For some, Kansas City might be a flyover state, but the locals will disagree. Although there are several sites to see on the Kansas City, Missouri side, Kansas is worth the journey. Yes, I know it isn’t apparent, but two different Kansas City towns are sitting next to the Missouri River in between.
The Kansas side offers a solid Mexican heritage with the best views of the Kansas City, Missouri skyline. You will find one of the best taco food scenes in the United States and some fascinating history to discover.
From urban hikes to relaxing visits to the local lake, you will find plenty of things to do in Kansas City. The locals are friendly and will take a keen interest if you are visiting from afar. You will find a multitude of smiles and a laid-back pace of life.
Kansas City, Kansas, has kept its sense of community and is an exciting juxtaposition of urban and rural in one city. If you find yourself in Kansas City, Kansas, check out some of these activities, including food, glamping, and some exercise with a historical twist.
Visiting other destinations in Kansas? Check out our other delicious guides:
- 6 Must-Try Lenexa Restaurants
- 7 Best Restaurants in Great Bend KS
- 8 Best Restaurants On The KCK Taco Trail
- 9 Best Lake Of The Ozarks Restaurants
The 5 Best Things To Do In Kansas City
Suite Tea at Watkins C Ranch
Tucked away in the urban neighborhoods of Kansas City, Kansas, you will find Watkins C Ranch. The ranch is home to Suite Tea, a glamping concept with two locations in Kansas City. There is no running water, so you will be roughing it, but the tents themselves are lovely.
Ranging in different sizes to hold two guests up to six, it is an excellent place for a solo getaway or family gathering. Each tent has a bed, comfy blankets, and its color theme from neutral black and cream to blush pinks. Beside each tent, there is a sitting area set up along with a fire pit.
Guests can bring their food, but local delivery sites will also bring out food to the campsite. From yoga classes to horseback riding, there are extra activities you can book for your stay. The location is so central, and you can get to downtown Kansas City in fifteen minutes at the most.
There are several locations on the property to have a sunrise or sunset view, and you won’t even realize how close to the city you are. The ranch is full of green space and tall trees, allowing you to disconnect from the world just for a little bit.
You can check out the different suites and rates on the Suite Tea website and book the activities for your stay.
Urban Hike of Strawberry Hill and Downtown KCK
Ready to discover the history of Kansas City, Kansas, while getting some exercise? I suggest an urban hike of the Strawberry Hill and Downtown KCK is the perfect combination of history walking tours and cardio. The walk lasts three hours, and you’ll cover up to five miles, so make sure you bring a bottle of water and comfortable walking shoes.
The Urban Hike company, created by Kansas City local Lisa Pena, showcases the city at its best. The tour begins at Splitlog Coffee shop, where you’ll find a mural of Matthias Splitlog, a Native American who found himself relocated to the area in 1843. Matthias Splitlog was very good with mechanics and built a steamboat that traveled along the Missouri River in the Civil War.
The mural and the coffee shop are a lovely tribute to the first settlers of Kansas City, Kansas. After discussing the Splitlog history, the urban hike starts on a steep hill to climb. But, it is so worth it as it leads to the city’s best Kansas City Skyline views.
As you tour the city, you’ll learn of all the different groups who would call Kansas City, Kansas home. Kansas City was a dynamic community in the 1800s and was home to many meatpacking plants. Immigrants from Eastern Europe, especially Croatia, found jobs and settled in Kansas City, Kansas. Flooding of the Missouri river encouraged residents to move up onto the bluffs.
During the 1950s, portions of Strawberry Hill were demolished to make way for a new highway and changed the area’s landscape. Today you will find a Strawberry Hill Museum documenting the history, and also St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, which hosts an annual Croatian Festival each year. As you follow the streets toward the Missouri River, you’ll find the Riverfront Heritage Trail, covering fifteen miles across the state lines.
The area was critical during the Civil War and was part of the underground railroad. On the bridge of the trail, you’ll see several sculptures, and the most striking for me was representing the freedom ceremonies for those crossing into Kansas and looking for freedom. There is so much history in Kansas City, Kansas and the urban hike is a spectacular way to learn about it from a very knowledgeable guide.
KCK Taco Trail
Kansas City, Kansas, is home to over fifty taquerias and Tex-Mex restaurants featuring street tacos and the finest Mexican cuisine. Visit KCK created the KCK taco trail to showcase the many local businesses that call KCK home, and honestly, the tacos are so tasty, it will be hard to eat anything else when you visit.
To obtain a Taco Trail pass, log onto the Visit Kansas City Kansas website, and you’ll enter your name and address details so they can send you the stickers and T-shirts after you check in to the taquerias and restaurants. My favorite part about the trail is that the businesses are local, and you’re supporting individuals taking great pride in their food.
I recommend starting your KCK taco journey at El Camion Real, located right in the middle of downtown Kansas City, Kansas. Try the tacos al pastor as you’ll see the meat marinating on the spit as you walk in the door. The marinated pork is sliced off the spit and some grilled pineapple and added to a freshly made tortilla. Do not forget the onion and cilantro to create street taco perfection.
Next, continue your taqueria journey at Seven Lenguas, where the torta is my all-time favorite. Choose your favorite meat filling for your Mexican sandwich with meat options ranging from chicken, al pastor, or chorizo. The torta bread is soft and chewy but thick enough to hold all the toppings, including lettuce, cheese, jalapeño, and mayo. The sandwich is filling, so bring your appetite or a friend so you can share the meal.
The KCK Taco Trail will open your eyes to the KCK food scene and so many local businesses to support. Each taco is delicious, and you will want to keep trying new places.
Wyandotte County Lake
Wyandotte County Lake sits on 1500 acres of land and is a prime spot for viewing fall foliage in late September and October as the trees showcase a wide range of reds and oranges. The lake offers several shelter houses.
You will often see family gatherings to celebrate birthdays or other holidays if you have kids who need to run off energy and a park full of equipment to keep them entertained. If you want to enjoy nature, you’ll find several spots with park benches overlooking the water, and it is so serene.
As you drive around the lake, you’ll see plenty of geese and keep your eyes out for deer. Have your camera ready as there are many picturesque spots to grab a snap of the trees and natural surroundings. You will find many restaurants ten minutes down the road at the Legends shopping center, so if the weather is nice, grab a picnic and enjoy the fresh air.
Support The Local Teams
Kansas City, Kansas, has various sports teams that you can cheer on, from NASCAR, professional soccer, and minor league baseball. All the stadiums are in western Kansas City, Kansas, next to the Legends Shopping Mall.
The Kansas Speedway generally hosts races in October and May, bringing in thousands of visitors to the area. You can hear the cars racing around the track from a couple of miles away during race weekends. In addition, the stadium has held live music festivals in the past and most recently held the American Royal World Series of Barbeque competition.
Kansas City, Kansas, is also home to the minor league baseball team, the KC Monarchs. The stadium is smaller than most professional stadiums, but it makes a fun baseball experience to cheer on the home team.
If soccer is more your scene, you’ll find the Sporting KC team located at Children’s Mercy Park. The state-of-the-art facility is next to the Monarch’s stadium, and you’ll find a good scene of local supporters.
The most vocal of Sporting KC fans sit together in an area of the stadium called the Blue Cauldron. Decked out head to toe in blue, they have their chants of support and provide an electric atmosphere supporting the home team.
From tasty tacos on the KCK taco trail, plenty of outdoor spaces and sporting teams to support, Kansas City, Kansas offers a wide variety of activities that can entertain almost everyone. So hopefully, you can reconsider Kansas City as a flyover state and give it a try!
Igor Jovanovski is an aspiring digital nomad, travel blogger and graphic designer who really loves food. He also has a creative side, and he works as a freelance graphic designer in his spare time. He has traveled across Europe quite a few times since he was young and recently started his mission to visit every country in the world! Igor’s favorite thing about traveling is the way he gets to know new people, food, places and cultures.
This exciting experience helps him create his own stories and make memories that will last forever