In 1803 President Thomas Jefferson asked Congress for funds to send an expedition from the Missouri River to the Pacific Northwest. This was in anticipation of the acquisition of Louisiana Territory. France sold the 828,000 square miles in this territory to the United States for 60 million francs ($15 million). This purchase doubled the size of the United States. On June 26, 1804, the expedition reached Kansas. For three days, they camped at Kaw Point, where the Missouri and Kansas Rivers meet. Today this is Kansas City, Kansas. Kaw Point also marked the first stop on my day long tour of Kansas City, Kansas.
On that expedition, over 200 years ago Lewis and Clark observed how beautiful the prairie land was and the rich diversity of its wildlife. While Kansas City, Kansas is still as beautiful, it has grown into much more than a grassland. During our day trip, Lily and I explored everything from historical landmarks and sports life to public art and local spots for shopping. Not to mention the delicious restaurants! Follow along as I share the rich, beautiful past and present of Kansas City, Kansas.
I have a major sweet tooth so Bonito hit the sugar spot. This Mexican bakery offers the freshest and most delicious pastries you can find in the city.
On our way to the meeting place for the day tour we passed the elegant Winkler Clock Tower. Commissioned by Frank Winkler a German immigrant and jewelry shop owner, this landmark has been a symbol of prosperity in downtown Kansas City, Kansas for over 100 years. The clock was constructed in the Neo-Classical style which grew out of the Chicago’s World Fair. This style gained popularity in Kansas City as evidenced by area street lights and fixtures. The Winkler Clock was originally installed in front of the Winkler Jewelry and Watch Repair Store on Minnesota Avenue in 1915. The clock is now located at the Metro Center Transit Plaza on the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Minnesota Avenue.
Kaw Point was part of the land first claimed by Spain, then France, and ultimately bought by the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. The area served as the basis for the state of Missouri’s western border from Iowa to Arkansas when it became a state in 1821. Kansas officially joined the Union in 1861. Kaw Point features 10 acres of beautiful trails, and outdoor amphitheater, and wildlife. Many special events are hosted here, including an annual paddle boat race.
We headed back to Minnesota Avenue in downtown Kansas City, Kansas for an Instagram lovers dream. Here you’ll a four block display of murals from 6th Street to 9th Street. Local high school students partnered with professional artists Joe Faus, Alisha Gambino, and Duane Dudley to create these works of art. Each of the eight murals represents the history and culture of the city. The “Wyandot Echoes” mural represents the migration of the Wyandots’ from Ontario to Kansas and a spiritual journey back to the past.
You have to know I wouldn’t leave Kansas City, Kansas without some barbecue! More specifically, Slap’s BBQ. This treasure can be found in the Strawberry Hill neighborhood. Slap’s serves up mouth-watering barbecue sandwiches, burnt ends, and ribs.
The Rosedale Memorial Arch is dedicated to the men of the Rosedale neighborhood who served in the 42nd Rainbow Division for World War I. Nearby Rainbow Boulevard is also named for these men. Drawing inspiration from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, local architect John Leroy Marshall designed the memorial. In 1993 a small marker was placed under the arch honoring Rosedale residents who died in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.
Sporting Kansas City was as the Kansas City Wizards by Lamar Hunt in 1995. When the team moved to their home at Children’s Mercy Park it re-branded. Sporting Kansas City has won many titles making it one of the leading soccer teams in America. (MLS Cup in 2000 and 2013, the Supporters’ Shield in 2000, and the U.S. Open in 2004, 2012, and 2015) World renowned architectural firm Populous completed the $200 million Children’s Mercy Park in 2011. The unique design is meant to give the impression of movement with an undertone of urban modernism. Our tour took us through the stadium, media areas, and locker rooms.
For some shop til we drop action we had to travel no further than the Village West District. This shopping and dining epicenter is home to Legends Outlets, Cabela’s, and Nebraska Furniture Mart. With over 75 name brand stores and over 30 restaurants, the Legends has something for everyone. The outdoor shopping center opened in 2006 and quickly became the premier shopping and entertainment area in Kansas City, Kansas. It’s also the only designer outlet in the region.
Parents say not to play with your food. But at Dave & Buster’s it’s required. This arcade and restaurant boasts over 200 of the best and newest games. Plus sharable appetizers and entrees make it a win-win for everyone.
We topped off the day with a T-Bones game. This minor league baseball team offers up a fun night of America’s pastime the whole family will love. The park features a children’s play area and half time activities that shouldn’t be missed. It’s also budget friendly with most tickets in the $6.50 to $16 range. On Saturdays, Community America Ballpark ends T-Bones games with a fireworks show.
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