There's more to the Conference than just the Conference...
Here are some ideas of what else there is to
SEE,DO,& EAT in Kansas City!
UMKC Toy & Miniature Museum - http://www.toyandminiaturemuseum.org/
A real treasure for the APMM, we think. Although the Toy & Miniature Museum is going to be one of our tour sites, you can still visit on your own while you're in town. We can’t really describe this place and do it justice, you’ll just have to check out the website. It’s amazing!
Steamboat Arabia Museum – www.1856.com
This museum is home to the remains and artifacts of a steamboat that sank on the Missouri River in 1856. It was rediscovered in 1988 by a team of researchers, and it provides a fascinating look at frontier life and technology. A must-see for any history buff or steamboat enthusiast!
Union Station - http://www.unionstation.org/
Featuring the downtown hub of Amtrak, a planetarium, a railroad history museum, Science City and a slew of other attractions, Union Station is the crown jewel of tour sites in KC. Recently renovated, the station is a piece of architectural beauty inside and out. The main hall is simply stunning; polished marble floors with columns and architectural elements that look like they were lifted straight out of Greece adorning the walls all the way to the crowned ceiling soaring high overhead. With touring exhibits moving in and out of the various wings, it’s hard to say what cool exhibits will be featured when we are in town. The staple exhibits are more than worth the visit, mostly dealing with science, engineering, and history.
Liberty Memorial World War I Museum - http://www.theworldwar.org/s/110/new/index_community.aspx
Right across the street and overlooking Union Station, the Liberty Memorial is the only recognized World War I museum in the United States. Originally built in 1935, the recently renovated museum was opened in 2006 with an astonishing 80,000 square foot facility (more than 10 times larger than the original museum). It features the largest collection of World War I artifacts and equipment to be found anywhere, and has some amazing dioramas and exhibits (including a replica of a trench on a battlefield, and a tank from the era as well).
Harley-Davidson Manufacturing Plant - http://www.harley-davidson.com/en_US/Content/Pages/Factory_Tours/kansas_city.html
The 358,000-square-foot Harley-Davidson Vehicle and Powertrain Operations in Kansas City, Mo. was built in 1998. Kansas City employees produce the Sportster®, Dyna® and VRSC™ families of motorcycles from fabrication and finishing through final assembly to include the liquid-cooled Revolution® powertrain for the VRSC V-Rod. The tour center features a series of displays that guide you through the various manufacturing and assembly processes. You'll also have the chance to sit on current production motorcycles and visit the gift shop, which features tour-related souvenirs.
Your tour experience begins with an introductory video. Then it's on to the factory floor where you'll witness a wide range of operations from welding, laser-cutting and frame-bending, to polishing and assembly. You'll see fenders and gas tanks being formed, newly painted frames hanging on the line, and sophisticated robotic welding technology. You'll also see the Revolution® powertrain assembled from crankcase to cylinder heads.
Kansas City Airline History Museum - http://www.ahmhangar.com/
For those who love aviation history, this museum will surely please. Located downtown at the Kansas City Downtown Airport, this venue features exhibits exploring the history of airlines in the US and actual pieces of living history in the form of lovingly preserved planes from the earlier ages of aviation.
Country Club Plaza - http://www.countryclubplaza.com/
Neat shopping district, built to favor foot traffic. Several blocks square, the Plaza features a variety of stores, some unique and some more common, though mostly of an upscale nature. There are also a number of restaurants and pubs. Basically, there’s something to suit every taste here, and if the weather is nice it’s a fantastic place to stroll and shop. There’s also some beautiful architecture in and around the Plaza. One of the early patrons of Kansas City invested a great deal of money into the district, and it still tends to attract the wealthy. As such, it’s also well-policed and maintained. Kansas City is called the City of Fountains, and technically they do have more fountains than Rome. Some of the nicer ones are located around the Plaza.
Kansas City Power and Light District - http://www.powerandlightdistrict.com/
For those who prefer their evening entertainment a bit louder. Generally a younger crowd. Power and Light is a newer addition to KC, an all-inclusive night-life destination in the heart of downtown Kansas City. Part of the ongoing effort to revitalize the core of KC, Power and Light is a lively two-story collection of clubs and restaurants, surrounding a common courtyard which is technically open air, though features a giant roof to prevent the elements from ruining the fun below. The clubs run the gamut from country-western to hard rock, and the restaurants offer something for everyone as well. With tons of parking garages surrounding, and taxis easily accessible, getting to and from the district is hassle-free. The district is 21 and over, has security all over the place, and is about as safe as you could hope for. During the spring and summer, the district offers free concerts in the courtyard many nights of the week. Also nearby are the Midland Theatre, the Kansas City Music Hall, and the Sprint Center, all of which have major acts and spectacles going on all the time.
18th and Vine Jazz District - http://www.experiencekc.com/18thandvine.html
We can’t speak from experience on this one, but we're told that the Jazz District is an amazing experience if you dig the culture of jazz music and history. Kansas City has a rich tradition of Jazz, and for our members who love Jazz music, this might be a spot that’s hard to skip over while in town.
Westport - http://www.westportkc.com/
Westport is a cool, eclectic area that has some history to it, predating Kansas City itself. Westport was a stop on the Santa Fe Trail as an outfitting center for wagon trains heading west. Today, it’s home to some trendy little shops, restaurants, and a lot of night life. A very different feel than Power and Light, but it has a charm of its own. If you visit during the day, there are a lot of interesting shops down in Westport.
Brookside – www.brooksidekc.org/
Another charming little community within KC. Brookside features some great little restaurants, a few good bars, and several shops and stores. Of particular interest, APMM members might like the Brookside Toy and Science store, which might possibly have one of the most bizarre collection of items ever seen in a single shop. Near Brookside is another burg called Waldo, that features a few trendy shops, bars and restaurants. Bobby Baker’s Lounge is a hole in the wall that’s well-loved, and most people familiar with the area would heartily recommend 75th Street Brewery and Eatery.
Boulevard Brewing Company – www.boulevard.com
The largest specialty brewing company in the Midwest, with full or partial distribution in 19 states. They offer brewery tours that feature samples of many of their brews. A popular attraction for beer enthusiasts visiting KC. Best part of this whole thing is, it’s free. That’s right,we said FREE BEER.
Harry S. Truman Library and Museum – www.trumanlibrary.org
Independence Missouri is a short jaunt from downtown KC, and was the hometown of Harry S. Truman. His presidential library is located there, as well as a museum honoring his life and his presidency.
Local Restaurants of Note:
Let’s get the barbecue out of the way right up front…
Rosedale Barbecue - http://www.kansastravel.org/rosedalebbq.htm
With the distinction of being the oldest barbecue joint in town, Rosedale still churns out some wonderful ribs. Their sauce is known as being particularly spicy, with a more southern flavor.
Gates and Sons Barbecue – http://www.gatesbbq.com/
About as old as Arthur Bryants, Gates has a long history in KC, and many would say some of the best BBQ in town. When you enter the doors, one of the staff will yell “HI, MAY I HELP YOU!?” This is normal. Try not to act surprised.
Arthur Bryant’s Barbecue – http://www.arthurbryantsbbq.com/
One of the three oldest barbecue joints in KC. Nothing fancy here, just some of the finest ribs you’ll ever eat. Several presidents have insisted on eating here when coming to KC, and when you try the ribs, you’ll understand why. If you’re looking for the true KC barbecue experience, this may be the best place to go.
Oklahoma Joes Barbecue - http://www.oklahomajoesbbq.com/
Though it lacks the decades’ old pedigree of Rosedale, Gates, or Arthur Bryant’s, many in KC would swear this is the finest barbecue you can find. Last year, the Zagat survey agreed with them. Oklahoma Joes has its origins in the heat of battle; the founder perfected his recipes in competition at the KC Royal, a multi-day barbecue competition that is one of the most treasured cultural institutions in Kansas City. This place was featured on Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations a few years back. Try the baked beans, try the Z-Man sandwich, or the Smokey Joe sandwich.
Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue - http://www.jackstackbbq.com/info.asp?ii=2&sid=&eid=&tid=
Fiorella's Jack Stack has been voted best barbecue in the country by the Zagat survey, and while it’s far from a grease-pit barbecue joint, you can’t argue with the flavor. Some would say this place is too clean, too tidy, and too expensive to be traditional barbecue. It’s simply another style, and it’s delicious. They have four locations, with one within easy reach of most of the major convention centers in town. Try the cheesy corn, and definitely try the baked beans (they put burnt ends in the beans, and a serving of beans is practically a meal in itself).
For fine dining enthusiasts…
The Majestic Restaurant - http://www.majestickc.com/
Built in 1911, the Fitzpatrick’s Saloon Building is on the National Register of Historic Places, and in its lifetime has housed a saloon, a bordello, and during Prohibition the basement was a Speakeasy. Now, it’s a fine restaurant that serves amazing dry-aged steaks and seafood, along with great live jazz. One of the best dining experiences to be had in Kansas City, but be ready to pay for the experience.
Golden Ox – http://www.goldenox.com/
Right down where the history of Kansas City as a cow town started, the Golden Ox is located in the West Bottoms, in the heart of what used to be the Kansas City Stock Yards. Founded by the Stockyard Company in 1949, the Golden Ox’s original mission was to provide a good place to dine for ranchers, farmers and their wives who brought their livestock to the stockyards. They originated the Kansas City Strip Steak.
Located in Union Station, Pierponts is a sister restaurant to the Hereford house, and is known for their steaks and fresh seafood. Rated by local media as the best place to entertain guests from out-of-town, it’s also been dubbed the “culinary jewel of Kansas City.”
Hereford House – http://herefordhouse.com/
An excellent steak house with a long tradition in KC. They have multiple locations around town.
Savoy Grill - http://www.savoygrill.net/
A historic restaurant in a historic hotel, this is a steak-and-lobster sort of place.
Located in the Country Club Plaza, very close to the Nelson-Atkin’s Museum of Art, McCormick and Schmick’s is known for their excellent seafood.
Iron Horse Chinese Restaurant - http://ironhorsechinese.blogspot.com/
"Quite possibly the finest Chinese food you will ever eat, anywhere," say some Garmin staffers - also happens to be very close to Garmin HQ. It’s a hole in the wall, and you won’t believe upon walking through the door the amazing meal that you will soon be in for. It’s a mom-and-pop joint. The husband cooks, the wife and daughter serve food and run the operation. Only the daughter speaks English well. Originally from South Korea, Chef Wong trained in several Asian culinary traditions (Korean, Chinese, Japanese) before moving to America, where he was a private chef to celebrities in Hollywood for awhile. While we're not exactly sure how he ended up in Eastern Kansas, in a tiny restaurant in a strip mall, but when you taste his hand-pulled noodles, lotus leaf wrapped fried rice, or seafood noodle soup, you won’t care how he got here, you’ll just be thankful you got to try it while you were in town. At half the price of a trendy Chinese Bistro, you’ll get far better food and won’t have to wait in line for two hours. This place is seriously one of the hidden treasures of Kansas City.
Edokko Sushi - http://www.edokkokc.com/
Best sushi in KC, hands down. They offer some amazing sushi dishes that most places don’t. Try the Sweet Potato Roll, you won’t believe how good it is. Thursday nights are half-price rolls on almost everything on the menu, and Sunday they do all-you-can-eat sushi (yeah, you read that right) on basically the entire menu. It’s all freshly prepared as you order it, and even if you’re paying full price every dish I’ve tried is well worth it. At half price or all-you-can eat, you’ll feel like you’re taking advantage of them.
Kobe Japanese Steak and Sushi - http://www.kobejs.com/
Yeah, it’s a chain, but it’s a great restaurant for a large group of people looking to have fun and share a dining experience. Also located just up the street from the Power and Light District, combine the two for a fun evening of drinks, music, and great food.
Thai Place – http://www.kcthaiplace.com/
Excellent Thai food, locations all over town.
Blue Koi – http://www.bluekoi.net/home.html
These trendy little dumpling shops are purveyors of “Chinese Comfort Food,” featuring fresh-made dumplings, loose-leaf tea, bubble teas and a variety of unique asian dishes in a bistro setting.
Pine and Bamboo Garden – http://www.pinebamboogarden.com/
One of KC’s finest Chinese restaurants, Pine and Bamboo garden features an extensive menu with dishes from all over Asia, and are renowned in KC for their awesome Dim Sum (check website for times), particularly on Sundays.
Osteria IlCentro – http://osteria-ilcentro.com/home.aspx
A cozy little Italian joint with a great wine list and 3 ½ star cuisine. They don’t take reservations, so you might want to call and see what the wait is like, if any, before you go.
Garozzo’s – http://www.garozzos.com/
Garozzo's website proclaims: “Garozzo's is one of "America's Top Italian Restaurants" according to the prestigious Zagat National Restaurant Survey. It received a "very good to excellent" rating and was described as "an Italian trio that supplies food so good you will taste it in your dreams, ...in a Sinatra's kind of hangout; the attractions include frighteningly huge portions and a signature chicken Spiedini that is among the best dishes in town."
Mi Ranchito – http://www.miranchitokc.com/
If you like Mexican food, you can’t go wrong with Mi Ranchito. The salsa is some of the best you’ll find anywhere. Most of the menu dishes feature cheese sauces, so you can debate the traditional authenticity of the food, but you can’t argue with the taste. Many locations around KC, and the prices are quite reasonable.
Fritz’s – http://www.fritzskc.com/
This quirky burger joint sends your food out to you on a model railroad train! The burgers aren’t bad either, and there’s a couple of locations around town (one of which is in Crown Center if the conference is held downtown). Great lunch location.
Blanc: Burgers + Bottles - http://www.blancburgers.com/
This trendy burger joint specializes in bottled beers and high-end artisan ingredients. If you can get past the fact that you’re eating a gourmet hamburger, you’ll be amazed with the quality and distinction of the food here.
Bars and Pubs…
The Peanut is KC’s oldest bar and grill. Before Prohibition was repealed, The Peanut existed as a Speakeasy. Today it serves as a well-loved hole-in-the-wall with a lot of history. Though they do have multiple locations, make sure to go to the one on Main Street, as it’s the original location. If you’d prefer something a bit trendier, head to the Cashew instead. It’s in the heart of the Crossroads Art District, and has a really cool vibe.
Other joints of interest…
Chris Elbow Chocolates – Christopher Elbow is a professional chef who helped open several major restaurants working with the likes of Emeril Legasse. Known for his artisan small-batch chocolate confections, Chris set up shop in the Crossroads Art District of Kansas City few years ago, and has since made a splash across the nation, receiving attention from Oprah, Food and Wine Magazine, and spots in InStyle and on Food Network. His confections are nothing short of works of art, and any model maker with a sweet tooth would do well to check his shop out while in KC. If nothing else, your significant other would sure enjoy a tasty box of these fine chocolates as a souvenir from your APMM trip.
Succotash - http://www.succotashkc.com/index.html
Succotash is a breakfast and brunch sort of place (keep that in mind; it isn’t open for dinner – check the website or call ahead for hours of operation), and they have a lot of amazing dishes you simply won’t find elsewhere. Chef Beth loves mixing it up and using ingredients in new and exciting ways, but don’t let that scare you, the food is first-rate. Also worth noting is that Beth will bend over backwards to tend to any special dietary concerns you may have. Allergic to dairy? No problem, she’ll make your pancakes with soy or rice milk. Vegans and Vegetarians love Succotash, but even if you just love good food, chances are you will too.
Stroud’s Chicken – http://www.stroudsrestaurant.com/
Featured on Man vs. Food Season 3 and highly rated by Zagat, Stroud’s pan-fried chicken is a culinary tradition that often gets overshadowed by Kansas City Barbecue. Do yourself a favor and try this out when you’re in town. You’ll be doing your taste buds a favor (even though your arteries might disagree…it’s worth it).
Grinders – http://www.grinderspizza.com/
Featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, this quirky little diner is owned by an architect/sculptor by the name of Stretch. Sometimes you’ll even see Stretch standing out front greeting customers. The must-try items at Grinders are the Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches, and the pizza. Located in the Crossroads Art District, this is a tight little dive, and is always packed on First Fridays, so if you plan to go on First Friday, go early. Other nights usually aren’t too bad.