Huffington Post recently released a list of 20 Awesome Cities You Need To Visit In Your 20s. Much to my delight, my hometown of Kansas City, Missouri checked in on the list. I might have left KC to move to Austin a few months ago, but that doesn’t mean that I’m going to stop reppin’ KCMO (fellas and the ladies know), because this is the internet and I can do what I want. When it comes down to it, the most trouble you’re going to have when living in KC is explaining that you actually live in Missouri, not Kansas. If you live on the Kansas side, well then I just feel sorry for you. To Kansas City!
You think KC is only known for barbeque? Nope. KC’s got a wide array of options at to please even the pickiest of palates. Burgers at Westport Flea Market and Blanc Burger. Pub fare at Beer Kitchen. Wings at The Peanut. Everything at Gram & Dun. Mexican at Rudy’s and Port Fonda. Pizza at Waldo Pizza and Minsky’s. Italian at Garozzo’s and Carmen’s Cafe. Steaks at Hereford House and The Golden Ox. Fried chicken at Stroud’s. George Brett had his wedding reception at Stroud’s. It doesn’t get more Kansas City than that.
Despite being cursed with atrocious sports luck since 1985, KC knows how to party when it comes to sports. Arrowhead Stadium is home to the loudest fans in professional sports and the finest tailgating anywhere in the country, college or pro and KC folks won’t hesitate telling you that KC is home of the CHIEFS. There aren’t many more beautiful stadiums than Kauffman Stadium in Major League Baseball. If you can stomach the drive out to Wyandotte County, Sporting Kansas City plays in one of the best soccer specific facilities in North America and knows how to put on one helluva show. If pro sports ain’t exactly your bag, KC is no more than a two-hour drive to the campuses of Mizzou, Kansas and Kansas State. Sprint Center hosts the Big 12 basketball tournament each spring, which turns downtown KC into the biggest shitshow in five states.
When it comes to Christmas, KC goes big. The Plaza lighting ceremony is arguably the biggest public event in the city each year, lighting up the gorgeous Country Club Plaza and running up a hefty bill with KCP&L. But more on the Plaza later.
Show me someone who complains about KC traffic and I’ll show you someone who doesn’t have anything else to complain about. For a city with nearly 2.5 million people in it, KC somehow gets away with a smooth-flowing grid. Just stay away from I-435.
No, not Tech N9ne, idiot. KC is a boomtown when it comes to the tech industry. KCMO ranked third in the country for tech job growth in 2013, with a 3.8% increase in tech job openings and they’ve got the fastest internet bandwidth on the earth thanks to Google Fiber. Also, Tech N9ne.
Malls and shopping centers have gone the way of the Dodo, but KC’s premiere shopping district is still going strong after all these years. Supplemented by top notch bars and restaurants, the Country Club Plaza is one of America’s hidden gems. There’s nowhere else like it in the country. I guarantee it.
Despite being recently sold to some damn, dirty Belgians, KC’s very own little microbrewery-that-could, Boulevard Brewing Co. brews some of the best craft beers in the country and I’m pretty sure that everyone in KC gets married at their brewery.
Sip on some Tank 7, 80-Acre Wheat, Nutcracker Ale, Bully Porter, Pale Ale or just a plain old Bouley Wheat and you’ll know why KC loves laying claim to this local brewery.
First Fridays in the Crossroads, The Kauffman Performing Arts Center, Starlight Theater, Union Station, The Plaza Art Fair, The Brookside Art Fair, the Folly Theater, the Midland Theater, The Kansas City Art Institute, The Nelson-Atkins Museum, The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, 18th & Vine Jazz District. I could go on for days. KC is the home to American Jazz music and perhaps the coolest hidden treasure in American sports, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. KC also claims to have more fountains than any city in the world besides Rome. That’s big time.
Walk in any direction in KC and you’re bound to hit a bar. Westport, The Plaza, Martini Corner, Brookside, Waldo, Power & Light (for douchebags and tourists from Nebraska and Iowa), The Crossroads, it goes on forever. With a plethora of bar districts to choose from, Kansas City is an alcoholic’s Disney World, if Disney World closed at 3am and the Magic Kingdom had ridiculous drinking specials. God bless you, Missouri liquor lobby. Yes, KC’s bars stay open so late, that outbound taxis from Westport almost contribute to morning rush hour traffic. Hey, jokes! KC is also home to the world’s largest pub crawl, the Crawl for Cancer, which takes place in May.
Kansas City boasts one of the lowest costs of living in the country. You can live downtown for less than $1000/month and still get a movie ticket for less than $10 bucks. The average monthly rent in KC is 73% lower than New York City, if you want a comparison. The average yearly salary in Kansas City is $54,000 and when you factor in the cost of living, you’re going to be one happy Kansas Citian.