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What to Do in Kansas CityAAA/Inspector 503
When in Kansas City, try the barbecue, a time-honored KC tradition. You'll have a tough time deciding where to dine because there are so many places to choose from, so ask around. Kansas City natives are proud of their favorites, including Q39 (1000 W. 39th St.), Smokehouse Bar-B-Que (8451 N.W. Prairie View Rd.) and Fiorella's Jack Stack Barbecue (4747 Wyandotte St.).

If you’re looking for fun things to do after dark, catch a jazz band or two. Warm up at The Blue Room at the American Jazz Museum (1616 E. 18th St.) or at The Phoenix (302 W. 8th St.), then head to the Mutual Musicians Foundation (1823 Highland Ave.), where things start heating up at midnight and go on until dawn.

flickr/Daniel X ONeil
Wander around Country Club Plaza (4750 Broadway St.), a Midwestern mecca for outdoor mall maniacs. The plaza's exquisite Spanish and Moorish architecture, highlighted by European sculptures and fountains, surrounds upscale shops, the usual mall standards (Banana Republic and the like) and popular local restaurants. If you're there during the holidays, don't miss the KCP&L Plaza Lighting Ceremony on Thanksgiving night. When the switch is thrown, more than 80 miles of twinkling lights illuminate the plaza for the season.

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Drive to nearby Independence , where our 33rd president Harry S. Truman was born and raised. Visit the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum (500 US 24W) and Harry S Truman National Historic Site (219 N. Delaware St.) and stroll along the 2.7-mile-long Truman Walking Trail, Harry's favorite path, now marked with plaques featuring facts about Harry.

Check out the spectacular collection at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak St.) and then relax on its lawn, which also happens to be the Kansas City Sculpture Park. Recline next to 18-foot-tall shuttlecocks made by artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen or any of the park's 30 other sculptures.

After sunset, get into the groove at Kansas City Power & Light District, bordered by Baltimore Avenue, Grand Boulevard, 12th Street and I-670. Encompassing eight blocks of nightclubs and restaurants, the entertainment district revitalized downtown KC when it opened in 2008.

The Crossroads Arts District, just south of the downtown loop and north of Union Station, offers up art galleries galore and modern cafés, both of which double as entertainment venues depending on the night. You'll also find one-of-a-kind shops such as Retro Inferno (1500 Grand Blvd.) for midcentury-modern furniture (think “The Jetsons” or “Bewitched”); Christopher Elbow Chocolates (1819 McGee St.), nirvana for lovers of artfully designed chocolate; and Webster House (1644 Wyandotte St.), an antique store and restaurant.

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Drop into Union Station (30 W. Pershing Rd.), an eye-catching Kansas City landmark built in 1914 for use as a train station. The resplendent interior of the 850,000-square-foot Beaux Arts building boasts a 6-foot-wide clock, three 3,500-pound chandeliers suspended from a 95-foot-high ceiling, marble floors and plaster ceilings. Today there's a small collection of shops and local restaurants as well as Science City (a family-oriented science museum with fun things to do with kids) and exhibits about railroad history.

Courtesy of National Museum of Toys and Miniatures
Both children and adults will ooh and aah at the toys that fill 38 rooms at the National Museum of Toys and Miniatures (5235 Oak St.). The treasures date back to the Victorian era and include a 9-foot-tall Victorian dollhouse complete with running water, tiny glassware and ceramic pieces, cast iron cars and trains, teddy bears, dolls and toy soldiers.

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For a tasty, one-of-a-kind, elegant evening out, visit Bluestem Restaurant (900 Westport Rd.). Every visit will be different, as the menu changes daily and seasonally. The presentation is as delightful as the taste because the chefs use fresh, local ingredients.

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Kansas City, KS

Top AAA Diamond Hotels

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Best Western Plus Kansas City Airport-KCI East

11130 NW Ambassador Dr. Kansas City, MO 64153

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Hotel Phillips Kansas City, Curio Collection by Hilton

106 W 12th St. Kansas City, MO 64105

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Kansas City Marriott Downtown

200 W 12th St. Kansas City, MO 64105

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Sheraton Suites Country Club Plaza

770 W 47th St. Kansas City, MO 64112

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Travel Information

City Population

459,787

Elevation

1,005 ft.

Sales Tax

The sales tax rate in the city of Kansas City is 7.99 percent. The city's lodging tax is 11.98 percent and there is a rental car tax of $4 per day.

Emergency

911

Police (non-emergency)

(816) 234-5111

Temperature

(816) 540-6021

Hospitals

Research Medical Center, (816) 276-4000; St. Joseph Medical Center, (816) 942-4400; Saint Luke's Hospital, (816) 932-2000; Saint Luke's North Hospital, (816) 891-6000; Truman Medical Center Hospital Hill, (816) 404-1000.

Visitor Information

1321 Baltimore Ave. Kansas City, MO 64105. Phone:(816)221-5242 or (800)767-7700

Air Travel

Kansas City International Airport

Rental Cars

Hertz, at the airport, offers discounts to AAA members; phone (816) 243-5765 or (800) 654-3080.

Rail Service

The Amtrak station, (816) 421-3622 or (800) 872-7245, is at W. Pershing Road and Main Street.

Buses

Greyhound Lines Inc., (800) 231-2222, is at 1101 Troost Ave. Jefferson Lines also serves Kansas City.

Taxis

Yellow Cab, (816) 471-5000, is the city's major taxi service. Cabs are deregulated, so fares vary widely. Rates are posted on each cab, and you are not required to take the first cab in a line. Up to five people can share a ride for a single fare.

Public Transportation

Ride KC, the metro bus system, serves all of Greater Kansas City except Johnson County. The exact-change fare minimum is $1.50 ($3 for an all-day pass) and varies by distance. For more details and for route information regarding construction, phone (816) 221-0660.

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