Downtown Kansas City - suggestions for spending the day?

Hi all,

I will be in Kansas City this weekend, attending a wedding. I am staying in the downtown Marriot with my mom (who is lots of fun). The wedding doesn’t start until 6:30 pm on Saturday, we have all day on Saturday to explore.

Any suggestions? Walking distance from the hotel would be ideal, but we could get a cab if the destination is great. We are looking for fun shopping and a great place to have lunch/brunch. The hotel linked Webster House for a place to eat, it looks promising - anybody have a review?

Thanks in advance!

Barbeque!!! There’s a Gates BBQ downtown, or you could cab it down to Arthur Bryant’s for lunch. Around the corner from Bryant’s is the Negro League Baseball Museum, which is across from the Jazz Museum. There’s plenty of shopping downtown (a cab to Crown Center), or hanging out in the Power & Light District.

If you’re looking for shopping you should head down to Crown Center. It’s probably not exactly walking distance but should be a fairly short cab ride from where you’ll be staying.

Country Club Plaza would be a longer cab ride but also worth checking out.

Not far from downtown is the River Market area, with a farmers’ market on Saturdays as well various shops and restaurants (I recommend Cafe al Dente). The Steamboat Arabia Museum there offers a fascinating portrait of a resurrected riverboat and the goods and lifestyles associated with it and its era. If you decide to go this route I’m confident you won’t be disappointed.

The “Plaza” (as everyone calls “Country Club Plaza”) is probably worth the short cab ride there. It’s one of the original (1920s?) open-air shopping malls, with high-class stores in Moorish Revival-style buildings, and some expensive but delicious restaurants (if BBQ isn’t your thing, you could consider Bo Ling’s for dim sum, a few blocks south of the Plaza, across the little river there). If it’s a nice day, a stroll from there to the Nelson-Atkins Museum (with its terrific new modern wing, and sculpture garden) could be worthwhile. Keep in mind as you walk around that the tonier parts of Kansas City are known for their sculptural fountains.

Downtown is not so great, unless you really have a thing for Chicago-era architecture. If you insist, though, a walk to to the outdoor River Market (just north of downtown, across the interstate) might be nice – farmer’s market, rather expensive goods, and such. And, though I’ve never checked it out, I’m told the Steamship Arabia (I think it’s walkable from downtown) is neat – it’s a Mark Twain-era ship which sunk long ago and was salvaged recently, and its contents are on display.

I’m sorry I’m not familar with the Webster House, though a glance at the hits on Google suggest it is quite good.

Cafe al Dente is a nice homey sort of place with surprisingly good food, including great shrimp cocktail, at moderate prices. It has an outdoor patio that is very pleasant. Most of the menu is Italian, as is Jacqueline the owner.

For a top-class (and priced accordingly) meal at a venerable Kansas City landmark, there’s the Savoy Grill, just a few blocks from your hotel. This is old-school luxury, specializing in seafood.

Everybody here has good ideas. I just thought I’d add that for rainy or cool weather your best bet might be to head for Crown Center. It has Restaurants and shopping under one roof. The Plaza is all open air and the Power and Light district is pretty much all bars and restaurants.

I also recommend the Steamboat Arabia Museum. It’s completely fascinating.

Another must see museum–and its the closest thing KC has to a world class museum–is the National World War I Museum. http://www.theworldwar.org/s/110/new/index_community.aspx

Another recommend for the Plaza. It will definitely meet your expectation for shopping and good places to eat, with many options to choose from.

Boston Red Sox are in town this weekend. Kaufmann Stadium is beautiful, even though the Royals are not.

Another BIG thumbs up for Steamboat Arabia Museum. When I was there one of the partners, Greg Hawley, introduced himself and answered questions from our tour group. What a cool guy and what a great story. His book, Treasure in a Cornfield, tells the story of the discovery and recovery of the Steamboat and the cargo it carried.

Union Station in KC is a pretty cool place to visit, too.

Thank you so much for all the wonderful suggestions! I’m going to print this thread and use it to help plan our day!

I’m not overly familiar with KC (BTW, KC, MO or KC, KS?) but I did have some fun there last summer on my stop-and-see-everything-that’s-odd tour.

Have you ever wanted to see a giant needle and thread? Go to the garment district.

How about a giant Shuttlecock? In front of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

Jackie Robinson’s daughter to speak at KC museum

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The daughter of baseball legend Jackie Robinson will be at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City this week.

Robinson broke the color barrier when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers for the first time on April 15, 1947. He died in 1972.

His daughter, Sharon Robinson, has written a children’s book called “Testing the Ice: A True Story about Jackie Robinson.”

She will participate in a discussion and book signing Saturday at the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which is located in Kansas City’s historic 18th and Vine district. The event is open to the public.

It’s been years since I spent any time there but there used to be an old car exhibition in the old train station. Also a good seafood buffet.
The Cattlemen Steak house used to be good.
Another vote for the Savoy.

I’m thirding the River Market for fresh produce. If you’re early risers this is perfect. You can get there at 6AM for the top picks. Or plan to get there at 6 AM, roll out of bed by 7:30 and hope to beat the crowds by 8:30 after you’ve had your coffee (which is our plan this weekend).

Oh and also, if you’re heading down to the Plaza and like to people watch, http://www.classiccup.com/ The Classic Cup would be my recommendation for lunch. So much of the Plaza is a chain these days but this one’s local and has great food to boot.

Thanks for all the suggestions - normally I would adore a farmer’s market, but we’re staying in a hotel, attending a wedding that night and leaving the next morning. I think we’re going to go shopping at Country Club Plaza :slight_smile: (Mom is from Texas, so she gets plenty of awesome BBQ - including the legendary Cooper’s bbq in Llano!). Neither one of us care a lick about sports - so we’re going to pass on baseball and baseball speakers!

I did make a mental note of the Steamboat Arabia museum, it’s probably not going to happen this visit, but I would love to check it out later!

I wrote down several of the restaurant suggestions - I’ll come back next week and post where we went!