Kansas City, Kansas—KCK, The Dot, Heart of America—whatever you call it, discover what this group-friendly destination in the Sunflower State has to offer
If you didn’t already know, Kansas City spans two states. KC, Missouri lies on the east side of the Missouri River, while KC, Kansas is on the west. Kansas City, Kansas not only has its own impressive lineup of group activities, lodging and restaurants, but is also part of the Kansas City metropolitan area, making it a perfect location for a hub-and-spoke tour.
Kansas City was established in 1858 as the town of Wyandotte. By the 1870s, railroads and stockyards fueled its rapid growth. In 1886, four municipalities—Armourdale, Armstrong, Kansas City and Wyandotte—consolidated to form what today is much of the Kansas portion of the greater Kansas City metropolitan area.
In 1804, the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived at Kaw Point, where the Kansas and Missouri rivers meet. Today, Kaw Point is the focus of a riverside park that has an open-air education pavilion with interpretive signs about the expedition and an amphitheater for performing arts and special events.
Grinter Place State Historic Site is the former home of Moses Grinter, an early settler who established the first ferry across the Kansas River. The 1857 Georgian Vernacular home built on the Delaware Indian Reserve may be the oldest farmhouse in Kansas.
Once you’ve learned its history, get in on Kansas City’s action. Lakeside Speedway’s half-mile asphalt oval track features USRA Modifieds, Grand Nationals, USRA B-Mods and Factory Stocks in addition to seasonal national touring series and racing events. Kansas Speedway is a 1,200-acre complex that hosts NASCAR races twice a year, as well as the Grand-Am Series annually, on its 1.5-mile, tri-oval track. Kansas Speedway also hosts special events and two driving schools including The Richard Petty Driving Experience.
Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway sits on Turn 2, giving you some of the best views of the track as you play any of the 2,000 slot machines and 52 table games. Try your luck some more at the 24-hour 7th Street Casino, which offers more than 600 slot machines in a historic building.
Wyandotte County Lake Park provides 1,500 acres of wooded area, a 400-acre lake with marina, as well as picnic shelters, a large playground, boat rentals, concessions and fishing. The park’s Cricket Wireless Amphitheater has been showcasing live music for more than 20 years.
Rowe Ridge Vineyard & Winery, family owned and operated since 1951, has 2,900 vines and offers a large selection of locally made wines. Wine Barn Winery & Vineyard features Kansas-grown grapes and fruit wines in addition to live bands during the summer and special events throughout the year.
As you stroll the streets of Kansas City, Kansas, admire the Avenue of Murals Project, which includes eight murals in a four-block corridor along Minnesota Avenue downtown. Each mural celebrates the history and culture of Kansas City, Kansas and the unique groups within the community.
CommunityAmerica Ballpark is home to the Kansas City T-Bones minor league professional baseball team. Cheer on Sporting Kansas City, the city’s professional soccer team, at Sporting Park Stadium.
Adventure Zip KC offers views of downtown Kansas City and the Kansas River as you zip across 143 acres, reaching speeds up to 45 mph! Splash down the world’s tallest waterslide at Schlitterbahn Kansas City Waterpark, where groups can also enjoy shared experiences on more than a mile of interconnected river or relax on beaches, in private cabanas or a heated pool with a swim-up refreshment bar.
Kansas City, Kansas offers everything for the shopaholics in your group, from big-brand department stores to charming boutiques. But, if you want to shop off the beaten path, Boulevard Drive-In Theatre & Swap N’ Shop was not only the first drive-in theater in the world to install digital sound (and is still a working drive-in), but doubles as a one-stop shop for fresh vegetables, antiques and other goods.
Cabela’s is a must for the outdoorsy. Browse a huge selection of hunting, fishing and outdoor gear, then check out its Mule Deer Country Museum with the world’s largest collection of life-size trophy mule deer, including two world records. Don’t miss Cabela’s famous African Diorama and come face-to-face with a giant catfish in the aquarium. Cabela’s also includes a laser arcade, archery range, art gallery, furniture department, gun library, restaurant, general store, fly fishing store, bargain cave and gift shop.
Legends Outlet is an open-air lifestyle center offering outlet stores, retail, entertainment and dining venues. The fountains, open-air corridors and a yellow brick road provide a peaceful atmosphere for shoppers. Famous Kansans are showcased in a variety of art forms throughout the shopping center; free educational audio walking tours and scavenger hunts are available. Plaza at the Speedway, another retail magnet, is located across from Legends.
Kansas City is known for its mouth-watering beef. At Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque, indulge in the famous sauce created by Arthur Bryant himself—a sauce that has attracted the likes of former Presidents Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter to his restaurant. Locally owned and operated, Breit’s Stein and Deli is known for its sandwiches, especially its Reuben. At Fritz Family Restaurant, serving local favorites since 1954, order your food by telephone and watch your meal get delivered to your table by an overhead train.
Dine at T-Rex Café, located at Legends, and experience a prehistoric adventure, including face-to-face encounters with life-size dinosaurs, geysers, ice caves, a waterfall and even a dinosaur dig.
If you’re looking for an ideal hub-and-spoke destination that offers everything from fast-paced thrills to tranquil relaxation, look no further. The Kansas City, Kansas Convention and Visitors Bureau is eager to help with your group planning. Check out their website, www.visitkansascityks.com.