Whether you like to plan your trip down to the minute or prefer to see where the day takes you, travel itineraries can help give you a list of can’t-miss restaurants, entertainment and points of interest. We’ve compiled a few Overland Park travel itineraries to help jumpstart your trip planning. Simply pick a trip theme (or several!) that fits your interests and we’ll take care of the rest. Ready to explore?
Overland Park and nearby Kansas City are full of fascinating history. The Overland Park Historical Society is an ideal starting point. Located inside the Strang Carriage House, the OPHS works tirelessly to identify and preserve Overland Park history. A new exhibit space opened in June in the Johnson County Arts and Heritage Center, located in the former King Louie building, an Overland Park architectural icon. Here, you can browse a sizable collection of historic photos, artifacts and documents that trace Overland Park history from the late 1800s on. The newly renovated space is also home to the Johnson County Museum, where you can explore the history and heritage of the larger Johnson County community.
The Rio Theatre is a beloved landmark in downtown Overland Park. The carefully restored theatre dates back to 1946, when the price of movie tickets was only 20 cents! Today, the theater shows foreign and independent films in a single-screen theater located inside the Art Deco building that retains several original features, including the peach tile and entry structure.
Make the short drive to Kansas City for more historical attractions. Liberty Memorial serves as a towering tribute to World War I, along with the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial, which opened in 2006. The internationally renowned museum gives visitors a comprehensive history of the First World War. The museum entrance is especially captivating: visitors cross the Paul Sunderland Glass Bridge, suspended over a symbolic poppy field that stands in memory of the 9 million people who died as a direct result of the war.
From there, take a short walk to Union Station, a beloved Kansas City landmark that opened in 1914 as a train station. The Grand Hall is an architectural marvel—a soaring 95-foot-high ceiling is accented by three 3,500-pound chandeliers and a six-foot wide clock. Passenger trains continue to operate out of Union Station, so keep it in mind if you’d prefer to travel to Kansas City and Overland Park by rail. And if you need a bite to eat while you’re there, stop at Harvey’s at Union Station, an open-air restaurant located in the heart of Union Station’s Grand Hall.
In neighboring Kansas City, Kan., Huron Indian Cemetery winds through a small bluff in the heart of downtown. The cemetery is the resting place of nearly 100 members of the Wyandot Nation, who died while being moved from Ohio to Kansas. Huron Indian Cemetery also includes the burial ground of the Conley family, nicknamed Fort Conley. In 1909, Eliza (Lyda) Burton Conley became the first Native American woman to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court as she fought to prevent the sale of the cemetery.
Feeling thirsty? Reflect on your newfound knowledge at Tom’s Town Distilling Co., downtown Kansas City’s first legal distillery since Prohibition. Take a distillery tour and learn more about how Tom’s Town’s spirits are crafted, or simply kick back in the plush, Art Deco-inspired interior and raise a glass to the memory of one of Kansas City’s most infamous figures: Boss Tom Pendergast.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and that’s especially true when you have a fun-filled day ahead! Gather the group and head to Le Peep for a delicious all-day breakfast menu and full espresso bar.
Next, head to Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead and experience life on a turn-of-the-century farm. Feed the animals (including baby goats!), go fishing and tour replicas of frontier farm life staples, including a one-room schoolhouse, dairy barn, a demonstration blacksmith shop and a mining camp. Swing into Vic’s General Store for souvenirs, including old-fashioned wooden toys and candy, then stop next door at Alex & Emily’s Ice Cream Parlor for a hand-dipped sweet treat.
Ready to head inside? Catch a movie at Cinetopia Overland Park 18, which features an incredible 4-story digital super HD theater, complete with immersive surround sound. Other theater styles, including a parlor or living room, make for comfortable, cozy places to enjoy the latest blockbuster. Upstairs, grab a bite at Vinotopia, which offers a family-friendly menu complete with appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches and entrees.
The Museum at Prairiefire immerses visitors in the world of history and science. Before you go inside, stop for a photo opp in front of the museum, designed to capture the energy and intensity of a Kansas prairie fire. It’s the only building in the U.S. to feature NASA-developed Dichroic Glass, which changes color throughout the day. Inside, give the kids time to explore in the Discovery Room, a hands-on learning environment where they can reconstruct a dinosaur skeleton, wear masks from various cultures and time periods and, if they’re feeling extra-brave, hold a hissing cockroach!
Speaking of brave—how does indoor skydiving sound? iFly Kansas City offers indoor skydiving for ages 3 and up. After a brief instruction period, you’ll suit up and soar inside a two-story wind tunnel.
Nearby Kansas City offers more family-friendly attractions. The Kansas City Zoo features KidZone, where kids can get a close look at a variety of animals like lorikeets and sea lions. Amusement park Worlds of Fun includes Planet Snoopy, a children’s area complete with rides like Lucy’s Tugboat, Cosmic Coaster and Woodstock Gliders. In downtown Kansas City, head to Crown Center and take your pick of family-friendly attractions, including LEGOLAND Discovery Center, SeaLife Aquarium, the Crayola Café, and Hallmark Kaleidoscope, an interactive creative space where kids and their families can make art with materials left over from Hallmark’s manufacturing processes. Historic Union Station is a short stroll away, including the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, Regnier Extreme Screen IMAX Theatre, Science City and the H&R Block City Stage, which hosts live theater performances for kids of all ages.
Inside the sleek limestone-clad exterior of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art is an internationally acclaimed collection of emerging and established artists. Stroll through the museum’s two levels and you’ll visit 11 galleries that house temporary exhibits and the museum’s permanent collection, which includes clay, new media, photography and sculpture, among other mediums. Fuel up for more art appreciation at the museum’s Café Tempo, which serves breakfast and lunch. And if you love live theater, check the Johnson County Community College Performing Arts Series schedule and make a day of it on the beautiful campus.
The Monet Garden at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a breathtaking retreat designed to replicate Monet’s idyllic space in Giverny, France. You can even marvel at a bridge that arches gently over the garden’s pond and fauna, painted in Monet’s signature green. Bring a sketchbook and see what sort of masterpiece you’re inspired to create. The Arboretum and Botanical Gardens also houses a permanent sculpture collection, with pieces located throughout the grounds.
Public art installations are located throughout Overland Park, so make an expedition of it and explore pieces like Blackbird by Larry Young, located at Overland Park City Hall; Soaring, created by Dennis Smith and located at Roe Park; Laurence Field’s Hybrid Circle at City Place; Remembering by Charles Goslin at the Korean War Veterans Memorial; and the 9/11 Memorial, among others.
In addition to public art, Overland Park also offers a number of galleries in downtown Overland Park and elsewhere. One must-see stop is The Epsten Gallery, located in the Village Shalom continuum care facility. The gallery showcases exhibits that celebrate humanity through art, as well as outreach programs to build awareness of art therapy-based activities.
Art-themed points of interest in nearby Kansas City include the renowned Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, the American Jazz Museum, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, the Kansas City Museum and the Strawberry Hill Museum and Cultural Center. For the best time to see downtown Kansas City’s numerous art galleries, plan your visit to coincide with First Fridays, a gallery crawl through downtown’s Crossroads Arts District that’s held year-round on the first Friday of the month.
Start your food-themed adventure with a delicious breakfast. Craving donuts? Head to Daylight Donuts in downtown Overland Park (the earlier, the better!) Can’t decide between sweet and savory? McClain’s Market offers tasty breakfast sandwiches and other items, as well as one of the most tempting assortments of pastries and baked goods in the Kansas City area.
If your donut run falls on a Saturday morning, head over to the Overland Park Farmers Market and browse produce, meat, wine, baked goods and more from more than 80 quality vendors. Enjoy live music while you browse and keep an eye out for cooking demonstrations.
From there, stop in at sister-owned The Upper Crust Pie Bakery for a slice or a whole pie, followed by a visit to Penzeys Spices, the perfect (and delightfully aromatic) place to stock up on spices, herbs, seasoning blends, sauces and more. By now, you’re probably feeling thirsty, so pull up a stool at the Aubrey Vineyards tasting room and sample wines handcrafted in southern Overland Park.
Time for dinner? Take your taste buds on a global tour—no passport required! A few Overland Park favorites include Korma Sutra (Indian), The Basha (Mediterranean), ChoSun Korean BBQ, El Porton Café (South American), Elsa’s (Ethiopian), Hot Basil (Thai), Frida’s (Mexican) or Porto do Sul (Brazilian).
Other nearby notable dining experiences include Renee Kelly’s Harvest, a farm-to-table restaurant located inside a castle in Shawnee, Kan.; La Bodega, which serves authentic Spanish tapas in Leawood, Kan.; and Rye, a James Beard award-winning Leawood restaurant that offers what many call the best fried chicken in Kansas City. And who can forget barbecue, Kansas City’s unofficial cuisine? Try Joe’s KC or Fiorella’s Jack Stack, widely considered two staples of KC’s barbecue scene.
Keep the food-oriented fun going with a cooking class at the Culinary Center of Kansas City or a food-themed walking tour with Taste of Kansas City food tours. The coffee and craft beer industries are both experiencing explosive growth in Kansas City, so try a locally owned coffee shop like Revocup Coffee Roasters, Maps Coffee Roasters (roasted in the back of Velo+, a Lenexa, Kan. bike shop), Thou Mayest, Quay Coffee or The Roasterie. Beer drinkers will find no shortage of breweries to explore, including Boulevard Brewing Company, Brew Lab, Cinder Block Brewery, Kansas City Bier Company and Torn Label Brewing Company. Cheers!
Sometimes you need to gather your besties and take off for a few days of shopping, dining and pampering. Forget about setting the alarm and instead start the day with Saturday or Sunday brunch at Louie’s Wine Dive, complete with a mouthwatering menu and “almost never-ending” carafes of mimosas.
Keep the indulgence going at Milagro Midwestern Spa and Collective, a full-service spa that offers massage and skin treatments. Did we mention that for an additional $5, you can add a slice of pie from downtown Overland Park’s The Upper Crust pie shop?
Next stop—Prairiefire’s French Tip Nail Salon for manicures and/or pedicures. Then, shop ‘til you drop at fashion-forward boutiques like Adorn, Anaphora, POST/EDIT, threshing bee and Tomboy. Stop into Primp and Blow, a blow dry bar, and get ready for a night on the town.
Prairiefire offers several tempting dinner options, including the delightfully vibrant Coco Bolos or seafood-centric Newport Grill. Other nearby must-try restaurants include Tavern at Mission Farms, Rye or Room 39, all at Mission Farms; gastropub Pig & Finch in Leawood’s Park Place; or Urban Table, a sleek eatery in the heart of Prairie Village.
Head to One Block South for post-dinner drinks and dancing. Choose from four bars that are connected—the better to start an impromptu bar crawl! Or visit downtown Kansas City’s nightlife and entertainment epicenter, the Power & Light District, a walkable, 8-block neighborhood that’s home to more than 50 bars, restaurants, shops and entertainment venues. Don’t leave without a stop in KC Live, a two-level entertainment plaza that also features an outdoor stage and plenty of room for dancing!