Famous for its barbecue, jazz heritage, and fountains, Kansas City sits on Missouri’s western edge, straddling the border with Kansas. With downtown near the confluence of the Kansas and Missouri Rivers, the modern day city encompasses 320 square miles, making it the 23rd largest city, by total area, in the United states. Major suburbs include the Missouri cities of Independence and Lee’s Summit, as well as the Kansas cities of Overland Park and Olathe.
One of our preferred areas for running in Kansas City is the area known as Country Club Plaza, about 4 miles from downtown. In addition to parks, paths, and lovely residential areas, there are lots of hotels, restaurants, shops and galleries. Running in downtown Kansas City is OK, with an easy grid of wide, straight boulevards. We’ve also included some routes in K.C. suburbs that are major business travel destinations, such as Overland Park. See also our running guides for nearby Lawrence and Topeka.
Thanks to wide, straight boulevards, Kansas City is fairly easy to navigate. Yet, while it’s a great city for running, a car is needed unless your trip has you staying mainly downtown or in the Plaza area. There is a good bus from downtown to the Plaza. Note also that the airport is far from downtown, and really far from corporate office locations in Overland Park.