Day Trip Destinations
Whether you're staying in Overland Park for a week, or just traveling through, try one of these themed activities to make the most of your trip. There's plenty to see and do in Overland Park and our neighboring towns to the North, South, East and West. Please take a moment to look over what we consider to be the best some of the day trip destinations for our region. There's something for every age, every interest and every budget.
Kansas City Beer Scene
One of the best kept secrets about the Kansas City area is that it is a food and drink loverâ€™s paradise. The beer scene in the area is especially rich and diverse, with more recent roots going back to the founding of Boulevard Brewing Company in 1988 and further back to the many pre-Prohibition breweries that called Kansas City home. Today, there are plenty of places to quench your thirst and be a part of Kansas City's beer scene.Freedoms Frontier
The story of the enduring struggle for freedom that exists in Freedomâ€™s Frontier National Heritage Area is the story of the struggle for freedom in the nation. From escaping slavery to fighting for equal rights, Missouri and Kansas have been a testing ground for debates concerning rights, freedom, and their meaning in American democracy.Recipe for a Food Mecca Explore the Underground Railroad on the Western Frontier Natural Areas Never Far Away Transportation
Welcome to Kansas City, I hope you enjoy your time here. As you visit the metro area today, it is hard to imagine that this was once a tiny settlement on the edge of the frontier. The area first started to grow as settlers began moving to the West in the 1800s and has continued to thrive as a result of our central location and ease of access to all forms of transportation. So whether youâ€™re interested in frontier trails and the â€śOld West,â€ť railroads or even air travel, youâ€™ll discover many unique attractions here that educate and entertain.Festivals
The word â€śfestivalâ€ś is defined as a time or day of feasting or celebration; a celebration, entertainment, or series of performances of a certain kind, often held periodically; or merrymaking; festivity. No matter how you define the word â€śfestivalâ€ť it sounds like a lot of fun! If youâ€™re visiting Overland Park for one day or several, thereâ€™s a good chance that thereâ€™s a FESTIVAL somewhere in the surrounding area. Here are a few opportunities to amuse, entertain and enlighten you!2011 Freedoms Frontier
Travelers to the region can experience the distinctive history, culture and landscape that tell the stories of the quest for freedoms â€“ both national and individual. On the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Civil War, visitors to Overland Park donâ€™t have to head east to Virginia or Tennessee to understand the War. Extraordinary events occurred right here that forever changed America. In the 1850s, the nation turned its eyes to the Missouri/Kansas border, where people with diverse definitions of freedom collided, inciting and fueling the Civil War. Established in 2006, Freedomâ€™s Frontier National Heritage Area is a 31,000 square mile region in eastern Kansas and western Missouri that focuses on telling the areaâ€™s stories of the pursuit for freedom. Extraordinary events that forever changed America belong to the Freedomâ€™s Frontier story. This story continues to evolve, to define and influence who we are today, in the region and as a nation. Our landscape is dotted with places that capture the pivotal role this area played in the development of the nation.Kansas 150
On January 29, 1861, Kansas became the 34th state in the Union. The Daily Conservative, a Leavenworth newspaper that had been in operation only one day, became the first to announce the news by publishing a special edition. According to the editor, â€śthe news flew like wild-fire.â€ť In 2011, Kansas will celebrate 150 years of statehood with its rich history and unique experiences. Festivals, concerts, theatrical performances, quilt shows and more will take place across Kansas as Kansans recognize this 150th year of statehood. Donâ€™t get left out. Be part of the commemorating 150 years of Kansas statehood!Culinary
You know Kansas Cityâ€™s got barbecue. But do you know that one of the nationâ€™s best chefs serves up comfort food at comfortable prices at a Brookside neighborhood restaurant called Julian? Or that its Southwest Boulevard corridor, near downtown Kansas City boasts, a string of popular Mexican restaurants and that you can find Italian and Chinese cuisine worth finding? Food has always been big in Kansas City with the National Restaurant Association getting its start here decades ago. In recent years, more than 30 places were featured on television food programs such as the Food Network, the Travel Channel and Bravo TV. Following is a sampling of culinary experiences offered in the Kansas City area. Kansas City is also privileged to have two James Beard-award winning chefs â€“ Chef Celina Tio of Julian and Chef Debbie Gold of The American Restaurant. Johnson County Community College, located in Overland Park, Kansas, is nationally-known for its culinary program which attracts students from around the world.Art
The Kansas City metropolitan area is steadily building a national reputation as a city with a strong commitment and support of the arts. Overland Parkâ€™s Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, the Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins Museum and the continuing growth of art districts all across the metro lead to the viable and vibrant art scene that is being recognized around the world. Whether you prefer your art classical, contemporary or somewhere in between, you will find it flourishing in Kansas City. There is something for everyone and best of all, the majority of the art attractions are free. Of course, if one of the following museums does not whet your appetite, there are plenty of other museums and galleries to explore.Botanical Gardens
For the nature lover travelling to Overland Park or the surrounding area, itâ€™s easy to stop and smell the roses when modern day gardens mean more than just a walk in the park. Besides having gorgeous horticultural displays, many of these attractions have educational centers, gift shops, cafes, art exhibits and ideas for your own garden at home.Family Friendly
While Overland Park was named the â€śNumber One Kid-Friendly Cityâ€ť by Zero Population Group in 2001, the entire Kansas City metropolitan area has plenty of wonderful opportunities for children to learn, play and grow through educational attractions, hands-on experiences and family fun. From seasonal attractions like Worlds of Fun and Deanna Rose Childrenâ€™s Farmstead to live theater geared specifically for kids to unique attractions like Kaleidoscope, everyone can find options to engage their children in entertaining family activities.Presidential Sites
As we move through the 44th presidency and into the future of these United States of America, we should not forget those that came before and helped shape the country that we live in today. While visiting Overland Park and the surrounding area, take time to stop at these presidential libraries and museums and other political attractions.Shopping Day Trip
Perhaps Cat Deeley, host of Fox Networkâ€™s So You Think You Can Dance, best summarized the heart of shoppers everywhere when she said, â€śI donâ€™t shop because I need something, I just shop for shoppingâ€™s sake.â€ť Whether youâ€™re looking for something specific, searching for a unique find or just want to browse, Overland Park and the entire Kansas City metro area has plenty to satisfy every taste and budget. So, put on your shopping shoes and let the fun begin!State & National Sites
Staying in a metropolitan area doesnâ€™t mean you have to miss out on experiencing the great outdoors or discovering the places that bring American history alive. The Kansas City metro has intriguing and beautiful attractions, plus Kansas and Missouri offer several additional options within a short drive. From the sweeping and gorgeous grasses that cover the gently rolling landscape of the Flint Hills to modern roads that will lead you back through time, the many state and nationally designated sites in the area will leave you with more ideas than time to discover them all.