Mixing Business and Pleasure: Quick Escapes in Kansas City

by  Darren Murph | Apr 29, 2013
Kansas City, Missouri
Kansas City, Missouri / iStock

Tell a Kansas City resident that they're located in a flyover state and see what happens. Actually, don't do that. For those traveling to the heart of America for business or pleasure, you'll find plenty of extracurricular activities to make the most of your visit. In an effort to get you outside the boardroom and into KC, here are two restaurants, two attractions, and one bar that you can hit with just a few extra hours between meetings.

Webster House is situated next to the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of Kansas City’s Crossroads Arts District. There's plenty more to do than just dining here (shopping and gawking at the artwork, to name two), but the food is truly exceptional. Webster House is on the National Register of Historic Places, so if you're into atmosphere, you'll find it in spades here. It's the ideal location for a client dinner – or just a splurge for you and your colleagues.

Go to Jack Stack Barbecue. I really don't need to say any more than this. With just four Kansas City-area locations, there's perhaps no better BBQ joint in the known universe. Sure, that's an embellishment, but every single item on the menu here is remarkable. From the beef cuts to the BBQ and the sides, you shouldn't arrive without a massive appetite. The wise will deliberately select the venue in Overland Park just so they'll have a great distance to walk back to their hotel. One other thing: Don't bring your calorie counter!

In the mood for walking? Kansas City is actually quite a beautiful city to explore on foot, particularly during this part of the year. Just a few blocks from the convention hall sits a number of riverfront parks. Riverfront West and Richard L. Berkley Riverfront Park are both nearby, and if you plan your route properly, you can slip by the Kansas City Hall en route – a striking building to photograph. While you're there, climb up to the top of the Town of Kansas Observation Deck for a nice view over the Missouri River.

While many major cities in the U.S. offer Major League Baseball clubs, the fans in the heartland tend to have an unusually strong bond with their teams. The Kansas City Royals play in a fantastic park, and best of all, it's reasonably easy to grab tickets on game day. Unless the Cardinals are in town – that STL/KC rivalry is pretty stout. Still, mid-spring is an outstanding time to take in a game in the city, and yes, they have some of the most reasonable ticket prices in the entire league (I'm talking $7).

Tannin Wine Bar & Kitchen offers a relaxing atmosphere to wind down in after a hectic week. The wine list is unsurprisingly lengthy, but the food menu is strong enough to stand on its own. For those who love cheese, they have plenty of that to try as well.

This is a recurring feature exploring must-visit locales in a variety of cities. If you find yourself traveling to a place for business, why not venture out and enjoy your surroundings?

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