All Access: Kansas City’s Guided Tours


By Katy Schamberger

Architecture, food, historic landmarks, drinks—there’s so much to see in Kansas City that it can be a little overwhelming to decide where to start. Instead of stressing over your itinerary, why not kick back, relax and let a tour guide show you the way? KC offers a growing variety of tours, both on foot and on wheels. And whether you’re an inquisitive foodie or a bonafide history buff, you’ll find something to entertain and inform your inner explorer.

Here are a few of our favorite tours to help you get started:


Double Decker Sights

Keep your eyes peeled while you’re seated up top soaking up the sun in Kansas City and you’ll probably see the cheerful red Kansas City Double Decker Tours bus roll by. The company hosts 90-minute sightseeing tours that are hop-on, hop-off—a flexible format that lets you explore at your own pace. Stops include KC essentials, such as Crown Center, River Market, Boulevard Brewing Company, the National WWI Museum and Memorial, Westport, the Country Club Plaza and The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Tickets can be purchased day-of, but the company recommends buying advance tickets so you’re ensured a seat. Also give KC Fun Tours a try for a spin around some of the town's most scenic destinations. 

Stroll in Style

Strap on your helmet and prepare to glide by some of KC’s favorite destinations in style. Segway Bike & Stroll hosts tours on Segway electric scooters, bicycles and on foot. Tours are organized by theme and include looks at parks, museums, art, barbecue and more, and are generally held every day of the week. If you’re hesitant about operating a Segway, don’t be. Guides offer brief, one-on-one instruction before the tour begins to ensure everyone is comfortable before departing.

Appetizing Excursions

Are you ready to eat your way through popular KC neighborhoods? Taste of Kansas City Food Tours hosts an appetizing array of tours that include the Crossroads Arts District, Prohibition-style cocktails, brunch, the KC Streetcar and plenty more. While the focus of each is undoubtedly the food and drink, participants will also learn more about the history, culture and entertainment of the area. Then of course there's the KC Barbecue Tours, which allow you to sample KC's signature cuisine. Consider these adventures an immersion for all five senses—and one very happy stomach! 

History On Foot

Kansas City Museum

Kansas City is home to world-renowned architecture and fascinating history—and during Historic Kansas City’s walking tours, you’ll get to experience both. Several tours give participants a closer look at some of the KC’s most beloved landmarks and neighborhoods. Get an up-close view of the KC's Art Deco City Hall and county courthouse before checking out the stately mansions along Gladstone and Benton Boulevards in the historic Northeast, among many other notable stops on the 60-90-minute excursions.

While not on foot, the Gangster Tour takes you back in time to organized crime's heyday in Kansas City as you investigate popular hangouts and crime scenes, including Union Station and more.

Behind the Scenes Views

Before you raise a glass and enjoy some of Kansas City’s favorite beverages, why not get a closer look at how they’re made? Several hometown facilities offer tours that typically conclude with a of tasting.

The always-popular Boulevard Brewing Company tours are available in several varieties, including free, 60-minute public treks through the production facility, a two-hour Smokestack experience and tasting and private tours—oh, and samples are included with each. And when you’re done, keep the fun flowing in the Boulevard Beer Hall, complete with exhibits, an expanded shop and, upstairs, 24 beers on tap plus food.

Coffee lovers: Don’t leave Kansas City without stopping by The Roasterie, the best way to get an up-close look at the air-roasted coffee company’s cupping, roasting and blending processes. Complimentary tours are held seven days a week and include coffee samples.

Kansas City’s distillery scene thrived until the ravages of Prohibition. Now? It’s experiencing a delicious comeback. Tom’s Town Distilling Co., Downtown Kansas City’s first legal distillery since Prohibition, offers one-hour tours that include an in-depth look at the distillation process and history of the company’s namesake: Boss Tom Pendergast.

J. Rieger & Company, founded in 1887 in the West Bottoms, was a casualty of Prohibition—but the iconic whiskey brand lives again, thanks to co-founders Ryan Maybee and Andy Rieger. Now, the spirits flow from a distillery in the East Bottoms, which offers tours on select Saturdays. Plan to spend around two hours in the distillery learning about the history and legacy of J. Rieger & Co., as well as the distilling process—and, of course, sampling whiskey.

Related

Iconic Murals and Sculptures in Kansas City

In Kansas City, public art is in plain view, no matter where you're standing. Discover some of the most iconic murals and sculptures in the City of Fountains. 

Kansas City Film Self-Guided Tour

Kansas City’s film scene is more than a burgeoning industry attracting more attention by the day—it’s one of the city’s oldest and most culturally significant pastimes. And now, you can experience that rich history yourself thanks to our self-guided tour. No matter your familiarity with the city,...

Best Food & Drink in Kansas City

Fresh, innovative and above all delicious, Kansas City's culinary scene is booming. Discover some of the most popular drinking and dining of the year.

Making the Most of your Event Along the KC Streetcar Line

Free to ride and connecting some of the city’s most vibrant districts, the streetcar transforms ordinary events and helps shape memorable experiences.

Kelli O'Hara, Broadway star in concert

Kelli O’Hara is one of the biggest stars on Broadway, and her work in film, television, and opera have made her acclaim even greater. The Tony Award winner will bring her unique mix of classicism and show business to Kansas City for selections from Broadway and the Great American Songbook.

Hugh Jackman

Academy Award®-nominated, Golden Globe and Tony Award-winning performer, Hugh Jackman will bring The Man. The Music. The Show to Sprint Center on Oct. 13. You will see Jackman performing hit songs from The Greatest Showman, Les Misérables and more from Broadway and film, accompanied by a live orchestra.

Paul Childres Concert in the Caves

Blending Pop, R&B, and Soul, Paul Childers is leading a new breed of Singer/Songwriters and Guitarists. Paul finds a way to blur the lines cast between Stevie Ray Vaughan and Jimi Hendrix styles of guitar playing, a Motown rhythm section, and Pop vocal melodies. He is returning to the caves for another epic show! 

B-Side mini 2019

We're celebrating our second annual music festival - in a teenier way!
 
Join us Oct. 4th First Friday for B-Side Mini!
 
Acts include our house band I Threw a Chair, Winny Wallet and the Workshop, and local musician Sean Groff.
 
Inside the gallery we will be showing many mini works, small doodles, sculptures and more.
 
Big thanks to Brewery Emperial for providing the event with beverages!

Merriam Drive Live!

Downtown Merriam will transform into a street and lawn party full of music on two stages, food trucks, adult beverages and a Cornhole Tournament. Performers include: Four Fried Chickens & a Coke; Red Guitar; Stolen Winnebagos; Fast Times and Noe Palma. Enjoy this annual music fest for FREE in downtown Merriam.

Brahms’ Fourth and Bach’s Fantasia

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Jason Seber, David T. Beals III Associate Conductor
Paul Jacobs, organ
 
J.S. BACH/ELGAR Fantasia and Fugue in C Minor
MICHAEL DAUGHERTY Once Upon a Castle for Organ and Orchestra
BRAHMS Symphony No. 4
 

Finlandia and Schumann’s Piano Concerto

Helzberg Hall, Kauffman Center
Michael Stern, conductor
Martin Helmchen, piano
 
SIBELIUS Finlandia
R. SCHUMANN Piano Concerto
DANIEL KELLOGG The Golden Spike (Kansas City Symphony commission, world premiere)
SMETANA “Blaník” from Má vlast
 

The Medical Arts Symphony of Kansas City Fall Concert

The Medical Arts Symphony of Kansas City includes physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, healthcare students, as well as other musicians from the Kansas City area.  This fall concert will include: The New World Symphony - Dvorak , Fanfare for the Common Man – Copeland, Vivaldi’s Concerto for Two Cello, s Gion Overture - Jose Gonzalez Granero