Hello everyone, Scott Asner here. I’m a long time Kansas City guy. While we’re not the most visited city, maybe we should be. This place is very special with much to do. Allow me to share three of the best things to do in Kansas City.
- Feel the Mist of a Local Fountain
Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains. We have more than 200 fountains, 48 of which are open to the public. In fact, we’re rumored to have more fountains than Rome! It’s not in every city that you can spend the day fountain hopping, but you can in Kansas City.
If you’re short on time, I recommend you put the Women’s Leadership Fountain in the Paseo West neighborhood at the top of your list. This is the city’s oldest working fountain and dates back to 1899. Another great one to visit is the Mill Creek Fountain. It’s the most photographed of all our fountains and for good reason. It’s beautiful and has a fascinating history. It arrived here in 1951 from Paris, where it was built more than 40 years prior.
- See Larger than Life Art
Kansas City is home to some of the best museums and art galleries in the Midwest, but to me, our most exciting art is found on walls, sidewalks, and bridges. We have incredible murals – and much like the fountains, we have about 200 of them too. They are large and commanding. You could spend all day, all week, even all month, visiting these jaw-dropping works of art.
Some of the murals tell a story from the past while others call attention to local values, activities, and people. As a sports fan, one of my favorites is the 1,600 sq ft mural on the side of Tom’s Town Distilling, it’s the Chiefs Kingdom Mural honoring the city’s championship football team. I also particularly enjoy the mural that’s the facade of the parking garage for the Central Branch of the public library. The garage looks like a row of books on a shelf, but these aren’t your average library books. These “books” are 25-feet tall and nine-feet wide. The books are quite detailed too. There are 22-titles represented, ranging from “The Lord of the Rings,” by J. R. R. Tolkien, to “Fahrenheit 451,” by Ray Bradbury, among others. When you go, look for the books along the south wall of the Central Library’s parking garage on 10th St. between Wyandotte St. and Baltimore Ave., but, really, you can’t miss them.
- Head to Market
Kansas City’s River Market is well known for its weekend farmers’ market but it’s located in a beautiful neighborhood as has much more to offer than just fruits and veggies. Shop for locally made goods, browse the mom-and-pop stores, then stroll along Berkley Park and take in the stunning views over the Missouri River. If you have time (and to keep with my 200 theme) check out the Arabia Steamboat Museum, where you’ll find an impressive collection of pre–Civil War artifacts and hear the legendary tale of the loss and discovery of the steamboat’s 200 tons of mystery cargo.
There are many more things to do in Kansas City but if I had a handful of hours to meander, I’d do one or all of these. Enjoy your time in our fabulous city.
~ Scott Asner, wannabe musician and Founding Principal of Eighteen Capital Group (18CG) in Kansas City, Missouri.