Kansas City pit-masters are a bit like wizards: with dashes of sauce and wisps of wood-smoke, they summon barbecue aficionados from across the world. But tourists aren't the only ones who hunger for their savory-sweet brisket, ribs, and burnt ends––locals do, too. Bethanie Schemel, owner of KC Barbecue Tours, gives both locals and travelers insider's access to the rich history––and deep flavor––of the city's smoked-meat scene through bus-guided food tours.
On these tours, groups visit famed barbecue hot-spots. They also make stops at beneath-the-radar barbecue joints. "We do have a couple smaller places on our tour that we tend to keep a secret because they are the hidden gems that not a lot of people know about," owner Bethanie Schemel told KCTV 5 News. Food isn't the only reason for booking a spot on one of KC Barbecue Tours' expeditions—participants also get a peek at behind-the-scenes preparation techniques, and can ask pit-masters for tips on what type of wood chips to use or how to build a xylophone from leftover rib bones.
If your shady parking spot rests beneath bird-filled trees, or someone scrawled carpetbagger into the inch of road salt on your car window, Travel Clean Express Car Wash can give your vehicle its original off-the-lot luster. With today's Groupon, you'll get Travel Clean's ultimate car wash for $5 (a $12 value). Use your Groupon at Travel Clean's locations in Lee's Summit or Overland Park.
PRP Wine International backs up its name by stocking more than 200 different wines from around the globe. A team of vino connoisseurs showcases the shop's international selection during in-home wine tastings and wine-tasting events, held in local hotels, warehouses, and deep-sea bunkers. Personalized wine labels and etched wine glasses and bottles can complement newly discovered wines.
Taking a three-hour lunch break might be frowned upon when you're at the office, but not if you work for Taste of Kansas City Food Tours. The company's tour guides specialize in meals on the move, leading groups to nearby restaurants for samples of their specialties. The stops on the walking tour tend to be locally owned eateries located slightly to the left of the mainstream—though they don't shy away from a famous pizza joint or two.
One route takes guests through Crossroads, and the other explores Westport, but both fill the time between bites with facts about the neighborhood and its history. The tastings on each tour might change from day to day, so surprise is the only common ingredient. One thing you can be sure of, however, is that you'll end the afternoon with a full stomach and a stack of clean plates.
Jingle Bell Drive harnesses more than half a million lights to illuminate its half-mile evening path of enchanting seasonal spectacles. After deactivating headlights, vehicles slowly inch through a light- and cone-lined trail boasting more than 100 new displays, a 150-foot color-changing tunnel, and Christmas trees adorned with thousands of extremely patient fireflies. Throughout each voyage, 96.9 FM spins a plethora of beloved Christmas and wintertime tunes synchronized to the drive-through park's exhibitions. Jingle Bell Drive brightens holiday evenings seven nights a week between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, or until a hibernating Y2K realizes it forgot to set its alarm.
Kansas City Executive Transportation understands the journey is just as important as the final destination. Licensed, insured, and bonded, its professional chauffeurs ferry passengers about town in luxury cars and SUVs, each designed for both comfort and style. Larger vehicles, such as party buses and shuttles, are perfectly suited for a night out clubbing or a bachelor or bachelorette party—each equipped with two LCD TVs, a booming sound system, and mood lighting to help get the party started pre-arrival. For shorter jaunts, Cadillacs and luxury Town Cars frequently whisk travelers to the airport, conventions, and business meetings, but can also lend an elegant touch to romantic date nights or morning paper routes.