This is less of a how to spend 48 hours in Kansas City and more of how I spent 48 hours in Kansas City. I didn’t want to just post a photo diary without any recommendations, but I’m also not ready to post a full city guide yet. I know I’ll return to Kansas City soon, and I want to do it justice when I do write something more comprehensive.
While I’ve only been to Kansas City twice now, I’ve always treated it as a place to get to know slowly.
Some cities I know I’ll probably never visit again, so I pack in as much as possible in a short trip. Then there are the cities that I know I’ll visit over and over again. I can take my time to explore bits and pieces so I don’t miss out on all of the details that make a city unique.
So here are the details of my most recent trip to Kansas City. Hopefully my 48 hours in Kansas City can inspire your visit.
48 Hours in Kansas City Itinerary
Arrival – Evening
Dinner at Artego Pizza
My first stop upon arrival was at a place called Artego Pizza in Midtown. It’s a local pizza place in the West 39th District, near my AirBnB. I ordered the Formaggio, which is just Alfredo sauce and a lot of cheese.
Check-In to my AirBnB
I rented an AirBnB for my stay in Kansas City. It’s a cute little apartment off the back of an old home in the Volker neighborhood. You can see the details of it here.
Use my link to get a $40 credit to use towards your AirBnB booking
Day 1 – Morning
Coffee at the Filling Station
My main goal for the first day was to try out a bunch of local coffee shops. The first stop of the day was at the Filling Station for a latte. There are three locations in the Kansas City area; I went to the one in Midtown. It was a busy place for a Tuesday morning, with lots of students working away on their laptops. It’s a great spot to get some work done!
Brunch at Chez Elle
A few people recommended Chez Elle when I asked for suggestions, and I’m glad they did! This creperie is housed inside of an old theater on the Westside. It’s a beautiful space, and the crepes are SO GOOD. I always go for sweet over savory, so I got the Patriote (berries, bananas, and raspberry sauce).
Day 1 – Afternoon
Exploring the City via the KC Streetcar
The KC Streetcar runs through the main section of the city. It will take you from Union Station to the River Market neighborhood, with plenty of stops in between. This fun, free transportation option was added since my previous visit, so I was really excited to ride it. It made for a really simple way to get around the main areas of the city without my car.
Coffee at Thou Mayest
When looking for Kansas City coffee recommendations, Thou Mayest came up at least five times. It seems to be one of the city’s coolest spots, and after visiting, I can’t argue. It’s a great place to hang out in the Crossroads Arts District. It’s also a bar, so you can stop by in the evening for drinks instead of coffee. (Note: it’s 21+ only, even for coffee)
Street Art Hunting
There seems to be plenty of street art in Kansas City. I walked around the Crossroads Arts District for a while to see what I could find and snapped a few photos. Art Alley is a major street art spot in the neighborhood, with murals changing regularly.
I spent more time at the City Market on my last visit to Kansas City. But since the streetcar runs down there, I stopped off for another quick walk-around. In addition to food stalls and produce stands, there are shops, full-serve restaurants, and other cool places here. I also grabbed my last coffee of the day at City Market Coffeehouse.
Day 1 – Evening
Country Club Plaza
Country Club Plaza is a fun collection of shops and restaurants housed in beautiful Spanish-style buildings. It’s a shopping center with a lot of traditional mall retailers, however it’s worth a visit for the atmosphere. The Plaza sits next to Brush Creek, which has a great walking trail alongside it, plus there is lots of green space and parks around. I had a quick dinner at Zoes Kitchen after walking around for a bit.
Day 2 – Morning
Check Out of my AirBnB
I didn’t have to check out of my AirBnB until 11 am, so I got to sleep in a bit (it was a “vacation” after all). Again, my AirBnB was just so cozy and home-y. I really loved waking up here and having a slow morning on my last day in Kansas City.
Explore Old Westport
The old Westport neighborhood is mostly filled with restaurants and bars, so it’s generally a better place to hang around in the evenings. It was really quiet on a Wednesday morning, since most of the places were closed. However, I stopped by Doughnut Lounge for a latte and a maple donut. It was a good atmosphere for a quick breakfast.
Day 2 – Afternoon
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
One of the main things I was excited about doing in Kansas City was visiting the art museum. I missed it on my last visit, so it was a must-do this time around. I go to the art museums in every city I visit, and this is by far the best one I’ve ever been to. Sure, there are plenty of world-class cities I haven’t visited yet, so my bar may be quite low. But seriously, the Nelson-Atkins Museum is STUNNING. The art is great, but the building interiors are what really surprised me.
Read more about my experience at the Nelson-Atkins Museum here.
By mid-afternoon, it was time to head back home to St. Louis. I stopped at Meshuggah Bagels to grab a few bagels for the road, and then I made the quick 3-hour drive home. I really enjoyed my 48 hours in Kansas City, and I love that it’s so close to St. Louis. I’ll be returning soon to get to know a few more neighborhoods.
Hopefully this quick itinerary can give you a few ideas for your own 48 hours in Kansas City. There are plenty of attractions and entertainment districts around the city if that’s what you’re more interested in doing. However, getting to know all of the different neighborhoods and local coffee shops was my main goal.
Got any more Kansas City recommendations for me? I plan to visit again, so I’d love to hear about more coffee shops and neighborhoods to check out next time.
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