Kansas City, Kansas, located at the junction of the Missouri and Kansas rivers, is commonly referred to as KCK to differentiate it from its Missouri neighbor of the same name (aka KCMO). While essentially part of a single metropolitan area that straddles the state line, Kansas City, Kansas, has its own distinct personality and offerings. There is a good selection of lodging, dining, and Kansas City event venues not far from its convention center. The city is also home to attractions like Kansas Speedway and the 172-acre site of the National Agricultural Center & Hall of Fame, the Museum of Farming, the National Farmers Memorial, the Gallery of Rural Art, and Farm Town USA.
Downtown Kansas City is about 25 miles from Kansas City International Airport, which is on the Missouri side. The facility is served by Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, Sea Port Airlines, Southwest, Spirit, United, and US Airways. From Kansas City International, passengers can fly nonstop to 45 cities throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, including Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and Seattle.
For large groups, convention venues in Kansas City include the Jack Reardon Convention Center, which offers 22,000 square feet of convention and exhibit space that can accommodate a meeting for up to 2,000 people. Hotel venues in Kansas City include 147-room Hilton Garden Inn, which is attached to the convention center. Another major meetings hotel is the 281-suite Great Wolf Lodge, which can accommodate up to 200 for a meeting and features a massive indoor waterpark. A petite option is the 62-suite Chateau Avalon, which was named by AAA's Midwest Traveler magazine as one of the top three small/boutique hotels in the region; it can handle a meeting for 75 people.
KCK offers a competitive mix of unique locations for special events. At Kansas Speedway, potential party locations include VIP suites, the garages, and the event space, Victory Lane. And several possibilities are available for special events at the National Agricultural Center & Hall of Fame and its companion facilities. Along with the 200-seat Rural Electric Conference Theater, there is a 750-seat outdoor pavilion, the Smith Event Barn for up to 200 people, and the park-like grounds of the historic Farm Town area.
Some favored historic locations are the circa 1922 Vox Theater, which can host up to 300 people; Grinter Place Historic Site, the Georgian Vernacular home built on the Delaware Indian Reserve in 1857 that is the oldest farmhouse in Kansas and has a function room for 45 people; and Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center, a Queen Anne-style home built in 1887, where a group of up to 100 people can have a reception among artifacts preserving the Eastern European cultures brought to the city in the early 1900s.
KCK definitely has a good mix of restaurant styles, but features an especially abundant selection of barbecue eateries and steakhouses. For steak, a good bet is Lone Star Steakhouse, which can host a private dinner for up to 80 people. On the barbecue front, Rosedale Bar-B-Q serves some of the spiciest plates in town; Gates Bar-B-Q is known for its ribs and monster-size sandwiches; Famous Dave's BBQ has award-winning sauces and Bread Pudding; and Backfire Barbeque features the custom motorcycles of Orange County Choppers, along with a private-dining NASCAR-themed room for up to 50 people.
Three just-for-fun dining spots are Granite City Food & Brewery, which has an on-site brewery featuring styles and flavors not typically produced by major breweries; Yard House, known for its American Fusion cuisine and massive selection of draft beers; and Fritz's Railroad Restaurant, where your dinner arrives via a train running overhead that delivers the food to a platform above your table.