Kansas City, Missouri, shines as a top recommendation from Ratha Tep of The New York Times for 2024. With women’s soccer taking center stage, visitors can experience the vibrant sports scene and rich culture of this heartland hub. Passion and skill collide on the pitch amidst jazz music, barbecue cuisine, and historic neighborhoods.

In March, the Kansas City Current will unveil the first stadium built for a National Women’s Soccer League team, and Kansas City holds bragging rights as the sole Midwestern host for the FIFA World Cup 2026. But other headliners abound, with new lures for budding bookworms and adventurers. Opening in March, the Rabbit Hole museum will showcase a century’s worth of American children’s literature with immersive and interactive exhibits.

Extra: Experience Wanda Gág’s impressive artwork “The Funny Thing” and enjoy the new 150-foot-tall KC Wheel at Pennway Point. Explore dining options and water activities like kayaking, canoeing, and paddle boarding from the renovated Rock Island Bridge.

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