About the Visitors' Choice Awards

The Visitors’ Choice Awards is an annual program that honors area businesses, murals, fountains and more as traveler favorites, each selected exclusively by voters who live outside the five-county metro region. From nationally renowned barbecue to iconic jazz venues, the awards recognize the best of Kansas City.

Best of Kansas City

Winner: Union Station

History both past and present persists in Union Station, an architectural masterpiece that features nearly endless attractions for all to experience.

The 2018 Winners

Arts & Entertainment

  • Favorite Art Museum – The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Favorite Art Gallery – Hilliard Gallery
  • Favorite Mural – Lewis & Clark (River Market)
  • Favorite Performing Arts Group – Kansas City Symphony
  • Favorite Nightlife Spot – Crossroads KC at Grinders
  • Favorite Concert/Live Music Venue – Starlight Theatre
  • Favorite Jazz Venue – The Blue Room
  • Favorite Casino – Hollywood Casino at the Kansas Speedway
  • Favorite Gay Bar – Hamburger Mary’s Bar & Grille


  • Favorite Family Friendly Attraction – Science City at Union Station
  • Favorite Free Thing to Do – The City Market
  • Favorite KC Neighborhood – Brookside
  • Favorite Historical Attraction – Union Station Kansas City
  • Favorite Romantic Spot – Country Club Plaza
  • Favorite Place to Snap a Photo – Country Club Plaza
  • Favorite Daytrip – Lawrence, KS

Sports & Recreation

  • Favorite Landmark or Monument – Union Station at Kansas City
  • Favorite Fountain – J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain (47th & Nichols)
  • Favorite City Park – Loose Park
  • Favorite Golf Course – Shoal Creek Golf Course
  • Favorite Professional Sports Team – Kansas City Royals

Special Events

  • Favorite Family Festival – Kansas City Renaissance Festival
  • Favorite Music Festival – Rockfest
  • Favorite Beer Festival – KC Beer Fest
  • Favorite Art Festival – Plaza Art Fair

Food & Drink

  • Favorite Restaurant – Rye
  • Favorite Steakhouse – Hereford House
  • Favorite Barbecue Restaurant – Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
  • Favorite Fine Dining Restaurant – Pierpont's at Union Station
  • Favorite Brunch Restaurant – The Farmhouse
  • Favorite International Cuisine – Bo Lings
  • Favorite Burger Joint – Westport Flea Market
  • Favorite Pizza Place – Minsky’s Pizza
  • Favorite Food Truck – Crave of KC Truck
  • Favorite Patio – Gram & Dun
  • Favorite Bakery – McLain’s Bakery
  • Favorite Coffee Shop – The Roasterie Café
  • Favorite Winery – Stone Pillar Winery
  • Favorite Brewery – Boulevard Brewing Co.
  • Favorite Distillery – Tom’s Town Distilling Co.


  • Favorite Shopping Center or District – Country Club Plaza
  • Favorite Local Shop or Store – Made in KC
  • Favorite Local Product or Souvenir – Kansas City Barbecue Sauce
  • Favorite Antique/Vintage Store – River Market Antiques


  • Favorite Hotel, More than 300 Rooms – The Westin Kansas City at Crown Center
  • Favorite Hotel, 300 Rooms or Less – The Raphael Hotel
  • Favorite Inn/Bed & Breakfast – Chateau Avalon

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