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Cliff Drive – 23/100

Cliff Drive

#23 – Kansas City Cliff Drive
3500 Gladstone Blvd Kansas City, MO 64123

Cost: Free
Features: Biking/Running Path, Disc Golf Course, Rock Climbing, Scenic Views
Good for: “Getting out” of the city.
Tip: Explore Cliff Drive by bicycle or on foot to get the best experience.

Cliff Drive is State Scenic Byway in historic Northeast Kansas City. The winding, paved drive throughout the heavily wooded area overlooks the Missouri River and Kansas City Industrial parks. It’s the perfect spot for runners, bikers, rock climbers, disc golfers and view seekers.

Cliff Drive

About Cliff Drive

Unlike other, more popular scenic byways (like the Pacific Coast Highway and Route 66), the 4.5-mile Cliff Drive is short – the shortest scenic byway in the United States. Cliff Drive is also the only scenic byway in Missouri located in an urban area.  

To receive a State Scenic Byway designation, a byway must be recreational, historic, cultural, archeological, scenic or natural. Cliff Drive qualifies in three ways – Cliff Drive was a historically significant urban design and planning effort. It was critical to the development of Kansas City, and it preserves natural features of the Missouri River Valley.

Cliff Drive

The History of Cliff Drive

A famous Kansas City pioneer family was among the first to settle around the Cliff Drive area. The Scaritt family built a log cabin high on the hillside and used the natural springs in the area to cool their milk and butter.

In 1899, Kansas City bought the land from the Scarritt estate. The natural spring was transformed into a fountain and eventually fell into disrepair. In the 1980s, the scallop-shelled fountain was rediscovered and restored into the waterfall it is today.

Cliff Drive

Today, the area is far from a pioneers’ homestead. The large park offers something for everyone – A paved path throughout the forests for walkers, runners and bikers. Limestone bluffs for adventurous climbers. Benches for the view seekers. Dirt trails for the hikers and mountain bikers. Each weekend, Cliff Drive is closed to vehicles, giving pedestrians full access to the road.

Cliff Drive

The reviews on Google and Yelp are true – there is a lot of trash dumping along Cliff Drive. Unfortunately the area is pretty secluded, so people have the time and privacy to dump their trash. We stayed on the main paved road and didn’t venture onto the paths throughout the park, so the ravines filled with trash wasn’t as visible. The views are still gorgeous and the cliffs are astonishing. It’s such a perfect escape from the city, even though you’re just ten minutes from Downtown. xx, Libbie.

Cliff Drive

Chicken N Pickle – 22/100

Chicken N Pickle

#22 – Chicken N Pickle
1761 Burlington. North Kansas City, MO 64116

Cost: $$
Features: Pickleball. Yard Games. Beer. Food.
Atmosphere: Lively, loud.
Good for: Families, big groups, double dates.
Tip: Book your court in advance.

Chicken N Pickle

Um, so competitive pickleball is now a thing?? Apparently it’s the fastest growing sport in America, so courts are popping up all over the place, including in Kansas City. I had played pickleball in high school and to be honest, I hated it. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to playing at Chicken N Pickle, but I was willing to give it a shot. (Everything is better after high school, right?)

Chicken N Pickle

About Chicken N Pickle

Chicken N Pickle is an entertainment complex and restaurant with 8 pickleball courts and other outdoor lawn games like bocce ball, Jenga and life size Battleship. The outdoor space kind of reminds me of Char Bar.

Chicken N Pickle

Luckily Chicken N Pickle has four indoor courts and four outdoor courts. A group of seven of us went, and we rented a court for an hour. Our group was a mix of competitive players and just-for-fun players, and an hour was the right amount of time for us.

After our hour was up, we went into the main building to eat. Obviously chicken is their specialty, so their menu consists of various chicken plates and sandwiches. I had the spicy chicken sandwich, topped with coleslaw. The chicken was decent, but the coleslaw was pretty bland. I’d be willing to eat there again and try something different.

Chicken N Pickle

I did enjoy experiencing more of North Kansas City. I haven’t spent a lot of time in the area, and I was pleasantly surprised. Chicken N Pickle is really close to Cinderblock Brewery, so we stopped in and had a few beers – such a cool microbrewery!

About Pickleball

Pickleball is kind of a mix between tennis, ping pong and badminton. You can play with 2-4 people, but I’d recommend four unless you’re really into it. It’s a sport that you don’t have to be athletic to play, though it does take a while to get used to the heavier paddle and whiffle ball.

We didn’t even play by the rules – just tried to hit the ball back and forth and it was still entertaining. I would definitely recommend reserving a court ahead of time. They book fast. We went on a rainy Sunday and the courts were still full.

Chicken N Pickle

Personally, I don’t think the prices are worth it unless you get a big group together to split the costs. They advertise that courts are $10 per half hour, but that’s only the case 11-5 during the week. Nights and weekends are $20 per half hour, plus equipment rentals, if you need them.

Ultimately, Chicken N Pickle is expensive, but offers plenty of ways to entertain yourself beyond pickleball. If you make an afternoon out of it, it’s worth it. xx, Libbie.

Chicken N Pickle

Cinder Block Brewery – 21/100

 

Cinder Block Brewery

#21 – Cinder Block Brewery
110 E 18th Ave, North Kansas City, MO 64116

Cost: $
Features: Taproom, food truck, yard games, board games.
Atmosphere: Homey, airy, rustic.
Good for: Craft beer lovers, any parent needing a break from the chaos of Chicken N Pickle.
Tip: Order the English Cherry Cider and pretzel mix.

Cinder Block Brewery

Cinder Block Brewery is a Kansas City microbrewery staple with a great taproom, event space and outdoor beer garden. They feature a rotating seasonal beer list in addition to their eight Foundation Series staples.

Cinder Block Brewery
About Cinder Block Brewery

Cinder Block opened in 2013, though owner, Bryce Shaffter, had been home brewing for about five years previously.  Bryce, together with Bryan Buckingham and John Baikie, have been brewing ever since.

Cinder Block is in North Kansas City, 10 minutes north of the City Market. I had never been to the area, but it seems to have a lot to offer. Nearby, there was another brewery, a distillery, a few restaurants and Screenland Armour theatre.

Cinder Block Brewery

Cinder Block uses traditional brewing methods, but also have a Barrel Program for their sour beers. There are barrels around the brewery where they age standard beer with different wild yeast strains. The wild yeast allows the brilliance of sour beer to shine through after 6–24 months.

Cinder Block Brewery

Our Experience at Cinder Block Brewery

I stopped in the taproom with a group of friends after visiting Chicken N Pickle on a rainy Sunday afternoon. It was pretty quiet, but plenty of people were flowing in and out. I noticed a lot of bicyclists stopping in on their rides, so I’m sure the bartenders are used to larger groups.

I had the English Cherry Cider and it was delicious. Not a lot of cherry, not too sweet and a hint of cinnamon. Honestly, it’s probably one of the best ciders I’ve ever had. It tasted just like fall. I also had a sip of Q’s Northtown Native (a pale ale), which was pretty good too, but I’ll be sticking with my cider when we go back.

Cinder Block Brewery

If you’re hungry, there’s a food truck in the beer garden and $1 pretzel and cracker snacks behind the bar.  Highly recommend the snacks if you’re not hungry enough for a meal from the food truck.

Overall, Cinder Block is a great addition to the Kansas City brewery scene. It has a relevant location, nice staff and good beers. What more could you want? Xx, Libbie.

Cinder Block Brewery

 

Hot Country Nights – 20/100

Hot Country Nights

#20 – Hot Country Nights
1100 Walnut Street. Kansas City, Missouri 64106

Cost: Free – $
Atmosphere: Loud, crowded, hot.
Features: Bars, restaurants, beer vendors, shops, etc.
Good for: Country music fans, Thursday night plans.
Tip: Splurge on VIP.

hot country nights

Every Thursday night throughout the summer, Kansas City Power and Light District hosts Hot Country Nights, a free country concert series. Concerts range from up-and-coming country stars to those who have fallen a bit off the map.

This year, the bigger acts at Hot Country Nights have required a $10-$15 ticket. A cost I think is worth it, because Hot Country Nights gets absolutely PACKED on free nights. Most Thursday nights the venue is at capacity and employs a one-in, one-out policy.Hot Country Nights

The doors open at 5pm, so getting there early to save a spot is a good idea if you can swing it. VIP is also a good option. You get access to a private standing area on the balcony, bathrooms and a bar.  

Hot Country Nights


About Power and Light District

Hot Country Nights resides in the KC Live! Block of the Power & Light District. KC Live! Block is an open concert venue surrounded by bars and restaurants. It is the center of Power and Light, a shopping, dining and bar district in downtown Kansas City. The area is named after the impressive skyline feature – the Kansas City Power and Light building.  

Power and Light District

After an extensive revitalization of downtown Kansas City, the nine-block neighborhood opened in 2007. Today, the area has brought more than 50 unique restaurants, bars, shops and entertainment venues back into the area. Main attractions include: Sprint Arena, Arvest Bank Theatre at The Midland, The Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, BRGR, Cleaver and Cork and so much more.  

Notable 2017 Hot Country Nights Performances:
  • Eli Young Band
  • Chase Rice
  • Josh Abbott Band
  • Randy Rodgers Band with Eric Paslay
  • Randy Houser
  • Dustin Lynch

The venue is busy, and for most of the summer it is HOT. I am never overly impressed with the sound quality at KC Live! Block, but tickets are always free or under $20. Overall, Hot Country Nights is a fun excuse for something to do on Thursday nights, especially if you enjoy country music. xx, Libbie

Power and Light District

Roasterie Brunch – 19/100

Roasterie Brunch

#19 – Roasterie Food Truck Brunch
1204 W 27th Street, Kansas City, MO 64108

Cost: $
Atmosphere: Energized, friendly.
Good for: Food truck fans, brunch enthusiasts, caffeine addicts.
Tip: Get there early to avoid the lines.

Roasterie Brunch
About the Roasterie Brunch

This summer, The Roasterie Brunch has become a bug deal. The Roasterie has been hosting a food truck brunch in their parking lot once a month at their largest location on Southwest Boulevard. (I’m not sure if it’s an annual series because I just learned about it this summer).

Coffee, food trucks and brunch are three of my favorite things, so I was really excited to try it out. Honestly, I loved it so much, I want to go to the last two brunches of the year on September 24 and October 22.

 

There were a variety of food trucks, including Tito’s BBQ & Kitchen, Slater’s, Cajun Cabin and Taste of Brazil Market. We all got different dishes. I got food from Taste of Brazil, but everything looked delicious.

Roasterie Brunch

And of course, there was coffee. I love the Roasterie’s blends, but their new, canned Nitro Cold Brew is out of this world.

Roasterie Brunch

About The Roasterie

The Roasterie is in the heart of Kansas City, and you won’t miss it. Paying heritage to their signature mark, the main Roasterie location features a huge DC-3 Aircraft, flying above their store. There are eight other Roasterie cafes around the Kansas City metro, and you can find their blends at Kansas City restaurants and offices.

Roasterie Brunch

The Roasterie works directly with farmers, paying the best price to get the best beans. They also use a convection air-roasting method vs. traditional drum-roasting, which gives a smoother cup of coffee.

Roasterie Brunch

Roasterie Brunch

They also give two daily, free tours about growing and harvesting coffee beans, The Roasterie’s history and air-roasting process and the different blends they produce. xx, Libbie.

Roasterie Brunch