Welcome to one of “America’s 10 Best Downtowns” (Forbes). Amidst the skyscrapers and fantastic Art Deco buildings, you’ll find a vibrant, new energy in the heart of the city, thanks to a $6.5-billion renaissance in the city’s core over the last seven years.

Things to do

Downtown KC and Sprint Center by David Arbogast

See the new KC for yourself inside the Power & Light District (or “P&L” as locals call it), an eight-block entertainment hub chock-full of more than 50 bars, restaurants and shops. KC Live!—the district’s covered outdoor courtyard—hosts more than 130 free events each year. Across the street is one of the country’s busiest arenas, the glittering Sprint Center. Theater is well represented here too, as shown by the many marquees lighting up the night. Take your movie-watching to the next level at Alamo Drafthouse, a modern cinema with a refreshing, ironclad no-talking/no-texting policy, plus cool features like quote-along shows and in-theatre pyrotechnics. Test your skills at The College Basketball Experience, a hands-on hoops haven, or uncover the “Titanic of the Missouri River” at the Arabia Steamboat Museum, a tribute to the 1856 shipwreck. End the night by taking in KC’s signature sound at downtown jazz venues such as The Phoenix.

Where to shop

City Market in Kansas City's River Market
The City Market

Rain or shine, the region’s largest farmers market can be found at The City Market every Saturday and Sunday year-round. The bounty includes more than 140 stalls of fresh produce, flowers, baked goods and other local wares. Farther down Main Street, multi-task at The Garment District, a fashion collective with eight stores in one, complete with a full-service bar in the middle of it.

What to eat

This nightlife district isn’t just about bar bites. Discerning diners enjoy Bristol—a KC institution where the seafood is flown in daily—while The Mixx attracts health-conscious professionals looking for fast-casual cuisine. City Market staples cover the globe, with flavors running the gamut from Indian and Vietnamese to French, Mexican and sweet treats. But that’s not to say we’ve forgotten our roots; remind your taste buds with a delicious steak at The Majestic.

Souvenir Stop: Urban Provisions in the East Bottoms offers modern takes on classic general store items.

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