Jump Ahead To:
Moving to a new city is always challenging. And a large part of that challenge is looking for a place to live. There are so many things to consider when weighing your options-house styles, neighborhood safety, quality of schools, the convenience of location-it all can be quite overwhelming.
That’s why we’ve done the research for you, so you don’t have to (and by the way of introduction, we’re Bellhop—your friendly Kansas City movers). We’ve examined what it’s like living in each of these highlighted neighborhoods and created in-depth guides with insider scoops on close-by, popular destinations. Soon, you’ll be living like a local.
A Little About Kansas City and its Neighborhoods
Why are there two Kansas City’s so close to each other that they touch? It turns out that the Kansas City in Missouri was the first! But soon after, Kansas residents saw the growth of their neighbor city and tapped in on the catchy name (which, arguably, matched their state a little better).
Gaining dozens of nicknames since its birth in 1889, Kansas City, MO has been called the “City of Fountains,” “Gateway to the Southwest,” “Paris of the Plains,” and the “Heart of America.” The city’s many railroads, 200 fountains, nightlife destinations, and smack-dab-central locations in the country inspired many of these nicknames, and each demonstrates a different side of what Kansas City has to offer.
Today, Kansas City is one of the largest cities in the Midwest, with a population of nearly 500,000. New residents keep steadily moving in. And if you love baseball, barbeque, live blues, and plenty of beer, then Kansas City may have caught your eye too.
We’ve scanned this sprawling and populous city to find the best neighborhoods it has to offer. Keep reading for our pick of the top 5 places to live in Kansas City. Soon, you’ll be strolling the streets like a local.
Located close to the Kansas-Missouri state line, Ward Parkway sits on the eastern side of Country Club Plaza, an extremely popular neighborhood in the city. Ward Parkway isn’t short of shopping and entertainment either. Many locals enjoy the Ward Parkway Shopping Center, which hosts live music concerts and game nights on the pavilion lawn.
Close to Downtown (about 8 miles away), many locals have easy commutes. The area is walkable, and the neighborhood has become a popular spot for visitors to stay. Ward Parkway is renowned for its picturesque scenery. Part of the neighborhood was designed by the American Planning Association with the help of skilled landscape architects to maintain a “City within a Park” feel. And the area features a distinct Spanish Revival vibe, with numerous historic properties and decorative apartment buildings built in the mid-1920s.
CROSSROADS ART DISTRICT
Full of chromatic murals and young artists and professionals, Crossroads Art District is known as Kansas City’s creative hub. The area features plenty of local shops, top eateries, bars, and stories of art galleries. This area attracts a younger crowd, but you will find some families and established adults among all the millennials.
Crossroads Art District emits an energetic and artsy vibe, and it’s grown immensely in popularity over the past few years. Big revitalization efforts have taken place, transforming old buildings into restaurants and forgotten houses into renovated homes. In Crossroads Art District, you’ll also find plenty of apartment complexes, both newly built and renovated from historic buildings.
Join locals in their monthly celebration during First Fridays, full of live music and street fare. This neighborhood is one of the most walkable areas in the city. At less than a mile from Downtown, many locals can walk to work or their favorite cafes, eateries, and watering holes. Crossroads Art District is also extremely bike-friendly with bike-sharing stations scattered along the more popular streets.
COUNTRY CLUB PLAZA
Decked out in Spanish architecture and fountains, Country Club Plaza is another millennial favorite. This area of the city is known for its top-notch shopping. And it sits close to Downtown, making it a great spot for those who love to fall asleep to the sound of the city.
Despite its great location, rent in Country Club Plaza is much lower than in some of the surrounding neighborhoods. Here, you’ll find condos, single-family homes, and apartment complexes. Country Club Plaza is also home to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, two cultural destinations known throughout the city.
You won’t go hungry in Country Club Plaza either. Some of the best restaurants in the city are found in this area, like Season 52 and Brio Tuscan Grille. The neighborhood also throws its own cultural and seasonal events. Check out the Christmas Light Display, which sets 15 blocks of the neighborhood ablaze in twinkly lights every year.
Country Club Plaza is very walkable and is one of the country’s oldest shopping and entertainment districts. Hand-painted mosaic tiles and old street lamps spot this charming neighborhood. And locals living outside the neighborhood consider Country Club Plaza a destination worth their visit in the evenings and on weekends.
River Market is one of the most popular places to live in Kansas City today. This neighborhood has all there is to offer in KC. If you want to live and breathe city life with access to some of the city’s best restaurants, local shops, cafes, and watering holes, River Market deserves a visit. This small neighborhood is only made up of four square miles. But these blocks pack in great housing and entertainment options.
River Market is known throughout the city for its thriving entrepreneurial vibes. And this has brought in even more local businesses as well as posh condos and lofts to the area. River Market’s claim to fame, though, is its namesake market. This neighborhood hosts the largest farmer’s market in the Midwest, which is open all day err day throughout the entire year!
Westport is an extremely popular neighborhood for young professionals and young couples. Sitting just a few miles outside of Downtown, this neighborhood has drawn many locals who work at one of the many big companies in KC’s center-city.
While this neighborhood has a vibrant and young population, Westport is one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. Its streets don’t feel dusty and forgotten, though. This spot is known for its shopping and entertainment. And its packed restaurants and watering holes have become city-wide favorites.
Check out one of our favorite local dining spots, Char Bar, which serves slowly-smoked meats and mouthwatering sides. If you find yourself thirsty after all your feasting, stop by one of Westport’s best drinkeries, Westport Ale House. This sports bar is lined with flatscreens and offers a long list of drinks and bar grub to satiate any hungry and thirsty patron. Or visit The Westport Saloon for drinks and live bluegrass and blues.
There you have it: the 5 best neighborhoods in Kansas City!
We hope this was helpful, and if you decide to take the plunge, don’t hesitate to reach out to your friends here at Bellhop. As we said, we coordinate local and long-distance moving services in Kansas City, and we would love to help.
- Is Moving to Virginia Right for You? Updated for 2023 - March 23, 2023
- The Best Suburbs in Tampa (2023) - March 22, 2023
- Is Moving to Ohio Right for You? (Updated for 2023) - March 20, 2023