Baseball is at the heart of American culture. The country lives and breathes the sport. It starts conversations around the water cooler, provokes fierce debates (sometimes fights) in bars, and generally makes Americans feel good about being American.
After all, when it comes to baseball, they are the best in the world.
Earlier this month the Kansas City Royals became the World Champions when they beat the New York Mets. To celebrate we have found six reasons you should visit Kansas on your next journey to the land of hope and glory. Batter up!
1. Good Old American BBQ
Kansas City is famous for its barbecue meals. A good place to start the taste test would be Arthur Bryant’s (1727 Brooklyn Ave), which was founded in the early 1920s. Here you can sample some of the best slow-cooked pork ribs in the US. Former US presidents Jimmy Carter and Harry Truman were big fans.
If you are looking for a place that makes a great sandwich, ask any local and they will point you in the direction of Joe’s Kansas City (3002 West 47th Ave). Make sure you order the Z-man sandwich. It’s very popular with the local baseball team and might even have played a part in the Royals’ making the World Series. Apparently it’s a team favourite.
2. Fountain Hunting
Apart from Rome, Kansas City has more fountains than any other city in the world. Around 200 spouting sparking pieces of architecture can be found around the city and you can even do a self-guided tour – it’s a great way to get a handle on this fabulous city.
Baseball in the heart of America. Take Me Out To A Major League Baseball Game
America's love of barbecue. Discussing An American BBQ Obsession With David Miller
3. Artsy Business
You don’t have to be an art lover to enjoy the popular Crossroads Arts District in the downtown area of Kansas City. Affuent galleries rub shoulders with funky design studios, cafes, bars and restaurants in this vibrant part of town.
Whether you are looking for a new canvas for your home, fashion, furniture or flowers you can expect to find the perfect gift or treasure here with more than 400 local artists that show and sell their creative gems.
4. Soulful Music
Jazz enthusiasts will be blown away by the talent that oozes out of the many clubs that call this city home. Kansas City is truly the New Orleans of the plains when it comes to Jazz.
In the 1930s when most of America was buckling down and riding out the Prohibition years, this city danced and boozed its way through the era thanks to the forward thinking political giant, Thomas Pendergast.
You can enjoy Jazz seven nights a week at such popular venues as Jardine’s, The Phoenix Bar and Grill and the Green Lady Lounge. One of the not to be missed venues is The Blue Room which is housed within the impressive American Jazz Museum.
5. Shopping Bonanza
It may look and feel like the quaint Italian city of Sienna, but you are really in the shopping heartland of Kansas City. Country Club Plaza which takes up 15 blocks with more than 150 stores is just the place to give your plastic a good work out.
Gap, Banana Republic, H&M, J Crew, Kate Spade, Sephora and William-Sanoma are just a few of the big brand names on show. There is also a plethora of restaurants and cafes to rest your wary feet and restore you flagging energy for the next few hours of shopping.
6. Well Fed Stomaches
Culinary connoisseurs can give their taste-buds a good work out on the ever expanding gastro food trucks scene in this cool Midwestern city. You can sample the city's famed barbecue and smoked meats right on the sidewalk at the KC BBQ truck or at Noble House Hawaiian Plate Lunch.
Indulge your love of Asian fusion cuisine at the BooYah truck. If you like it hot and spicy then try Indios Carbonsitos’ Mexican Street Food or stop off at the Humdinger truck for a mouth-watering burger and fries.
Those foodies with a sweet tooth won’t be disappointed with a handful of trucks dedicated to bringing you the best coffee and pastry or cupcake in town.
Keep your eyes peeled for the brightly painted trucks – they are everywhere.