JOIN ME IN AN INTERVIEW WITH SAGE SCOTT FROM KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI !
After growing up living all over the United States and Europe, Sage Scott writes her travel blog from America’s Heartland in Kansas City. From the midwestern city affectionately called the Paris of the Plains, she shares her travel experiences and provides helpful travel tips on her blog, Everyday Wanderer.
Which is the best month to visit your city and why ?
Because the winters can be quite cold and the summers can be quite hot and humid, I recommend visiting in either the spring or the fall. If you visit Kansas City in the spring, you’ll be treated to the hot pink flowers on the redbud trees, gorgeous green grass, and blooming tulips and daffodils. If you visit Kansas City in the fall, you can experience the Plaza Art Fair, a nine-block art and food experience, or the American Royal, an annual rodeo and barbeque event.
Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of your city ?
Americans love their cars, and that’s especially true in the Midwest. But to explore Kansas City via a scavenger hunt, jump on the KC Streetcar (free) and the Main Street MAX ($1.50 for two hours or $3.00 for a day pass) and let someone else do the driving!
What are the top 3 must visit places in your city ?
It’s hard to pick just three, but here’s what I’d say…
Liberty Memorial. Surrounded by acres of green space, the 217-foot tall limestone tower has honored those who perished in World War I since 1926. In 2006, the United States’ only museum dedicated to the Great War opened as part of Liberty Memorial. Go inside via a glass bridge that reveals a field of 9,000 red poppies below, each one representing 1,000 soldier deaths. If you don’t want to spend your time in Kansas City in a museum or learning from history, this is still a must visit destination. The base of the Liberty Memorial offers one of the best views of the Kansas City skyline. Or, for a few dollars, you can purchase a ticket to take the elevator up the Liberty Memorial for an even better view.
Pro Tip: While you’re at the Liberty Memorial, walk down the stairs and across the green lawn to Union Station. Stand under the iconic six-foot wide clock in this Instaworthy, 100-year-old architectural beauty. You can also tour the permanent Union Station Stories exhibit that starts at the staircase in the southwest elevator vestibule for free.
Country Club Plaza. Remember how I mentioned above that Americans love their cars? Well, the Country Club Plaza was the nation’s first shopping center designed for patrons arriving by car. Inspired by the architecture of Seville, Spain, visiting the Plaza always makes me feel like I’ve been transported from America’s heartland to Europe. Parking is always free, and it’s a lovely place to stroll tree-lined boulevards and admire the many fountains and sculptures. With a wide variety of restaurants and shops ranging from Bath & Body Works and Forever 21 to Burberry and Tiffany’s, there’s a little something for everyone at the Plaza. Even if it’s just window shopping.
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Set on acres of green, manicured lawns accented with sculptures, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is another must visit place in Kansas City. The museum is most widely known for its extensive collection of Asian Art, but the Native American galleries and Hallmark Photographic Collection are equally impressive. If you don’t want to go inside the museum, at least stroll through the sculpture garden, explore the glass maze, and snap a selfie with one of four, oversized badminton shuttlecocks.
For more inspiration of what to do and see when you visit, here are ten things you can do for free in Kansas City.
Which is the most celebrated holiday of the year there ?
Definitely the Plaza lights during the winter holidays! The season kicks off the evening of Thanksgiving (always the fourth Thursday in November) against a backdrop of live music and horse-drawn carriages. At precisely 6:54 pm, the dark (often cold and sometimes dreary) night is immediately transformed into a spectacular scene full of bright bulbs and cheery color. This Kansas City tradition began back in 1925 when a single strand of 16 brightly colored lights were hung above a doorway. Today, more than 80 miles (130 km) of lights with 280,000 multi-colored bulbs outline every window and tower of the Country Club Plaza. You can enjoy the Country Club Plaza lights from 5:00 pm to 3:00 am daily from Thanksgiving evening through mid-January.
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A winterized JC Nichols Fountain with the Plaza lights as a backdrop before the Arctic temperatures arrive later tonight 💡 🎄 💡 #KansasCity #kcmo #countryclubplaza #kcplaza #plazalights #plazalightskc #mwtravel #visitkc #howwedokc #fountain #cityoflights #cityoffountains #parisoftheplains
Which is the most happening area in your city and why?
Named for the art deco Power & Light building that anchors one side of the nine block area, the Power & Light District is packed with restaurants, shops, and entertainment. In the heart of it all is Kansas City Live! an outdoor covered arena for concerts and other events.
Where can one find amazing street food in your city ?
It’s not necessarily street food as I have experienced it in other American and European cities, but the City Market is probably the closest experience in Kansas City. For more than 160 years, local farmers and other small businesses have set up shop at the City Market in the River Market. In addition to the Saturday market stalls in the center of the market, more than 30 specialty food shops, restaurants, and other merchants are open year-round.
Where should one head to for affordable shopping ?
Since I’ve already mentioned the Country Club Plaza, let me recommend the West Bottoms. In the area of this cowtown that was once a stockyard and live stock exchange, historic brick buildings now offer one-of-a-kind, affordable shopping. Open every weekend, discover antiques, vintage clothing, unique home decor, and other finds.
Which is the most loved local food in your city, both sweet and savoury?
Savory is simple: Kansas City’s world famous barbeque! Henry Perry, known as the father of Kansas City barbeque, began selling smoked meats to workers in Kansas City’s Garment District in the early 1900s. More than 100 years later, there are more than 100 barbeque restaurants in Kansas City. Switching to sweet treats, I recommend Jude’s rum cakes. Made with locally-sourced organic pecans and exclusive rum, these cakes are the best way to wrap up any meal.
Which side of the road does your city drive on ? Is it cycle friendly ?
Consistent with the rest of the United States, we drive on the right side of the road in Kansas City. Because I lived in the Netherlands for four years, what I consider bicycle-friendly doesn’t really jive with most of the US. I feel Kansas City is about as bicycle-friendly as most of the country, more or less.
Would you recommend any popular local apps to tourists for transport, food and hidden gems in your city ?
Kansas City Travel & Explore is one option to help you experience the most when you visit. I’d recommend a city tour or walking tour app that includes an option for the Country Club Plaza.