Mine and my husband’s birthdays are exactly two weeks apart from each other. With neither of us being much for self-celebration, we typically utilize the weekend in between our birthdays to travel and do something fun together. This year we spent a day and a half in Kansas City, Missouri, primarily to enjoy a scenic country drive across the state to eat KC barbeque and explore downtown.

Building in downtown Kansas City

After a long stretch of driving across Missouri, our first stop was a caffeinated one. My husband quickly searched for coffee shops near our hotel and found Messenger Coffee Co. + Ibis Bakery. If I were a local, I’d be a regular at this coffee shop. The shop spans three stories in a beautiful brick building downtown. The ground floor serves as the coffeeshop and on-site bakery. The middle floor is where the roasting action happens, and the top floor offers a cozy rooftop overlooking downtown.

Messenger Coffee Co. + Ibis Bakery

Any coffeeshop that offers honey lavender lattes are a big win with me. After sipping on coffee and acclimating to downtown, we checked into our hotel and took a late afternoon stroll around the Kansas City Power & Light district.

One Light District
Signs from the Power and Light District

Our room at Hotel Indigo Kansas City Downtown. A cute boutique hotel with an on-site restaurant and bar.

Q39 Bbq

Dinner at Q39 Midtown was delicious. We tried the PBLTA and Burnt Ends plate.

Power and Light District sign

After dinner we returned to the Power & Light District. I recently purchased a new diffusion filter and the neon signage at night would be the perfect test subjects.

A crowd at the Power & Light District enjoys the pre-show performance as they await the arrival of the show’s headliner, Steve Aoki.

This light haloing effect is created by using the Moment 10% CineBloom Diffusion Filter.

Lights from a hotel awning.
A hotel bar

The following morning we enjoyed a short walk to Mildred’s Coffeehouse for coffee and breakfast. We enjoyed the guacamole toast and the chipotle breakfast wrap before heading out for the day.

Parade of Hearts Display

A statute from the “Parade of Hearts” display around Kansas City. This is one of 154 hearts to visually represent the unity of those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Before checking out of our hotel to return home, we spent a few hours walking around downtown to appreciate Kansas City’s beautiful architecture. Throughout our trip we noticed several different “heart” statues around the city. The Parade of Hearts exhibition is a public arts experience featuring original works of art to show support for those affected by the events spanning 2020 and 2021.

Buildings in downtown Kansas City

There are many beautiful buildings in downtown Kansas City. I appreciate the mix of historic and modern architecture.

Downtown Kansas City Architecture
Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception

Just down the street from our hotel, the gilded dome of the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception caught my eye.

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception
Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

Reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts architecture is quite stunning.

We opted to take the longer, but more scenic, way home by by taking U.S. Route 50 across the state. Route 50 connects Kansas City to St. Louis by way of Lee’s Summit, Sedalia, and Jefferson City. Along the countryside drive we stopped by Sedalia, MO to explore their downtown district. We found ourselves stopping by Craft Beer Cellar for refreshment, then across the street to enjoy a light lunch at the Tacos El Arca food truck.

We then wandered into a vintage car competition to see examples of pristinely preserved automotive relics, before getting back onto the road.

This was a fun weekend getaway with gorgeous weather and sights to compliment the long drive across Missouri!

Technical: Fujifilm X-T4 and XF 33mm f/1.4 R LM WR lens, Fujifilm X100V and 50mm TCL