Jackson County's first government building, constructed with slave labor, was the only courthouse between St. Louis and the Pacific at the time the Santa Fe Trail trade began. Two-room log structure was home to roots of Jackson County where controversial slave state, land disputes and westward expansion issues were dealt with. Once a Mormon mercantile store, this structure has a great significance to members of the LDS church. Harry Truman held court here in the 1930s.
Group Itinerary Favorites
KC has a tour that will fit your group’s interest, from themed adventures to behind-the-scenes discoveries for groups of any kind. For more details about these tours, contact Visit KC at 800-767-7700.
Rhythm and Ribs
Experience Kansas City’s most famous traditions—jazz and barbecue—both of which have roots in KC that date back to the 1920s. Belly up to the bar and sample the heavenly ’cue at some of the city’s 100+ barbecue joints. Then, discover how Kansas City jazz defined an era through KC legends like Charlie Parker, Count Basie and Big Joe Turner.
City of Fountains, City of Art
More boulevards than Paris. More fountains than any city but Rome. And an entire neighborhood modeled after Seville, Spain. Explore the art and architecture of some of Kansas City’s most famous neighborhoods, from the Old World charm of the Country Club Plaza to the emerging artists of the trendy Crossroads Arts District.
Along the way, take in a tour of Kansas City’s beautiful fountains. From large and majestic to small and whimsical, each one has a character all its own.
Possible stops include: Country Club Plaza, Crossroads Arts District and a fountain tour.
One for the History Books
From pioneers to a president, a lot of America’s history has passed through nearby Independence, Mo. Learn how the journeys of settlers heading west on the Santa Fe, California and Oregon trails all started in Independence. Then, explore the life of the city’s most famous citizen—Harry S. Truman.
Signature KC: From Yesterday to Tomorrow
Discover Kansas City’s signature attractions, from old favorites to new kids on the block. Uncover the treasures of the Arabia Steamboat Museum. Visit the nation’s World War I Museum at the National WWI Museum and Memorial.
In need of some serious retail therapy? Kansas City has the cure. Discover one-of-a-kind gifts as you browse the unique boutiques in the nearby towns of Parkville or Weston, Mo. Shop the distinctive stores of the Tuscan-themed Briarcliff Village, including nationally known Nell Hill’s. And, discover the trademark neighborhood charm that flourishes in the boutiques in nearby areas such as the Brookside and Prairie Village.
Trouble Brewing on the Boulevard
Gangsters in Kansas City? You bet! Explore the tumultuous Pendergast era of the 1930s that seethed with corruption, thumbed its nose at Prohibition and allowed gambling halls and brothels to operate openly. Learn about the Union Station Massacre, drive by the homes of crime bosses and sample some of the city’s most famous brews at Boulevard Brewing Co. and the Roasterie.
Kansas City's Quirky Side
For visitors who want to travel off of the beaten path, Kansas City has several unique and offbeat attractions. See the world's largest collection of fine-scale miniatures and one of the nation's largest collections of antique toys at The National Museum of Toys and Miniatures. Leila’s Hair Museum features more than 2,000 pieces of jewelry made of human hair, plus the famous locks of Abraham Lincoln and Marilyn Monroe. Next, travel to Leavenworth to see the sideshow exhibit at the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum. You'll see two shrunken heads, a Fiji Island Mermaid and a petrified human hand.
In the Pursuit of Jesse James
Jesse James has drawn worldwide fascination for being known as America's Robin Hood and a cold-blooded killer. James was born, raised and killed in the Kansas City region. Your group can explore the legacy of this notorious outlaw at many sites throughout the area, including:
- Jesse James Farm & Museum (Kearney) – The home where Jesse was born and his brother, Frank, died. The Farm holds the world’s largest collection of James family memorabilia.
- Jesse James Bank Museum (Liberty) – The site of the country’s first daylight bank robbery during peacetime, committed by the James’ gang
- Bob Ford’s Gravesite (St. Joseph) – The gravesite of the man who killed Jesse James.
- Jesse James Home (St. Joseph) – The home where Jesse was shot and killed.
- 1859 Jail, Marshal's Home & Museum (Independence) – The jail where Frank James resided while standing trial. He turned himself in for protection due to his fear of assassination after his brother’s death.
Civil War Sightseeing
Throughout the tumultuous four-year war, Missouri witnessed more battles and engagements than any other state, with the exception of Virginia and Tennessee. Kansas City, situated between pro and anti-slavery forces, experienced its share of bloody battles and border clashes. Groups can tour several Civil War sites, including:
- Forest Hill Cemetery - KC's most historic cemetery was established on the site of Shelby's Last Stand. The confederate general is buried here, along with many veterans of his famous Missouri Brigade.
- Harris-Kearney House - The public museum is Kansas City’s oldest brick home—and was a witness to the 1864 Battle of Westport, a major turning point in the war.
- Wornall Majors House Museums - During the Battle of Westport, both sides of the army used the farmhouse as an emergency field hospital.
- Union Cemetery - Among the many Civil War highlights of this cemetery is the gravesite of Josephine Anderson, sister of “Bloody” Bill Anderson, who was killed in the 1863 jail collapse that caused William Quantrill to retaliate by attacking and burning nearby Lawrence.A war monument, dedicated to the memory of 15 confederate unknown prisoners of war, is also located on the grounds.
There's more to see in KC
Water fun for the whole family. Park open May 24-Sept. 1, season passes also available; call 816-235-7843 for information. Additional Independence Parks to enjoy : -Water Playground - McCoy Park Location: 24 Highway & North Delaware This is a summer delight, with water play/spray features that are appropriate for children of all ages and give kids the opportunity to cool off in the summer heat. -Water Playground - Rotary Park Location: 24th & Hardy This summer fun spot is a concrete pad with spray features that shoot, spray or mist water for kids to enjoy.
The sights and sounds of a uniquely American art form come alive at the American Jazz Museum.
The American Royal hosts many of Kansas City's premier fall events including the World Series of Barbecue®; the world's largest barbecue competition, their Livestock Show; one of the Midwest's largest livestock expositions, a PRCA sanctioned professional rodeo, and 6 prestigious horse shows including the UPHA National Championship Horse Show. These events allow the American Royal, a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profit organization, to give over $1 million annually for youth scholarships and support agriculture education programs.
Focusing on the role of agribusiness in our lives. Participate in tours led by trained, museum docents. Try out the new equine exhibit and learn about different gaits. Gain insight into the vital role that agriculture played in Kansas City's rich and storied history. Learn about the beginnings of the American Royal and the impact of Tom Bass and Loula Long Combs. Observe horse show, rodeo and livestock show clothing, saddles and memorabilia. Compare your weight with chickens, market hogs, and feeder steers. Visit the reading corner, play computer games, and learn about livestock judging.
The Beast has earned its reputation as a top 13 haunted house in the nation for years. Find your way through this thrilling open format design where visitors pass by dramatic scenes on four floors with a twisted path out. Traverse through the haunted house in a true 4D experience that includes movie-quality special effects, holograms, props, animatronics and a real alligator.
Breakout KC is one of the nation's top-rated, live-action escape room facilities, located in downtown Kansas City's River Market. Your goal is simple: you have 60 minutes to Breakout from one of our live-action, themed rooms. Crack codes. Use your gut. Solve riddles. Do you have what it takes to Breakout in time?
The Asylum Bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bridge was built in 1905 by the Kansas City Bridge company of Kansas City, MO, for $4,800. The pin connected reverse Parker Truss structure is 219 feet long and 16.5 feet wide. The bridge originally had gaslights at each end. No other examples of this bridge design have been found to date. It has been closed to vehicle traffic since the 1970s.
Awesome craft brew, delicious food, perfect lighting, comfortable seating. Calibration is gearing up to be one of the most unique and up-and-coming breweries in North Kansas City.
Brewery Emperial is a brewery, restaurant and beer garden located int he east Crossroads Arts District.