KANSAS CITY, Mo. (WDAF) – Kansas City is getting national attention once again. A new story from the Daily Beast sings the praises of the City of Fountains, deeming it “America’s next hot destination.”
“Where do I begin to convince you of this city’s wonders?” travel editor William O’Connor writes.
The Daily Beast writer notes that his job takes him to his favorite cities — Paris, Sao Paulo, Los Angeles and more — every year, but he always visits Kansas City.
O’Connor shared his itinerary from a recent trip, highlighting some of the best things to do and see in Kansas City.
He noted the “strange airport” where you drive up to the gate. Local residents know that Kansas City International Airport will soon look very different when the new terminal opens next spring.
He stayed in the Crossroads Hotel, where “the rooftop is always a scene and the service is fantastic.”
O’Connor then went on a tour of Kansas City’s mansions with author Michael C. Kathrens, visiting the Historic Northeast, the Country Club District, Mission Hills and more.
“The sheer number of mansions will likely be shocking for those unfamiliar with Kansas City’s turn of the last century wealth,” the Daily Beast says.
O’Connor said he’s a frequent visitor at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, always exploring a new section of the museum.
“Free to visit, it is a place that serves up its world class collection … in a remarkably approachable and digestible manner while still being serious enough to satisfy the snobs,” he wrote.
The Daily Beast editor noted that most people probably think of barbecue or jazz, the Chiefs or Royals, when they think about Kansas City.
“It’s certainly not microminiatures or as a center for the art world,” O’Connor said.
But a trip to the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures in Kansas City certainly impressed. O’Connor also said artist Thomas Hart Benton’s home-turned-museum is one everyone should visit.
On his final day, the Daily Beast editor went to Independence, home to President Harry Truman. His presidential library reopened last year after a massive $29 million renovation. The nearby Vaile Mansion is also worth visiting, according to O’Connor, featuring “odds and ends from hair art to chandeliers.”
And of course, the Daily Beast writer had to weigh in on Kansas City’s famous barbecue. He said he usually always goes to Joe’s Kansas City Barbecue, specifically the gas station location. But this time his driver had a new recommendation: Jack Stack and its popular baked beans.
“My BBQ there was delicious,” O’Connor wrote.
When asked what it is about Kansas City he loves so much, O’Connor summed it up quite simply.
“What I love most is how Kansas City surprises people,” he wrote. “We’ve been conditioned to think of Midwestern cities as kind of forlorn places that modernity ravaged, but Kansas City has never felt that way to me. On the contrary, there’s a buoyancy to it.”
Now considered America’s “next hot destination,” at least by one travel expert — and with an international audience coming from the 2026 World Cup — will Kansas City see interest ramp up soon?