Favorite barbecue, attractions, festivals and more announced today

KANSAS CITY, MO. – From the region’s best barbecue to the city’s hottest jazz, Visit KC announced today the winners of its 8th Annual Visitors’ Choice Awards. More than 4,000 visitors weighed in over the summer at, selecting their top picks for the region’s best hotels, attractions, sports, dining, shopping and Kansas City experiences. Launched in 2007, the Visitors’ Choice Awards is the only awards program chosen exclusively by Kansas City’s visitors. To ensure that the winners were true visitor choices, only votes from outside the five-county metropolitan area were tallied. “Every year, more than 22 million people visit Kansas City,” said Visit KC President & CEO Ronnie Burt. “The Visitors’ Choice Awards give our guests the opportunity to express their favorites, while also celebrating our Midwestern hospitality and local businesses.”A comprehensive list of winners follows. This evening, Visit KC will host a special reception at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art to celebrate tourism and recognize the program’s 2014 honorees. 

Announcing the 2014 KC Visitors’ Choice Favorites


  • Favorite Nightlife District – Country Club Plaza
  • Favorite Nightlife Spot – Grinders
  • Favorite Live Music Venue – Starlight Theatre
  • Favorite Jazz Venue – B.B.’s Lawnside Blues & BBQ
  • Favorite Casino – Ameristar Casino Hotel
  • Favorite Art Museum – The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Favorite Art Gallery – Kemper at the Crossroads
  • Favorite Outdoor Work of Art – Shuttlecocks at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
  • Favorite Performing Arts Venue – Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts
  • Favorite Performing Arts Group/Organization –  Starlight Theatre
  • Favorite Arts Performance/Production – The Nutcracker, presented by the Kansas City Ballet
  • Favorite Local Musician/Performer – Four Fried Chickens & A Coke


  • Favorite Kids Attraction – Kansas City Zoo
  • Favorite Museum – National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
  • Favorite Ride/Theme Park Attraction – Mamba at Worlds of Fun
  • Favorite Fall Attraction – Kansas City Renaissance Festival
  • Favorite Holiday Attraction – Plaza Lights
  • Favorite Free Thing to Do – The City Market
  • Favorite KC Neighborhood or District – Country Club Plaza
  • Favorite KC-Area Destination – Weston, MO 


  • Favorite Park/Lake – Shawnee Mission Park
  • Favorite Landmark or Monument – Union Station
  • Favorite Fountain – J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain
  • Favorite Winery – Pirtle Winery
  • Favorite Golf Course – Swope Memorial Golf Course
  • Favorite Professional Sports Team – Kansas City Royals
  • Favorite Fan Experience – Tailgating at Arrowhead Stadium
  • Favorite Local Athlete – Jamaal Charles, Kansas City Chiefs


  • Favorite Art Festival – Plaza Art Fair
  • Favorite Ethnic/Heritage Festival or Event – Kansas City Irish Fest 
  • Favorite Family Festival/Event – Kansas City Renaissance Festival
  • Favorite Music Festival/Event – KC’s 18th & Vine Jazz and Blues Festival


  • Favorite Steakhouse – Hereford House
  • Favorite Barbecue Restaurant –  Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que
  • Favorite Family-Friendly Restaurant – Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant
  • Favorite Ethnic Restaurant – Ponak’s Mexican Kitchen & Bar
  • Favorite Fine Dining Restaurant – Bristol Seafood Grill
  • Favorite Outdoor Dining/Patio – The Cheesecake Factory
  • Favorite Local Chef – Jasper Mirabile (Jasper’s Restaurant)


  • Favorite Shopping Center or District – Country Club Plaza
  • Favorite Shop or Store – Nebraska Furniture Mart
  • Favorite Locally-Owned Shop or Store – Pryde’s Old Westport
  • Favorite Local Product/Souvenir – Boulevard Beer


  • Favorite Hotel, More Than 300 Rooms – Westin Kansas City at Crown Center
  • Favorite Hotel, 300 Rooms or Fewer – The Raphael Hotel
  • Favorite Inn/Bed & Breakfast – Chateau Avalon


  • Favorite Place to Snap a Photo – Country Club Plaza
  • Favorite Kansas City Hidden Gem – Arabia Steamboat Museum
  • Best Midwestern Hospitality – Stroud’s


  • Best of Kansas City – Boulevard Brewing Co.The nomination process for the 2015 Visitors’ Choice Awards will commence next summer. Stay tuned to for more information. 

About Visit KC
Visit KC is a non-profit organization whose mission is to ignite global passion for visiting Kansas City. Through marketing, sales and service of the convention and tourism industries, Visit KC supports a vital and growing component of the local economy—generating more than 45,000 jobs and $4.6 billion in economic impact annually. For more information about Kansas City, go to

Media Contacts

Derek Byrne
Derek Byrne (KC/Regional Media)
Visit KC
Derek Klaus
Derek Klaus (National Media)

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