Sports, stores and splashes await visitors at the largest entertainment area in the proud sunflower state. But word to the wise—come early and stay late, because this Kansas suburb is jam-packed with something for everyone.
Things to do
Get your sports fix at several venues in this area, including Kansas Speedway, home to NASCAR legends; CommunityAmerica Ballpark, where the Kansas City T-Bones take the field; and Children’s Mercy Park, the venue that helped KC claim the title of Soccer Capital of America (and home of the 2013 MLS Cup champion Sporting Kansas City). Vegas meets Tinseltown inside Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway—where the slots and gaming tables are perched right above Turn 2 of the racetrack. For family fun, lather on the sunscreen and pack your cooler for Schlitterbahn Waterpark. Or take it all inside at Great Wolf Lodge, an indoor waterpark where it’s always a sunny 84 degrees.
Where to shop
Stretch your dollar at Legends Outlets, an open-air shopping center boasting a long list of factory stores and big-name outlets—including Nike and Brooks Brothers. Only a short drive away stands Cabela’s, a gigantic 180,000-square foot outdoor equipment retail space that manages to double as an attraction, thanks in part to a panorama of wild animals in their natural habitats, tropical aquariums and more.
What to eat
Chiusano’s features brick oven-style pizzas with flavors such as elk sausage and goat’s milk brie. More in the mood for barbecue? No worries—Arthur Bryant’s is also in the ’hood, with the ribs, brisket and burnt ends that put our city on the map.
Souvenir Stop: Whether you opt for argyle or pick pinstripes, these Sporting KC soccer scarves will help get you game-day ready. • $25 at SportingStyle.