Kansas City is the largest city in the state of Missouri. Originally founded in the 1800s, it offers a rich history that consistently brings a steady stream of tourists. The city also contributed greatly to the development of blues and jazz in the United States and is home to some of the best barbeque in the country. It's a bustling center of culture and life that will lead you to eagerly looking forward to your next visit from the moment you leave.
Kansas City's barbecue is so good that it's given its own designation. It consists of slow-cooked meat over different kinds of wood and then covered with a tomato and molasses sauce. In fact, the surrounding metropolitan area is sometimes referred to as the barbecue capital of the world, with more than 100 restaurants devoted to the cuisine.
Another characterizing aspect of Kansas City barbecue is the wide variety of meats that it utilizes. The staples of pulled pork, ribs and brisket are all there, as well as the occasional use of turkey and fish. This fact may have to do with the city's proximity to a number of railroad tracks, making it a natural point of delivery, which brought a lot of different food into the area.
When you think of Kansas City barbecue sauce, you're typically imagining a flavor profile that combines sweet and spicy. This is cuisine that uses sauces liberally, so don't be shy about asking for more! While you're at it, enjoy one of the many side dishes that the food is also known for, including a variety of baked beans, coleslaw, French fries, and several other soul food staples.
It's been said that while New Orleans was the birthplace of jazz, Kansas City is where it grew up. Kansas City jazz marked the beginning of a shift from large-ensemble big band music to a more intimate and improvised Bebop style, paving the way for the likes of Charlie Parker to take the world by storm and become the legends they are today.
Jazz still runs deep in Kansas City's veins, and you practically can't throw a rock without hitting a live music venue. Festivals are held throughout the year, and the city is still heralded as a rich cultural heritage that locals cherish with pride.
If you've ever had to send a greeting card, you've probably heard of Hallmark. The single largest producer of cards in the country, Hallmark's corporate headquarters are located right in Kansas City. About 4,500 employees work in the city itself, as well as tens of thousands beyond. The company is able to offer more than 48,000 products at a given time, which is a pretty incredible feat no matter how you slice it.
H&R Block, the well-known tax preparation company, is also based out of Kansas City. In fact, it got its start right in the downtown area, when Henry and Leon Bloch started a small bookkeeping business in 1946. They continued to grow, eventually posting an ad that offered five-dollar tax preparations, which yielded an office full of potential clients. Eventually, the company expanded to New York City, but their headquarters can still be found in Kansas City.
Entering Major League Baseball in 1969, the Kansas City Royals have been a beloved part of the city's ethos for nearly 35 years, playing in Kauffman Stadium for almost as long. The team has participated in two World Series, winning it all in 1985. Times were rough for Royals fans in the late 90s and early 2000s – at one point the team lost at least 100 games in four of five seasons. However, things have begun to turn around. Kauffman Stadium will be hosting the 2012 All Star Game, and though the team is still in a transitional phase, a slew of promising young talent has them poised to explode out of the gate at any time.
The Kansas City Chiefs play professional football and have one Super Bowl victory to their name, in 1970. They play their home games at Arrowhead Stadium, which is the fourth-largest stadium in the NFL. The Chiefs are consistently in the playoff conversation, thanks in no small part to a famously-dedicated fanbase. In spite of the fact that Kansas City is the sixth-smallest media market in the league, they have the second-highest attendance average over the past 10 years. The city is a sight to behold on Red Friday – the last weekday before the Chiefs' season opener. Hundreds of thousands of fans deck themselves out in red clothing to support their team, making for quite a visual spectacle.