Horseshoe Bend

Page, Arizona- a quaint town found just south of the border between Arizona and Utah. It’s easy to just glance over this city on a map, but if you actually go and visit, you will quickly see why it is one of our favorite places in the United States.

On the south side of town lies Horseshoe Bend. The park and overlook consists of a parking lot (accessible for small visiting fee depending on the vehicle) and a short trail from the parking lot to the overlook. At the end of that trail is some of the most beautiful landscape we have ever seen. We highly recommend visiting at sunset so you can see what we saw- the red rocky canyon glowing with the light of the setting sun, beautiful clouds lit up by the sunset and hundreds of shades of blue and green swirling in the mighty Colorado river.

Horseshoe bend has become quite popular over the last few years and if you decide to visit at sunset, we highly recommend showing up early for a few reasons:

  1. Parking. If you get here early enough, you will have plenty of space to park. You do have to pay a small fee when you arrive and the lines can get backed up as people have to fish for their wallets and loose change in the car. NOTE– this is NOT a US National park, so national park passes will not be accepted here
  2. Walk. Once you get your vehicle parked, it is a little over a half mile walk to the edge of the canyon where you will get the best views of Horseshoe Bend. Plan to take some time walking there and enjoying the sights on the way. The trail is fairly flat and it is paved, making it a relatively easy walk there- just plan ahead and be prepared for a light hike.
  3. Amazing views. The views here are incredible- especially as the sun begins to set. If you arrive early, you can explore Horseshoe Bend from many different angles and observe how the landscape changes with the changing light. The middle of the bend contains a paved viewing area with a safety fence, but the rest of the bend is unpaved and contains no barriers for the edge of the canyon (about 1,000 feet above the river!). There is much to explore but do so at your own risk.
  4. Busy. As we mentioned earlier, this place is very popular and can get very busy. The earlier you arrive, the easier it will be for you to get some great pictures of the bend without having to edit out other visitors. Remember, Instagram doesn’t always show the truth!

If you do visit Horseshoe Bend, remember to be kind and patient with other visitors and help keep this amazing place beautiful by taking any trash with you when you leave.

Have you ever visited Horseshoe Bend? Let us know what you thought about it! Send us an email or just add a comment below- we love to talk about travel and are always looking for new ideas.

Cheers!

Featured Fall Getaway- Duluth, MN

Are you looking for a place to getaway this fall? Perhaps somewhere you can see the beautiful fall foliage, walk along the coastline of the largest Great Lake, and try some fabulous fares and brews? If the answer is YES, Duluth is just the place for you this fall!

There is so much to see and do here that visiting Duluth could easily be something more than just a day trip. Stay the weekend and see all the great things this Northern City and the surrounding area has to offer. This guide encompasses some of our favorite things to see and do and places to eat in the Duluth area. We hope you find it helpful and take the time to visit this fall.

First of all, lets talk food and brews. There are so many great options including Fitger’s, Clyde Iron Works, Canal Park Brewing and many more. Conveniently, our top three places offer scrumptious selections of both!

Fitger’s Inn is a historic establishment that has been around since the mid- 1800s! It is even registered as a national historic place. The brewery survived prohibition by crafting soda and candy instead of ales. Today, it is a restaurant, brewery and hotel all in one! It is located right on the coastline of Lake Superior and has trail access to the Duluth Lakewalk. There is also a mall underneath the inn with an assortment of small boutiques where you can shop for unique gifts. Inside the brewhouse restaurant is a classic take on American fare. We really enjoyed the burgers- especially the Minnesota wild rice burger and the apricot ale.

Clyde Iron Works is located in a bright, beautiful and modern remodeled historic machine factory hidden on the south side of town. As soon as we walked through the door, our mouths were watering from the pleasant aromas of their spectacular homemade sauces and doughs. We really liked the homemade stromboli and wood-fired pizzas. They have plenty of seating, and they also host events here if you are looking for a wedding venue or hosting a large party. In addition to being a great stop for food, they are also opening up their own craft brewery soon. Unfortunately, the beers weren’t ready when we stopped here last time, but we look forward to trying them next time!

Last but not least, Canal Park Brewing is another brewery and restaurant that is splendidly located right on the coast of Lake Superior. They have a lot of space indoors, but if you are visiting on one of Duluth’s rare warmer days (summer doesn’t last long up here!), Canal Park has a spacious patio right on the edge of Duluth’s harbor. Inside or outside, Canal Park features close up views of Lake Superior and Duluth’s port. We always enjoy their unique takes on American fare. We especially enjoy their fish tacos and mango habanero burger. They have an extensive craft beer selection, but our favorite is the Nut Hatchet brown ale.

In addition to excellent food and drink at Canal Park Brewery, they are also in a prime location for shopping. Along Canal Park, you will find blocks of small touristy shops where you can get stickers, postcards, t-shirts, etc. There are also some small art studios that feature prints, pottery, glass and more that are made by local artists.

Not really that into shopping? Thats OK! If you do find yourself in the Canal Park area, we highly recommend visiting the park itself. There are 2 really cool lighthouses- the Duluth North Pier and South Breakwater lighthouses- that you can walk up to and watch the huge ships sailing by on their way to and from the Atlantic Ocean. If you are interested in the big ships and want to know more about where they are coming from, going to, and what they are carrying, you can stop at the Lake Superior Marine Museum to find out all of that and more.

From the park, you will also get a great view of the famous aerial lift bridge. This bridge was built in the very early 1900s and rises over 200 feet into the air to allow boats to pass under it!

From the lighthouses, we recommend taking a walk along the Duluth Lakewalk to get some more views of the city, lake, and lighthouses. The lakewalk is about 8 miles total and the entire trail is paved making it a great option for bikes, scooters and strollers in addition to walking or jogging. If you start at Canal Park and head north, you will walk right by the Fitger’s mall and restaurant. There is also a great ice cream place called Crank and Dasher that is right off the trail if you need something sweet to continue on the lakewalk.

Another great stop is the Enger Tower. This tower was built in 1939 and can be found on one of the highest spots in Duluth. You can climb the stairs in the tower and get some beautiful views of the entire city and the surrounding area.

Heights aren’t really your thing? No worries! There are lots of other things to do here instead including picnicking, taking some hiking trails, walking through the gardens or just sitting and enjoying the nature.

If it is a bit chilly or rainy when you visit, there is a lot of indoor things to see as well. The Great Lakes Aquarium is a unique spot to spend the afternoon. You can see the local fish and learn about the ecosystem of Lake Superior. More into history than fish? Check out the Lake Superior Railroad Museum! Here you can take a step back in time and read up on the role of the railroads and how important they were in this big shipping town. You can also experience some refurbished old trains to see and feel what they were like back in the early 1900s.

The railroad museum also offers Train Excursions on the North Shore Scenic Railroad. There are quite a few different rides to choose from including a fall leaf train, short rides or all day excursions up the coast of Lake Superior, and many more. Check out their website for info on tickets and what excursions are available.

If you don’t take the train up the coast for scenic views, you can drive instead and take in the North Shore at your own pace. Along the coast is a few stops that we recommend- Betty’s Pies, Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse. Of course there are so many other beautiful places to see and countless things to do on this route, but we will focus on these three.

First up, Betty’s Pies. Pies are constantly being baked fresh here and whether you like fruity or creamy, chocolate or cinnamon, crust or crumble there is a pie here for you! They also serve food here, but we have only ever stopped for dessert. If you find a slice of pie you really like, they do sell whole pies to take home as well!

If you continue up the coast from Betty’s, the next stop will be Gooseberry Falls. This is a beautiful state park that has a huge, tiered waterfall tucked away among the trees. There is a small building here with some maps and bathrooms right at the trailhead. If you follow the trails, you will see the many falls this park has to offer. There are a few routes that are more strenuous, but there are plenty of less strenuous ones that also give great views of the falls.

Last but not least, if you continue North up the coast, you can see Split Rock Lighthouse. This historic lighthouse is perched on a cliff overlooking Lake Superior and offers beautiful views anytime of year, but is absolutely glowing in fall.

Like we mentioned earlier, there are a lot of other places to stop for arts and crafts, food and drink or scenic views with rocky beaches to dip your feet in the lake and get some great photos of the fall foliage decorating the coast.

Looking for more things to do in the fall? Check out our guide for 5 Fabulous Fall Activities in Minnesota for some other seasonal ideas.

Happy Wandering!

5 Fabulous Fall Activities in Minnesota

Once September starts, I am all ready for fall. I love everything about this time of the year- the beautiful fall colors, the weather, the sounds, smells, soups and sweaters. Fall in the Midwest is a beautiful but very short time of year. We always try to make the most of it for the short time we are able to enjoy these few fabulous fall weeks.

We created this list of some of our favorite fall activities/ places to visit in Minnesota throughout September, October and November. If you are feeling inspired to get out and see what this time of year has to offer in the Upper Midwest, this guide is exactly what you need!


1. Drive up the North Shore for scenic views of Lake Superior

The North Shore is the part of Minnesota that is north of Duluth and continues up the coast of Lake Superior all the way to Canada. There are so many scenic views and great biking/ hiking trails to explore along the coastline. Some of the more famous stops along this drive include Duluth itself, Betty’s Pies, Gooseberry Falls and Split Rock Lighthouse. If you continue North, there is a lot more to see and do, so take some time and explore!

We like visiting Duluth because there are so many great choices for food and drink here- Canal Park, Fitgers, and Crank & Dasher Icecream just to name a few! You can also see the famous lift bridge and watch huge shipping boats passing through on their way to the Atlantic.

Once you leave Duluth and continue northwards on Highway 61, make a stop at Betty’s Pies. They are constantly baking new fresh pies and they are available for purchase by the slice or you can get a whole pie! We recommend grabbing a slice to go and taking it with you to the next stop- Gooseberry Falls State Park. This is a beautiful place to stop and have a picnic (or a slice of pie) and walk to the falls, taking in all the beauty surrounding you.

If you continue north from there, you will come across the famous Split Rock Lighthouse. You can get scenic views of the fall foliage and the lighthouse with Lake Superior in the background. There are more hiking trails and picnic areas here as well.

There is a lot more to see and do on Minnesota’s North Shore that we do not have time to write about now, but if you make the trip up here, you will not be disappointed with a plethora of outdoor activities, jaw dropping views and quaint coastal towns.

Let us know what you like to do on Minnesota’s North Shore!

2. Visit an apple orchard/ pumpkin patch

This is one of my most favorite things to do on a sunny, cool, crisp fall day. There are so many great apple orchards and pumpkin patches around the Twin Cities area to visit! One of our favorites is the Luce Line Orchard. They have beautiful gardens, corn mazes, animals, great food and even better caramel apples. You can stop in their shop to get fall decorations or pre picked apples and homemade pies to take with you.

If you want to pick your own apples, there are rows and rows of apple trees here with an amazing variety of fresh, crisp, sweet apples for you to pick and take home with you.

This is a great place for small kids because there are short trails to walk on, lots of cute little animals to visit, playgrounds and lots of space to explore. Dogs are also welcome here and there is a lot of parking available, so you don’t have to worry about driving all the way to Waconia and not finding a place to park (even though the drive is gorgeous and makes the time in the car worth it).

Some other orchards that we like to visit include Sunnybrook Apple Orchard and Applecrest Orchards, but there are so many great ones out there to visit. Let us know what your favorites are!

3. See the pumpkin display at the Minnesota Zoo

The Minnesota Zoo puts on an amazing display of glowing jack-o-lanterns each year during the month of October. There are over 5,000 carved and lit pumpkins of all sizes and with just about any face (or animal) you can imagine! Tickets are needed for this event and should be purchased in advance. You walk along a paved trail (about a half mile) and can marvel at the sights and sounds of all the glowing pumpkins and the Halloween music playing in the background. Don’t forget to look for Waldo and Carmen SanDiego!

4. Hike the trails along the St. Croix and Mississippi Rivers

These rivers are beautiful places to explore any time of year, but our favorite time to visit is during the fall when most of the leaves are in their peak color for the year. There are so many great trailheads to start from, so pick one that sounds interesting and enjoy the beautiful scenery surrounding you. There are also many orchards, pumpkin patches and small towns to tour along these rivers.

5. See the scarecrows and fall plants at the MN Landscape Arboretum

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a great place to visit. With thousands of plants and trees to look at and miles of trails to walk, bike, or drive through, you can easily spend a whole afternoon here. In the fall, they decorate the gardens with scarecrows made of all sorts of things you can find in a garden or your own backyard.

Down the road from the Arboretum, you will find the AppleHouse. Here you can find bags of delicious apples, baked goods, caramel apples and all kinds of fall decorations available for purchase. There is also usually a truck outside selling apple cider donuts if you want something warm to satisfy your sweet tooth!


We hope you enjoyed this list of our favorite fall activities and you are inspired to go out and try some of these things too! What are your favorite things to do in the fall? Send us an email or leave a comment and let us know what your favorite fall activities are. We are always looking for something new to try!

10 Free things to do in St. Paul

Saint Paul, Minnesota- the other half of the Twin Cities aka “one of the coolest suburbs of Minneapolis to visit while you are here for the Super Bowl” according to a 2018 news report. All joking aside, the Minnesotan capital is an eclectic city mixing both contemporary amenities with historical charm. St. Paul displays its history on the banks of the Mississippi River through its many museums and architecture, while simultaneously offering modern cuisine and attractions. St. Paul is always bustling with its multitude of sporting events, concerts and exhibitions, but you don’t have to break the bank to see all this city has to offer. Below are our a few of our favorite free things to see in St. Paul.

1. See the animals at Como Zoo

This a great zoo with lots of free parking available (if you don’t mind a little bit of walking to the entrance). There is a box for donations if you feel moved to do so, but it is optional. You can see many different animals from all over the world! Arctic, Jungle, Plains and Desert animals are all available to view year round just to name a few. Every exhibit is very kid friendly, and there are even special exhibits that arrive throughout the year (although a few have had a small fee). A great stop for anyone that wants to embrace their “wild side”.

2. Stroll through the gardens at the Marjorie McNeely Conservatory

These gardens are located at the same property as the Como Zoo. There are so many cool exhibits here- a sunken garden with plants that change seasonally, a room full of ferns, edible plants and spices, a bonsai tree exhibit and even an outdoor Japanese garden to walk through!

3. Visit the State Capitol

The building was recently restored by the state and looks gorgeous! While admiring the building’s architecture, there is a large park surrounding the building filled with paths and memorials to explore, learn and reflect. Inside, you can take a free self guided tour including the Rotunda, the Senate and House of Representatives Chambers and so much more!

4. Free Brewery Tour

With a plethora of craft breweries to explore around St. Paul, you won’t have a hard time finding a new favorite brew! Summit brewing is one that offers free tours where you can see the facilities and learn all about the brewing process.

5. Visit the Markets

To get your fresh fruits and veggies, check out the St. Paul Farmer’s Market! During the summer months (May- October) you can find the market in downtown St. Paul on most Saturdays or Sundays. Check out the Farmer’s Market website for the schedule. If you aren’t visiting on a weekend, check out the indoor Keg and Case market! This market is in a historic brewery and features local restaurants, shops and breweries!

6. Union Depot

A transportation hub for thousands of travelers, Union Depot is a must see. They offer public tours on Tuesdays at 11am. There are also exhibits that change regularly that you can visit and learn about the history of the Twin Cities, Minnesota, and transportation. There is even a scavenger hunt you can do to make sure you don’t miss anything!

7. Stop by the Cathedral of St. Paul

This huge cathedral is rich with history. It showcases beautiful architecture and art while overlooking downtown from a hilltop. There are public tours available Tuesdays- Fridays at 1pm.

8. Walk along historic Summit Ave

This is a gorgeous street with hundreds of preserved Victorian Era homes! You can learn about the history of many of the buildings on the Visit St. Paul website.

9. Visit the Minnesota History Center

If you have a Bank of America card, you can visit this museum for free during the first weekend of each month. There are many exhibits to explore and even a fantastic spot to view the State Capitol!

10. Walk along the Mississippi River by Kellogg Park and Raspberry Island

There are so many great sculptures and trails here that allow you to walk, bike or scooter alongside the Mississippi River. You can also just sit, relax and watch the steamboats go by. A wonderful spot for a picnic!


Have you visited or plan to visit St. Paul soon? We would love to know what you thought about the city!

10 Free things to do in Minneapolis (Spring/ Summer/ Fall edition)

If you find yourself in Minneapolis and are looking for some budget friendly (free!) things to do, it is your lucky day! We compiled a list of some of our favorite free things to see and do in Minneapolis, MN. This list is in no particular order, we just added the items as we thought of them.

1. Visit the Sculpture Garden

The sculpture garden is part of the Walker Art Center, but its free! You can stroll along the paths and marvel at the art. The sculpture garden is home to the iconic Spoonbridge and Cherry. There is some free parking available, otherwise there is a lot nearby that you can pay to use.

2. Stone Arch Bridge

The Stone Arch Bridge is an old railroad bridge that crosses over the Mississippi River. Now it is only available for pedestrians or bikers to use. From the bridge, you can get a great view of the St. Anthony Falls or the skyline of Minneapolis.

3. Shop at the Mill City Farmers Market

If you are visiting on a Saturday and are free in the morning, stop by the Mill City Farmers Market! There is a large variety of vendors- meats and cheeses, pastries and flowers, arts and crafts and much more. There are usually food trucks or stalls that are selling fresh hot foods for breakfast or lunch too. If you haven’t visited the Stone Arch Bridge yet, now would be a great time to go because you will be right there after visiting the market!

4. Visit Minnehaha Regional Park

This area is a huge park with a lot going on. First, there is Minnehaha falls that is beautiful to see any time of the year. There are bikes that you can rent, miles of trails to walk on, disc golf, picnic areas, gardens, restaurants, and more! If you take the stairs down from the waterfall, you can follow a walking trail along Minnehaha falls all the way to where it meets up with the Mississippi River!

5. Bike the Midtown Greenway

Minneapolis is a very bike friendly city. There are miles of trails dedicated to biking or walking throughout the city and the surrounding metro area. If you didn’t bring a bike, thats OK- there are stations all over they city were you can rent a Nice Ride bike for a few hours and explore they city by petal. The Greenway itself is a little over 5 miles long, but it connects to many other trail systems so you can take a nice long bike ride if you wanted to.

6. Visit Lake Bde Maka Ska

This is a very popular spot where people like to spend the day. It is not far from uptown and there are biking and walking trails that go around the entire lake. In addition to trails, there is fishing, kayak rentals, a beach area and a lot of space to put up a hammock or have a picnic. If you don’t mind walking a few blocks to get to the lake, there is free street parking available, otherwise there are pay lots available much closer to the beaches.

7. Smell the Roses at Lake Harriet

Right by another one of the lakes in Minneapolis is the Lyndale Park Rose Garden. The best time to visit is when the roses are in bloom and the fountains are on, but there are usually different kinds of flowers blooming throughout the late spring to early fall.

8. See the Midtown Global Market

The global market is collection of small local shops where you can find anything from food and coffee to art and souvenirs. There are some very nice murals and art inside the global market and the building is right off of the Greenway, so if you decide to bike the trail, it will bring you right here!

9. Stop by the Minneapolis Institute of Art

If you stop here, you will get a chance to see art from all eras from all over the world. There are 3 levels to this museum, so be sure to spend some time here! General admission is free and they have special exhibitions that cost a small fee to see.

10. Stroll along Nicollet Ave and check out the Skyways

Nicollet Avenue has all sorts of shops to visit and restaurants to try. If you are visiting in the winter and it is too cold to be outside, you can go explore downtown Minneapolis via the skyway system! If you can figure out how to read the map, please let me know because I am still puzzled by it. There are even free busses that go along Nicollet Ave so you don’t have to walk the whole way.

If you decide to visit Minneapolis and try out some of the things on this list, be sure to let us know what you think!

Happy Travels!

3 Days in Kansas City

Kansas City- the city of artists and the city of fountains. Whether you are looking for beautiful art and gardens or great food and shopping, Kansas City is the perfect place to visit. The city itself lies at about the center of the continental United States. The state line between Kansas and Missouri actually goes through the city itself so you can easily see both states if you wanted to. Kansas City has much to offer, so if our 3 day itinerary looks a little full, feel free to take an extra day or two and spend some more time exploring.

We visited in springtime (mid April) which meant vibrant colors of tulips were blooming everywhere and the city was full of beautiful, sweet smelling, flowering trees. Paul loves baseball (or anything sports, really) so we were also able to go to a Royals game. If you decide to visit in the fall and want to see a football game instead, you can easily swap out a Royals game for a Chiefs game since the stadiums are right next to each other. They even share a parking lot!

We live close enough that we decided to drive instead of fly here. If you wanted to fly instead, make sure you rent a car or find a different way of getting around. The city is very spread out and walking everywhere would be difficult.

We stayed at a hotel in the Crossroads-Arts district (North/ Central part of town). This was a great location because there were a lot of restaurants and museums we wanted to see that were within walking distance. The KC Streetcar also runs through this area and can take you from Union Station all the way up to the City Market. Oh, and did I mention it is FREE? We used the streetcar a few times when it was raining and we were tired of walking. It’s also great if you didn’t want to drive and try to find a parking spot and pay for parking.

One last thing to mention- on this trip, we mostly stayed on the Missouri side of the city, but there is a lot to see and do on the other half too. Our weekend getaway went by too fast for us to see everything we wanted to. Without further ado, here is our 3 day itinerary to Kansas City!


Day 1 (Friday)

If you decide to stay in the Crossroads district like we did, you can walk around town and see all kinds of murals on the way to Monarch Coffee for some morning caffeine and fresh pastries. The coffee shop is also right by Crown Center where you can do some shopping if you want or check out the fountains at the square.

Next, head over to the Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Gardens. The gardens are free to visit and they also have a large lot with free parking available too. These gardens are beautiful! If you visit in the spring you can see the trees flowering and huge gardens of tulips. We really liked this spot and thought is was so refreshing to see all the bright spring colors after enduring another long midwestern winter.

When you are done taking a stroll through the garden, head over to the Nelson- Atkins Museum of Art. The museum is free to visit and there is parking available, but you do have to pay a small fee to park. The museum is gorgeous! It has over 40,000 pieces of art from all over the world throughout all of history. There are paintings, sculptures, pottery, stained glass and so much more. When we visited, there was a special exhibition featuring Water Lilies by Claude Monet. The painting was in its own room with a 10 minute light and sound show that made you feel like you were right by the river with Monet.

On the front lawn of the art museum, you can see the famous gigantic shuttlecock sculptures. They even have an artsy mini golf course right on the lawn. Tickets can be purchased in advance or just at the counter of the museum when you walk in. If you really enjoy art, you could easily spend a whole day here!

Next, head on over to the Country Club plaza and take a stroll by the river, or get some shopping done at the large outdoor mall. There are over 100 stores to visit and plenty of dining options to choose from. We figured it was time to try some real Kansas City BBQ, so we ate lunch at Jack Stack BBQ. We split a combo plate so we could try a little bit of everything. Don’t forget to try the jalapeño cheddar cornbread while you are there!

After lunch, make your way up to the scout statue. It is on top of a large hill and you can get a great view of the city skyline from here. An option for something to do is visit Boulevard Brewing Co. They offer a few different brewery tours where you can see how they brew their beer, learn about the brewing process and see the brewery. If you aren’t in the mood for a tour, you can always just visit the taproom and try a flight or pint of their beer or spiked seltzers.

When we were finished at the brewery, we drove back to the hotel and dropped off the car. One of the restaurants we wanted to try is called Affäre. This place is a German restaurant that offers delicious seasonal dishes. They have a special tasting menu that changes weekly which includes a four course meal. You even have the option of doing a wine or beer pairing along with each course. Everything we had from this place was delicious and my mouth is watering just from thinking about their food again… It was a nice night, so we sat out on the candle and lantern lit patio and sat by a fire pit to stay warm after the sun went down.

Day 2 (Saturday)

Ready for another exciting day? Good! Grab some breakfast from Messenger Coffee Company. This place has 3 stories of seating so there are plenty of tables to enjoy your breakfast. They also have a huge selection of pastries and breakfast sandwiches available that are made right behind the coffee counter. The second floor has some more seating and is also where they roast the coffee beans. The third floor has a large rooftop patio and a cozy conference room. After breakfast, take the KC Streetcar (if you don’t want to take the streetcar, make sure you get there early enough to find parking) to the City Market and shop local! There are all kinds of vendors here selling anything you can imagine- fresh flowers, baked goods, art, and so much more. If you are looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth be sure to stop at Betty Rae’s ice cream for a treat! I went with the honey cornbread because where else am I going to find that flavor?

Next up on our agenda is lunch! We had tickets to a Royals baseball game, so we went to Arthur Bryant’s Barbeque for lunch since it was on the way to the stadium. This place was amazing! The food is fairly inexpensive and the portions are GIGANTIC!!! It is sort of deli style, so you order at the counter, they make it in front of you and then you pay at the end. There isn’t much seating available inside, so we got our food wrapped up to go.

The Royals were playing the Blue Jays and unfortunately for the Royals, they lost. The stadium was nice and since they had a lot of seating closed off due to COVID, we had a lot of space to ourselves!

After the game, make your way over to J. Reiger Co for a cocktail, a flight of spirits or both- it’s vacation! You can take a tour of the distillery and learn about the distilling process or just head up to the monogram lounge to try some of their food or drink. Make sure you take the slide down when you leave!

Lastly, we made our way back to our hotel, dropped off the car again, and walked over to a little bookstore called Afterword Tavern and Shelves. Not only is it a cozy bookstore and reading space but it’s also a bar with book themed cocktails! Another great day in KC!

Day 3 (Sunday)

When you are ready to start your day, head on over to The Roasterie for some caffeine. If Coffee isn’t your thing, they have hot chocolate too, which Paul tells me, is also very good. If you wanted to learn more about coffee and the roasting process, they offer 45 minute tours of their factory. There is a lot of free street parking around here and a large lot across the street available too.

Next up is the National WW1 Museum and Memorial. The museum includes artifacts and information about all of the war- from the first shots fired in 1914 through the end in 1919. I learned so much more from this museum than I did during history class in school. If you like history or are just curious about the war and want to know more, be sure to check this place out.

Across the street from the museum, you will see Union Station. There is so much to do here- arcade games, escape rooms, dining , history, and even a model train museum! Paul loves trains (which is part of the reason he wanted to go to Kansas City in the first place) so of course we had to stop and see the model trains. It is free to visit with a suggested donation of $5 a person.

Since we drove to Kansas City and had a long home drive staring us in the face, we decided to start making our way out of town, but not without stopping at one more place for BBQ! We went to Gates Bar-B-Q which is another cafeteria style place with amazing food. After lunch we had to go back to the Kauffman Memorial Gardens one last time to get some more garden pictures and walk around a little so we don’t fall asleep on the drive home with bellies full of BBQ.

So long Kansas City! It’s been fun. We can’t wait to come visit again soon!

What we wish I knew before we went

Driving is the best way to get around the city because it is very spread out, however, the roads feel a bit like a race track in some places. Speed limits are FAST and roads are winding. Make sure you know where you need to go so you don’t miss your turn and end up on the dreaded trafficway!

Sales tax is 11.6%!!! Make sure you keep that in mind when you are doing your vacation budgeting!

There are a lot of free things to do and just because it says free, doesn’t mean it isn’t unique or worth a stop. A few of the places we visited were not even planned. We just thought they looked interesting as we walked or drove by and those ended up as some of our favorite parts of the whole trip.