KC 101

About Kansas City

Kansas City is a place where wide boulevards, bountiful parks, beautiful architecture and more than 200 fountains stand ready to welcome you with open arms — and an open mind. From world-class arts and entertainment to world-famous barbecue, here’s a sampling of standouts that keep this Heartland metropolis thriving. VisitKC sums up Kansas City beautifully.

So, are we in Missouri or Kansas? Well, there are two Kansas Cities — it's Bi-state-ual 😉 — but the one that most people think of and where the conference activities will be taking place is Kansas City, MO or KCMO for short. That doesn't mean that you won't be able to head on over to Kansas; all you need to do is cross State Line Ave. If you drive north on State Line, you're in Missouri; drive south, you're in Kansas. Just be careful with entering addresses into GPSs to make sure the address you're seeking is in correct state.

 

Kansas City’s Big Three

It’s impossible to imagine Kansas City without these three lifelong residents — jazz, barbecue, and fountains — and for good reason. They’re a testament to the city's culture, history, and heart.

Jazz

As one jazz genius put it, “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.” And, rest assured, Kansas City has it. From the roaring '20s through the early '40s, jazz reigned supreme in Kansas City — and you can still hear its sweet sounds throughout the city to this day. Head to the 18th & Vine Historic Jazz District and you’ll see instant proof to the genre's rich KC roots. Then take in The American Jazz Museum for a look into the city's jazz legacy, featuring legends like Ella Fitzgerald and Duke Ellington. Finally, take in a fierce, late-night jam session at the Mutual Musicians Foundation – the perfect nightcap to an unforgettable, music-filled adventure.

LANDMARK LOOKOUT: When you're near 18th & Vine, stop by the Charlie Parker Memorial Plaza. A native to Kansas City, the legacy of this famous jazz musician lives on with a 17-foot bronze sculpture that bears his likeness.

Read more about Jazz in KC

Fountains

With more than 200 fountains trickled throughout the city, it's no surprise that KC has earned the nickname, “The City of Fountains.” Kansas City's bubbly love affair began with a rather practical purpose. The Humane Society built the city’s first fountains as water troughs for horses in the late 1800s. Now cherished works of public art, the fountains have become an attraction unto themselves, beckoning a steady stream of visitors — especially the Fountain of Neptune on the Country Club Plaza, the Waterworks Spectacular at Kauffman Stadium and the Civic Courtyard Fountain inside The Legends at Village West.

FOUNTAIN FACT: The Spirit of Freedom Fountain (Cleveland Avenue and Brush Creek Boulevard) is a tribute to the contributions of African-American citizens to the history of Kansas City.

Read more about Kansas City's Fountains

Barbecue

No visit to KC is complete until you can literally taste it. Luckily, it’s a taste you’re guaranteed to enjoy — legendary KC barbecue. It's practically a rite of passage for visitors to leave with at least one sauce-stained shirt. Today you’ll find more than 100 barbecue establishments in the area, each boasting its own personal house — from staples like ribs, pork and ham to not-so-standards, like mutton, sausage and even fish. Many of these city favorites are members of the Kansas City Barbeque Society — the world's largest organization of barbecue and grilling enthusiasts.

Read more about KC's barbecue tradition