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12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Kansas City, Kansas

Kansas City, Kansas is a 127-mile metropolitan area that caters to sports enthusiasts, vacationers, and those looking for a little urban adventure. The third largest city in Kansas appeals to all age ranges and activity levels. In a visit to Kansas City, you can satisfy your inner historical buff and your need for speed, as well as enjoy some retail therapy.

Tucked away beyond the city lights are less obvious attractions that have gained popularity among tourists. Find wildflowers and hiking trails along the riverfront, with a full view of the city skyline, or search for Native American ancestors in the archives of history that live just beyond the roar of the speedway.

1 Kansas Speedway

Race Track at Sunset
Race Track at Sunset
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If you're a NASCAR fanatic, a night at the Kansas Speedway is one of the top things to do in the city. The 1.5-mile track and road course hosts several types of racing, including two NASCAR Sprint Race Series. For an insider's experience of the action, you can rent scanners to listen to the drivers and pit crews during the race. If you purchase a FanWalk pass, you can access the garage and infield, where you can watch car inspections, see driver introductions, and enjoy a prime view of the pre-race concert.

If you are a first-timer, be sure to read the venue regulations on what you can bring with you. A small bag and small soft-sided cooler are permitted, but there are other restrictions that you will want to know before you get on-site.

Address: 400 Speedway Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas

Official site: www.kansasspeedway.com

2 Sporting Kansas City

Sporting Kansas City
Sporting Kansas City Matt Boulton / photo modified
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You can enjoy the ultimate Major League Soccer fan experience at a Sporting Kansas City game at Children's Mercy Park. The successful MLS team has made Kansas City the soccer capital of the world and the home of some of the most electric MLS fans. The venue is comfortable and has a 145,000 square-foot canopy roof covering all sections.

The state-of-the-art stadium has a 2,016-square-foot high-definition video board on the south end and a 550-square-foot HD video board on the north end, so you never miss any of the action.

With Kansas City being home to one of the founding clubs of Major League Soccer, almost every game is a sellout. Sporting KC is a must-see if you want to capture the heart of professional Kansas City sports. The fanfare areas come alive in the stadium. You will want to prep yourself on popular fan chants before hitting a game to take full advantage of the experience.

Address: One Sporting Way, Kansas City, Kansas

Official site: www.sportingkc.com

3 Schlitterbahn Waterpark Kansas City

At the Schlitterbahn Water Park, one of Kansas City's premier attractions, you can spend one day or several days cooling off and enjoying diverse water rides. A mile-long connected river that runs throughout the park lets you drift and slide from one end of the park to the other. You pass through light tides, chutes, and slides without ever leaving the water, unless you want to. If you are a thrill seeker, you will want to check out the towering water slides, the Boogie Bahn Surfing Ride, water coasters, and 13 mini slides for kids.

When you want to relax, rent a private cabana at the beach or swim up to the refreshment bar in the heated pool. Rides are classified by thrill level, height requirements, ride types, and park locations for easy understanding. The free parking, tubes, and life jackets will save you money, and you are permitted to bring a picnic into the park. Your best bet for waterpark convenience it to purchase tickets online and load your admission wristband with money to pay for food and beverages, so you don't need to carry cash.

Address: 9400 State Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas

Official site: www.schlitterbahn.com

4 Legends Outlets Kansas City

You'll find lots of things to do in Kansas City, but a shop-'til-you-drop trip to the Legends Outlets Kansas City is in order if you visit. Pack a little extra cash and comfortable shoes as you experience more than 100 stores, restaurants, and outdoor shopping. You can learn about legendary Kansans that are featured throughout the venue with a free audio tour or scavenger hunt. Stop by the Legends office for a free coupon book filled with shopping and dining discounts.

In addition to the outlet stores, you'll find entertainment options, including a movie theater and Dave & Buster's game venue.

Address: 1843 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas

5 Kansas City T-Bones

Kansas City T-Bones
Kansas City T-Bones stevekc / photo modified
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You can enjoy a great American night out at the ballpark watching professional baseball with the Kansas City T-Bones. Games are played at the CommunityAmerica Ballpark with inexpensive game tickets and free parking. All seats are close to the field, which makes for a great fan experience since you can hear and see every play. Activities and entertainment between innings, with nightly promotions and giveaways, add to this budget-friendly and memorable night out for families. The kids' play area is also in full view of the ballfield, so you won't miss a home run if you need to find extra entertainment for the little ones.

All games start with skydivers and end with fireworks. If you go, stop by the promotions table before the game to sign up for contests and a chance to win prizes between innings.

Address: 1800 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas

Official site: www.tbonesbaseball.com

6 Zip KC Zip Line Park

At the only zipline park in the Kansas City area, you'll find a full menu of outdoor recreation options. The 143-acre adventure park offers zipline tours ranging from beginner to advanced skill levels.

Traditional zipline tours include a hike and zip tour. For a unique date night, try the Sunset Zip Line Tour and to up the adrenaline factor, book a glow-in-the-dark Night Flight Tour. This zany and cool zipline experience unfolds as you grab a glow stick and soar along five ziplines illuminated with color changing LED lights.

Tours are most comfortable when you can avoid the blistering heat of the day, so book in the early morning or later in the afternoon.

Address: 12829 Loring Dr., Bonner Springs, Kansas

Official site: www.zipkc.com

7 Richard Petty Driving Experience

If you are swept up in the NASCAR energy that is in Kansas City, take part in your own racing moment at the Richard Petty Driving Experience. Enjoy the thrill of a lifetime as you ride shotgun or take the driver's seat in a stock car zooming up to 155 miles per hour around the Kansas Speedway.

You'll never watch NASCAR races the same way again as you experience three laps around the speedway. You get to see first-hand what professional drivers experience as they compete for a position on the racetrack. Several types of driving experiences are available as well as packages for Junior Rides in the stock cars.

Adding the video or photo option to your package is well worth it, so you can relive your once-in-a-lifetime experience at home.

Address: 400 Speedway Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas

Official site: www.drivepetty.com

8 T-Rex Café

T-Rex Café
T-Rex Café Serena / photo modified
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This is one lunch you will never forget as you enjoy the prehistoric theatrics at the T-Rex Café. The 20,000-square-foot venue is an interactive experience while you eat with life-sized moving dinosaurs and simulated meteor showers. After you eat, you can explore the exhibits, dig for fossils in the Discovery Dig pit, or create your own dinosaur at the Build-a-Dino Workshop.

The T-Rex Café is education, entertainment, and dining all in one location. Carnivores have their own menu to choose from, and herbivores have a full-range of salads. Be sure to save room for the Chocolate Extinction dessert.

Address: 1847 Village West Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas

Official site: www.trexcafe.com

9 Kaw Point Park

Kaw Point Park
Kaw Point Park
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History buffs will enjoy tracing the steps of the Lewis and Clark Expedition at Kaw Point Park. Set in the urban center of Kansas City, this site at the convergence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers is a historical and educational tribute to the 1804 expedition. Kaw Point has several wooded trails, including the Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail, biking trails, and a boat ramp for kayaks, canoes, and motorized boats.

If you plan a visit during a scheduled performing arts or reenactment event, you can enjoy the outdoor encampment theater on the site where Lewis and Clark camped for three days. Unique features of the theater are the 500 limestone seats.

Address: 1 River City Drive, Kansas City, Kansas

10 Lakeside Speedway

The half-mile dirt track at Lakeside Speedway is where you'll find fans of dirt modified car racing. Depending on the night, the lineup includes USRA Mods, Grand nationals, USRA B-mods, and factory stock cars. Get into the fan action in the grandstands as drivers race to win the purse. For an added fan experience, you can take advantage of the campground next to the facility that is specifically designed for racing fans.

Address: 5615 Wolcott Drive, Kansas City, Kansas

Official site: www.lakesidespeedway.net

11 Wyandotte County Historical Museum

You can experience one of the finest collections of archeological Native American artifacts at the Wyandotte County Historical Museum. Designed as a research and educational center, the collections of more than 75,000 artifacts offer a rich history of the Kansas City region, some dating back to more than 3000 years. If you have Native American ancestry, visit the center's research archives. You'll find indexed historical photographs, obituaries, and marriage licenses along with troves of personal artifacts, like yearbooks and newspapers from the people of Wyandotte County.

Address: 631 N. 126th Street, Bonner Springs, Kansas

12 Original Juan Specialty Foods

It is almost impossible to pass through Kansas City without experiencing the hottest place in town at Original Juan Specialty Foods. The 60,000 square-foot facility is a hot sauce factory, but it has become a popular tourist stop just for the novelty.

Original Juan Specialty Foods creates some of the spiciest concoctions, including "The Source," which is the world's hottest sauce that ranks at 7.1-million on the scoville scale. In addition to hot sauces with artistic labels, the factory produces locally made sauces, marinades, dips, and other specialty food items. This is a great spot to find souvenirs that are specific to the area. Be sure to taste the samples and stop by the clearance rack for deals on products.

Address: 111 Southwest Boulevard, Kansas City, Kansas

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