Kansas City Tourist Activities
Kansas City International Airport is a busy airport in the American state of Missouri, with over ten million passengers per annum. It is recognised by its IATA code of MCI (referring to its previous name of the Mid-Continent International Airport), and is served by a number of prominent airline companies. Many of the airport’s passengers are from other cities in the United States, but a significant number are from international destinations as well. The airport is an excellent gateway to the area of Kansas City, which offers a large number of wonderful tourist attractions. Kansas City attractions range from interesting museums to the large amusement parks of Worlds of Fun. This city has something to offer all its visitors.
This American city was founded in the 1820’s, and is well known for its historic trading post activities, and was once a major centre for cattle. Nowadays, however, it is a modern and vast city boasting a friendly atmosphere, many lovely shopping areas, excellent restaurants, a wide range of entertainment venues and several large parklands where residents and visitors can enjoy a barbeque or a just a little ‘time-out’ from busy city life. Visitors will find plenty of options for accommodation, as hotels are plentiful. Some are ideal for those on a tighter budget, while others are considered as luxury accommodations. A number of hotels are located around Blue Ridge Boulevard, the Plaza Circle, West 12th Street, Main Street and Hill Crest, and several can also be found nearby to the Kansas City International Airport.
Kansas City is found on the southern banks of the Missouri River, and extends onto both sides of the two states, Missouri and Kansas, which can be considered as areas virtually in the centre of the United States of America. The city is divided into several districts, each with their own interesting aspects. The Brookside District is perhaps best known for its great variety of shops, and has been one of the most popular neighbourhoods for many years. It has many lovely and attractive white buildings, and its retail possibilities include upscale boutiques, bohemian second-hand stores and children’s bookstores. The Downtown District of the city is one of the most extensive, and enjoys an elevated position that allows some spectacular views over other parts of the city. Historical buildings are found here, along with more modern skyscrapers, first-class restaurants and stylish shopping centres. Alongside the downtown area is the Crossroads Art District, popular for its social festivities, and the River Market District features the largest open-air farmer’s market in the state. The Westport/Plaza District is another lively area featuring trendy bars, cafés and nightclubs.
Walking tours through the Harley Davidson Assembly Plant Factory are popular amongst many tourists. This is the company’s only factory west of the Mississippi, and shows its visitors the basic assembly process of the wonderful machines they produce. The manufacturing plant is open Monday to Friday from 08:00 to 12:00, and is found at 11401 North Congress. Another of the city’s major tourist attractions is the Kansas City Zoo, filled with many amazing creatures. As one can expect, this is a lovely outing for families. Currently the zoo has over 1,500 animals, and also features an IMAX theatre and two large aviaries that can be walked. The zoo is found at 6800 Zoo Drive, in Swope Park.
Further Kansas City attractions include the Quindaro Ruins, Union Station and the Worlds of Fun amusement parks. The first is one of the buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, and is famous as a former abolitionist town where African-American slaves were granted their freedom. There is no charge to wonder this town, and to see its old buildings. Union Station, originally a very important establishment for rail transport, is now the city’s premier tourist attraction. It has been completely revamped, and now features an exciting science museum, a 3D movie screen, a theatre for various live performance shows and a number of shops and restaurants. The only trains available today are a few that are still operated by Amtrak, which depart from the terminal. The station is found at 30 West Pershing Road. Worlds of Fun truly lives up to its name, with many rides that the whole family will find thrilling. Just across the way is also the Oceans of Fun park packed with wonderful attractions as well. It is also one of the Midwest’s largest water parks. The two amusement parks are found at 4545 Worlds of Fun Avenue.
In Kansas City, a couple of landmarks and monuments are worth mentioning. They include the Liberty Memorial, the Firefighters Fountain, Crown Centre Fountain, JC Nichols Fountain and the Vietnam Veterans Fountain. The Thomas Hart Benton Home is visited often as well. Thomas Benton was Missouri’s most celebrated 20th century artist, and he lived in a beautiful Victorian mansion in Kansas City until 1975. The public are now allowed to enter his home, which includes his studio, and see many of his personal belongings and a collection of his works.
Kansas City Museums are of interest to both children and adults. For children in particular, is the Toy and Miniature Museum, with a unique collection of antique dolls, dollhouses and an assortment of other toys. It also features many interactive exhibits which are lots of fun. The museum is found at 5235 Oak Street. The Arabia Steamboat Museum is dedicated to the Arabia, a steamboat that sank in the Missouri River in 1856, and has a fascinating collection of related articles. Further museums worth a visit include the American Jazz Museum, the Black Archives of Mid-America and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. Visitors also enjoy the many parks and gardens of the city, such as Hodge Park, Loose Park, Penn Valley Park, Swope Park and the Wyandotte Country Lake Park.
Although Kansas City attractions are plentiful, tourists may also visit the Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art in Lawrence and ‘Independence’, with sixteen heritage sites and museums in Independence. Nearby as well is the Truman Farm Home, the Kansas Speedway, the Powell Gardens and Unity Village. Find out more information about these attractions and many others at the Kansas City International Airport, or from tourist centres in the city.