One may wonder what Kansas City has in common with Dakar, Senegal, or Perth, Australia.
It seems they are among must-see destinations for travelers in 2019.
That’s according to National Geographic Traveler magazine, which published the list Tuesday in the December-January issue.
Why go now? To “revel in the revival,” the magazine says.
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“Most visitors to the Midwestern city come for the barbecue and all that jazz but soon find themselves caught up in an urban renaissance,” according to the piece.
It touts the “retro-cool retailers and clubs” of the industrial West Bottoms.
“To me, West Bottoms speaks to the history of Kansas City: the stockyards and trains and commerce moving through the middle of the country,” Chris Goode, CEO and founder of Ruby Jean’s Juicery, told the magazine. “But no matter where you go in Kansas City, it will feel like home.
“The city just has soul.”
National Geographic Traveler editor-in-chief George Stone said the Best Trips issue “features 28 destinations and experiences that can inspire us, change our perspectives and connect us with cultures, places and ideas that matter in the world.”
National Geographic travel editors and explorers selected their top destinations in four categories: cities, nature, culture and adventure.
Kansas City is the only American destination on the cities list, which includes Dakar; Perth; Salvador, Brazil; Toronto, Canada; Matera, Italy; and Mexico City.
The magazine specified that it is referring to Kansas City, Mo.
The best nature destinations for the coming year are the Peruvian Amazon; Montenegro, Belize; Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique; South Walton County, Fla.; Fanjingshan, China; and Tahiti, French Polynesia.
In the culture category, the magazine selected Cairo, Eqypt; Hoang Lien Son, Vietnam; Galway, Ireland; Bauhaus Trail, Germany; Oakland, Calif.; Vervey, Switzerland; and Dordogne, France.
For adventure, the list recommends Greenland; Bisti/De-Na-Zin Wilderness, New Mexico; Isla de los Estados, Argentina; Macedonia; Canterbury Region, New Zealand; Cano Cristales River, Colombia; and Oman.
Incidentally, the magazine’s Best Trips of 2018 included such exotic locations as Harar, Ethiopia, and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as well as Cleveland, Ohio.
The National Geographic designation comes on the heels of a Vogue travel story about Kansas City that had glowing recommendations but raised questions about the writer’s knowledge of U.S. geography.