Kansas City Quotes (That Will Make You Want to Visit Right Now)

Kansas City Skyline from Liberty Memorial

From sports and entertainment to the arts and its world-famous barbeque, these quotes about Kansas City will make you want to visit right now. Come explore Kansas City and see why this cowtown is sexier than you might think!

In Travels with Charley, John Steinbeck expressed how smitten he was by Montana as he drove through Big Sky Country on his epic road trip. In his GMC pickup truck, named Rocinante, with his 10-year-old French poodle, Charley, riding shotgun, the Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winning author pronounced:

“I’m in love with Montana. For other states I have admiration, respect, recognition, even some affection. But with Montana it is love.”

In early summer, there’s no place I’d rather be than Montana. The warming sun melts snow into cascading waterfalls that feed running rivers. Lush green meadows of tall grass and native wildflowers attract antelope, elk, and bison. I cherish the week I get to spend each summer in the Treasure State.

But this past visit, as I observed Steinbeck’s famous quote on everything from t-shirts to bumper stickers, I realized that my hometown of Kansas City is pretty cool, too.

The JC Nichols Fountain in Kansas City

With more fountains than Rome, more boulevards than Paris, and two million of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet, this cowtown has definitely morphed from a dot on a map in a “flyover state” to an intentional destination with plenty to do, see, taste, and experience. To help showcase this saucy BBQ Capital of the World, here are quotes about Kansas City that will inspire your visit.

Have You Visited Kansas City?

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18th & Vine, Kansas City's Jazz District

Two jazz players with a Count Basie quote about Kansas City

“When I was young in Kansas City, I knew nothing about Frank Sinatra, Billy Eckstine, Ella Fitzgerald, all of those concert halls, all of those countries.”
— Count Basie

Moving to Kansas City and joining Bennie Moten’s band was an important milestone in Count Basie’s career. It provided the foundation he needed to start the Count Basie Orchestra six years later, a group he led for nearly 50 years. Learn more about Count Basie and other Kansas City jazz legends by visiting 18th and Vine. Known as Kansas City’s Jazz District, this historic neighborhood just east of downtown is home to the American Jazz Museum.

Jazz Legend BB King playing guitar and sharing quote about Kansas City

“Whenever I’m in Kansas City, I think back to all the jazz-blues greats who played the blues here — like Count Basie, Charlie Parker and Jay McShann.”
— B. B. King

Kansas City is Home to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Born and raised in poverty in Dallas, Ernie Banks began his professional baseball career in 1950 with the Kansas City Monarchs. Between 1937 and 1962, it was apparently acceptable to segregate everything from drinking fountains to professional sports. So the Kansas City Monarchs and the other teams in the Negro American League offered professional baseball opportunities for African Americans.

“Playing for the Kansas City Monarchs was like my school, my learning, my world. It was my whole life.”
— Ernie Banks

Sharing a building with the American Jazz Museum, the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Negro league baseball in America. Because the Kansas City Monarchs were the most successful franchise in the league, with Hall of Famers like Satchel Paige and Jackie Robinson, it makes sense that the museum would be located in Kansas City.

“Go down to 18th and Vine just to see a bit of Kansas City history.”
— Buck O’Neil

Kansas City, the Barbeque Capital of the World

Kansas City Quote about Arthur Bryants Barbeque

“It has long been acknowledged that the single best restaurant in the world is Arthur Bryant’s barbeque at Eighteenth and Brooklyn in Kansas City.”
— Calvin Trillin

Kansas City’s legendary barbeque got its start with Henry Perry, the father of Kansas City barbeque. After first selling smoked meats to workers in Kansas City’s Garment District, Perry moved to the 18th & Vine neighborhood. Enter brothers Charlie and Arthur Bryant. They worked in Perry’s restaurant, rising as owners when Perry died in 1940. When it was time for Arthur to take the reins, he moved the restaurant to its current location. So, if you plan to explore Kansas City’s Jazz District, don’t miss the chance to try the Kansas City barbeque good enough for three presidents, Truman, Carter, and Obama.

“I am not a huge fan of North Carolina barbecue. I like Memphis style barbecue and Kansas City.”
— Dale Earnhardt Jr.

“The people who say ‘you are what you eat’ have always seemed addled to me. In my opinion, you are what you think, and if you don’t think you can eat all the meat in Kansas City and still be nothing but a vegetable.”
— Russell Baker

Truman Sports Complex, Home to the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals

Home of the Super Bowl LIV champion Kansas City Chiefs, you can bet there are plenty of Kansas City Chiefs quotes that show the pride across the Chiefs Kingdom.

David Cook Quote About the Kansas City Chiefs

“You can’t live in Kansas City and not like the Chiefs. To go catch a game at Arrowhead is a pretty great experience. I haven’t had the chance to go to games anywhere else, but, from what I’m told, I don’t really need to.”
— David Cook

Raised in the Kansas City suburb of Blue Springs, David Cook grew up just 20 minutes east of Kansas City’s Arrowhead Stadium. Located in the Truman Sports Complex, Arrowhead is the 6th largest NFL stadium. So if you visit Kansas City between August and December, try to catch a game and cheer on the Kansas City Chiefs! If your trip to Kansas City doesn’t coincide with the Chiefs’ home schedule, then consider a stadium tour or another event at Arrowhead.

Adam Vinatieri Quote About Playing at the Chiefs Stadium in Kansas City

“Kansas City might be the loudest stadium that I’ve played in.”
— Adam Vinatieri

But if you go, consider taking a pair of earplugs. In September 2014, Kansas City set a Guinness World Record for the loudest crowd roar at a stadium. Reaching 142.2 decibels, Arrowhead Stadium was temporarily louder than the deck of an aircraft carrier or a jackhammer. But even better, the Kansas City Chiefs beat the New England Patriots 41-14 that day. And beyond Boston, most Americans are happy to see the Patriots lose from time to time!

“When you’re in Kansas City and it’s game day, there is nothing going on but game day.”
— Harris Faulkner

“I like being in Kansas City. People are extremely nice, extremely passionate about the Chiefs.”
— Patrick Mahomes

Just across the parking lot from the red and gold of Arrowhead Stadium, Kauffman Stadium (AKA The “K”) has been the home of the Kansas City Royals for 45 years. After winning the World Series in 1985 and more recently in 2015, the hometown baseball team is currently having a less than stellar season. But Kansas City is Forever Royal, and a losing season doesn’t dampen the love the locals have for the Boys in Blue.

“There’s nothing like Opening Day. There’s nothing like the start of a new season.”
— George Brett

Fun Fact:  The Kansas City Royals are named in honor of the American Royal. Held annually in October and November, the American Royal is a livestock show, horse show, rodeo, and barbeque competition.

CC Sabathia Quote About Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City

“I like Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City. With the waterfall and things like that, I think it’s pretty cool.”
— CC Sabathia

Kansas City's Arts District

Katherine McNamara Quote About Kansas City Theater Community

“I feel so fortunate to have grown up in a town like Kansas City that has such a vibrant theater community.”
— Katherine McNamara

Centered in the Crossroads, the Arts District anchored at 19th and Baltimore, Kansas City’s vibrant art scene includes galleries, boutiques, museums, ballet, opera, theatre, and more. Beyond the Crossroads, check out one of the free art museums like the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, with its oversized shuttlecocks scattered on the lawn, or the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, where a giant spider guards the entrance.

Shuttlecock at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City

One of my favorite ways to explore Kansas City’s Crossroads is through this Kansas City scavenger hunt that begins at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center and explores the arts district or this one that begins at the Nelson-Atkins and includes the Country Club Plaza.

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“The first professional training I received of any kind was when I was 14-years-old. I attended the Kansas City Art Institute for one summer.”
— Marc Davis

Be serenaded by the Kansas City Symphony, entertained by the Lyric Opera, or celebrate the Christmas season with a performance of the Nutcracker with the Kansas City Ballet at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the world-famous architect behind the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art and the Salt Lake City Public Library, the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts was added to the Kansas City skyline at the end of 2011. The dramatic, concrete and glass, clamshell-shaped building was literally sketched on a napkin by the architect over dinner.

“I think you need to…understand the essence of a place and create a building that feels like it resonates with the culture of a place. So my buildings in India or in Kansas City or in Arkansas or in Singapore, they come out different because the places are so different.”
— Moshe Safdie

For a more festive arts experience in Kansas City, check out First Fridays. On the first Friday of every month, 12 months a year, the streets of the Crossroads are filled with artists of every kind, from painters to performers. In September, visit Kansas City for the annual Plaza Art Fair. Nine blocks of the Country Club Plaza are blocked from motorized traffic so that painters, potters, photographers, and other artists can display their art. Incorporated into the experience are food and drink stands and live music.

“Born in Kansas City, Missouri, and knowing nothing about Picasso, I had the audacity to knock on his door, became his friend, and took thousands of photographs.”
— David Douglas Duncan

Kansas City, the Silicon Prairie

One of the Midwestern cities that proudly bears the nickname “Silicon Prairie,” Kansas City is increasingly attractive to entrepreneurs, startups, and established tech companies. With affordable housing and commercial leases, a central location to the rest of the nation, and essentially no traffic, it’s easy to see why Kansas City is a welcome change from Silicon Valley and higher-cost cities. When it comes to being up-to-date in the digital world, Kansas City was a first. In March 2011, Kansas City was selected from over 1,100 applicants to be the first Google Fiber community. So if you come to visit, consider staying and leading your digital nomad life on the Silicon Prairie.  
Brad Feld Quote About Google Fiber in Kansas City
Sharice Davids Quote About Kansas City

“I think Kansas City has one of the strongest entrepreneurial ecosystems in the country.”
— Sharice Davids

Quotes About Kansas City Entertainment

Walt Disney Quote About Electric Park in Kansas City

When he was nine, Walt Disney moved to Kansas City with his family in 1911. Through drawing books checked out from the Kansas City Public Library and Saturday classes at the Kansas City Art Institute, the young artist got his start. But it was another Kansas City attraction that inspired Disneyland. Just 15 blocks from the Disney home at 3028 Bellefontaine Street, Electric Park offered rides, concerts, a train that circled the park, and daily fireworks at closing time. Unfortunately, Electric Park closed in 1925, in part the result of a devastating fire that burned much of the attraction to the ground.

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Visitors to Kansas City today can enjoy Worlds of Fun, a 235-acre amusement park offering thrill rides, family rides, a water park, and more. If you visit Kansas City in the fall, don’t miss Halloween Haunt. And if you visit Kansas City during the holidays, don’t miss WinterFest!

Quote from Paul Rudd About Big Slick

“We do this weekend benefit for Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City.”
— Paul Rudd

For an entertaining weekend with a purpose, visit Kansas City for the annual Big Slick fundraiser supporting Children’s Mercy Hospital. Founded in 2011, native sons Paul Rudd, Eric Stonestreet, and Jason Sudeikis help host the event that attracts stars from around the country to Kansas City for celebrity tournaments, a live auction, and more.

Eric Stonestreet Quote About Growing Up in Kansas City

“I’m a regular dude from Kansas who grew up with pigs and cows.”
— Eric Stonestreet


Kansas City is an Awesome Town

“I love everything about Kansas City.”
— Billy Butler

Gillian Flynn Quote About Kansas City

“Kansas City is truly an awesome town.”
— Gillian Flynn

Yes, it is, Gillian. Yes, it is!

What Kansas City Quotes Do You Like Best?

What quotes about Kansas City resonate most with you? Have you visited Kansas City? Are you inspired to add it to your travel bucket list? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Kansas City straddles the states of Missouri and Kansas


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21 thoughts on “Kansas City Quotes (That Will Make You Want to Visit Right Now)”

  1. I keep hearing about how great the BBQ is in Kansas City. Then, I came across this article. I may have to make a trip! I really enjoy history too. It seems like there is a lot of that there. Thanks for the great qutoes.

  2. I don’t know much about Kansas City but feel like I do a little bit more now . This is a very interesting way of learning about a city. I had no idea Paul Rudd was from Kansas City!

  3. Rudy @ Backpack & Snorkel

    I have visited KC twice for a total of 4 days and we got to see most of what I wanted to see. For someone who is interested in the Pony Express (like me), I can only recommend the Pony Express Museum north of the city in St. Joseph.
    And, of course, eating Kansas City BBQ is a must.

  4. I actually never thought of visiting Kansas City but after reading the words of all those wise people – yours included 😉 – I think I should change my plans. It’s also interesting how many of the quotes are about food….

    1. Most people — both in the US and abroad — have a stereotypical impression of Kansas City that is quickly squashed when they visit.

  5. There looks to be a lot of exciting history in Kansas City! It’s always refreshing to try to look at our hometowns from a visitor’s point of view and remember all the things that make them unique, despite how long we’ve lived there.

  6. This was a really creative approach to showcase KC. The quotes add a really personal element to each of these places.

  7. I enjoyed all these quotes and the history they share. But my fav quote is actually part of the Arthur Bryant’s BBQ IG post: “This is how we eat our veggies!” ?

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