Diana Lambdin Meyer a RoamRight Blog Author

A High-Speed Getaway in Kansas City

Plan on including these tips when you visit the great American city of Kansas City, Missouri.

Photo Credit: Bruce N. Meyer

For more than a century, Kansas City, Missouri has presented a modest Midwestern image of itself. The home of Hallmark Cards, the birthplace of the NCAA and where a young cartoonist named Walt Disney first drew a rather popular mouse. What could be more all-American than that?

However, those who’ve been recently know Kansas City is now the fastest city in the US, destination for the largest First Friday art event in the nation and home to at least a half-dozen restaurants and chefs regularly named as finalists or winners in James Beard Foundation competitions.

Today’s Kansas City is a creative, edgy destination for the 21st century that continues to embrace all of the wholesome richness of America’s heartland.

Speed

The mural on the wall of the Google Fiber Showroom on Westport Road in Kansas City identifies this city as the fastest in the nation. This is ground zero for Google Fiber, the lightning bolt that is gigabit internet. That’s about 100 times faster than what most of you reading this will experience with broadband service.

The showroom is basically a huge, cozy living room where you can sit and watch TV brought to you through Google Fiber. You can play with laptops and tablets provided, or bring your own and sit at the counters with dozens of electrical outlets to keep you charged.

Technically, Google Fiber is a residential service, but several businesses in the immediate vicinity, such as Mud Pie Bakery or Cupini’s Restaurant and Wine Bar, have fiber to provide additional showcase opportunities. Sip coffee or wine, have some lunch or dinner and surf all day at super high speeds.

Art 

The Crossroad Arts District is the hottest destination in this metro area of nearly two million, particularly on the first Friday of every month. Nearly 10,000 people ramble through the 20 block area, enjoying street performers, about 70 art galleries, recording studios and concert venues. Guided tours on Saturdays offer the best opportunities to make a fabulous purchase. However you define art, you’ll find it in abundance in the Crossroads Arts District.

Food & Drink

With nearly 100 barbecue restaurants, the BBQ Hall of Fame and the world’s most prestigious barbecue competition, Kansas City has a solid reputation as a destination for foodies. But take a look at recent lists of James Beard Foundation honorees and you’ll find names like Colby Garrelts, Michael Smith, Debbie Gold and Howard Hanna make the list. And they make their livings and reputations right here in KC.

A flourishing food truck business and rich farm-to-table opportunities keep Kansas City’s name popping up in the top epicurean magazines, blogs and websites. Urban wineries, the state’s largest independent microbrewery, and a piping hot coffee culture satisfy all flavors.

Museums

Fans of the fine arts recognize Kansas City as home to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which houses one of the world’s finest collections of Asian art. History addicts appreciate the detailed, yet comprehensible explanation of the Great War at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial. Sports fans find the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum an incredible look back at our national pastime, and music lovers jam next door at the American Jazz Museum in the 18th & Vine Historic District.

Throw in a visit to the Puppetry Arts Institute, the Toy and Miniature Museum, and a really unexpected museum dedicated to the art of Victorian Hair Weaving, and wow – a high-speed getaway to Kansas City will forever change the way you look at America’s Heartland.

Have you been to Kansas City? What was your favorite activity?

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About the Author

Diana Lambdin Meyer

Diana Lambdin Meyer, a RoamRight Blog Author A Midwest farm girl at heart, Diana Lambdin Meyer caught the roaming bug early in life. Diana married well - to a photographer who also has the travel bug and whose work in still and video complements her words. Now based in the Kansas City area, Diana is a member of the Society of American Travel Writers who makes a full-time living on the road and at the keyboard. Read about Diana's adventures on her blog, Mojotraveler or follow her on Twitter or Google Plus.

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