Plaza, Westport, neighborhoods make KC a hot spot/Lonely Planet

Kansas City, “wide open and inviting,” is among the top 10 spots to visit nationwide next year, according to a travel book publisher.

Barbeque, fountains “on par with Rome,” jazz and blues, and walkable neighborhoods like the Plaza, Westport and the Crossroad Arts district earned the city a number six rating by Lonely Planet.

It comes after Time magazine last week rated Missouri No. 1 state for drinking because of lax state drinking laws.

“There’s no better place in the country to get your drink on than the Show-Me state,” Time said. “Missouri has no restrictions against open containers, and the only places it’s illegal to be drunk in public are occupied schools, churches or courthouses. While localities can pass laws banning public intoxication, it’s prohibited for cities and towns to require arrests for such offenses.”

Interestingly, the city that Lonely Planet rated No. 1 to visit next year was Grand Rapids and Lake Michigan’s Gold Coast, thanks largely to great drinking opportunities.

“Grand Rapids, Michigan’s second-largest city, was voted best beer city in the US by the national Beer Examiner blog in 2012 and 2013, and its beer-tourism revolution rages on,” Lonely Planet said.

It also praised Grand Rapids for a great arts scene.

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