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Ask anyone what’s a ‘can’t miss’ Kansas City tradition and you’ll get the same responses. Barbecue, fountains, and jazz. So that’s exactly what we did.

We started our visit out with a barbecue lunch at famed Gates Bar-B-Q. And being North Carolinians, we are a tough audience. We weren’t disappointed. The marriage between the tangy tomato sauce and the ribs was just perfect. Not to mention the dripping pork sandwich slathered in more sauce.

From there, we ventured to the Museums at 18th & Vine. Housed in one building are two museums featuring two our favorite things. First was the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, chronicling the storied history and heroes of the leagues that flourished until baseball became fully integrated in 1959. Second was the American Jazz Museum, featuring interactive exhibits, films, and the music of such legendary jazz icons as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Dizzy Gillespie. Attached to the museum is The Blue Room, a working jazz club open four nights a week that features the best local and national artists in an intimate setting.

Our accommodations were located in the very hip and trendy neighborhood of Country Club Plaza. Southmoreland on the Plaza is an urban 12-room inn that has all the comfort, charm, and hospitality of a bed & breakfast. Housed in an old mansion near the art museums and two blocks from the Plaza, it’s location and amenities couldn’t have been a more perfect combination. And, the Saturday morning barbecue breakfast didn’t hurt either. Featured on Food Network, it was grilled croissant French toast with warm grilled peach and pecan syrup and a tasty grilled pork chop. Need I say more.

The last element in our KC trifecta were fountains. So an early morning walk to Country Club Plaza afforded us great shopping, Spanish architecture, and a spectacular example of Kansas City’s claim to fame at the J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain. Mission accomplished.