I would like to welcome Jess from 26 and Not Counting to Twin Stripe today. I stumbled across her blog a few months ago and fell in love with her honesty and she has great style. Jess lives on the other side of Missouri from where I grew up, in Kansas City. She is sharing some places I can’t wait to check out!

Kansas City, MO Travel Guide  // Twin Stripe

“Kcsky” by Original uploader was Leprecub at en.wikipedia – Transferred from en.wikipedia. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

Hello! My name is Jess and I blog over at 26 and Not Counting. I’m so excited Katie asked me to be here today to give you a glimpse into what Kansas City, MO has to offer. I can assure you, it’s nothing short of amazing.

Eats. I could write an entire post on my favorite spots, but I’ll spare you and highlight a few of my favorite places to grub.

It’s a well-known fact that I’ve never met a brunch I don’t like. If you’re in the Westport area, Beer Kitchen is a cozy little spot and their Grand Mimosa is a step above the rest. As for their drunken doughnuts? They take boozy brunch to a whole new level.

mimosas at beer kitchen, kansas city guide // twin stripe

I’m also a big fan of patios, which brings me to another one of my favorites, The Farmhouse. Located in the River Market area, their outdoor seating is the perfect place to enjoy good company and even get some people watching in. Farm fresh eggs, buttery biscuits and homemade jam. No shortage of deliciousness at this spot.

brunch at the farmhouse, kansas city travel guide // twin stripe

Moving on to dinner now. I’m going to be honest with you all, my diet consists of a whole lot of carbs and even more cheese. When it comes to Westside Local, it’s hard to choose between the Westside Mac & Cheese and their Grilled Cheese made with brie and shatto white cheddar. I’m drooling just thinking about it. I recently spent an evening on the patio with good friends and one of the guys exclaimed his Summit Burger was the best he’s ever had. That’s bold.

westside local patio, kansas city travel guide // twin stripewestside local kansas city guide // twin stripewestside local, kansas city travel guide // twin stripe

Drinks. Continuing with the patio theme, The Jacobson is a great post-work happy hour spot located in downtown Kansas City. Pictured below is the Pocket Square. The perfect mix of grapefruit and rhubarb bitters, if you’re into that sort of thing.

I’m also a big fan of McCoy’s and their brewed in-house raspberry wheat beer. PSA: get the beer pretzels. No questions asked.

drinks at the jacobson, kansas city travel guide // twin stripe

Sweets. I don’t just have a sweet tooth, I have a whole mouth full of them. Donuts, ice cream, cookies, cupcakes, you name it, I can’t get enough. Murray’s is the cutest ice cream shop located in Westport serving up little scoops of heaven. I’ve heard they make a mean ice cream sandwich, but I haven’t taken that challenge yet! Beware, they are cash or check only. Keeping it old school.

skyline downtown salon, kansas city travel guide // twin stripe

You’re going to think I’m crazy, but I don’t drink coffee. Not because I wouldn’t love to wake up each morning with a jolt of java, but because my taste buds just aren’t down with the joe. That doesn’t mean I don’t have a favorite coffee shop. Kaldi’s Coffee (formerly Latte Land) produces the most amazing Wedding Cake Cookie and I vowed that in lieu of a wedding cake one day, we will be having these.

kaldi's coffee shop, twin stripe travel guide // twin stripe

Fitness. Since I do a whole lot of over-indulging, I try to make up for it in my fitness regimen. I’ve recently taken up Bar Method (located in West Plaza and Leawood) and it has been the most challenging workout, both mentally and physically. I’m working on putting my thoughts on the barre phenomenon into words, but I’ll save that for another day. Just get there and be prepared to tuck!

bar method kansas city travel guide // twin stripe

If you’re tight on cash, Athleta Kansas City offers free classes throughout the week in store and the surrounding area. Each month, a different fitness facility in the area plays host and leads their specialty class. If you don’t live in KC, have no fear. Check out your local Athleta for their unique schedule!

bar method kansas city travel guide // twin stripe

Leisure. You can’t go wrong with a stroll around the River Market Farmers’ Market. It’s my go-to for fresh blooms and you guessed it, more sweets. The line for Beignet can get a tad bit on the lengthy side, but I can assure you, it’s worth the wait.

farmers market fresh flowers, kansas city travel guide // twin stripe

One of my favorite things to do is spend the afternoon at Skyline Downtown Salon for some much needed pampering. The view is unbeatable and the service tops the charts, and I’m not just saying that because my sister works there.

skyline downtown salon, kansas city travel guide // twin stripe

Last, but not least, I’m sharing the perfect place to capture the best view of downtown Kansas City: the top of Liberty Memorial. It’s a no-brainer if you’re looking for a place to spend with your day date.

liberty memorial, kansas city travel guide // twin stripe

Whew, you made it! As you can tell from this round up, the saying “eat, drink and be merry” was practically made for me.

I hope you enjoyed this small taste of Kansas City! If you’re longing for more, you can find me on the blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and a slew of other places, but come say hi!

I hope you enjoyed Jess’s tour of Kansas City! My brother will be getting married there in 2015 and I can’t wait to try some of Jess’ suggestions and hopefully meet up with her!

St. Louis, MO Travel Guide  // Twin Stripe

“St. Louis Night” by Daniel Schwen – Own work.
Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons 

I’m a Midwestern girl at heart despite living in the South and St. Louis, Missouri is where I was born and raised. Despite the horrific events of recent weeks, St. Louis has been going through an amazing revival and I’m proud to call it my hometown. If you have never been to St. Louis, you will need more than a weekend because there are so many great restaurants to try, breweries to visit and things to see and do.

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Whether you are traveling by plane, train or automobile, comfort is key, but of course you want to make sure you look your best. Layers are the best for traveling – you might get warm walking through the concourse and find the AC on the plane freezing! I chose a bright tee and a long, cozy cardigan, which balance each other out perfectly. Comfy flats are also key in case you find yourself rushing through the terminal.

Best outfit to travel - layers // Twin Stripe

Anya suede ballet flats, J.Crew Factory  |  Favorite long-sleeve crew tee (similar), Gap  |  1969 Always Skinny Jeans, Gap  |  J.D.Y Stripe Cardigan, Asos  |  Eat Cake For Breakfast tote (similar),  Kate Spade  | Bangle and Bracelet, Loren Hope

Click through to learn more about the look and details on my favorite travel essentials! (more…)