Where to Eat, Stay and Play in the “City of Fountains”
A friend of mine joked with me recently that Kansas City is the loudest city in the midwest. He assured me that it was strictly due to the volume of sports fans: Royals baseball and Chiefs football, Sporting KC soccer, NASCAR at the Speedway. Someone is always cheering.
I can’t say we’re the biggest sporting family, but I’ll wager Kansas City can compete with the best when it comes to family-friendly activities during the fall. The free KC Streetcar, located within walking distance of all the major hotels downtown, gets you to Union Station’s Science City, dubbed a “play-and-learn paradise.” Also home to the Planetarium and the Extreme Screen Theater, there’s more entertainment that you might be able to squeeze into one afternoon.
Accommodations of Distinction
Kansas City is known as the Crossroads of the US, and there’s one property located at its heart that channels the unique history of the city while celebrating its contemporary culture. The award-winning 131-room Crossroads Hotel (www.crossroadshotel.com) – with its trio of bustling bars and restaurants – is where people from all over the world and around the corner come together.
Like the energy, creativity and passion of the city it calls home, this vibrant property is all about community and connection. At every turn, local artists, designers and purveyors share their talent in its public and private spaces.
Accommodations here are stylish with a Midwestern point of view – spacious and welcoming spaces characterized by hints of the structure’s historic roots (think hardwood, exposed brick, original industrial details). Encompassing two buildings originally built by Pabst Blue Ribbon and used as a bottling and distribution center, Crossroads Hotel’s design pays homage to the city’s 20th Century heritage as “The Paris of the Plains” – a reputation earned by defying Prohibition.
Lazia, the hotel’s signature dinner-only establishment showcases a fresh take on nostalgic Italian cuisine. Start with the fragrant warm house-made focaccia with your choice of small bites as accompaniment. These range from a creamy whipped ricotta )enhanced with local honey and pistachio butter) and baked littleneck clams to a roasted eggplant pecorino puree or “burger’s smokehouse attic aged ham.”
The kids loved the from the hearth, napoletana style pizza topped with mozzarella di bufala, basil and san marzano tomato. Popular house-made pasta dishes include the cocoa cappelletti filled with roasted butternut squash with lemon brown butter, pumpkin seeds and amaretti cookie crumble. Among the main courses meant to share is the bistecca alla fiorentina – a grilled to perfection Morgan Ranch bone-in florentine steak accompanied by Tuscan fries and black garlic bone marrow butter.
Barbecue, blues, destination dining, the arts and culture are a given, but lest we forget the Kansas City’s apt moniker – there are literally fountains to be found everywhere – with over 200 in the greater metro area. Some are big and boastful in their beauty, while others are more understated but equally impressive.
If you’re looking for thrills, check out the rollercoasters at Worlds of Fun and Towers of Fun – or just skip straight to the Zoo – either way, you’re guaranteed to whoop and holler with excitement all the way through your visit. Maybe KC is really the loudest city for a reason.