Nerman Musuem of Contemporary Art
It’s a new year, and we’re all overdue for new discoveries. And no, not just a new series or two to binge during the next snowstorm. While it might be tempting to curl up and hibernate over the winter, Overland Park has more to explore than you may realize. Throughout the past year, we’ve been promoting Overland Park as “48,000 Acres of Fun” to visitors from near and far. If you can’t quite grasp the grandiose of 48,000 acres, picture this: the state’s second-largest city stretches from North Overland Park Hills at 47th Street near Interstate 635 all the way down south beyond 199th Street, spanning 20 miles north to south. Reaching as far west as Lackman Road and to the east, the Missouri state line, there’s more to Overland Park than meets the eye.
We know most OP itineraries already include the unique shops, attractions, and restaurants. We’re hoping this quick tour of our city’s boundaries inspires you to explore the outskirts and discover new destinations.
Even if you’re very familiar with Overland Park, you may be surprised to hear that the city reaches all the way north to 47th Street. There you’ll find quaint Brown Park off of Hadley Street, just a couple miles due west across the state line from the Country Club Plaza. With picnic tables, a playground, shelter and walking path, it’s on the smaller side of the more than 80 parks in Overland Park, making it a nice quiet spot to unplug when warmer weather welcomes you outdoors.
Just north of 435, where retail and residential blocks intertwine with scenic nature trails to connect neighbors and cross city lines, you’ll find a locally owned brewery that’s as beloved for its stone-fired pizza as their broad selection of craft beers. Martin City Brewing Company at Mission Farms sits along Mission Road, which is often seen as a Prairie Village or Leawood thoroughfare. But as you take a break on Martin City’s patio to enjoy a pint, you’ll be sitting in Overland Park, just a stone’s throw from a trailhead connecting you to the Indian Creek and Tomahawk Creek bike/hike trail systems that span 26 miles. To put that in perspective, you could run an entire marathon without ever leaving the trail. Or … you could order another beer and ponder it a bit more.
In the city’s Southeast corner, near 162nd and Kenneth, you’ll come upon a spot where Overland Park hugs the state line. And how do you know we’re great neighbors to our friends in Missouri? Because nestled there, you’ll find Aubrey Vineyards, the first winery in Overland Park. Featuring more than 15 wines available for tastings or by the glass – and outdoor patio seating with expansive vineyard views – Aubrey Vineyards can give you a quick escape from your busy day. Kids are welcome (they serve Polly’s Pop and bottled water) and you can order charcuterie-style snacks that will be a treat for all ages.
As you approach Overland Park’s southernmost boundaries, you’ll come across a swath of land that’s as awe-inspiring for its beauty as it is for the mission of the nonprofit that calls it home. Located on 78 acres near 199th Street, between Antioch and Highway 69, Heartland Therapeutic Riding provides equine-assisted activities and therapies, illustrating how horses can play a role in helping individuals with varying abilities and diverse needs. In operation since 1978, Heartland serves nearly 100 children and adults each week, offering adaptive riding lessons, interactive vaulting, horsemanship classes and occupational therapy.
Continuing clockwise around Overland Park’s border, where Pflumm Road crosses the Blue River on the western edge of the city, you’ll see another popular trail system stretching eastward out of Heritage Park. The Coffee Creek Trail is a local favorite for walking, running, hiking and cycling, and there’s little elevation change along the 7-mile out-and-back trail that runs parallel to Coffee Creek in a serene forest setting. You can also enter from the eastern trailhead near 169th Street and Switzer Road.
While there are countless other spots we could highlight, we’ll finish our tour of Overland Park’s periphery with a stop at Johnson County Community College. There on the campus at the intersection of College Boulevard and Quivira Road, the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art welcomes more than 100,000 visitors each year to its 11 expansive galleries situated comfortably within the eye-catching Kansas limestone exterior. In 2020, NBC News included the Nerman Museum among its top thought-provoking exhibitions to visit. And the best part? The museum and its exhibitions are free to visit.
However you choose to navigate your visit to Overland Park – sticking to main streets or exploring the outskirts – there are always new neighborhoods, delicious dishes and stunning surprises throughout our 48,000 acres to welcome you throughout the year.
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