Kansas City has been the subject of songs, such as the beloved classic by Fats Domino; the setting for novels like “An American Tragedy” by Theodore Dreiser; and movies like “The Day After.” Kansas City, however, is not a known tourist destination. That’s a shame, because this lesser-known city is a mecca for the arts and known for its scenic beauty and eclectic culture.

Exploring the Downtown Arts Scene

Perhaps the most exciting part of Kansas City is its thriving downtown. You can enjoy a ballet or symphony concert at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts. The Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art features both temporary and permanent art exhibits, and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is known for its unique architecture and huge collection of Asian art.

If you’d like to stay in the midst of this culture, reserve a room at the Hotel Phillips with the help of Hipmunk.com. The beautiful Art Deco architecture of this hotel makes it a destination itself with tours available.

Engaging in Unforgettable Adventures

Kansas City is an ideal adventure destination. One of its nicknames is the Heart of America, and there are plenty of opportunities for all-American fun. You can go mountain biking, hiking, climbing, or ziplining at the AZKC Adventure ZipLine in Bonner Springs. Try disc golf at Swope Park. Enjoy fun in the sun while taking a splash at the Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City. For a more serene experience, visit the Cedar Cove Feline Sanctuary and Education Center.

The best hotels for adventure lovers include the Great Wolf Lodge and the InterContinental at the Plaza with its swimming pool, spa, state-of-the-art fitness center, and golf course.

Photographing the Fountains

Kansas City is known as the City of Fountains because of its many picturesque fountains. In fact, it has more fountains than any other city except for Rome, Italy. It’s tradition to photograph the fountains, so take some selfies by these ornate structures. The Neptune Fountain on the Plaza depicts the Roman god of the sea. The Eagle Scout Memorial Fountain is a 22-foot sculpture made of stone that serves tribute to Eagle Scouts with a fountain pool and two concrete stairways.

If you want to stay at a hotel that boasts its own fountain, the Westin Crown Center has a beautiful one in its lobby.

Image via Flickr by Brian Hillegas

Flying to and from Kansas City

The best way to get to and from Kansas City is the Kansas City International Airport. You have the best of the city at your disposal when you stay at any of the beautiful and affordably priced airport hotels such as the Hyatt Place Kansas City Airport with its spa and on-site restaurant. The Holiday Inn Kansas City Airport and the Four Points by Sheraton Kansas City Airport are also popular, reasonably priced, and amenity rich.

Do you know of any other fascinating areas of this city? I’m trying to build an ultimate resource on things to do in Kansas City. If you’ve been to the City of Fountains, please add your thoughts and tips below.

Author Bio: Robin Raven has a passion for traveling the world, and she has written about travel for such sites as Yahoo!, Hipmunk, and USA Today. As a travel writer and editor, Robin likes to meet new people and animals every chance she gets, and she loves trying the vegan food in any city. She blogs a book set in the picturesque area of Gulf Shores at 100WeeksofWonder.com.