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Kansas City Explore Local With RVshare

Why We Love Travel

Suggest a Local Tip

From meeting new people to experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells – is there anything more exciting or rejuvenating than a break from the day-to-day mundanity? Traveling is an excellent way to immerse yourself in a new culture, setting, or way-of-life, but the best part is this: you don’t have to venture far from home to enjoy what this world has to offer.

Whether your journey takes you across your own city, to an unexplored part of your state, or even to the other side of the world, there’s no doubt you will still learn a lot about your surroundings – and yourself – along the way.

Benefits of Traveling Locally

While the culture an hour away from your home might not be drastically different from what you’re used to, you can still gain a deepened sense of appreciation for where you’ve laid your roots. Plus, traveling locally has a lot of benefits:

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More cost-effective. Local travel is certainly a budget-friendly way to explore! Many activities and parks are free or have a low cost of entry. For day trips, you can also pack your own meals to save.

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Eco-friendly way to travel. Travel is hard on the environment, but putzing around your area is more sustainable than air travel.

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Quick trips. Getting out locally means you can do it more often! Long weekend trips are a lot easier to take when the destination is a short drive away.

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Easy to plan. Preparing your itinerary for a local getaway will likely save you some time and stress.

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More convenient. Especially if you have little ones, sticking close to home may be much more convenient than far-off destinations. If you forget something, have an emergency, or need to cut the trip short, being closeby definitely has its benefits.

Explore Local: Kansas City, Kansas

As fun as the “Missouri side” might be, the Kansas City that shares the state’s namesake has a lot to offer the midwestern traveler or resident — including a speedway that hosts NASCAR races, historically significant sites, and so much more. Here are some of our favorite things to see, do, and explore in Kansas City, Kansas. 

*Note: Some of the suggestions may not be doable due to coronavirus closures, but keep this list handy for when things start opening back up more! Be sure to check individual pages for specific operation details.

Parks in Kansas City, Kansas

Sunset at Clinton State Park

Think Kansas is nothing but flat and boring? Think again! Here are some of the coolest state and national parks and wildernesses in the Kansas City, KS area. 

Clinton State Park 

Comprised of approximately 1,500 acres on the north side of the Clinton Reservoir, Clinton State Park is a popular destination for outdoor adventures of all types. A vast network of trails suitable for hiking and off-road biking winds through this public space, which is immediately adjacent to a 9,200-acre wildlife preserve — which is to say, an unofficial extension of the park itself. This is a great spot for boating, fishing, and swimming, too! 

Eisenhower State Park

A range of Kansas ecosystems, including tallgrass prairie, woodlands, and the natural habitat of Melvern Lake all await visitors to Eisenhower State Park. Along with outdoor recreation opportunities, this park is known for its wildlife spotting potential, and is populated by white-tailed deer, eastern wild turkeys, and a variety of other bird life. The park offers a large and well-developed campground, including sites with full hookups (water, electricity, and sewer). There’s even an 18-hole disc golf course for those looking to work on their short game.

Perry Lake State Park

Tucked on the southeastern shore of its namesake body of water, Perry Lake State Park is popular for sunbathing, swimming, fishing, boating, and all manner of water-based outdoor recreational pursuits. It’s also got trails fit for hiking, horseback riding, and bicycling, and is a great place to enjoy some time in the fresh air. 

Pomona State Park

Previously known as Vassar State Park, Pomona State Park is known for its rural, away-from-it-all atmosphere — and is a great place to take a weekend getaway, thanks to its shady and well-developed campground. With 142 utility sites and 200 non-utility sites to choose from, there’s plenty of room at this picturesque locale, which offers both woodland and lakeside environments as well as sports courts, playgrounds, and picnic areas.

Hiking in Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas may be known for its flat terrain, but that doesn’t mean there’s no hiking to be done. (In fact, there’s a good argument to be made that the hiking is even better, since it’s apt to be easier!) Here are some of the best trails to check out in the Kansas City area. 

Mason’s First Trail

Mason’s First Trail is a solid choice if you’re looking for your first trail experience. A 1.6-mile venture tucked away in Wyandotte County Lake Park, this trail sees only 120 feet in elevation gain and features serene waterside views, making it short, achievable, and worthwhile even for those with more experience under their proverbial belts. 

S’Mores Trail

With a name this delicious, how could you resist? S’Mores Trail is a short but sweet option nestled into Wyandotte County Lake Park, running about two miles altogether and seeing less than 200 feet in elevation gain. While you’ll encounter some gently undulating rocky hills, this trail is in the easy-to-moderate category and is a great pick for beginner hikers. Enjoy lush greenery and the chance to spot a variety of local flora and fauna! 

West Dam Trail

Yet another trail in Wyandotte, West Dam Trail measures just under two and a half miles altogether and sees a little more than 100 feet in elevation gain, making it another easy-to-moderate option for those looking to stretch their legs and get some exercise. Accessible year-round and offering stunning lakeside views, this trail is also a good spot for autumn hikes and hikes the kids are tagging along on. 

Wyco Lake Bridle Trail

If you’re in the mood to really raise your heart rate, try Wyco Lake Bridle Trail — on your own two feet, rather than four hooves, that is. This trail’s eight-mile length and 1,000-foot elevation gain is likely a lot easier for our hay-eating friends. But no matter which way you tackle it, you’ll be treated to beautiful views, stunning wildflowers (while they’re in bloom), prime bird watching opportunities, and enough fresh air to get you through the workweek and then some. 

Wyandotte County Lake Loop Trail

One of the most popular hiking options in town and a great way to spend a long and leisurely afternoon, the Wyandotte County Lake Loop Trail runs nearly 10 miles in its entirety and sees almost 1,300 feet in cumulative elevation gain, putting it squarely in the moderate-to-challenging category. Along with hiking, this trail is also frequented by equestrians and mountain bikers, and is open to well-behaved, leashed dogs. Enjoy the lakeside views, and be sure to bring drinking water, sunscreen, and bug spray! 

Restaurants in Kansas City, Kansas

You already know you need to have the barbecue — and don’t worry, we’ll cover that. But what else is there to eat in ol’ KC? Here are just a few of the best restaurants in town to choose from.

Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que

It may be located inside a gas station, but make no mistake about it: Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que is a local fixture for good reason. From brisket and burnt ends to to-die-for sides and a selection of delicious and craveworthy pies, this spot truly puts the “comfort” in comfort food. Don’t miss it. 

Italian Delight

Do you like your pizza thin-crust or thick-crust? For some of us, the answer is simply “yes” — but no matter which side of the friendly fight you fall on, and even if you’d rather have a heaping plate of pasta or lasagna, you’ll find what you’re looking for at Kansas City’s Italian Delight. Known for its full pies and catering options as well as by-the-slice and individual dinners, whatever your dining needs are, this spot will have you covered, and oh so satisfied. 

Naree Kitchen Thai & Sushi

If you’re looking for the best Asian food in Kansas City — or the best spot for vegetarian and vegan eaters to find plant-based options — Naree Kitchen Thai & Sushi is bound to be toward the top of your list. As its name implies, this spot serves Japanese and Thai delights, including freshly rolled sushi and noodle dishes, as well as other pan-Asian offerings such as fried rice, stir fry, General Tso’s, and more. There’s definitely something for everyone in your party! 

Mason Jar Brews and Burgers

Sometimes, you’re just in the kind of mood where only bar fare will do. Mason Jar Brews and Burgers is the local go-to for hearty and satisfying eats, including not only its namesake burgers but also pizza, wings, and more. Not that hungry? Grab a couple of beers and order a delicious plate of chili cheese fries or cheese-and-bacon-stuffed tater tots for the table. There are plenty of satisfying, shareable dishes available here! 

El Camino Real

Serving up some of the very best Mexican food from either Kansas City, El Camino Real is a no-nonsense spot that offers street tacos, tortas, soups, fajitas, and more. You can always count on this eatery to serve freshly hand-made dishes using the freshest ingredients, right down to the tortillas that are crafted in-house every day. If you can, save some room for drinks and dessert, too — there’s flan, cheesecake, and ice cream, as well as fresh horchata and cervezas! 

Activities in Kansas City, Kansas

Once you’ve enjoyed all the great outdoor activities and delicious food in Kansas City, there’s still plenty left to discover. Here are some of our favorite things to do in KC this weekend or whenever, whether you’re heading out on the town with your significant other, family, or even solo.

For Kids and Families

Kansas City has tons of family-friendly activities to choose from! Here are just a few. 

Natural Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame

Dedicated to keeping America educated about how its most basic needs really get met, the Natural Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame offers kids and adults alike a unique and vital opportunity to learn more about farming. And don’t worry, because we aren’t talking about boring lectures about the water cycle — we’re talking tractor races, hands-on demonstrations, a bevy of fun annual events, and more! 

National Airline History Museum

We may take it for granted here in the 21st century, but make no mistake about it: human flight is truly a miracle. Get the kids (and yourself!) educated and engaged in the history of this unique and history-changing accomplishment at the National Airline History Museum, which allows visitors to see for themselves an array of models that once took — and in some cases still do take — regularly to the skies. 

Community America Ballpark

Also known as T-Bones Stadium, Kansas City’s Community America Ballpark is a great place to catch a game with the whole family. Sporting events offer an opportunity for family bonding, the chance to learn about healthy (but friendly) competition and sportsmanship — and, of course, a great excuse to eat some delicious peanuts and Cracker Jacks. Play ball! 

At Night

The hot Kansas sun makes it easy to figure out what to do during the daytime — but what about after darkness falls? There are still plenty of great things to see and do in Kansas City! Here are some favorites. 

Kansas Speedway and Hollywood Casino

If there’s one thing you absolutely have to do in Kansas City, it’s check out the world-famous Kansas Speedway and Hollywood Casino. (Responsibly) play traditional and virtual games like slots and poker, and who knows? You might just win enough to fund your next daytime trip to the speedway to watch a race! 

Amigoni Urban Winery

You don’t have to take a trip all the way to California to enjoy some freshly vinted pours. Kansas City’s Amigoni Urban Winery offers the perfect spot to sit back, relax, and taste the fruits of these skilled vintners, who utilize grapes grown in the exceptional Lodi region of California. Enjoy one large pour or taste your way through a flight for an affordable price. Either way, it’s a lovely option for those looking for things for couples to do in Kansas City.

Boulevard Drive In Theatre

Can anything compete with a night at the movies? Actually, yes — a night at the drive-in. Kansas City’s Boulevard Drive-In Theater is a blast from the past, offering double features in a family friendly atmosphere and with a great snack bar attached. What’s more, this is actually the very first 4K drive-in theater in not only America, but the world. Be sure to check out what’s showing before you make any other plans! 

Cheap and Free Things to Do in Kansas City

Don’t want to spend a ton of money to get familiar with the town? Good thing you don’t have to. Here are some of the very best affordable options in Kansas City — and yes, by “affordable” we sometimes mean downright free.

Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State

Okay, you caught us — this one is technically just over the state border in Kansas City, Missouri. But the Thomas Hart Benton Home and Studio State is a unique piece of living history that’s well worth checking out, even if you’d never heard of Thomas Hart Benton before. Offering a fascinating view into this artist’s life, and a rare glimpse of the past in general, this park offers guided tours for only $5 a head. 

Grinter Place State Historic Site

The historic home of Annie and Moses Grinter, Grinter Place State Historic Site is both a walkable museum and an entry on the National Register of Historic Places, and is certainly worth a visit. Along with regular tours and visitation, this spot also hosts a variety of educational and entertaining events and programs to help get the community more involved.

Area Parks

Along with the state parks and hiking areas listed above, Kansas City is lucky to host a variety of smaller regional and community parks, each of which has its own unique benefits. For example, Shawnee Mission Park is known for its stunning 120-acre lake, complete with a swimming beach and marina, whie Rosedale Park offers lighted sports areas, playground equipment and even a skate park. Check out the parks in your own backyard and get ready to enjoy some free fun in the sun.

Wellness in Kansas City, Kansas

Spas in Kansas City

In need of some “me” time? Or maybe just a new hairdo or manicure? Fortunately, there are some world-class day spas and salons to choose from in Kansas City, Kansas. Here are our favorite options.

Take a Break Massage Therapy Spa

A well-done massage can be more than a way to get away from it all for an hour or so… it can be a downright healing experience. At Take a Break Massage Therapy, the empathetic professionals on the other side of the table will ensure your mind, heart, and soul get as much relief as your sore muscles do. 

The Glam Room

Technically over the border in Missouri, The Glam Room is well worth the out-of-state trip: along with offering a comprehensive menu of hair services such as cuts, color, styling, and more, this spot also features nail care, skin care, body waxing, special event grooming, and even select med-spa treatments like cool sculpting. No matter what your body craves, you’ll find beautifying and restorative services here, all offered with a smile.

Best Gyms & Yoga Studios

Staying in shape is as much about your mind and metaphorical heart as it is about your body and your literal cardiovascular muscle. Here are the best gyms and yoga studios in Kansas City for those looking to sweat it all out. 

Sweet Z’s Gym

If all you want to do is grind out your requisite hour on the elliptical, there are plenty of big box gyms to choose from in Kansas City. But if you’re hoping to find a motivating and welcoming fitness community and a series of exciting classes that will keep you from ever getting bored with your pursuits, you’re looking for what Sweet Z’s Gym has to offer. From boxing to yoga to personal training, you’ll find what you need to meet your goals here. 

Om Wellness

More than a yoga studio, Om Wellness is a full-body experience focused on strengthening and aligning your body and your soul. Offering a range of yoga practices for beginners as well as those with more experience under their belts, this friendly fitness center makes sure everyone who walks through the doors feels welcome and nurtured. 

Day Trips near Kansas City, Kansas

Wichita

As cool as Kansas City is, there are some great day trips — or weekend getaways — in the area to consider, too! 

Wichita, KS

Three hours from Kansas City, you can experience a different kind of urban Kansas. Wichita, along with being the state’s most populous city, is one of the most diverse and intriguing. Offering world-class dining, attractions, and museums, there’s no reason not to make this hopping midwestern town into your next short vacation. 

As a final reminder, some of these activities may need to wait until businesses fully reopen from coronavirus closures. However, there is still much to see and experience in Kansas City that you can enjoy today! What are your favorite spots in Kansas City? Send them our way to [email protected] or by tagging us on Instagram @rvshare and using the hashtag #rvsharelocal.

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