My friend Sara and I, usually tromping across the state with our two rowdy boys, found ourselves boy-less, a few days before the weekend. Sara, who I might add is not crafty, proposed a quiet weekend of scrapbooking. I proposed we forget scrapbooking and seek amazing food, signature cocktails, a world-class concert, great art, culture and style! I told her, “Girl, pack your bags! It’s time for a girls getaway to Kansas City!”
I won’t leave you in suspense. I’ll skip to the good part and tell you, we had the time of our lives. And, so can you. Here’s a recap and some trip ideas to get you started. Make sure and take loads of photos when you go, so you can scrapbook those later;-p
How far away is Kansas City?
- St. Louis
- Oklahoma City
- Little Rock
WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN KANSAS CITY
Want to see something amazing? Take in a performance at the Kaufman Center for the Performing Arts, a mega-modern performance center with some of the best acoustics in the world. The interior of the building is just as eye-popping as the exterior and compliments the theatrical, operatic, dance and musical performances staged there.
Pick up a souvenirs at the gift shop or grab a drink at the swanky bar, found in the middle of the atrium. Sip a cocktail and take in the sweeping vistas of downtown Kansas City which can be viewed from almost every turn. Finally, don’t miss the color play of the light reflecting the color of the carpets on the upper floors. The reflections provide a stunning visual display.
Sara’s take: Compared to most theaters, the Kauffman Center is almost space aged. I couldn’t get over how modern and fresh the architecture is and the quality of the performances. Wow.
Eat and Drink
After an evening show, The Jacobson, located in the heart of the Crossroads Arts District, is a short drive away and open until 1 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. Nosh on sea scallops, crab poppers and housemade french fries while kicking back Brazilian caipirinhas with a fruity twist. Sit outside on the patio and enjoy a balmy evening in the summer or warm yourself in front of the fire pit on a fall night. And, make sure to ask for Mango, a waiter who knew the inside scoop on urban Missouri and gave Sara and I plenty of tips on what to see and do in both Kansas City and St. Louis.
Sara’s take: What’s not to like about sea scallops? I would come back to this restaurant again and again.
A night cap at Manifesto, Kansas City’s renowned subterranean speakeasy, is a perfect ending to the evening. Located underneath the Rieger Hotel, Manifesto is dark and intimate, and allows only a small number of people to enter at a time. Call or text message 816.536.1325 to reserve a table, or for parties of two, a short wait will seat you at the bar. The menu caters to the true mixologist, each drink is handmade and often includes a dropper of bitters, essences or key secret ingredients. Winter in Buenos Aires, a rum drink with honey, cinnamon and roasted butternut squash was our favorite.
Sara’s take: The Manifesto was a really fun experience. I definitely felt like I was on vacation. A speakeasy is not my everyday watering hole.
Ready to skip ahead to brunch? Day two on our girls getaway in Kansas City included a stop for a morning meal at Succotash. We dined on freshly made juices and Monte Cristos (piles of ham and cheese sandwiched between french toast made from rye bread). Yum!
Sara’s take: I can’t believe there was no line at Succotash. The food was incredible and we were seated and eating in minutes. Most large cities with brunch spots this good would mean suffering through an hour wait to be seated!
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Strolling through the galleries at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art feels like an adventure. This encyclopedic collection of art spans centuries and includes rare finds like an Egyptian mummy, a Buddhist temple and a treasure trove of contemporary art and photography. If time doesn’t permit a visit during the day, don’t forget that the Nelson-Atkins is open on Fridays until 9 p.m., making it a perfect after-dinner activity to walk off a meal. Plus, did I mention admission is free?
Sara’s take: I’ve now seen Monet’s Water Lilies on both sides of the state, in St. Louis (at the St. Louis Art Museum) AND Kansas City. Neat!
Where to Stay
There are many options for a quality night stay in Kansas City. However, on this particular trip, Sara and I stayed at the Aladdin Holiday Inn downtown. This full-service hotel offers a boutique feel and many special touches and is close to all of the attractions we visited. The buffet breakfast and modern decor contributed to a wonderful stay.
Sara’s take: park in the affordably-priced parking garage across the street to save money on the valet and don’t pack a hair dryer, it’s provided in the room!
After a whirlwind tour of arts and culture, Sara and I were ready for some relaxation. We packed it up and headed to Excelsior Springs, a small town with main street charm roughly forty-five minutes from downtown KC. Sound exciting? Check back for my next article, on the zen side of northwest Missouri, in the coming weeks. For information about Missouri travel, click the buttons below and start planning your perfect getaway.Missouri Travel GuideVisitMO on FacebookVisitMO.com