Flyover KC Kansas, But Please Don’t!

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Far too many people don’t think of the Midwest for tourism. In fact, Flyover KC Kansas makes it on that “list.”! I recently attended a conference focused on Kansas City Kansas (KCK). KCK sponsored the event to show bloggers their town. Many of us will write about our trip here and give KCK and all of Kansas more tourism views to the world. Since I drove through Iowa (another flyover state{!}), I also took the opportunity to visit the Buddy Holly Crash Site on my way home.

Flyover KC Kansas
Kansas City’s Memorial Auditorium

The post-World War I Memorial Auditorium memorializes soldiers and sailors who gave their lives in that war. Over the years, larger auditoriums sprang up in many areas, but many old ones continue to be used. The KCK tourism group uses all means to ensure people don’t Flyover KC Kansas!

Flyover KC Kansas Table of Contents

Kansas City KS (KCK) introduction

The interactive map lets you see details on the place represented by the icon on the map. You can even add places yourself!

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Since everyone thinks “Missouri,” when anyone says Kansas City, the locals refer to Kansas City, Kansas, as KCK. So, I’ll call it KCK from here on to the end! And many people don’t realize that KCK is the THIRD largest city in Kansas. Wichita, with a population of nearly 400,000 and a metro population of about 650,000 finds itself at the top of the list. Interestingly, a KCK suburb, Overland Park, comes in at number two with a city population of nearly 200,000. KCK weighs in at about 160,000.

However, the two-state Kansas City Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) comes in at just over 2.2 million and a Consolidated Metro Area of 2.5 million.

Back to our topic. KCK remains the most diverse city in Kansas. The city population is 30% black, 30% Hispanic, and 30% white. The remaining population is Asian, Native American, and mixed race. (However, according to some other research, many more people are actually mixed race! And a person can be “Hispanic of any race, ” further complicating the census. Maybe someday, we’ll all be just ‘humans’!)

The KCK murals (more next paragraph) represent that diversity.

On another topic, Kansas City metro is the 3rd smallest city with a Major League baseball team and the 8th smallest with an NFL team. (Do you remember the smallest city with an NFL team?)

  Want to see a shop for my road trip photos? You can have them printed as wall art or puzzles. They also work on coffee mugs, t-shirts and more! So, take a look. Maybe you'll see something you will like!

Enough trivia for the day?

KCK Murals

Flyover KC Kansas

Conference sponsors hosted events for the attendees. Most of us will write blog posts about our trip, so they believe it’s a good investment. Here’s a link to my post with more about the murals.

This mural doesn’t go around a corner like it looks! I used the panoramic setting, got close to the middle, and shot it. The picture certainly looks like the wall rounds a corner! Thought you might want to see it!

Here’s a link to Urban Hikes KC, who hosted the murals tour.

Wyandotte Nation Cemetery

Flyover KC Kansas

Part of the KCK Murals tour included the Wyandotte Nation Cemetary near downtown KCK. It’s the national cemetery for the Wyandotte tribe. The members came to Kansas and then to Oklahoma as part of the Indian Removal Act of 1830.

During the move to Oklahoma, part of the group stayed in the area that is now Kansas City, Kansas. This sacred ground became their cemetery in 1843. Here’s the story about the preservation of the cemetery and the link to see more about it. Again, I look forward to hearing from you with any questions about Kansas City or Kansas. I’ve got another trip scheduled. More later!

KCK Heartland History Tour

This tour included two main stops. The Legends Outlets shopping area and the National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame. More reasons to doubt Flyover KC Kansas!

Legends Outlets

While this place is an “Outlet Mall,” it pays homage to Kansas natives. Obviously, there are many more, but this one’s a flavor. Image 1 shows the path into Legends. Image 2 shows Vivian Vance of the I Love Lucy fame. The last one is Amelia Earhart. I’ll have more on her in another post as she’s from Atchison, KS.

Although Eisenhower grew up in Abilene, his life started in Dennison, Texas. Likely, he’s Kansas’ “favorite son” to many people. How many states can claim a war hero, Supreme Allied Commander Europe, President of a major university, and President of the United States? C-SPAN currently ranks him as the 5th best president in US history. Among many other achievements, he’s credited for the US Interstate Highway System. By the way, “Someday,” I’ll visit his Presidential Museum and Library in Abilene!

Incidentally, two NFL Hall of Fame running backs hail from Kansas. Barry Sanders, plaque shown above, and Gayle Sayers. Sanders (Detroit Lions) ranks among the top 5 running backs in NFL history by many. Sayers (Chicago Bears) had a major injury early in his career, which may have held him back from finishing in that ranking as well. Sayers was the featured running back next to Brian Piccolo in the movie “Brian’s Song.”

National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame

The Center provides history and homage to those who contributed to the growth of agriculture in Kansas and in the US. Here’s the link to the Center. Three US presidents grace its walls. Agriculture benefited from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln. While other presidents contributed, the board believed these three most met their requirements.

Other well-known names include John Deere, a farm equipment pioneer; Robert J. Dole, Senator from Kansas; and Willie Nelson, a country singer known for his FarmAid concerts to benefit agriculture. Willie started the event in 1985, along with Neil Young and John Mellencamp. The event continues to this day. Willie still serves as president of the FarmAid board and performs as often as possible. I tried to find how often Willie performed over the years. If anyone knows the answer, please let me know!

KCK Eats – a Reason Not to Flyover KC Kansas

Here’s one of the nearly 60 taquerias around KCK. They feature street tacos, Tex-Mex style, and more. You can even sign up to get rewards for checking out the tacos. Here’s a link to a description of the Taco Trail and the rewards.

Of course, you can’t visit Kansas City and not try Barbeque! I’ve shown three places on the map above. According to the locals, they are some of the best, but there are others as well.

Just go up and click on the link. Of course, you can come back to my map again and comment, or you can add other places!

Including KCs well-known barbeque and all the taco places, you won’t go hungry!

KCK Reception locations

Cider Hill Barbeque
Flyover KC Kansas

The first night’s reception happened here. (Here’s a link to the place.) Although the place offers “U-Pick” apples and other fruits, they also host weddings, reunions, and other events.

The barn serves many purposes, including serving our meals here. They go all out and provide a great venue for groups like ours. Another area provided vendors an opportunity to show their wares. I sampled packaged honey. I purchased two containers of “Maple-Pecan” and “Black Walnut” flavors. Next to Nature Farm provided the honey and it’s very good! I’ve used it on toast and bagels.

The venue also provided a guitar player/singer and a limited bar. Our conference provided drink tickets. It’s a great place for an event!

The Fuel House

The second night’s reception took place at the Fuel House. In addition to a bar/lounge, the organization offers storage for classic and specialty automobiles. On this night, we didn’t have access to that area.

Again, the food was outstanding, and the venue provided a much different vibe than the first night’s venue.

For my food experience, the ticket given to us provided me with two scoops of decadent Ice cream on top of an excellent meal of KC barbeque!

KCK visit and other places to visit! And don’t Flyover KC Kansas next time…

During our conference, we received great opportunities to talk with tourism agencies from around Kansas and other places in the US. I know I’m missing many of the sponsors but view the list of some places I’ll likely visit soon.

  • The Kansas I-70 Association features 17 communities along I-70 from Kansas City on the eastern end to Goodland shortly before I-70 enters Colorado. I-70 runs for 424 miles across the state. Most importantly, the communities provide 1019 restaurants, 112 museums, and 231 places to stay as of 2023. Remember them next time you “have to” drive I-70 for the full distance. Unless you look, you will view it as a typical”flyover” Interstate highway!
  • Abilene proudly proclaims its place as the hometown of General and President Dwight D. Eisenhower. His presidential museum and library provide a great place to spend a half-day or so. Of course, there are other attractions as well. Of course, you’ll want to see this small city at!
Outside of Kansas
  • VisitSheboygan in Wisconsin on Lake Michigan claims they are the “Malibu of the Midwest” as you can actually surf on Lake Michigan. Maybe I’ll visit there and tell you about it!
  • Springfield, Mo, along Route 66 and I-40. Springfield claims the “home” of Route 66. A telegram from here to Washington, DC, proposed the name Route 66. Springfield is near Branson and they share an airport. So, visiting Branson, driving Route 66, or just visiting Springfield, have fun!
  • Visit Nebraska. Interestingly, they’ve taken a self-deprecating approach to tourism. (Nebraska. “Honestly, it’s not for Everyone!” And then go on to name all the reasons why you should visit. I can give you reasons to visit as well. For example, the Sand Hills Scenic Byway starts near Grand Island along I-80 and runs northwest to near Alliance. If you are coming from further southeast, it’s a great road for getting to the South Dakota Black Hills. Or, if you want a quirky attraction, visit Carhenge near Alliance!
  • And about 30 other locations! I’ve visited other midwestern places as well, so ask me about a place to see. Click here to ask me a question.

After-conference visit to Leavenworth and Atchison

Here’s a link to another visit after the conference ended.

… and more places to visit while in KCK

  • Kansas City Monarchs – minor league baseball team
  • KCK Steeples – Many beautiful, historic churches
  • Rosedale Memorial Arch – Modeled after Paris’s Arc de Triomphe, the location affords a panoramic view of the city.
  • Charlie Parker Memorial – famous saxophonist born in Kansas City
  • Strawberry Hill Neighborhood – the area preserves a strong Croatian heritage and is home to the best dive bars, local eateries and colorful murals

The trip home from Flyover KC Kansas

After enjoying Kansas City, the conference, and the networking, I’m looking forward to a trip home. It’s mostly uneventful, but I did stop in Iowa for a historical place.

Flyover KC Kansas
Buddy Holly Iconic Glasses

The Buddy Holly Crash Site Memorial near Clear Lake Iowa is a testament to his influence on rock and roll. Many artists copied his style in the coming years. And to hear Don McLean tell it, that was “The Day the Music Died.” Here’s a link to the post about the visit.

Classic Rock Recollection

“Dust in the Wind” by Kansas

Same old song
Just a drop of water in an endless sea
All we do
Crumbles to the ground though we refuse to see

Dust in the Wind
All we are is dust in the wind

Written by Kerry Livgren