If you really want to irritate a resident of Kansas City, tell them how much you are enjoying your visit to KANSAS. Because most people who live in this area are friendly and polite, your life will not be in jeopardy, and you will be gently informed that they are not in Kansas, but in Missouri. That's right, Missouri. If you land at the airport, you are in Missouri, not Kansas. If you are downtown, or at the Truman Sports Complex, or the zoo, or the Plaza, or Westport, or Crown Center, or the Union Station, you are in Missouri.
There is also a Kansas City, Kansas. Look at the accompanying map from Mapquest.com. There is the Kansas City Metropolitan Area with a blue line (the state line) running through it. On the left of the blue line is the state of Kansas, and on the right is the state of Missouri. Observe that the blue line starts curving from the center of the map to the upper left corner. That is where the states are separated by the MISSOURI River. There is also a Kansas River, sometimes called by its Indian name the Kaw River, which flows into the Missouri River at Kansas City, originally known as Kaw's Mouth. Got it?
Is it that difficult to understand? Well, millions of people don't seem to. Duh!
A brief geography review is a good tip for anybody preparing to visit Kansas City, Missouri, or was it Kansas?* ;-)
If you're going to be in the KC area for awhile, or live here wanting to get to know the surrounding areas a little better, be sure to look over my pages about neighboring towns, but also pick up a copy of Shifra Stein's "Day Trips from Kansas City - Getaways Less than Two Hours Away."
Stein has been writing about destinations around KC for quite a few years, and she has compiled an excellent list of fun-to-read recommendations. Choices range from the curious and whimsical to historical to places of natural beauty. Includes great tips for inexpensive to moderately priced eating that allow you to find some great local spots without breaking the bank.
I found the book at Border's in Overland Park, Kansas, but available lots of places. Or you could check out the publishers web site if you're not in the area: www.globe-pequot.com