Kansas City Guide: Neighborhoods & Things to Do
Kansas City is actually two cities in one, Kansas City, Kansas (KCK) and Kansas City, Missouri (KCMO). These are two separate metropolitan areas with their own governments that are split by the border of Kansas and Missouri. However, the two cities are really part of a greater “Kansas City” that spans both states and comprises the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Thus, when we talk about Kansas City in general, we’re really talking about the two cities combined. Why are both cities named Kansas City? Well, the Missouri “side” first sprouted as a town in the early 1830s. When it came time to name the town in 1838, there was no state of Kansas, because that area was still part of the Nebraska Territory. The town was named as such because it was at the mouth of the Kansas River. Kansas City, Kansas then grew as a “streetcar suburb” of the original Kansas City, Missouri.
The two Kansas Cities now have some distinctions, with the Kansas side being more of a blue-collar town historically. KCK is a very diverse city with a population of more than 156,000. Kansas City, Missouri has a population of almost 510,000 and has lots of arts, culture and entertainment happening year-round. If you need an apartment in the greater metropolitan area, our Kansas City city guide can help you find neighborhood on either the Kansas (KCK) or Missouri (KCMO) side to fit your needs.
Kansas City highlights
When you move to either Kansas City, Kansas, or Kansas City, Missouri, you have access to some fabulous attractions in the region. Here are some places to start:
- National WWI Museum and Memorial: The National WWI Museum and Memorial teaches visitors about World War I, also called the “Great War.” Here you will find the biggest collection of World War I objects and memorabilia. The second-oldest public museum dedicated to the Great War, the National WWI Museum and Memorial has been honored by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial.
- The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art: With free admission, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is one of America’s top art museums with more than 40,000 works of art. The popular Bloch Galleries house some beautiful Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art. Be sure to check out the Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park, which is a great place to walk and relax amidst gorgeous outdoor sculptures.
- Arabia Steamboat Museum: The Arabia Steamboat Museum is an actual steamboat filled with memorabilia and antiques from the pioneering times of the mid-1800s. It takes about ninety minutes to take a self-tour of the museum.
- Union Station: Union Station is a historic train station has been restored to its original glory. Attractions at Union Station include a model train display, an interactive science museum for children and a moving Auschwitz Exhibit.
- Kansas City Zoo: The Kansas City Zoo is a great zoo experience with more than 1,700 animals. This affordable family outing will keep you busy exploring the 202 acres of the zoo.
Kansas City guide to the best neighborhoods for renters
Looking for the best place to live in Kansas City, Kansas or Kansas City, Missouri? Our Kansas City guide showcases some of the best neighborhoods in the greater Kansas City metropolitan area. You can find fabulous new upscale apartments, townhouses, single family homes for rent and more in Kansas City.
Straddling both the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, Downtown Kansas City (on the Missouri side) has been named by Forbes as one of “America’s 10 Best Downtowns.” A whopping $6.5 billion has invested into rejuvenating the downtown core and it shows. Whether you love skyscrapers, access to restaurants and culture or interesting architectural styles like Art Deco, there’s a lot to like about living in downtown Kansas City.
Part of Kansas City, Kansas, Argentine grew in early years due to its silver smeltery. With proximity to the railroad, local lumber, and steel manufacturing, the area was originally an industrial haven. After the smeltery closed, Argentine was annexed by Kansas City, Kansas in 1910. Today, this great KCK neighborhood has many landmarks, including the last Carnegie library in the Kansas City area and the grave of Shawnee prophet Tensquatawa at White Feather Spring.
Rosedale is located on the Kansas side of Kansas City right on the state line in the southeast corner of Wyandotte County. Notable features of this KCK neighborhood include the Rosedale World War I Memorial Arch and the University of Kansas Medical Center. The town was founded in 1872.
The River Market is a beautiful area situated on the banks of the Missouri River with a history going back 150 years. With riverfront access and a farmer’s market, this KCMO neighborhood is a great place to visit and live. It’s also easy to get to other parts of the city via the free Kansas City streetcar.
North of Downtown Kansas City, the Crossroads Art District is known as “Kansas City’s Creative Neighborhood.” This quaint neighborhood in KCMO houses lots of unique boutiques, art galleries and studios, and businesses in creative fields and a fun atmosphere.
Plaza Westport in KCMO is near the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and has some luxury homes and apartments available. It is known for being a quiet neighborhood with a slower pace. Saint Luke’s Hospital of Kansas City is also located here.
KCMO’s Union Hill is a bustling district spanning 16 blocks near Downtown Kansas City, the Crossroads Arts District, Westport and Country Club Plaza. Chock full of businesses, shops, restaurants and bars, it’s a great place to work, live and play.
The Northland is in the northern part of Kansas City and follows the winding Missouri River to the west. Yes, it’s a suburb, but it’s a suburb with a personality. With retail districts such as Zona Rosa as well as riverboat casinos, the Northland is an exciting place to be.
Country Club Plaza in KCMO spans 15 blocks with many retail shops showcasing top designer brands as well as some of the best restaurants in Kansas City. You’ll enjoy walking through the area with its sunny, Spanish-inspired architecture and many pleasant fountains.
Quality Hill truly lives up to its name. It’s not just a quality neighborhood. It’s seated on the top of a 200-foot-high bluff (technically a slope or soft, rounded cliff) that looks over the intersection of the Kansas and Missouri rivers that run through the Kansas City, metropolitan area. This historic district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places for its many original buildings that give the area an ageless feel. With many businesses (and headquarters), two beautiful cathedrals, shops and entertainment venues, Quality Hill is a great place to rent an apartment in Kansas City, Missouri.
Independence is actually a city-suburb of Kansas City on the Missouri side to the east. On its own, it actually is the fifth-largest city in the state of Missouri. As satellite city, Independence is a popular place to live for people who want to be close to the main Kansas City core but enjoy a more hometown feel. This historic city is also the hometown of U.S. President Harry S. Truman. Thus, it is the location of the Truman Presidential Library and Museum. The nickname of Independence is “Queen City of the Trails” for being a hub of the California, Oregon, and Santa Fe Trails that served as vital “highways” connecting the Midwest and West back in the day. The city is also an important site for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the location of founder Joseph Smith’s 1831 Temple Lot.
Central Hyde Park is a lovely historic neighborhood in Kansas City, Missouri with attractive beautiful architecture in charming brick buildings. You can also enjoy some nature in the city park (called Hyde Park) in this conveniently-located KCMO neighborhood.
South Side covers the vast portion of the southern portion of Kansas City. It’s intersected by the Blue River Greenway and also contains the Kansas City Zoo. You can find a wide range of apartment homes here ranging in price from around $700 to $1,500 and up for a one-bedroom, one bath apartment.
How to find your dream apartment in Kansas City
Are you looking to discover a perfect place to live in Kansas City? Our Kansas City guide can help you! With our search function, you can look for specific types of apartments in Kansas City in the neighborhood of your choice. We’re sure this Kansas City guide will help you find just the right apartment in a neighborhood you’ll enjoy.
Looking for a beautiful new apartment home in the Kansas City metropolitan area? Check out all the great apartments for rent in Kansas City, Kansas or Kansas City, Missouri to find your dream location.