Kansas City BasicsWe’ve chatted with the locals, hit the history books, and brushed up on some stats to bring you this exposé about Kansas City. Find out more about where the city came from and where’s it’s at right here.
The History of Kansas CityKansas City holds pride of place nestled between the Kansas and Missouri Rivers. It’s been a prime location for settlers since the first French fur traders landed here in 1804. It started out as the town of Kansas, inhabited mainly by French settlers and later by Mormons in 1831. Together with nearby Westport Landing, this small town became one of the main stops on the route to the West. In 1853, the two towns amalgamated to form Kansas City.
The Civil WarDuring the civil war, Kansas City found itself at the heart of the conflict due to its location at the juncture between the Union and Confederate territories. During 1864, Kansas City was the scene of the Battle of Westport, one of the most intense wartime conflicts west of the Mississippi. After the Union’s victory, Kansas City thrived thanks to its railroads and a burgeoning cattle industry.
The Rise of JazzIn the late 1800s, many African Americans moved to the city. The area around 18th and Vine became a hotspot for up-and-coming jazz musicians, aided by the fact that Kansas City allowed alcohol to flow freely during Prohibition. When Prohibition finally arrived in the city, it slowed the jovial spirit slightly, but Kansas City rose again to become a hub of musical entertainment and laid-back fun. Today the city boasts many attractive features for upwardly mobile millennials and is fast becoming one of the best places to live in the USA.
The People of Kansas CityLife in Kansas City wouldn’t be the same without its diverse population of friendly inhabitants. Almost half a million people of various races inhabit the city, including high percentages of Sudanese, Congolese, and Somalian people. According to locals, this makes for some tasty and interesting options when it comes to food in Kansas City. The average age of residents is 35, and most Kansas City couples have children. That means you can count in a family-friendly vibe when you move to this city.
The Cost of Living in Kansas CityThe cost of living in Kansas City is comparatively low when compared with the national average. The only item that’s more expensive than other places in the USA is utilities. However, you’ll soon make up for that with cheap housing, groceries, and transportation.
The Job Market in Kansas CityThe unemployment rate in Kansas City is average and the city has a promising job market. The main sources of employment in the city include health care, manufacturing, transportation, and trade. Hallmark Cards, AT&T, Honeywell, and The Ford Motor Co. make up the major employers in this area. Tech, marketing, and skilled trades are also hot job markets in the city right now.
Things to Do in Kansas CityOf course, it’s not all about work when you live in Kansas City. There are plenty of opportunities for action and relaxation during your spare time. This is what you can get up to in this action-packed destination.
Fill up on the Best BBQThere’s no doubt that Kansas City barbeque is one of the major attractions in this city. There are over 100 barbeque restaurants in the Kansas City Metro. If you want to sample of the city’s delicious pulled pork, ribs, mutton, and sausages slathered in black sauce, white sauce, and sweet sauce, try one of these:
- Q39 – Midtown
- Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
- Jack Stack Barbecue – Martin City or Freight House
- SLAP’s BBQ
- Jack Stack Barbecue
Soak Up the VibesIt’s a toss-up whether Kansas City is more famous for its flame-grilled feasts or jazzy tunes, but you should try to make the most of both during your downtime. Some of the best jazz clubs and bars in the city include:
- Green Lady Lounge
- The Phoenix
- The Majestic Restaurant
- Blue Room
- Black Dolphin
Museums and Historical SightsWhen you feel inclined to step back in time, Kansas City doesn’t disappoint. These are some of the city’s top historical and cultural drawcards:
- The National World War I Museum
- The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum
- The American Jazz Museum
- Leila’s Hair Museum
- The Nelson Atkins Museum
- Arabia Steamboat Museum
- The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
Water Parks and Amusement ParksIt’s no surprise that Kansas City boasts a wealth of watery entertainment, thanks to its aquatic location. These are some of the top places to go when you’ve got a family in tow:
- Worlds of Fun
- Legoland Discovery Center
- Loose Park
- Schlitterbahn Waterpark
- CoCo Key Water Resort
- The Bay Water Park
- The Springs Aquatic Center
Outdoor ActivitiesThe Kansas City Metro boasts an astonishing amount of places to catch some fresh air. You’ll find 103 playgrounds, 134 miles of bikeways and tracks, 29 lakes, and 200 parks to enjoy in the area. Some of the best places to unwind outdoors include:
- Kansas City Zoo
- Roe Park
- Indian Creek Trail
- Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
- Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
- Burr Oak Woods Conservation Nature Center