Crown Center HALL's
The two luxury hotels, the Westin and Sheraton, that host the Midwest Dental Conference provide first-class lodging and form the core of the Crown Center Complex. But there is so much more! The three-story shopping tower has a new 60,000 square foot tenant: Hall’s on Grand has created quite a buzz. Hall’s strives to be the region’s ultimate shopping destination with offerings from everyday wear to exclusive designers like Gucci and Prada. In addition to Hall’s exquisite offerings, Crown Center is home to an amazing range of boutiques and specialty stores appealing to lovers of fashion, jewelry, nature, sports, toys, pets, and much more. Children of all ages will love Sea Life, a two-story aquarium with 5,000 sea creatures in dozens of displays. Sea Life features a walk-through underwater tunnel and an interactive Touchpool Experience. Other family activities include LEGOLAND as well as theaters featuring live plays and current movies. If you’re a fan of variety, you’re sure to love the diversity of Crown Center’s dining options. Choices range from quick snacks to burgers, deli, BBQ, Chinese, and Italian fare, to the fine dining available at the four-star American Restaurant. Both hotels, the shopping center, and nearby Union Station are all connected by an enclosed overhead walkway called The Link.
At 101 years young, Kansas City’s restored rail hub, Union Station, has never been more beautiful or engaging. Just take a short, climate-controlled walk across The Link from your hotel. Union Station is second in size only to New York’s Grand Central Station. The scale of the facility is massive — 95-foot high ornamental ceilings, huge chandeliers and a six-foot timepiece hang above the central arch. Union Station features permanent exhibits that celebrate the American railroad, including the KC Rail Experience, the Model Railroad Experience, and a full-size model locomotive. Science City houses 50 interactive exhibits that includes a planetarium with a 360-degree view of the universe. Live performances and 3-D presentations take place on the Extreme Screen. You also have dining choices that include a coffee shop, a casual café, and Pierpont’s restaurant featuring fine steak and seafood.
The towering 200-foot Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum is a popular landmark and tourist destination, just north and west of Crown Center. You take a trip to the top of the central tower and experience a breathtaking view of Kansas City’s cityscape. And be sure to take time to go below the complex to visit the world’s premier museum dedicated to WW I. History buffs and casual visitors alike will be fascinated and moved by the exhibits telling the history of the war and the stories of the soldiers who fought it.
Power & Light District
The P&L is K.C.’s premier entertainment district. With over 50 restaurants, pubs, clubs and drinking establishments in close proximity, there’s something for every seeker of fun and food. P&L food fare includes sushi, barbecue, Kobe beef, seafood houses and so much more. You can take in a game at a sports bar, listen to live music, shop the boutiques or whatever you fancy. The District is just a few blocks north of Crown Center and adjacent to the T-Mobile Center. Day or night, the weekend is a great time to visit the city’s hottest “hot spot” — the lively P&L District.
Across the street from the Power & Light District you’ll find the distinctive T-Mobile Center. This massive entertainment venue hosts hundreds of concerts, shows, and sports events every year. Be sure to take time to visit the College Basketball Experience (CBE) and the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, adjacent to the Center. Visitors to CBE can experience the game of basketball first-hand on two floors of high-tech, interactive stations, while The Hall enshrines famous teams, coaches, and players throughout the history of the game.
Over 60 artists’ studios and galleries in renovated warehouses and industrial buildings comprise the Crossroad Arts District. This arts community is just north of Union Station. You can stroll through unique boutiques and dine at the casual and upscale restaurants offering a variety of cuisines: Italian, Spanish, German, BBQ, and many more.
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is a versatile venue hosting spectacular music, opera, dance, and theater in Kansas City. This breathtaking structure is home to the local performing groups — the Kansas City Ballet, the Lyric Opera, and the Kansas City Symphony. The Center hosts artists from around the world, performing every type of music and dance you can imagine. The Center also offers Broadway productions, comedy shows, and more. Check out the performance schedule while you’re in town or look into a tour of this fabulous facility.
Just south of the Missouri River discover the River Market. This area is one of Kansas City’s oldest neighborhoods and also incorporates the seasonal Farmer’s Market offering fresh produce, baked goods, prepared foods, handmade crafts. Three dozen shops and restaurants are open daily. You can choose from eclectic and ethnic offerings of America barbecue, Chinese dim sum, Ethiopian specialties, and Mid-Eastern fare, to name a few. The River Market is the site of the Arabia Steamboat Museum, which houses pre-Civil War artifacts salvaged from the wreckage of an 1856 steamboat. Stroll a couple of blocks to the south to take in the shops at the four-story Antique Mall.
Country Club Plaza
Nearly 90 years ago the area was developed as the nation’s first suburban shopping center. Over time, the Plaza has grown to a 15-block dining and shopping district that includes an “outdoor museum” famous for its Spanish architecture, European art, sculptures, murals and fountains. Among the nearly 150 shops and dining establishments you will find a mix of nationally recognizable restaurants and stores, along with locally owned shops and eateries. Many locals consider the Plaza to be the epicenter of shopping and dining in Kansas City. For your shopping pleasure you’ll find couture clothiers, shoe boutiques, stylish salons, and international jewelers. You can also enjoy the dozens of options for lunch and dinner: al fresco cafes, burgers and fries, ethnic eateries, and fine-dining establishments.
The Westport area was once the major outfitting point for settlers heading west on the Santa Fe, Oregon, and California Trails. Today you’ll find Westport between Crown Center and the Country Club Plaza. The building housing Kelly’s Westport Inn survived the pioneer days and stands now as K.C.’s oldest building. Kelly’s is a drinking establishment that’s been a favorite hangout for generations. In Westport, you’ll also find a neighborhood coffee shop and a variety of restaurants. Choose from a wide range of unique establishments that range from the “as seen on national TV” burger bar in the Westport Flea Market to Char Bar BBQ to the sophisticated, boutique bar Ca Va.
The giant badminton shuttlecocks on the lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art are recognized by art lovers around the world. In addition to the shuttlecocks, you can enjoy an extensive outdoor sculpture garden with dozens of works by renowned artists. Through the doors of museum you will marvel at 30,000 works of art. The Nelson Atkins is internationally recognized as one of the finest museums in the United States. Leisurely experience spectacular collections of Asian art, European paintings, and the largest collection of works by K.C. artist Thomas Hart Benton. The Nelson Atkins complex also includes the Bloch Building, housing a gallery of contemporary art. The Bloch Building itself is considered to be piece of art — recognized as one of "The 10 Best Architectural Marvels." Fans of contemporary will want to also take in the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, just a couple of blocks away. The Kemper is a showplace for special collections of modern art. You’ll also find Café Sebastienne, which is celebrated for its innovative, contemporary cuisine.
18th & Vine Museums
Discover two one-of-a-kind museums located in the 18th & Vine historical district. The area is home to the American Jazz Museum, the only museum in the world devoted to the preservation and advancement of jazz music. You can interact with exhibits detailing the legendary lives of Charlie Parker, Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong and others. You can also enjoy live performances by acclaimed artists at the Blue Room in the Museum or at the 500-seat Gem Theatre across the street. The other 18th & Vine one-of-a-kind facility is the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. This treasure trove preserves the history and heroes of the Negro baseball leagues that existed from the Civil War to the 1960s. The museum features the Field of Legends, which poses life-sized bronze sculptures of Negro Leagues greats on a mock baseball diamond.
For games of chance, dining, and live entertainment, be sure to visit any of Kansas City’s acclaimed Vegas-style casinos, located just a short drive from Crown Center. You can choose from the Hollywood Casino at Kansas Speedway, The Argosy, Ameristar, Bally's, and Harrah’s.
More to See and Do The list of Kansas City adventures goes on and on. Other sites that are worth your time include: the Toy and Miniature Museum; Hallmark Cards Visitors’ Center in Crown Center; the Folly Theater downtown; the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum in Independence, Mo.; and the Kansas City Zoo in Swope Park.
Visit: www.visitkc.com for even more to see and do.
Make the most of your Midwest Dental Conference experience — step out and take advantage of dozens of exciting opportunities while you explore Kansas City.