Established as a trading post in 1821, Kansas City served as the starting point for wagon trains heading over the Santa Fe, California, and Oregon trails, and later emerged as the nation's center for cattle stockyards and slaughterhouses. Today greater Kansas City is a sprawling metropolis of 1.9 million straddling the Kansas-Missouri state line. Downtown Kansas City, a blend of Art Deco buildings, brick warehouses dating from the 1880s, and modern skyscrapers, is also home to the new Power & Light District, an 8-block development of dining-and-entertainment venues. Yet the metropolitan area retains something of a small-town atmosphere, with tree-lined boulevards, bubbling fountains, and a large number of parks spread over gently rolling hills. Need further incentive to visit? Kansas City is famous for its steaks, barbecue, jazz, rich frontier history, and unique attractions found nowhere else.
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