A vestige of the 19th century, Kansas City, also increasingly known as Silicon Prairie, actually has a lot going on. Its famed Missouri River, which cuts through the city, spoke for much of the trade and security mechanisms in place through the 19-20th centuries. In fact, westward expansion of the United States happened thanks in large part to the geographical placement of Kansas City.
Despite it's low profile since the 21st century, Kansas City is now humming with an electric vibe of revitalization. On a recent visit, I was exposed to a burgeoning arts scene, with the Kansas City Ballet being at the forefront of this movement, but also an incredible coffee culture and boutique shops boasting exceptional quality of all sorts.
Of course, me being me, I had to try all of the coffee shops and bakeries. My favorite bakery is called Fervere - a tiny spot packed with delectable pastries, bread and lovely tall men. Unfortunately, the bakery is only open from Wednesday - Saturday, so be sure to factor that into your trip.
Another fantastic spot is Ibis and Messenger Coffee. This downtown locale is a three-story, mecca of coffee and baked goods. They also have one of the best avocado toasts I've had - with a hint of spice and citrus, generous amounts of avocado and a lightly poached egg all sit pilled high atop a hearty slab of multigrain bread. (Which happens to be from Fervere!)
One of my happy places in KC, was the Boulevard Brewing Company. This day-drinking spot is huge, with brewery on site. They are open seven days a week, but close by 8 - so make sure you give yourself enough time to try all of their amazing, and cleverly named libations - my favorite was the Love Child, a refreshing and sour beer. And yes...Boulevard has a photo booth....
The one funny thing about Kansas City, is the adoption of minimal hours of operation. Sunday and Monday seem to be rest days for many in the city - including all of the cutest boutique shops and bakeries.
If you are planning a trip to KC, I would recommend going in the spring or the summer. If the latter, arrange your trip around one of Kansas City Ballet's performances, or try to go on a First Friday weekend to catch the open art studios.