Kansas City in 48 Hours

Photo by Bruce N. Meyer

Barbecue, jazz, steaks, history and more in Kansas City

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One weekend or 48-period is not enough to truly take in all that Kansas City metro has to offer, but let’s give it a shot.

Day 1 in Kansas City


Have breakfast at Blue Bird Bistro, one of Kansas City’s most popular farm-to-table restaurants. The Missouri pecan topped French toast is an excellent choice.


The Country Club Plaza is one of the premiere shopping destinations in North America, but others come to experience the numerous fountains, sculptures and glazed tile artwork – more than 70 all told. It’s an outdoor art museum. Explore on a guided Segway tour or just grab a brochure and do a self-guided exploration, stopping into shop at your leisure.


While on the Plaza, plan for lunch at the very classic Classic Cup. A main stay of eateries on the Plaza, the Classic Cup has a wonderful sidewalk patio for some great people watching. Try the Asparagus and Brie salad.


Kansas City, in the 1920s, was a major influence in the jazz music genre and at one point had more than 200 juke joints in town. Find out about that and the history of the Negro Baseball Leagues that was born in Kansas City at the fabulous Museums at 18th & Vine.  The American Jazz Museum and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum – essential to any visit to KC.


An authentic Kansas City Strip Steak is on the menu at The Majestic Steakhouse, a historic building that has great stories to tell about the days of Boss Tom Pendergast.  After dinner, head downstairs for some live jazz.

Late night

The oldest continuously operating jazz joint in the world is the Mutual Musicians Foundation. It doesn’t open until midnight and really gets hopping about the time the sun comes up. This is the only place in the state of Missouri to have a license to sell alcohol until 6 AM.

Photo by Bruce N. Meyer

Spend the night at the historic Hilton President Hotel downtown. Dating to the 1920s when all of the jazz greats came to Kansas City, the Drum Room at the Hilton President Hotel is still one of the best jazz joints in the city.

Day 2 in Kansas City

Coffee Break

Kansas City has an expansive coffee culture with lots of independent shops to choose from. But Parisi Coffee with its flagship location inside Union Station is a magnificent setting that can’t be topped.

After Coffee

Explore the history and magnificence of Kansas City’s Union Station.  Ask about the Union Station Massacre of 1933, a gangster shoot-out with Pretty Boy Floyd. Rotating exhibits in the Grand Hall bring everything from Princess Diana’s wedding gown to Leonardo da Vinci’s earliest inventions.

For lunch, shopping, theatre and more

Head to Crown Center, the world headquarters of Hallmark Cards. For a little fun, try Crayola Café, or for some good Kansas City barbecue, try Three Little Pigs.  Learn the history of Hallmark at the Hallmark Visitors Center, then get creative yourself at Legoland or just explore Missouri underwater at the SeaLife Aquarium.


Take a ride to the top of the Liberty Memorial, 217-foot tower overlooking Kansas City, built to honor those who served and died in World War I. Underneath is the National World War I Museum, an interactive and engaging explanation of the “war to end all wars.”


There are nearly 100 barbecue joints to choose from, but since you’re in the neighborhood, try Jack Stack’s in the Crossroads Arts District. Located in a renovated freight house behind Union Station, Jack Stack’s has great ribs and cheesy corn.

Late night

Martini Corner is the home to several fun joints that get busy long after the sun goes down. Test the margaritas at Sol Cantina.

 St Louis Missouri
Photo by Diana Lambdin Meyer

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