Photograph by City of Overland Park, Kansas
GPS: 38°56′24.26″N 94°40′50.51″W
Eight miles (13 kilometers) south of Kansas City, Overland Park is more like a quieter, greener extension of downtown than a residential suburb. Locals have 78 parks and four lakes outside their doors, including a 300-acre (121-hectare) arboretum and botanical garden. In the 1990s, the greater Kansas City area announced hopes to create a 1,444 mile (2,324 kilometer) system of greenways and trails connecting the smaller hamlets to the city. Since then, local communities throughout the area have created numerous hiking and biking trails, as well as parks and beautiful metropolitan greenways.
The paved Indian Creek Trail spans over 17 miles (27 kilometers), 10 (16 kilometers) of which run straight through Overland Park, and accommodates cyclists, joggers, and rollerbladers (www.opkansas.org). Hikers can also head to the Overland Park Arboretum & Botanical Gardens, where six miles (ten kilometers) of paved and wood chip trails wind their way through the gardens and climb up to the limestone bluffs that jut above Wolf Creek, a tributary of the Blue River (www.opcvb.org).
Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall… Barley’s Brewhaus & Restaurant comes close, with 99 beers on tap. They also serve burgers and deep-dish pizza and host live local bands (www.barleysbrewhaus.com).
Originally constructed in 1927 as an apartment building, the Raphael Hotel has since been extensively renovated—and won a slew of Best Of awards for it (doubles from $139; www.raphaelkc.com).