Kansans are modest people—except when it comes to smoked meat. Slow-cooked meats (and chicken and sometimes fish) may have originated just over the border in Missouri, but they’ve been perfected in Kansas. Kansas City
metro alone is home to more than 100 BBQ restaurants. The late Anthony Bourdain gave a shout-out to Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
, and the burnt ends at Jack Stack
are mouthwatering. In the 1940s and 1950s, Kansas City was the epicenter of jazz and blues, and the birthplace of greats Count Basie, Charlie Parker, and Big Joe Turner. The Blue Room
, located inside the American Jazz Museum, offers swing and Latin jazz performances. Adrenaline junkies can get in on the action of The NASCAR Racing Experience
and the Kenny Wallace Dirt Racing Experience
. If you’ve got kids in tow, we’re partial to the turn-of-the-century Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
, home to more than 200 animals. The state capital, Topeka
, has significant ties to the Civil Rights movement. The Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site
illuminates a pivotal chapter in American history that ended segregation. And when you’re ready to shop and dine, Overland Park
is brimming with options.
Where to Stay:
About 30 minutes from KC in Louisburg, quiet Rutlander Outpost RV Park
has 83 sites with full hookups, plus a camp store selling Traeger Grills, meat and rubs, fishing bait, and Black Gold pet food. On Tuesday nights, there’s Cowboy Church. Worlds of Fun
off of I-435, is walking distance to the amusement park, and offers back-in and pull-through concrete sites with full hookups, Wi-Fi, grills, and picnic tables, along with a pool and hot tub.