truman Library and Museum: The legacy of the Show-Me State’s only American president is on full display at his presidential library in Independence, Truman’s hometown.
Every KC trip calls for a taste of barbecue, the city’s signature cuisine. Find iconic joints throughout the region to enjoy delicious, smoked delicacies—and download the KC BBQ Experience app to find all 100-plus restaurants.
- Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue: An all-time classic in the heart of the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District.
- Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que: The one in a gas station, featuring the world-famous Z-Man sandwich.
- Gates Bar-B-Q: With locations across the metro, “Hi, may I help you?” is the most ubiquitous greeting in the city.
- Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue: Perfect for date nights and special occasions. Save room for the sides.
- Q39: Competition-quality ‘cue on 39th Street West and in Overland Park.
Afterwards, make your way to one of KC’s stellar shopping districts and boutiques for everything from high-end fashion to locally made souvenirs.
- Country Club Plaza: Local brands and well-known retailers make for excellent shopping among the Spanish-inspired architecture of this quintessential district.
- Made in Kansas City: Find products from regional makers in this all-local boutique brick-and-mortar.
- Halls Kansas City: KC’s hometown department store, located right in Crown Center.
- Legends Outlets: An open-air shopping center boasting a long list of factory stores and big-name outlets.
- Zona Rosa: A short drive from KCI, this outdoor district features popular shopping and dining spots.
Afternoon eases into evening in the Crossroads Arts District, where craft breweries reign supreme, artistic endeavors surprise and the city’s unrefined side shines.
- Craft Breweries: Sip and taste your way through the city’s craft beer scene.
- Parlor: Sample everything from Korean cuisine to Nashville hot chicken in this trendy food hall.
- Up-Down: Local pours and old-school games make this arcade bar a big hit among locals and visitors.
- Art Galleries: Tour progressive studios for a taste of Kansas City’s creative culture.
No matter what you’re craving, there’s a dining hotspot perfect for your dinner tastes.
- Upscale: Try Bristol for fresh seafood, The Antler Room for an intimate setting and Bluestem for thoughtful coursed meals.
- Relaxed: Take in the River Market at Brown & Loe, venture to the Westside for The Westside Local and find flavorful noodles at Columbus Park Ramen.
Live jazz is an essential component of KC nightlife—and has been for more than a century. Popular clubs in the metro include:
- Green Lady Lounge: Velvet reds and classy vibes make the Green Lady Lounge a favorite among jazz enthusiasts.
- The Phoenix: A time-honored jazz establishment in Downtown KC.
- The Blue Room: Grooving sessions keep audiences coming back to this venue in the American Jazz Museum.
- Mutual Musicians Foundation: Stick around this legend for a late-night jam session that runs well into the early morning.
Every incredible day deserves a fitting nightcap, and Kansas City’s cocktail clubs serve up the right spirits.
- Manifesto: Dimly lit and appropriately cozy, Manifesto is ideal for adventurous spirits of all kinds.
- The Monarch Cocktail Bar & Lounge: Exquisite details define this high-end cocktail experience at the Plaza.
- Julep: Westport’s resident whiskey bar touts Southern-inspired small plates.
- Swordfish Tom’s: A secluded speakeasy featuring a wide variety of cocktails.
- Ça Va: Champagne flows freely in this laid-back hangout.