Some call it the “Rodeo Drive of the Midwest,” but this Spanish-inspired shopping district dotted with fountains and statues truly has a flavor all its own.
Things to Do
Take in the sights and sounds of this 15-block area with a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride or a gondola float on the adjacent Brush Creek. When the holidays roll around, the Plaza Lights are an eight-decade sensation and the annual Plaza Art Fair each fall presents the country’s top visual artists. Two nationally renowned art museums are located nearby, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art. Located on the campus of UMKC, the Kansas City Rep is one of the best-kept secrets in the Midwestern theater scene, delighting local audiences and inspiring New York productions at the same time.
Where to shop
It’s been said, and bears repeating: no trip to Kansas City is complete without shopping on The Plaza. Seasoned shoppers will find high-end labels like Michael Kors, Kate Spade and Burberry. Local-vores will love Hallmark-owned HMK as well asa Scandia Down—home to lush bedding and soothing bath salts—and Three Dog Bakery, which began in KC and now has locations around the globe, not to mention a gigantic menu of treats for man’s best friend. For antiques, venture to 45th & State Line, where you’ll find a charming collection of traditional and vintage.
Places to eat
Sidewalk cafes and patios on the Plaza just can’t be beat. See for yourself and rest your heels at local institutions like The Classic Cup (seafood and sandwiches), Zócalo (modern Mexican cuisine) or Gram & Dun (comfort food with libation pairings). Plaza III Steakhouse is an iconic local establishment, serving local farm-raised beef and those famous Kansas City Strips.
Souvenir Stop: GQ called Baldwin Denim “the best place to buy jeans, period” (just ask Jay-Z). Try out the classic KC wool cap with chambray lining and hand cut felt letters. $42
Explore Brush Creek