Kansas City Must-See Attractions in One Day

Union Station https://www.unionstation.org/

Kansas City


What do you think of when you hear this city’s name?

Is it?

Is it time to re-visit Kansas City?

Here’s a one-day itinerary.

Start your visit in the Historic Entertainment District of 18th & Vine https://www.18vinekc.com/

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Walk the streets. Admire the murals and sculpture. Visit the shops, restaurants and museums.

American Jazz Museum

The Jazz & Baseball Museums are adjoined. Tickets for one or both are purchased inside. Plan at least an hour in each museum. Each has a gift shop. A coat room and clean restrooms are available.

The American Jazz Museum https://americanjazzmuseum.org/ showcases the sights and sounds of jazz through interactive exhibits and films, the Changing Gallery exhibit space, Horace M. Peterson III Visitors Center, Blue Room jazz club and Gem Theater.

Check the event calendar. You may want to return in the evening to listen to top rated jazz musicians. https://americanjazzmuseum.org/event/

1616 East 18th Street Kansas City, MO 64108
Hands-On Exhibits

Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

https://nlbm.com/ 1616 East 18th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108

The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum (NLBM) https://nlbm.co is a privately funded, not-for-profit organization dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African-American baseball and its profound impact on the social advancement of America. In 2006, the United States Congress designated the NLBM as “America’s National Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.”

Because the Kansas City Monarchs were the most successful team in the Negro League, it’s fitting that this museum, honoring Hall of Fame legends like Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson, would be located here.


Ask the museum staff for lunch recommendations. We enjoyed a delicious home cooked meal at Smaxx-a very short walk from the museums. https://www.facebook.com/1827SMAXX/

1827 Vine Street Kansas City, MO 64108

Historic River Market

The River Market is https://kcrivermarket.com/ an officially designated “Historical District”. Major attractions to the River Market include the City Market and the Arabia Steamboat Museum.

The City Market’s Farmers’ Market https://thecitymarketkc.org/ is the largest farmers’ market in the region bringing “Farm to Table” right to the heart of the city with fresh produce and goods on Saturday and Sunday. 

The Arabia Steamboat Museum https://www.1856.com/ displays thousands of artifacts from a steamboat and its cargo that sunk nearby in 1856 and was recovered in 1987-88. The market and museum are among Kansas City’s most popular tourist attractions. [Take some coins. Make a wish.]

Dessert (beignets) at the Market https://www.beignetkc.com/

Jazz in the Afternoon

Green Lady Lounge https://greenladylounge.com/ features Kansas City Jazz musicians in the rich Kansas City tradition. Free of televisions so one can focus on music, atmosphere and conversation.  

Open every day of the year 4pm to 3am Sunday thru Friday and 2pm to 3am every Saturday. No cover charge. Open seating.

It doesn’t look like much from the outside. Go inside. It’s very dark and vintage. Sit near the back if you’re with a group and want to visit.

1809 Grand Blvd (between E 18th & 19th St), Kansas City, MO

Kansas City jazz is a style of jazz that developed in Kansas City, Missouri during the 1920s and 1930s, which marked the transition from the structured big band style to the musical improvisation style of Bebop.

The hard-swinging, bluesy transition style is bracketed by Count Basie who in 1929 signed with the Bennie Moten’s Kansas City Orchestra and Kansas City native Charlie Parker https://www.biography.com/musician/charlie-parker who ushered in the Bebop style in America. “While New Orleans was the birthplace of jazz, America’s music grew up in Kansas City”.

Kansas City is known as one of the most popular “cradles of jazz”.

World War I Museum & Overlook

Opened to the public as the Liberty Memorial museum in 1926, it was designated in 2004 by the United States Congress as America’s official museum dedicated to World War I.

The Museum https://www.theworldwar.org/ tells the story of the Great War and related global events from their origins before 1914 through the 1918 armistice and 1919 Paris Peace Conference.

National WWI Museum and Memorial is America’s only museum dedicated to sharing the stories of the Great War through the eyes of those who lived it.

2 Memorial Drive Kansas City, MO 64108

Even if you don’t go inside the National World War I Museum, it’s still worth a visit to the grounds. From the base of the Liberty Memorial, you’ll be treated to one of the best views of Kansas City. [The photo at the top of this story was taken from there, looking down at Union Station.]

Q39 Dinner

There are lots of barbeque choices in Kansas City. We often choose Q39 https://q39kc.com/. We’ve never been disappointed.

There you have it. A full day of memorable activities in Kansas City.

Share this with those you want to visit KSC with this weekend.

Of course, there’s more to see & do in KSC. What’s your favorite? Let me know so it can be added to our next visit. Thank you.

©February 2020. Linda Leier Thomason All Rights Reserved. This means seek permission before using copy or images from this site. Images are available for purchase.

Linda Leier Thomason writes freelance business and travel stories along with feature articles. Her work experience includes a Fortune 500 corporation, federal government, entrepreneurship and small business. Read more about her background and qualifications by clicking on the “Meet Linda” tab above.

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