Kansas City Friendly

The City of Kansas City from the observation deck at the WWI Museum

The City of Kansas City from the observation deck at the WWI Museum

Travel and Leisure magazine published their top 20 snobbiest cities for 2013, and Kansas City, Missouri, was number 15 on the list. My initial thoughts were what do they have to be snobby about living in fly-over country? Well, I recently spent three seriously fun-filled days in Kansas City and had a blast in a city that had some of the friendliest people I’ve come across in a long time. 

Merriam-Webster’s definition of a snob is one who tends to rebuff, avoid, or ignore those regarded as inferior or, b: one who has an offensive air of superiority in matters of knowledge or taste. In other words, an uppity “so and so.”

I was traveling alone, so this would allow me to see how snobby this city really was.

I arrived late afternoon on a Monday; by 7 pm, I was in the Blue Room, a jazz club located in the historic 18th and Vine District. So, I go in, and I sit at the bar with my camera in hand. The room is filled with the sounds of live music and a mixture of old-school regulars, locals, and tourists alike.


I met a few old-school players soon after arriving. They wanted to know about me, what I was doing. I asked them about KC, and they just opened up. Sharing where I needed to go and who has the best barbecue. I also met a few of the musicians.

These Old School Players were having a good time.

These Old School Players were having a good time.

Whenever I smiled or spoke to anyone, they were friendly and ready to chat me up. Where is all of this snobbery? Drinks do lighten the mood. Maybe I’m going to see some of that snobbery the next day while checking out the city. However, as I went from attraction to attraction, restaurant to restaurant, mall to mall, I never encountered this so-called snobbery.

T&L used what they called the “traditional staples of snobbery, ” a reputation for being aloof, along with high-end shopping and cultural offerings such as classical music and theater. Then they threw in some items defined as elitist; tech-savviness, artisanal coffeehouses, and Eco-consciousness. This is what gets you on the list. I like high-end shopping and cultural offerings; I’m semi-tech savvy, love my coffee, and I’m down with being eco-conscious. Does this mean I’m a snob?

The only thing left on the list is “being aloof.” Well, I spent my last night in Kansas City, sitting on the balcony, sipping wine, at the apartment of a new friend I had just met three days before. Is Kansas City snobby? Not even! It’s one of the friendliest cities I’ve ever visited!

Just when I thought I was done with Kansas City friendliness, I was drawn in again while in St. Louis. I traveled to St. Louis directly from KC. While standing in line by myself at Sweetie Pies, a conversation was struck up between myself and a family that consisted of a Grandmother, her daughter, and her three older grandchildren. We were in line for about 30 minutes. When we finally got our food, they invited me to eat with them. Over dinner, I learned that this family was in town for the weekend, visiting from Kansas City.


My new friends I ate dinner with.

My new friends I ate dinner with.

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About Terri Lundberg

Terri Lundberg is an American expat currently residing with her husband in Saudi Arabia, but she calls Seattle and San Diego home. She’s a travel writer, an avid photographer and is a resource and cross cultural trainer to expats relocating to Saudi Arabia. She's been to 100 destinations, 30 countries, and counting.


  1. Shirley Lewis says:

    Excellent article on KC.

  2. Cool . Proves you can’t believe everything you read… but the truth is, friendly people meet friendly people!

    • Yea…there is truth to that, as I am a friendly person most of the time. So maybe the lesson is if you want to meet friendly people, be friendly first. 🙂


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