When a $25,000 buy-in poker tournament—the biggest high-stakes poker game in Missouri history—was held in 2010, there was no better venue than Harrah’s North Kansas City, a casino hotel overlooking the Missouri River just north of downtown. With a 15-table second-floor poker room, 1,600 slot machines, video keno, and table games ranging from roulette to blackjack, Harrah’s North Kansas City has emerged as one of the Midwest’s best gaming centers. And cozy luxury rooms in the hotel’s original Atlantic City tower offer a comfortable place to stay close to the action.
In between visits to the gaming floor, you can savor fine dining at one of six onsite restaurants. Slow-roasted prime rib and fresh seafood are the main options at The Range Steakhouse, whereas the 810 Zone sports bar cooks classic pre-game dishes, including buffalo wings and barbecue burgers. After dark, the VooDoo Lounge comes alive with music acts and dance parties in a sleek space lit by purple fluorescent lights.
Kansas City, Missouri: Barbecue, Jazz, and Nightlife
In Kansas City, the ratio of fountains to barbecue joints is roughly 2:1—that’s more than 200 public fountains and more than 100 restaurants serving the city’s signature slow-smoked meat. Though Kansas City is known for its aquatic architecture and barbecue, it has also evolved into one of the nation’s artistic hubs. Here you’ll find a world-class art museum, a legendary history of jazz and blues, and a brand-new performing-arts center for opera, theater, and music. Add a die-hard sports community and a downtown Forbes named one of America’s best, and the at-times overlooked Kansas City has all the makings of a memorable getaway: Midwestern charm, culture, and an endless supply of sauce-slathered ribs.
Though the storied jazz scene continues to thrive in numerous clubs around 18th and Vine, it’s the burgeoning Power & Light District that draws a fashionable late-night crowd. This nine-block neighborhood in the middle of downtown is home to more than 50 shops, restaurants, and bars. While the weather is still warm, head to the open-air rooftop lounges at Elements and The Jones for a drink under the moonlight.