Craft and cool are king in this area locals know as a popular nightlife district. However, in the 1800s, Westport stood as a bustling outpost offering the last taste of European civilization at the doorstep of the great west. Both call for a toast.
Things to do
Remnants of Westport’s 19th-century charm color the neighborhood with historic buildings, old-style lampposts and tree-lined boulevards that almost beg for a long walk. Luckily, history buffs will find a walking trail with placards that recount the area’s storied history and the Battle of Westport, the largest Civil War conflict west of the Mississippi.
Plug into KC’s live music scene with rousing acts at Riot Room, a local haven for finding that next great sound. Meanwhile, The Westport Saloon features music acts of a different tune, including roots, blues, rockabilly and more. Or hit the patios at both Westport Ale House or HopCat for craft beers and live sports watching. Feeling tropical? Sneak down to TikiCat, a subterranean escape hidden underneath HopCat and featuring more than 20 tiki cocktails.
Catch an indie flick at Tivoli Cinemas, a movie theater that specializes in screening independent, documentary and foreign films. If live performances are more to your liking, check out The KC Improv Company for hilarious weekly comedy shows. Just next door, you’ll find Char Bar Smoked Meats & Amusements, an aptly-named barbecue restaurant with a killer outdoor patio and yard games, perfect for an afternoon or evening with good company. Just a block away, you’ll find Kelly’s Westport Inn, an iconic bar known for rowdy nights.
Where to shop
Fun and funky gifts from colorful shops are this area’s specialty. Those with a love for all things kitchen-related must poke around in Pryde’s Old Westport, the triangular building where every nook and cranny is stuffed with must-have cooking tools. Get your next favorite KC T-shirt at The Bunker, a retailer that features locally produced apparel and fun gifts.
Photo courtesy of Mills Record Company
What to eat
Westport’s watering holes like Julep (a whiskey bar) and Ça Va (a champagne lounge) attract young professionals in their 20s and 30s, but their menus appeal to travelers of all ages. Part bar, part confectionary establishment, the Doughnut Lounge crafts specialty dones and cocktails for guests throughout the day. Get authentic Mexican cuisine at Port Fonda, a perennial James Beard-nominee and known for its excellent, creative menu.
Bluestem boasts inventive takes on American cuisine while Beer Kitchen and McCoy’s Public House are both perfect before a concert or night out, making mouths water thanks to tasty gastropub menus and delicious drinks. Westport Flea Market dishes out one of the area’s most popular burgers, while a cup of joe from Broadway Café and Sunday brunch at The Corner Restaurant are sure to cure what ails you.