Meet Kansas City
Located on the western edge of Missouri, Kansas City has become a hub of culture for cuisine, music, and art, making it a top destination for both freelancers and digital nomads.
Although it does not have the designation of being the capital of Missouri, Kansas City is certainly the largest city both in population and total land area. This metropolis is held in high esteem in terms of sports, barbecue, Irish culture, the performing arts, and music, particularly jazz, in not only Missouri but in all of the United States. Due to its significant jazz influence, Kansas City has been designated as a “City of Music” by UNESCO, making it the sole city within the United States to hold that high honor. Being located towards the center of the United States, Kansas City has not been a high-priority travel destination for either domestic or foreign travelers in the past. However, due to exceptional job growth, population growth, and a higher than average GDP per capita, Kansas City is on the verge of becoming a star city in the United States. The area has been particularly popular for digital nomads and freelancers due to the booming tech industry where almost one in every ten citizens are employed in a technical role.
Where to live in Kansas City
One of the best things about Kansas City is its cost of living. When compared to other metropolitan cities throughout the United States, Kansas City has a cost of living cheaper than the national average. The exciting thing about this is that, unlike other metro areas, those that want to live in the city center can do so at a reasonable rate with even students being able to afford one-bedroom apartments in midtown. For those looking for a bit more privacy and personal space, the suburbs have an abundance of safe residential neighborhoods that are even less expensive than the homes located in downtown Kansas City. With that being said, there’s no need to worry about having too far of a commute, as Kansas City has both an expansive bus system that provides passengers with dozens of routes all across the city and a free streetcar that stretches two miles through downtown.
Best Neighborhoods in Kansas City
As with any metropolitan city, the neighborhoods located in and around the downtown area have the most activity. Kansas City boasts the Kansas City Power & Light District. This custom-made district hosts a plethora of dining, shopping, and entertainment options to choose from any day of the week. With any popular district in a growing city like Kansas City, certain neighborhoods have the tendency to become congested from time to time. For those looking to stretch their legs and enjoy a bit more space, look no further than Westside. Lying just outside of downtown Kansas City, Westside is popular for not only its multicultural and multiracial neighborhoods but for its varying architecture. Neighborhoods like Westside and Brookside offer more local dining and shopping than the traditional downtown area while retaining close access to downtown. As with any part of Kansas City, the cost of living is quite reasonable so living preferences often become a choice rather than a necessity.
The house is located in the trendy historic Hyde Park neighborhood, centrally located in the inner city half-way between Downtown and the Plaza. Please keep in mind that "eclectic" would describe our immediate surroundings better than "neatly manicured lawns." Nearby mansions were first built in the 1880's and most houses still preserve their original appearance. Coffeeshops, restaurants and bars are within easy walking distance. Downtown, Crown Center, Plaza and Westport are only 5 minutes away, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art is a pretty walk through the neighborhood and across two parks from the house. There is a little hidden spring that was first used by travelers on the Santa Fe Trail three blocks away, in the shadows of Lumbermen's Row mansions on Janssen Place. The only WWI museum in the US, Liberty Memorial, is also less than 5 minutes from us. I have proudly lived here since 1999 and serve on the neighborhood association's board.
This area offers something for everyone. The Downtown location allows easy access to dining, shopping, entertainment, and much more. Located right on Main St in the Library District, there are common necessities such as ATMs, coffee shops, and additional parking if needed. This modern suite is within walking distance to large attractions such as the Power and Light District, Barney Allis Plaza, Kansas City Convention Center, Municipal Auditorium, Sprint Center, and The Grand Ballroom. Getting Around: If you’re traveling on your own, our suite is within easy access to I-70 and I-35. There is also public transportation and Uber is easily accessible given the popular location. Kansas City’s Streetcar connects the River Market area to Crown Center and Union Station. It has stops every 2 blocks down Main Street and the nearest stop is right in front of the building.
Quick Facts About Kansas CityWhile not the capital of Missouri, Kansas City still has plenty to offer. The city has truly diehard sports fans in both baseball and football, its residents are extremely friendly, and there is no shortage of first-rate coffee shops. If you found those facts interesting, here are just a few additional facts that may interest you when it comes to Kansas City:
Kansas City is landlocked.While Kansas City isn’t anywhere near the Great Lakes, the Pacific Ocean, or the Atlantic Ocean, waterlovers can still have plenty of fun in the area. Kansas City not only has the Missouri River flowing right through it but also offers a wide variety of smaller lakes and ponds in the area perfect for swimming, fishing, canoeing, and more.
It is the true home of barbecue.Various cities throughout the United States will argue about the true home of barbecue, but it is truly Kansas City. Consistently ranked the top city in the country for the best barbecue, it is hard to find a bad bit of barbecue in the area. Among its ranks is the renowned Arthur Bryant’s where fame often comes to eat including U.S. Presidents Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton.
Jazz is prominent.Stretching its roots back to the 1930s, jazz has always held a prominent place in the hearts and minds of locals. After jazz experienced a local resurgence in the 1970s, the scene bloomed with Kansas City now hosting a variety of clubs and festivals that attract both newcomers and the world’s top jazz talent.
Farmers’ markets are practically around every corner.Residents of Kansas City can get their hands on some of the freshest produce due to the large amount of farmers’ markets. The City Market located in the River Market District is not only the largest farmers’ market in Kansas City but is one of the largest in the entire Midwest.
The art scene is top-notch.In Kansas City, one of the top art museums in the entire country can be found with Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. This marvelous monument to art contains a variety of works spanning time, countries, and cultures. Close by, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art can be found, as well as the Kansas City Art Institute which has been in operation since 1855.
Cars are a must.Despite its intricate bus system and free streetcar, the public transportation system does not extend to the outermost areas of the city. Regardless of where citizens live within Kansas City, almost everyone has to travel to the extent of the city at one point or another.
The craft beer scene is on the rise.Named as one of the United State’s best cities for beer, it’s no shock that Kansas City has some phenomenal local brews. Sample both small family-owned breweries as well as industry giants. Out of all the craft beer in the area, Boulevard Brewing Co. is certainly the most well-known.
The airport is amazing.No one enjoys checking into an airport unless it’s Kansas City International. Known for its easy-to-navigate terminals, its extremely short wait times, and its abundance of cuisine options, Kansas City International is as close as an airport can get to perfect. Its wait times are so short that individuals have reported arriving at the airport 45 minutes before takeoff and making their flight each and every time.
Work in Kansas City
For freelancers and digital nomads looking for work, Kansas City is a gem in the Midwest. Boasting economic growth above the national average, an unemployment rate below the national average, and a plethora of tech jobs, there is no shortage of employment opportunities for young professionals. For those looking for a career outside of the tech industry, there are plenty of choices in the Kansas City area. An ever-growing population has increased demand in a variety of fields including the medical, sales, and culinary fields. In addition, Kansas City hosts a tremendous amount of large organizations looking to hire including the Internal Revenue Service and Hallmark Cards, Inc.
How good is Kansas City for Digital Nomads or Remote Work
Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Kansas City. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Kansas City for both of these growing movements?
Average Internet SpeedKansas City’s internet speed is nothing short of phenomenal. Offering speeds up to 1,000mbps, high-speed internet is almost a mainstay in the area. While average speeds are close to 85mbps, this is nothing to laugh at. In fact, Kansas City has been ranked as having the second fastest internet connectivity in all of the United States with cities of 250,000 people or more.
Work-friendly Coffee ShopsCoffee might as well be considered a staple within Kansas City. There is no shortage of amazing coffee shops, and plenty of those offer WiFi and working spaces for their patrons. Among all the amazing options, here are just a few that are great places to get some work done: City Market Coffee House: Located in River Market, this coffee shop provides WiFi and has ample space both inside and outside to get some work done. As this is a popular spot for coffee, food, and working space, spots fill quite frequently, so be sure to arrive early in the morning or later in the afternoon. Vested Coffee: Visit downtown and find this former garment factory turned coffee shop to get all your work done. The drinks are delicious, the space is plenty, the WiFi is fast, and with each purchase, Vested Coffee donates 10% back to the City of Kansas City to help its growth. Filling Station Coffee: Featuring vaulted ceilings and large glass windows, it’s like working outside at Filling Station Coffee. This shop offers everything a digital nomad will need to get their work done without ever leaving. While the main location is in Overland Park, the company also has locations in Midtown, Crown Center, and Westport.
Coworking SpacesWith such a huge technical industry, Kansas City certainly has no shortage of amazing coworking spaces sure to fill anyone’s needs. Among them all, here are just a few of the best gems: Plexpod River Market: Offering everything from daily desk rentals to monthly private office rentals, Plexpod is versatile accommodating up to 15 people per group. In addition to ample space, Plexpod River Market has dozens of amenities including high-speed internet, fresh coffee, networking opportunities, and so much more. Cowork KCI: Offering daily rates as well as flexible leasing options, Cowork KCI is ready to meet the needs of any and all freelancers. The space has multiple conference rooms, a community kitchen, a business center, and being just minutes from the airport, even a traveler’s work station for those on their way out of town. WeWork Lightwell: Through their enhanced cleaning services, Lightwell has prepared a safe space to accommodate any size group or project. In addition to their ample, open space, Lightwell offers freelancers and digital nomads a wellness room, high-speed internet, meeting rooms, and a beautiful outdoor work space for when inside has become too much. With any of the aforementioned coworking spaces, long-term commitments are absolutely okay. If a digital nomad feels they may reside in Kansas City for a number of weeks or months, each company is fully capable of agreeing to long-term arrangements that will be sure to please both parties. In the same vein, each company is also able to accommodate freelancers for a single day or even just a few hours if necessary.
Suitable Level for Digital NomadsWith some of the fastest internet in the country, ample coworking spaces, and an extremely low cost of living, Kansas City is a haven for digital nomads in not only the Midwest but in all of the United States. In addition to these lifelines for young professionals, the city has amazing restaurants, an extremely active nightlife, a top-notch sports scene, and a renowned music scene. When all these factors are added together, coupled with the fact that Kansas City is still indeed a growing metropolis, Kansas City becomes a must for digital nomads and freelancers looking for a space to settle in for a bit.
Visa RequirementsWhile citizens of the United States can freely travel to Kansas City without any restrictions, residents of any other country will require some type of paperwork. For those from a set number of countries including the United Kingdom, South Korea, and Germany, citizens may be eligible for the Visa Waiver Program if they intend to stay less than 90 days. In addition to being from a set list of countries, the citizen must also have a valid ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before boarding their flight to the United States. For those that do not qualify for the Visa Waiver Program, a visitor visa is required. Both nonimmigrant visas for temporary stays and immigrant visas for permanent residency are available. For those that are looking to stay for longer than 90 days, a request must be made with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to extend stay for nonimmigrants. This request must be made at least 45 days before a visa is set to expire. Application visas can be filed online and appointments can be scheduled for interviews at your nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.
Food and Drink in Kansas City
When you think of classic Kansas City cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is probably Kansas City barbecue. This delicacy is based around the use of a thick, tomato-based sauce and a ton of side dishes like French fries, baked beans, coleslaw, and more. While virtually every corner has a Kansas City barbecue restaurant, a few of the most famous options include Arthur Bryant’s, Gates and Sons Bar-B-Q, and Fiorella’s Jack Stack Barbecue. Kansas City is also known for its unique cut of steak. This cut is similar to what you’d find in the New York Strip steak. While you’d think that a city’s signature steak would taste the same in just about any restaurant, there are several eateries vying for the honor of having the best steak in town. Visit 801 Chophouse, J. Gilbert’s, or Jess and Jim’s Steak House to try some of the city’s most well-loved options. What goes better with barbecue or steak than a delicious craft beer? Kansas City is full of unique breweries that are sure to please any palate. Boulevard is a staple in the city and has even been called KC’s crown jewel, so be sure to pay them a visit. Alma Mader dedicates itself to offering unique and specific flavors, while City Barrel sticks to the classics and does them well. Other popular options in the city include KC Bier Co, Torn Label, and Martin City Brewing.
Top 6 Things To Do in Kansas City
Kansas City is full of attractions for all, no matter what you’re interested in doing when the workday is through. Performing arts are a staple within the city, so you can catch a show with the Kansas City Repertory Theatre or the Kansas City Symphony. The city is also known for its incredibly distinct jazz music, which you can experience in tons of live music venues all throughout KC. If you’re feeling lucky, the Kansas City metro area is home to six casinos for you to enjoy. Kansas City is also full of fascinating museums covering a wide range of topics, from the American Jazz Museum to the Steamboat Arabia Museum and even the Aviation History Museum. If you’re into sports, you can catch a football game with the Chiefs, a baseball game with the Royals, or even a soccer game with Sporting Kansas City. There is truly something for everyone to enjoy right here in KC.
Oceans of Fun
4545 Worlds of Fun Ave, Kansas City
Loose Park Rose Garden
5200 Pennsylvania Ave, Kansas City
J C Nichols Memorial Fountain
47th J C Nichols Pkwy, Kansas City
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
4420 Warwick Blvd, Kansas City
The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden
4800 Rockhill Rd, Kansas City
SEA LIFE Kansas City
2475 Grand Blvd, Kansas City