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If one place could illustrate the heartbeat of Kansas City, it would be the Plaza. Known as the first outdoor mall in the world, the outdoor district is peppered with 180 shops, 38 restaurants, numerous hotels and several entertainment venues. The Plaza abounds with activity almost around the clock. Spanish Colonial architecture and fine art, combined with the many fountains for which Kansas City is known, create an atmosphere unparalleled anywhere else in the city. During the holidays, the district glows with the twinkle of millions of Christmas lights
Pottery Barn and all the other Usual Suspects: The Country Club Plaza
The Country Club Plaza has the kind of shops that the aspirational middle class yearns for, and places them all in an environment that is made up of equal parts kitsch and good taste. Parking is free, and most of the lots are interesting to look at. Just don't expect form to follow function here!
The Plaza is located on about 45th street. It is a cluster of high end shops, with such names as Saks-5th Avenue and Neiman Marcus, as well as several specialty shops. Hallmark cards has their own department store there as well, named Halls. Most of the Plaza is a pedestrian area, with parking garages for the car. There are several different high end restaurants as well, such as The Melting Pot and The Cheesecake Factory (one of my favorites!) You will also see many different fountains, for which Kansas City is also known for being the "City of Fountains". During Christmas, then entire place is lit up with lights, making quite a spectacular site. Many hotels, such as Marriott and Embassy Suites, are also located nearby. So, if you have the money, this would be the place to shop!
What to pay: With the many specialty shops, anchored with Saks and Neiman Marcus, the price is on the high end
Country Club Plaza: Shop or just wander around
If you visit Kansas City you owe it to yourself to spend an afternoon or better yet and evening at the Country Club Plaza. I walk through the Plaza every day on my way to work I every day I notice some new detail I hadn't seen before. It could be a small statue in a hidden nook, or a tile mosaic along the second floor of a building, but every visit is rewarded with one of these jewels of detail that abound.
What to buy: If you decide to wander in to the Barnes & Noble bookstore, look for me!
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Kansas City Travel Guide
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