Guest Author - Amanda Masoner
“Everything’s up to date in Kansas City. They’ve gone about as fer as they could go.”
I know this is a line from the famous musical Oklahoma. I know that’s not a place I cover. But Kansas City is, and the line is just so fitting!
I went to Kansas City for the first time last summer. My husband and I were on our “Great American Western Road Trip” and that was our first stop. And it proved to be a great jumping off point for the rest of the West!
The population of the city is roughly 442,000. And the people of the community have certainly made it into a blooming and blossoming place to live and visit since its origins in 1821. It was originally a trading post on the Missouri River. From there it became known as “Westport” by a store owner, John McCoy, who considered this to be the portal to the west. He became one of the owners of the town later on and that group decided to name it the “Town of Kansas” after the Kansas Indians (or Kaws) who lived in that area. In 1853 it became known as the “City of Kansas” and remained so until 1889 when it was given the name Kansas City.
The city has done an admirable job of encouraging its visitors to learn about the history of not just this city, but of the country as well. There is the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum which is home to many interactive and hands-on exhibits, making it a thrill for the entire family to learn about the 33rd President.
There is also the National World War I Museum, filled with history and paraphernalia from the war. And for those interested in sports history there is also the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. This museum delves into the stories and lives of the players who worked and played hard to remain in the game they loved.
More great news for the sports fans is that there are six pro sports teams! The arena football team is the Brigade. The football team is the Chiefs. The Explorers are the tennis team. The Knights are the basketball team. Baseball is made up by the Royals. And the soccer team is called the Wizards.
But Kansas City is not only known for its contributions to professional sports. It is widely celebrated for having more fountains than any other city except for Rome, Italy. It also has more boulevards than any other city except for Paris, France. So there is much to see when in the downtown area and strolling through the parks.
And, as if this city needed any other reason to be notorious, they boast being known for having the best steaks, barbeque, and jazz! There are over 60 barbeque restaurants in town to help you make that decision. They also have several barbeque festivals. And for those looking to get in on some of that jazz action, the best place to look is around 18th and Vine.
So much to see, eat, and do. Hopefully, you take some time out this summer for a trip to the trading post turned metropolis!