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.
Hidden Gems in Kansas City
Hidden gems, with their authentic atmospheres and unexpected experiences, appeal to our inner sense of adventure. Tenured visitors, tried-and-true locals and first-timers will undoubtedly all agree that the off-the-beaten-path destinations in KC showcase a unique, intimate side of the City of Fountains unlike anywhere else.
- Mutual Musicians Foundation: The Foundation has been an institution in the Kansas City jazz scene for more than 100 years. Swing by to enjoy a late-night jam session that runs into the wee hours of the morning.
- Knuckleheads Saloon: Head across the tracks to the East Bottoms, where you’ll find this rough-and-tumble music venue that regularly hosts blues, country and rock acts on outdoor and indoor stages.
- Art Alley: No visit to Art Alley is the same thanks to the eclectic collection of wall-to-wall graffiti art, each piece an impermanent addition to the ever-changing canvas.
- The Rino: North Kansas City’s resident live music venue is connected to hip hotspot Colony KC, where you’ll find solid tunes and coffee for a nearly unbeatable combo.
- The Ship: The West Bottoms comes to life at night at The Ship, a nautical-styled speakeasy that touts a soulful jukebox and unexpected collection of music acts that roll through several nights a week.
- Prospero’s Books: Bibliophiles and bookworms love wandering through stacks and stacks of rare and used titles in this iconic shop on West 39th Street.
Food & Drink
- Splitlog Coffee Co.: A quick jaunt to KCK’s Strawberry Hill neighborhood takes you to this quaint café known for its warm, sunny environment and rotating single origin roasts.
- Manifesto: While this speakeasy can easily be identified as the founder of KC’s cocktail renaissance, it remains as innovative—and under-the-radar—as ever thanks to its undeniably understated cool.
- Plowboys Barbecue: Great barbecue is hiding in plain sight at Plowboys. It’s everything you want from KC ‘cue—smoky deliciousness—without any fuss, and it’s located on the KC Streetcar line adjacent to the Power & Light District.
- The Antler Room: The Antler Room is one of the buzziest restaurants in the city. Tucked away in charming Union Hill, sample Mediterranean small plates during date nights and special occasions to really feel at home.
- Brookside Poultry Co.: This casual hangout is nestled in the cozy Brookside region—and touts dang good fried chicken that draws big crowds from around the neighborhood.
- Swordfish Tom’s: Disconnect from the world around you and connect to those in front of you at this subterranean speakeasy. Reserve this low-lit cocktail experience for intimate occasions.
- West Bottoms: Many know it as the spot for First Weekends, a time for antique shopping and food truck feasts. But this underrated neighborhood features everything from Southern-style meat-and-three dining (EJ’s Urban Eatery) and fresh-roasted coffee (Blip) to carefully crafted cocktails (The Campground) and craft beer (Stockyards Brewing Co.).
- Olathe: A less-than-30-minute drive south of Downtown KC reveals the lush greenspace and family-friendly environs that are so prominent in Olathe. Favorite picks include Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, KC Wine Co., Olathe Farmers’ Market, Red Crow Brewing Company and Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop & Farm Historic Site.
With its diverse blend of culture, food and attractions, Kansas City extends literally and figuratively into the clouds and far beneath the earth’s surface, uncovering treasures both unique and inspiring in the same breath.
KC’s cocktail scene is supremely cool and infinitely creative, which, not coincidentally, are two ingredients essential to any of the drinks these places serve.
Three Stop Hop is a series from Recommended Daily and Visit KC that lets you experience a neighborhood or corner of the city in three unique stops. Today, take a trip through Kansas City's historic Stockyards District for a few drinks and diversions in an irresistibly charming setting.
There's more to see in KC
Relaxing atmosphere with a broad range of beer styles. Located on the historical Independence square.
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.
Blade & Timber's premier axe throwing facility in the Power & Light District offers 11 throwing lanes, a party room, good eats, beer, wine and an expanded selection of entertainment including darts and yard games. Safety-certified coaches spend one-on-one time with each guest to master the bullseye. Guests are encouraged to play games and even try a few trick shots during the 1.5 hour axe throwing experience. Axe throwing is the perfect outing for friends, families, corporate groups, special events and team building activities.
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.
The Bingham-Waggoner Estate is recognized today as one of the most significant historical sites in western Missouri because of its role in the history of the area and the people that lived there. Plotted in 1827 on that super highway west called the Santa Fe Trail, the Estate played an important part in our region's history. Of the many colorful owners, characters and residents of this now legendary home, the most famous is the artist and politician George Caleb Bingham.
Founded in 1989, Boulevard Brewing Company has grown to become the largest specialty brewer in the Midwest. Our mission is simple -- to produce fresh, flavorful beers using the finest traditional ingredients and the best of both old and new brewing techniques. The Boulevard story begins in 1988, when founder John McDonald started construction of the brewery in a turn-of-the-century brick building on Kansas City's historic Southwest Boulevard. A vintage Bavarian brewhouse was installed, and the first batches of beer were produced in the fall of 1989.