Looking for a comfortable getaway that invites you to a new world of exploration and hospitality? Try a Midwestern vacation that offers finger-licking, and lip-smacking barbecue, all while listening to authentic jazz next to an expansive river. Barbecue and jazz are just a couple of the amenities Kansas City, Missouri (population: 475,000) has to offer. Join the 360 Magazine Team as they learn the history of this metro city and visit the top picks for lodging, exploration and most certainly, indulging.
Whether you are ready to take a risk or simply relax, the Ameristar Casino Hotel, housing 184 rooms, is an excellent choice. On the first day in Kansas City, 360 stayed at the hotel, which overlooks the mighty Missouri River, tying together an elegant vibe with a western saloon twist.
Built in 1997 and only ten miles away from downtown Kansas City and Arrowhead Stadium, the 183-acre Ameristar includes complimentary valet parking, as well as an on-site brewery, amazing eateries with the finest chefs, and a spectacular casino floor. Got that gambling itch? Be a winner at one of the largest casinos in the nation, as the 3-diamond Casino has over 2,200 slot and video poker machines, 66 table games, and 15 poker tables operating 24 hours a day.
That evening, the team got a taste of Kansas City at Rosso, an upscale restaurant inside the Hotel Sorella Country Club Plaza 。 The hotel gives a modern feel fixed with Mediterranean accents and unique accommodations. If you’re appreciative of fine art, look no further than Sorella, which incorporates timeless pieces of Renaissance-inspired art that will leave you speechless.
Hotel Sorella has 132 guest rooms. Visitors benefit from a complementary European breakfast at Francesca’s Greenhouse lounge, with access to Mediterranean dining on the rooftop, a rooftop swimming pool, fitness center and more.
The hotel has phenomenal reviews, and previously received the Trip Advisor certificate of excellence, the 2016 Diner’s Choice Award from Opentable.com, the 10 Best Hotels in Kansas City by USA Today, and multiple celebrity guest stays. Along with fine dining choices, Kansas City has a near-limitless variety of barbecue joints, offering platter upon platter of savory smoked meat to satisfy your taste buds. Arthur Bryant’s dates back to the early 1900s and is said to be some of the best barbecue ones could eat. The restaurant takes you back to the father of Kansas City barbecue, Henry Patrick. He shared his love of meats with the Garment District in downtown Kansas City at an alley stand. Arthur Bryant would eventually take over the business. With celebrities such as Steven Spielberg, Jimmy Carter and President Barack Obama dining at Arthur Bryant’s, the joint has received sensational reviews and built a solid rapport with loyal customers.
For the ultimate foodie/barbecue lover, try a Kansas City Barbecue Bus Tour, where you can stop at Arthur Bryant’s and other local restaurants like LC’s Barbeque, Gates Barbeque, and Jack Stack Barbecue. On the second day, we spent the afternoon riding from restaurant to restaurant, by bus, to enjoy some of the finest “Q” in Kansas City.
President of 360 Magazine, Vaughn Lowery, has traveled around the world trying the most scrumptious foods and had a few words to share in-between bites. Born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, and knowing a thing or two about barbecue, the fellow Midwesterner offers high praise.
“Kansas City is a meat lover’s paradise,” Lowery said, “and the burnt ends at LC’S BBQ are to die for!” The crisp, charred brisket is slowly cooked and re-seasoned multiple times, giving it that perfect coating of bark before hitting the tender meat. This Kansas City delicacy is a must-try. Your taste buds better hold on tight for the flavorsome twists and turns of the best meats and sides from just any one of the hundred barbecue spots in Kansas City. Aside from barbecue, additional gourmet dining options are found in downtown and smaller suburbs. In Independence, for example, Ophelia’s Restaurant and Inn serves a delectable Greek Orzo and Lemon Shrimp Salad. Now that’s healthy, done right.
Union Station is Kansas City’s own Grand Central Station, perhaps best known for the iconic Pierpont Restaurant. The restaurant was named for railroad baron J.P. (Pierpont) Morgan. Its menu features fine steaks and seafood.
Hallmark Cards headquarters is located in downtown Kansas City, in the Crown Center area. Surrounded by Hallmark is The Lego Discovery Center, which the 360 Team, of course, stumbled upon. Every structure at this grand facility is creatively crafted using Legos. It made total sense once we realized that classes are taught by modern builders. Discover the engineer in you. It’s all fun and games until you come across children who build better automobiles than you. Speaking of the kids, if they’re traveling with you, don’t miss the Sea Life Kansas City Aquarium which is located next to Union Station.
Fan of America’s favorite pastime? Kansas City has a rich baseball history. Fans can catch the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium. Those who enjoy baseball history won’t want to miss the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, where the stories of great players and entrepreneurs, such as Chicago American Giants owner and Negro National League co-founder Andrew “Rube” Foster unfold.
Seeing the city while enjoying a carriage ride provides relaxation and exploration.
Work your way around town as you come across the Nelson-Atkins Museum, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and Weston Brewing Company. Grab the flagship beer, O’Malley’s Irish Cream Ale, as a refreshing treat after your day of exploration, chowing down exquisite cuisine and witnessing decades of art-infused culture as you travel through time.
You’ll leave Kansas City rejuvenated by its incredible residents and historic charm. Refresh yourself when you #VisitMO.
Article by Krishan Narsinghani + Vaughn Lowery