How to Reach Four Kansas City Destinations by RideKC Transit

With free bus rides to be available throughout Kansas City, MO, a few favorite destinations will become easier than ever to reach. Visitors and locals alike can soon shop, dine and entertain without worrying how to get there.

So park your car and climb aboard, because the City of Fountains is about to become even more accessible for everyone.

Know Before You Go:

Downtown Kansas City

  • If you’re taking a MAX (Metro Area Express) route, look for a red bus. Numbered bus lines use blue vehicles.
  • MAX routes run approximately every 10 minutes on weekdays, with reduced frequency on weekends. Numbered routes run less frequently. Exact timetables for each route can be found here.
  • Fares will soon be eliminated for all Kansas City, MO, bus routes, but for now, making your payment is easy. Simply download the RideKC app, where you can purchase a single-ride fare ($1.50) or day pass ($3.00), then show your driver upon boarding the bus. The RideKC app is available in the App Store and Google Play.


Charlie Parker Memorial

The Route

For visitors near the Kansas City Convention Center and many of KC’s Downtown hotels, some of Kansas City’s most iconic cultural institutions can be reached in less than 15 minutes via RideKC Transit. Starting on 12th Street between Baltimore Ave. and Main St., take the 18 Indiana bus route to the 18th & Vine stop.

If you’re looking for lunch, jump on the brand new Prospect MAX route from the same location on 12th Street. The short ride to the 18th & Prospect stop will put you just steps away from Arthur Bryant’s before you journey on to the area’s museums.


Negro Leagues Baseball Museum | Pilsen Photo Co-op

What You’ll Find

One of Kansas City’s most historic neighborhoods remains one of its liveliest. A cultural center for local jazz and KC’s black community, the 18th & Vine area pays tribute to its roots with modern touchstones that tell the story of the district’s heyday in the 1920s and ‘30s.

Treasures like the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum and the American Jazz Museum (as well as the Gem Theater) showcase history for regional, national and international audiences, often sharing previously underrepresented voices in the process. There’s also the Mutual Musicians Foundation, a 100-plus-year-old jazz club that regularly jams until well past midnight.


The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

The Route

Catch RideKC’s Main MAX service from 12th & Grand (or any of the stops along Grand Blvd. in Downtown Kansas City) and take it to the 45th & Main stop. From there, a short walk along 45th Street will lead you to two of Kansas City’s most celebrated cultural gems.


Rye | Anna Petrow

What You’ll Find

Totally free to enjoy (though some exhibitions cost extra), The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is quite simply the crown jewel of the Kansas City art community. With more than 40,000 art objects as part of the encyclopedic collection, you can take time to explore masterworks ranging from ancient times to today, including one of the top three Asian art collections in the world.

Only steps away is Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, another free institution that touts an excellent collection of creative works including thought-provoking, contemplative pieces from the 20th century through modernity. Just down the hill is the Country Club Plaza, a beautiful district featuring Spanish-inspired architecture. Venture across Main Street to shop at high-end and local boutiques, as well as dine at local hotspots like Rye, Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue and nationally known True Food Kitchen.  


Chris Goode | Ruby Jean's Juicery

The Route

Starting again at 12th Street between Baltimore and Main, watch for the Troost MAX bus. Once aboard, you’ll reach your stop at 31st & Troost in less than 20 minutes.


What You’ll Find

Up-and-coming barely defines the development that’s taking place on Troost. Here visitors will find a health- and community-minded restaurant and juice spot, Ruby Jean’s Juicery. Just across the street is Blip Roasters, an excellent coffee shop inspired and driven by motorcycle culture. And around the corner is Mesner Puppet Theater, a wonderful performance studio that puts on shows for all ages.

Only a few blocks away are Martini Corner and Union Hill. The former is ideal for a night out, featuring busy bars like Brick House KC, Ollie’s Local and Tower Tavern. Meanwhile, the latter is a little more laid-back. Caffeinate at The Filling Station or try out at a tasting at Underdog Wine Co.—even better, do both.


Heirloom Bakery & Hearth

The Route

Main MAX service reaches past the Country Club Plaza to Kansas City’s burgeoning Brookside area. From Downtown, catch the route from 12th & Grand—or at any of several other stops along Grand Blvd.—and take it to 63rd & Brookside. There, you’ll be a short walk away from some of the neighborhood’s most popular entertainment destinations.


What You’ll Find

Home to charming houses constructed during KC’s original renaissance, Brookside has come into its own in recent years. Now, it’s a bustling stomping ground for in-the-know locals looking for a change of scenery.

Craft beer lovers won’t want to miss BKS Artisan Ales, a local brewery known for sours and hoppy creations. In search of breakfast? Look no further than Heirloom Bakery & Hearth, an excellent pit stop offering fresh-made pastries, biscuit sandwiches and coffee. For fried chicken, diners flock to Brookside Poultry Co., an aptly named little joint serving up some of the best bird in the city.