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Holidays in Kansas City

Touting the city as "wide open and inviting," the travel experts at Lonely Planet recently included Kansas City, Missouri, on their list of the Top 10 U.S. Destinations. KC' to the locals and those in the know, Kansas City is where old meets new, the prairies meet the city, and Kansas meets Missouri. Signs of KC's rich past are everywhere, from its long tradition of BBQ cooking to the jazz clubs that reverberate nightly with the bebop style born here. But it's also a 21st-century city with a modern vibe that comes complete with a slew of attractions, top sports action, first-class retail therapy and a tick-list of museums to keep everyone happy.

This energetic city is forged by a rich history know as the "City of Fountains", brimming with activities to keep travellers entertained from eclectic cuisine and swinging jazz to one-of-a-kind museums and a thriving arts scene and fantastic shopping. Part of the city’s charm lies in its impressive network of parks and boulevards and of course, exquisite fountains. The world-renowned jazz legacy continues today in clubs throughout the city. For barbecue lovers, the city’s signature food can be found at nearly 100 barbecue establishments, but visitors also delight in restaurants of every ethnic origin.

At the heart of downtown, you'll find eight blocks of dining and nightlife inside the pulsing Kansas City Power & Light District. That's more than 50 restaurants and entertainment venues, offering everything from fine dining to line dancing.

Strolling is a must on holidays in Kansas City. It's the best way to get under the city's skin, and you'll soon see why it's known as the 'City of Fountains'. There are over 200 of them (only Rome has more), which makes for scenic stops almost everywhere. As you wonder the City you'll pass Art Deco skyscrapers Downtown; elegant 1920s Spanish architecture in the retail and entertainment hub of Country Club Plaza; and brick warehouses converted to galleries in the Crossroads Arts District.

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KC is famed for the quality of its barbeque ribs, pulled pork and 'burnt ends' - slow-smoked over a wood fire and then slathered in a thick tomato and molasses sauce. There's hundreds of BBQ joints to choose from, (Arthur Bryant's is a favourite), and don't miss the American World Series of Barbecue in October, when 500 teams compete for the BBQ crown.

All That Jazz

The hip and happening American Jazz Museum tells the story of jazz through all kinds of interactive exhibits, historic recordings and memorabilia like KC native Charlie Parker's saxophone. At night the museum's Blue Room is a top venue to listen to live jazz - or head to one of the other many jazz clubs in 18th & Vine, like the respected Mutual Musicians Foundation.

American History

Retrace pioneer trails heading west, tour America’s only World War I museum and follow in the footsteps of outlaw Jesse James, or see where President Harry Truman got his humble start. These and many other All-American adventures await.

Arts & Creativity

Kansas City's cool, cultural vibe is all around. No wonder Hallmark and Walt Disney both got their starts here. Tap into your artistic side with the acclaimed Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 65 performing arts groups, the Crossroads Arts District and the world-class Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, home to Kansas City’s symphony, ballet and opera.

The Kids Are Alright

There's lots to keep the kids happy on holidays in Kansas City. The zoo has animals from Australia and Africa; the Science City has heaps of interactive entertainment; Moon Marble Company – makes marbles while you watch; and Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark is home of Verrückt - the fastest and tallest waterslide in the World.

Fly drive holiday: Great Plains Adventure

Tulsa – Oklahoma City – Ponca City – Wichita – Hutchinson – Salina – Lawrence – Overland Park – Kansas City

Our suggested fly drive itinerary showcases the native history and culture of Kansas and Oklahoma, the heartlands of the USA, where you can find an endless horizon that stretches over the broad Great Plains and the grassy prairie between the Mississippi Valley and the Rocky Mountains. Oklahoma and Kansas share a fascinating history particularly significant to Native American Indians, American cowboys and American oil barons, and this recommend fly drive holiday will allow you to discover the real America. Hear heroic stories and meet the descendants of Native American Indians, pioneer women, cattle drovers and oil barons – all who have had significant influence in the history of the United States!
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A culinary crossroads, Kansas City is cooking with all kinds of flavours. Enjoy the best of America in KC from seafood and steaks to savoury barbecue andupscale restaurants. Indulge in local delicacies like Kansas City Strips, Chicken Spiedini, Boulevard beer and of course that tangy world-famous barbecue.

Schlitterbahn Kansas City Water Park  
Kids and parents alike will love this fantastic water park where you can surf a wave at the Boogie Bahn, ride the world's largest tidal wave river in a rubber ring or brave Verrücht (crazy in German), the tallest and fastest waterslide in the world. The park's 'trainsportainment river system means that you can travel from one end of the park to the other without ever leaving the water!

Kansas City's passion for sports will leave you cheering. Witness the action and enjoy Chiefs football, Royals baseball, Sporting soccer and NASCAR racing. Or, tour The College Basketball Experience and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, two interactive venues fi t for the fan in all of us.

Stretching 15 blocks and chock full of more than $1 million of outdoor artwork, KC’s famed Country Club Plaza is a destination for shoppers. Between purchases, tour the quaint district’s fountains and architecture aboard horse-drawn carriage, gondola or Segway.


Time Difference:  
GMT - 6 hours

Closest Airport:  
Kansas City International (approx. 12 hours, indirect flight). Chicago O'Hare International Airport (approx. 9 hours and 15 minutes direct).

Getting around:  
Kansas City is best explored by car. A new Downtown Streetcar connects several popular entertainment districts. Best of all, it’s free. Car hire is available from £19 per day.

Insider Tip:  
Kansas City, Kansas, or Kansas City, Missouri? Both actually. KC is a bi-state metro with cultural offerings on both sides of the state lines. Most visitors cross state boundaries without even realizing. To locals, it’s all one city.

You're going to need an ESTA:  
For anyone travelling to the USA, the US authorities have imposed a requirement for passengers travelling under the Visa Waiver Programme (VWP), to register for Electronic Travel Authority. Just fill in the online application form which you can find at You will need to apply for entry via ESTA at least a minimum of 72 hours prior to travel.


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