Kansas City (Kansas)

Travel Guide North America USA Midwestern United States Kansas Kansas City

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Introduction

Kansas City is a city in the state of Kansas, in the United States of America, and a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri. Kansas City, Kansas, is often referred to as KCK, and Kansas City, Missouri, as KCMO. The two Kansas Cities form the core of the wider Kansas City metropolitan area.

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Sights and Activities

  • Huron Indian Cemetery, 7th St and Ann Ave, ☎ +1 913 721-1078. Dawn-dusk daily. Started in 1843. Most burials date to the mid to late 19th century.
  • Strawberry Hill. Has interesting eastern European bakeries and shops, as well as a nice view overlooking the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri rivers.
  • Sporting Kansas City. Catching a Major League Soccer game! Kansas City, Kansas is home to the Sporting Kansas City
  • Kansas Speedway. Stock car racetrack located in western Kansas City.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Weather

Kansas City lies in the Midwestern United States, as well as near the geographic center of the country, at the confluence of the longest river in the country, the Missouri River, and the Kansas River (also known as the Kaw River). The city lies in the Humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) zone, with four distinct seasons, and moderate precipitation. Being located in the center of North America, far removed from a significant body of water, there is significant potential for extremes of hot and cold swings in temperature throughout the year. Unless otherwise stated, normal figures below are based on data from 1981 to 2010 at Downtown Airport. The warmest month of the year is July, with a 24-hour average temperature of 27.2 °C. The summer months are hot, but can get very hot and moderately humid, with moist air riding up from the Gulf of Mexico. High temperatures surpass 38 °C on 5.6 days of the year, and 932 °C on 47 days. The coldest month of the year is January, with an average temperature of -0.6 °C. Winters are cold, with 22 days where the high is at or below the freezing mark and 2.5 nights with a low at or below -18 °C. The official record maximum temperature is 45 °C, set on August 14, 1936, at Downtown Airport, while the official record minimum temperature is -31 °C, set on December 22 and 23, 1989. Normal seasonal snowfall is (34 cm at Downtown Airport and 48 cm) at Kansas City International Airport. The average window for freezing temperatures is October 31 to April 4, while for measurable (0.25 cm snowfall, it is November 27 to March 16 as measured at Kansas City International Airport. Precipitation, both in frequency and total accumulation, shows a marked uptick in late spring and summer.

Kansas City is situated on the edge of the "Tornado Alley", a broad region where cold air from the Rocky Mountains in Canada collides with warm air from the Gulf of Mexico, leading to the formation of powerful storms especially during the spring. A few areas of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area have had some severe outbreaks of tornadoes at different points in the past, including the Ruskin Heights tornado in 1957, and the May 2003 tornado outbreak sequence. The region can also fall victim to the sporadic ice storm during the winter months, such as the 2002 ice storm during which hundreds of thousands lost power for days and (in some cases) weeks. Kansas City and its outlying areas are also subject to flooding, including the Great Flood of 1993 and the Great Flood of 1951.

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Getting There

By Plane

Kansas City International Airport (MCI IATA) serves the Kansas City area and is located in the Northland. The Kansas City Area Transportation Authority offers hourly service to and from the airport on the #129 bus, called the I-29 Express , M-F 5AM-7PM. $1.25. KCI Shuttle offers a shuttle service between the airport and downtown hotels.

Charles B. Wheeler Downtown Airport (MKC IATA) serves smaller planes.

By Train

Amtrak serves KC via the cavernous Union Station, located at Main and Pershing in Kansas City, Missouri. KC serves as a major stop on the daily Southwest Chief line which provides service between Chicago and Los Angeles. Barring delays, eastbound trains arrive at 7:24AM and westbound trains arrive at 10:11PM. Kansas City is also the western terminus of Amtrak's Missouri River Runner which heads east to St. Louis. The Missouri River Runner runs twice daily in each direction.

By Car

Interstate 435 forms a ring around the city. Notably I-70 goes east to St. Louis and west to Denver. I-35 is a major corridor running northeast and southwest. US Highway 71 runs north and south and forms a midtown expressway, running from the I-435/I-470 interchange, in a northwesterly course toward downtown, where it joins I-29. North of the River, US 71 follows the same route as I-29.

By Bus

Check Greyhound for services. KC is also serviced by other commercial coach service companies, which arrive and depart from the depot at 10th and Troost.

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Eat

  • El Camino Real, 903 N 7th St, ☎ +1 913 342-4333. A dive with authentic Mexican food, with especially great tacos al pastor (pork) and chorizo sausage. Tacos are made with freshly-pressed corn tortillas and all the proper trimmings: cilantro, onions, green chili sauce, etc. $1.50-8.
  • Oklahoma Joe's BBQ, 3002 W 47th Ave, ☎ +1 913 722-3366. M-Th 11AM-8:30PM, F-Sa 11AM-9:30PM. Served out of a very unassuming gas station is what is widely considered to be the best BBQ in Kansas City, and that's saying something. Brave the lines—this is a can't miss. $4-16.
  • Vietnam Cafe, 2200 W 39th Ave, ☎ +1 913 262-8552. Tu-Th 10:30AM-9:30PM, F-Sa 10:30AM-10PM, Su 10:30AM-9PM. This is Kansas City's go-to place for pho, a scrumptious Vietnamese beef noodle soup—the comfort food of choice in Southeast Asia. For those not in the mood, the restaurant has a fairly long list of other dishes to experiment with. $6-12.

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Sleep

  • AmeriSuites Overland Park/Convention Center, 5001 W. 110th St, ☎ +1 913 491-9002.
  • AmeriSuites Overland Park/Metcalf, 6801 W 112th St, ☎ +1 913 451-2553.
  • Best Western Inn & Conference Center, 501 Southwest Blvd, ☎ +1 913 677-3060, toll-free: +1 800-368-1741, fax: +1 913 677-7065.
  • Holiday Inn Express, 1931 Prairie Crossing, ☎ +1 913 328-1024.
  • Days Inn, 7721 Elizabeth St, ☎ +1 913 624-3459.
  • Fairfield Inn Kansas City Hotel, 8101 N Church Rd, ☎ +1 816-792-4000, fax: +1 816-792-0764. Offers complimentary hot breakfast, free Internet and an indoor saltwater pool.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

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This is version 4. Last edited at 11:32 on Jun 19, 19 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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