Kansas City is a place that’s loaded with all sorts of fun activities for people of all ages to fall in love with. From theme parks to museums to war memorials and parks, Kansas is a city with a rich history that houses plenty of things to do and unique places to go for the whole family to enjoy.
Still, there’s much more to Kansas City that what you’ve seen or heard of in the movies. So, if you’re visiting for the first time, then, you’re guaranteed to be in for a treat. Below, we’ll go over a few of the most popular tourist destinations that you absolutely need to visit.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in to our guide of the top sights and activities in Kansas City for first timers!
Worlds of Fun: Kansas City Amusement Park
For the thrill-seekers out there, you’ll be glad to know that Kansas City is home to a massive 235 acre amusement park packed with thrills and fun for the whole family. The park is home to dozens of roller coasters, amusement rides, as well as a massive variety of exhibitions that are targeted to thrill-lovers of all ages.
The National WWI Museum
Whether you’re a lover of history or simply interested in learning a little bit about World War I, you’re guaranteed to find something to love about Kansas City’s National WWI Museum. The experience of visiting the museum is a solemn reminder of one of the largest wars in mankind’s history.
By visiting, you’re sure to be deeply touched by the museum’s exhibits and their tributes to all the American soldiers who’ve lost their lives defending freedom. Lastly, you’re going to want to visit the Liberty Memorial, which offers one of the best and most stunning views of the entire city.
Kansas City’s Loose Park
For those looking to take a break from the busy city life, Loose Park is an excellent destination where you can enjoy an abundance of wildlife and greenery right in the heart of the city. Loose Park may not be Kansas City’s biggest park; however, it has become the most popular and most relaxing places to be. While walking through the park, be sure to stop in and check out the rose garden, which is home to more than 4,000 different varieties of roses.
The American Jazz Museum
If you’re a jazz lover, you’ll be happy to learn that many prominent jazz artists, such as Charlie Parker, Bennie Moten and Big Joe Turner were discovered in Kansas City, where they used to live and play in the same neighborhood that now houses the American Jazz Museum. Located in the heart of downtown, the museum is the perfect place to get a dose of American jazz history.
Kansas City Zoo
Founded in 1909, the Kansas City Zoo is one of the best places to visit in the city, especially for those visiting the city as a family. With more than 200 acres of habitat, the zoo is home to a wide variety of exotic animals such as the African tiger, koalas from Australia, as well as countless other species of interesting wildlife.
Kansas City’s Public Library
Whether you’re a lover of literature or not, you’re sure to get a kick out of the Kansas City Public Library. The building itself is designed to resemble a ginormous bookshelf, featuring an abundance of popular titles that have been recommended by book lovers from around the city. Furthermore, inside you can find thousands of books that can keep your mind busy for hours on end.
Kansas City Speedway
For a high-octane thrill, be sure to check out the Kansas City Speedway. And, for an even more unforgettable experience, you can sign up for the Richard Petty Driving Experience, which takes you on a thrill ride of 50 laps around the track in a 600 HP race car. Even if you’re not a big fan of race cars, you’ll still be able to appreciate the Speedway’s rich history and the mind-boggling speed that its race cars can attain.
The Crown Center
The Crown Center is home to several of the city’s most popular attractions, such as the Legoland Discovery Center, the Sealife Aquarium, the Musical Heritage Center and the Coterie Theater, to name just a few. The best part about the Crown Center is that it’s located in the heart of downtown, where you’ll find everything else you need for your first visit, from food and accommodations through to night time fun and entertainment.
Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium
Known as the city’s Crown Jewel, the Kauffman Stadium was first opened in 1973. It has since hosted thousands of Major League Baseball games and approximately 77 million fans of the sport. The stadium is also the home of the Kansas City Royals. So, whether you’re a baseball fan or not, be sure to check out the landmark for a taste of the city’s rich history.
Traveling to The United States for the first time?
Note that for all international travelers to the U.S. entering under the visa waiver program, you will be required to hold a valid ESTA authorization. The visa waiver programs allows international travelers to enter the U.S. for either business or tourism purposes for a total of 90 days without needing to obtain a travel visa.
The ESTA travel authorization allows the Department of Homeland Security to pre-screen all international travelers before they even leave their home countries. Therefore, it’s important to apply for and check your ESTA application status at least 3 days before your departure. Failure to do so, may results in delays at customs and you may be required to return to your home country.
Fortunately, the entire ESTA application process can be done online and to apply for an ESTA, there are no forms that need to be filled out and you are not required to visit a U.S. embassy or Consulate in person.