I started my road trip to Wyoming with a stop in Kansas City, Missouri. It’s only 3 hours away from St. Louis (the place I call home) and yet I had never been there. Well, I did go to Kansas City one time with my family when I was younger, but that doesn’t really count. I never knew much about Kansas City so I just never had any desire to visit. While I only had about half a day to explore on this trip, I realized I was totally wrong to assume it was nothing special.
I only spent a total of 20 hours in Kansas City, but I would be happy to spend (at least) a few days there. There are lots of cool neighborhoods to hang out in, beautiful parks & outdoor spaces, and plenty of attractions to keep one busy. I didn’t have time to go to any of the museums, but I hear they have some good ones!
Read Next: 48 Hours in Kansas City Itinerary
I spent a lot of time walking around and admiring the brick buildings. Something about red bricks set against a pop of color, whether trees or sculptures, makes my eyes happy.
My first stop in KC was the City Market near the riverfront. I LOVE markets and I always make a point to stop by any one I can find when visiting a city. It’s a pretty small market, but it had a lot of local produce stands and restaurants that looked delicious. I stopped by the City Market Coffee House before wandering around and then I sat in the park for a bit for some shade from the heat.
Speaking of the heat…that caused some problems for me. See, I’m very sensitive to extreme heat & sunlight (too much sun makes me dizzy), and I’m prone to dehydration. It was somewhere up in the 90+ degree range that day, not uncommon for Missouri in the summer. After drinking coffee, barely eating, and walking around out in the intense sunlight and heat, I got very sick. I spent a good hour in a public restroom vomiting. That was only a few hours after getting to KC, so it didn’t take long for my mood to drop.
I’ve gotten heat exhaustion before, a few summers ago in Washington, D.C. I knew what I needed was rest, water, and air conditioning. I went to the public library to sit for a while and use their wifi to book a hotel room. I had planned to stay with someone through Couchsurfing, but I just wanted my own space to sleep after getting sick.
Luckily, after a few hours I felt well enough to get back out there and explore the city a bit more. I hadn’t even thought to go to the Liberty Memorial when looking up things to do in Kansas City, but as I drove past it, it really caught my interest. The monument is beautiful; it’s surrounded by a huge park and it’s probably one of the best places in the city to get a view of the skyline. While my day in KC was thrown for a loop, I still very much enjoyed my time there. I wish I had planned to stay another day, because I certainly could have kept exploring. I guess I’ll just have to visit again some day!
If I were to go to Kansas City again, I would make sure to spend some time exploring the Crossroads Arts District. It’s filled with restaurants, galleries, and local shops. I would also make time to check out the art museums and try some of the vegetarian restaurants. 20 hours just isn’t enough!