The average Kansas City home has appreciated in value by 34% since 2013. That’s no coincidence. Our city is a vibrant, growing metropolitan area with countless neighborhoods that each have their own unique cultures and advantages. Here are a few to check out;
Brookside & Waldo
Originally developed in the 1920s, Brookside is known today for its tree-lined streets, local shops, annual festivals and celebrations, and bungalow homes.
Don’t miss the Brookside Art Annual held every May with artists from around the country, delicious food, drinks and live music. JK loves grabbing a coffee at Kansas City’s own The Roasterie or meeting clients for tacos and a margarita at Brookside Barrio.
Nearby Waldo is a walkable neighborhood filled with a variety of businesses, 60% of which are locally owned. Richelle gets a taste of her favorite St. Louis Style thin crust pizza at Waldo Pizza and highly recommends the Curious George at One More Cup. If ice cream is more your style, Betty Rae’s is famous for its wild collaborations, including their burnt end ice cream!
These two neighborhoods are connected by a popular running and biking trail called the Trolly Trail,which winds through various residential neighborhoods and parks along the Kansas City trolly line, which ended service in 1957.
In close proximity to the Country Club Plaza, Rockhurst University and UMKC, Brookside and Waldo offer traditional single family homes along with a mix of condos, apartments and multi unit homes with the convenience of grocery stores, art galleries, restaurants and shops just around the corner.
Northeast Johnson County
Prairie Village, Fairway, Mission, Westwood, & Roeland Park
Northeast Johnson County includes several townships, cities and villages, which all run close to or directly along State Line Road. The walkable streets of shops and eateries combined with traditionally plotted neighborhoods in this area combines some of the best of city and suburban life.
Each area offers its own individual flair for its residents, from the breweries on the newly developed Johnson Drive in Mission, to the tree lined street and ever popular walk up coffee shop Hi Hat in Westwood, and the locally owned boutiques like Tyler Kingston Mercantile, Made in KC and Dottie’s in Prairie Village. In nearby Fairway local chocolatier Christopher Elbow’s Fairway Creamery offers donuts and ice cream that must be tasted to be believed.
In summer of 2019 phase one opened of the highly anticipated opened Meadowbrook Park, an 80-acre space offering a brand new community center, state of the art playground, pavillions, paved trails, outdoor senior exercise space, three freshly stocked ponds and pickleball courts.
These lands were first settled by immigrants in the mid-1800s, then built into individual neighborhoods throughout the early and mid-1900s, and Northeast Johnson County continues to develop into thriving communities that continue to attract buyers of all ages and backgrounds.
Country Club Plaza
For many, visions of the Spanish architecture and grand fountains are synonymous with “Kansas City.” Opened in 1923 by famed Kansas City developer J.C. Nichols, The Country Club Plaza was built as the first shopping center conveniently accessible by automobile, and while over the years its tenants have changed, it has remained consistently popular for visitors and locals alike. Winter is not always the most seasonable time to visit Kansas City, but The Country Club Plaza keeps tourists coming even in the snow to enjoy the Plaza Lights; a beautiful display that begins with a lighting ceremony on Thanksgiving night that attracts thousands every year.
The Plaza features multiple condo, townhome and apartment buildings with units available for purchase and lease, in addition to single family home options bordering all sides of the shopping center. These properties are some of the earlier houses built in Kansas City, many dating back 100 years or more. Their architecture can vary, but expect to see some ornate wood working, oversized limestone front porches and traditional, three-story Kansas City shirt-waist homes. Loose Park is nearby and provides city-dwellers with a stunning rose garden, long walking trails, ponds, tennis courts, pavillions, playgrounds along with historical plaques outlining its significance during the Civil War. https://www.countryclubplaza.com
Nestled among the limestone bluffs and hills along the Missouri River, Parkville is a neighborhood just a few minutes north of downtown Kansas City that is full of charm and history. Originally settled in 1850, this town is now home to more than 200 businesses, many of which you can explore in Historic Downtown Parkville.
Residents and visitors love to explore boutiques like Sincerely, Ellis, stop and grab a sample of wine at Wines by Jennifer, and enjoy authentic French cuisine at Cafe des Amis. Golfers from all over the area travel to play the award winning National Golf Course, which also host various events for members and guests and has delicious food and drinks for on and off the course! The ambiance of Parkville’s waterfront parks also attract cyclists, joggers and those who love watching a beautiful sunset surrounded by nature. http://parkvillemo.gov
Downtown Kansas City
Thriving and constantly growing, downtown Kansas City has the highest density of jobs of any area of the metro, with more than 120,000 people reporting to work here every day. Consistent re-development of the area over the last fifteen years has sparked a renaissance for downtown that shows no sign of slowing down.
Visit during First Fridays, when the Crossroads District shuts down streets and patrons enjoy food trucks, live music and art galleries open late. Grab a drink after the party at the new Percheron rooftop bar or grab a burger at the legendary Town Topic.
Cars are optional downtown, where the Kansas City Streetcar provides free transportation from Crown Center to River Market. Along the way you can hear live jazz at the Green Lady Lounge, stop for a concert at Sprint Center or the Power & Light District, or do some shopping at the Historic City Market, the largest farmer’s market in town!
With so much happening in the city, it’s no surprise that new condo and apartment buildings are popping up constantly. Nearby Westside and North Kansas City provide city living single home options as well. https://www.downtownkc.org
In 1948, the city of Leawood was developed to provide suburban homes for soldiers and their families following World War II. The Historic Districts I & II of what is referred to as “Old Leawood” features a sculpture entitled “Porch Lights” by former Leawood resident and artist Dennis Reynolds, which symbolizes the porch lights left on for soldiers while away at war. To commemorate, residents are asked to leave their porch lights on every Veteran’s Day.
The Leawood of today is a community of more than 30,000, stretching over approximately 15 square miles, filled with modern amenities like multiple shopping centers and nearby highway access, in addition to the long boulevards lined with trees, multiple public parks and extensive biking trails that run through the city’s forests and along creeks. Locals love the events and concert series held at Park Place, including the ice skating rink open November-February, and can’t miss restaurants throughout the city, like Rye and Gaslight Grill. This city features primarily single family homes, but new villa communities are increasingly popular, along with some condo and townhome opportunities. https://www.leawood.org
In Eastern Jackson County Lee’s Summit, a city of nearly 100,000, provides a suburban oasis for those who want to be close to city amenities - but not too close! Residents of this growing suburb love the quick accessibility to the outdoors, including multiple neighborhoods located on lakes, and publicly accessible Longview Lake which offers pubic shelters, beaches, fishing, boating, campgrounds and a full service marina.
There’s still plenty to entertain those who want to get out and about in a more urban feel. Downtown Lee’s Summit hosts multiple events throughout the year, including Fourth Fridays celebrations every month, Music in the Park, Farmer’s Markets on Wednesdays and Saturdays, a German style Oktoberfest, Christmas Tree Lighting and so much more! Grab brunch at Third Street Social, check out custom furniture and home decor at Cameron’s or grab your favorite brew at Fringe Beerworks. https://cityofls.net
The 2nd largest city in the state of Kansas, Overland Park has grown from a quaint downtown with walkable shops, delicious food and drinks, and a well-known Farmer’s Market to its own metropolis of museums, shopping centers and attractions all within driving distance of downtown Kansas City.
Many love Overland Park because there is always some way to stay entertained! Deanna Rose Farmstead offers surbanites the chance to feed animals, explore farm life and get a taste of Kansas’s origins. The Museum at Prairiefire, a local natural history museum with plenty of dinosaurs, has constantly changing exhibits and activities. When you finish, bop over to Pinstripes for food, drinks, bocce ball, and bowling, or experience a one of a kind movie theater at Cinetopia! The recently renovated King Louie Building now serves as the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Museum. If you need more outdoor time, walk among nature at the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Community Centers with pools, activities, gyms and more are located throughout the city as well. There’s a reason why Overland Park is consistently awarded for its livability, including being ranked as one of the Happiest Places to Live in 2019.
Overland Park is also home to several delicious dining options, including J. Gilbert’s Wood Fired Steaks, delicious BBQ at Q39 and all the beer options you could dream of at downtown Overland Park’s BrewLab. https://www.visitoverlandpark.com