Kansas City …Two States-Two Cities-Fifteen Counties
Kansas City is a town with a colorful past and a promising future; it is big and sprawling, diverse and dynamic, sophisticated and down-home. There is something for everyone.
Kansas and Missouri are divided by nothing more than a two lane street or a river no wider than a 100 yards. The Kansas City Metropolitan Area is a fifteen-county metropolitan area straddling the border between the states of Missouri and Kansas that is anchored by Kansas City, Missouri.
The core of the Kansas City Metropolitan Area can be visualized roughly by the following divisions:
The Northland is locally referred to as “north of the river” (Missouri River) or “Kansas City North”. (Often confused with Northtown, a nickname for North Kansas City) Contained wholly within Missouri, it encompasses portions of Clay County and Platte County including the northern half of Kansas City, Missouri, and the cities of Liberty, North Kansas City and Gladstone. The sharpest part of the river bend forms a peninsula containing the Charles B. Wheeler Kansas City Downtown Airport.
Midtown is the core of the metro area just directly to the south of downtown (south of 31st Street) and is mostly urban terrain. Contained within Kansas City, Missouri, it is broken up into the historical neighborhoods of Westport, Ivanhoe, The Country Club Plaza, Hyde Park, Ward Parkway, Brookside, Waldo, West Plaza, Southmoreland, Valentine, Coleman Highlands and Rockhill. It contains the majority of the metro area’s businesses, visitor attractions, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art and the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
South KC or “South Kansas City” is the southern half of Kansas City, Missouri as well as the suburbs of Lee’s Summit, Grandview, Harrisonville, Belton, Raymore. It is sometimes called “the southland.”
The Eastside is an area of the metro that contains the eastern urban side of Kansas City, Missouri as well as the suburbs of Independence, Blue Springs and Raytown. This part of town is best known for the Truman Sports Complex where the Royals and Chiefs play.
Johnson County or “JoCo” (the southwest portion of the metro) indicates all of Johnson County, Kansas, which includes the cities of Overland Park, Lenexa, Olathe, Shawnee, and De Soto. Interstate 35 runs diagonally through Johnson County from the southwest toward the northeast and downtown Kansas City, Missouri.
Wyandotte or the western side of the metro contains Wyandotte County, Kansas. Wyandotte County, sometimes referred to as just ‘Wyandotte’, ‘WyCo’, or ‘The Dot’, contains Kansas City, Kansas, Bonner Springs and Edwardsville, and it is governed by a single unified government similar to a consolidated city-county. Often the Wyandotte government is referred to simply as ‘The Unified Government’. This area is best known for NASCAR’s Kansas Speedway and CommunityAmerica Ballpark, home to the T-Bones and the Wizards. Another bend in the Missouri River forms the county line between Wyandotte and Platte counties to the north and northeast.
The truth of the matter, however, is that the two states couldn’t be more different. Ask anyone from the area. Missouri or Kansas. They’ll all tell you they are from Kansas City. But at home they are quick to make a distinction between the two states. And what makes it great is that both sides of the state line knows theirs is the best! And the border war begins.