Plan an Offbeat Adventure with KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip

DisclosureKC Destinations hosted my visit to the Kansas City area. However, all opinions are my own.

KC Destinations' Quirky Tour graphic: Image of Chick Norris, historic train in Atchison, Kansas, and man pretending to have his arm bitten by shark statue

It’s no secret that I love a quirky destination. I’m never happier than when I have an offbeat itinerary ahead of me, which is why I was so excited to experience KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip.

This collection of a dozen museums, restaurants, roadside attractions and small businesses around the greater Kansas City area is the ultimate eclectic adventure. From a 15-foot-tall fiberglass rooster to a restaurant where your food is delivered by miniature train, there’s truly something for everyone here.

If you’re looking for an offbeat adventure in the Kansas City area, look no further! Keep reading to learn more about accessing the tour and discover our experiences at the dozen stops along the KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip.

About the KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip

The KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip was put together by a group of member destinations that represent the greater Kansas City area. There’s so much to do outside of Kansas City proper! KC Destinations helps highlight and share some of the area’s hidden gems.

The tour utilizes the free Otocast app, which not only helps you navigate to each spot along the way but also has great audio descriptions of each stop. We found the app really helpful on our adventure along the Quirky Trip and listened to each clip before hopping out of our car.

Hand holding phone with KC Destinations' Quirky Tour via the Otocast app on screen
Hand holding phone with KC Destinations' Quirky Tour via the Otocast app on screen

Stops Along the KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip

The 1950s All Electric House

Exterior of 1950s All-Electric House at the Johnson County Museum in Overland Park, Kansas

We’ve all seen retro “homes of the future” in old TV shows and movies, but in Overland Park, Kansas you can experience one for yourself. Located inside the  Johnson County Museum, visiting the 1950s All Electric House is like stepping back in time. Built by the Kansas City Power and Light Company in 1954, this ranch house was an example of the standard home in a new all-electric neighborhood in Kansas City. During the six months it was open as a model home, more than 60,000 people tour the home.

The home was outfitted with many gadgets and electronic conveniences like automatic curtains, a painting above the fireplace that moves to reveal a black and white TV, an electric heat pump and more. It was so cool to be able to wander through the house and see the state-of-the-art built-ins up close.

Five families lived in the home between the 1950s and 1990s before it was moved the nine miles to the Johnson County Museum campus in a trek that took five hours.

Johnson County Museum, 8788 Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park, Kansas
Living room including hidden TV over fire place in the 1950s All-Electric House at the Johnson County Museum in Overland Park, Kansas

Atchison County Historical Museum

Black and white historic train engine in front of the Atchison County Historical Museum in Atchison, Kansas
Statue of railroad worker in front of the Atchison County Historical Museum in Atchison, Kansas

North of Kansas City in the town of Atchison, Kansas, you’ll find lots of rich history. Head to the Atchison County Historical Society located inside a historic Santa Fe Depot learn about the area’s past, including its history as a booming railroad town. Be sure to explore the historical society’s grounds and see some of the historic trains they have on view up close.

The community was also home to the supposed “12th President” of the United States: Senator David Rice Atchison, whom the town was name after. As the story goes, President-elect Zachary Taylor did not want to hold his inauguration on a Sunday. So during the day between when President James Polk left office and Taylor was sworn, Atchison—who was elected president pro tempore by the Senate—was technically “president” and brought a small brush with presidential history to this Kansas community.

Atchison County Historical Museum, 200 South 10th Street, Santa Fe Depot in Atchison, Kansas

Chick Norris

Fiberglass chicken statue named Chick Norris near Gardner, Kansas

What’s a better addition to a quirky tour than a roadside attraction? Meet Chick Norris! Chick is a 15-foot fiberglass rooster who lives south of Kansas City near Gardner, Kansas. Created Chris Cakes owner Steve Hamilton, the sculpture brings smiles to the faces of visitors and locals alike. Stop to snap a photo with Chick for a fun memento of your cluckin’ good time exploring greater Kansas City.

Chick Norris, 33665 W. 199th Street in Edgerton, Kansas

Driftwood Ceramics

Exterior of Driftwood Ceramics in North Kansas City, Kansas

If you’re interested in learning wheel throwing, Driftwood Ceramics is the place for you! Located in North Kansas City, this art studio offers evening and multi-week classes that let you try your hand at ceramics. Tap into your creativity and experience this unique way to try something new.

We didn’t have time for a class during our visit to Kansas City, but I hope I can visit for a little wheel throwing sometime soon.

Driftwood Ceramics, 2106 Swift Street in North Kansas City, Missouri

The Fish Market

Exterior and patio of The Fish Market in Liberty, Missouri

With an incredible selection of fresh fish and Cajun-inspired favorites, The Fish Market in Liberty, Missouri is a must-visit stop along your quirky tour. Especially on weekends, this small eatery is a popular spot so be ready for a wait. I promise it’s worth it!

After snagging a table on the patio, we were happy to see beers on the menu from Abita Brewing Company, which took us right back to our visit to another roadside favorite near New Orleans. After much deliberation, we opted for the fried crawfish and fried gulf shrimp baskets, which come with seasoned fries and hushpuppies. The crab cakes and corn bread were also absolutely delicious. One thing is for sure—if you’re headed to the Fish Market, be sure to come hungry!

The Fish Market, 1120 E. Old, MO-210 in Liberty, Missouri
Fried catfish, fried shrimp, hush puppies and French fries at The Fish Market in Liberty, Missouri
Man with mustache pretending to be bitten by shark statue at The Fish Market in Liberty, Missouri

Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant

Interior of Fritz's Railroad Restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas

If you’re looking for a place to enjoy a meal that will surprise and delight you, look no further than Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant. At this quirky railroad-themed diner, guests order from telephones installed in each booth and their food is brought to the table via miniature train.

I didn’t expect to be so delighted by Fritz’s, but our meal here was truly one of the highlights of our trip. We opted for a Saturday morning breakfast at Fritz’s and enjoyed eggs and hash browns as well as the MEK, a truly tasty breakfast sandwich. The staff at Fritz’s was so kind and truly went above and beyond to make our morning fun. Not only did they turn the trains on early for us, but they also brought us paper conductors’ hats so we could feel like kids again.

Woman ordering on telephone while sitting in booth at Fritz's Railroad Restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas
Man wearing paper hat with eggs, hash browns and pancakes at Fritz's Railroad Restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas

Fritz’s has been a Kansas City tradition since 1954, and the N. 18th Street Fritz’s was actually the restaurant’s second location, which opened in the 1960s.

Travel Tip: Fritz’s uses its telephone ordering and train delivery primarily during lunchtime. So if you want the full experience, plan to visit later in the day! We loved their breakfast but I’ve heard great things about their burgers and shakes as well.

Fritz’s Railroad Restaurant, 250 N. 18th Street in Kansas City, Kansas
Exterior of Fritz's Railroad Restaurant in Kansas City, Kansas

Gators Games & Hobby

Mural of Captain Kirk on the side of Gators Games & Hobby in Leavenworth, Kansas

You may not know it from following along here, but we are, without a doubt, a board game household. Josh loves board games of all kinds and so if you can think of a board game, we probably own it. Which is why we were both so delighted to visit Gators Games & Hobby in Leavenworth, Kansas.

This unique shop and community space has a great selection of games and other nerdy memorabilia. We had a blast picking out a new-to-us two-player game, Codenames: Duet, that we can’t wait to play. The Captain Kirk mural out front is also a great photo op and a fun reminder of one of my favorite Iowa towns.

Gators Games & Hobby, 720 Shawnee Street in Leavenworth, Kansas
Display of games and figurines inside Gators Games & Hobby in Leavenworth, Kansas

Gemini

Display of crystals at Gemini in Merriam, Kansas

Head to downtown Merriam, Kansas for a little holistic healing at Gemini. This unique shop is filled to the brim with everything you need to create a calming, tranquil environment. From handmade candles and incense to a wide variety of crystals and Tarot cards, Gemini has it all.

Gemini, 5807 Merriam Drive in Merriam, Kansas
Exterior of Gemini in Merriam, Kansas
Tree statue at Gemini in Merriam, Kansas

Gomer’s Collectibles

Mural of Gomer's namesake family outside of Gomer's of Kansas City in Lenexa, Kansas
Interior of Gomer's Collectibles at Gomer's of Kansas City in Lenexa, Kansas

Located on the second story of Gomer’s of Kansas in Lenexa, Kansas, Gomer’s Collectibles offers a unique assortment of antiques and vintage collectibles, including—very aptly—vintage spirits bottles. After browsing for antiques, don’t forget to head downstairs to explore Gomer’s incredible selection of wine, beer and spirits.

Plus, be sure to check out the mural on the east side of the Gomer’s building, which features five significant local historical figures including Charles Bradshaw and his wife, Sarah, for whom the town was almost named Bradshaw, Kansas. You can learn more about the mural on the Gomer’s website.

Gomer’s Collectibles, 17220 W. 87th St Parkway in Lenexa, Kansas

The Junque Drawer Boutique

Exterior of the Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio in Olathe, Kansas

If you’re looking for a gift, The Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio is the perfect place to shop! Based in an old house in Olathe, Kansas, the Junque Drawer is a three-story shop brimming with jewelry, gifts, home décor and more. There’s so much to see and discover in this shop that you could spend hours wandering its halls. From puzzles and planters to wine glasses and an entire room full of jewelry charms, there truly is something here for everyone.

The Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio, 233 S. Cherry Street in Olathe, Kansas
Display of candles and keychains at the Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio in Olathe, Kansas
Display of vintage inspired puzzles at the Junque Drawer Boutique & Studio in Olathe, Kansas

Moon Marble Company

Exterior of Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs, Kansas

There are few toys more whimsical than handmade marbles. And at Moon Marble Company in Bonner Springs, Kansas, you can learn about the history and craft of this unique art form. In addition to handmade marbles, this unique shop also sells machine-made marbles and a wide variety of other toys and games.

While Moon Marble Company is currently open by appointment only, you can also shop their wares online.

Moon Marble Company, 600 E. Front Street in Bonner Springs, Kansas

Rolle Bolle in Sister Cities Park

Stone sign at Sister Cities Park in Shawnee, Kansas

Sister Cities Park in Shawnee, Kansas may be one of the city’s smaller parks, but it’s home to its most unique game: rolle bolle. Pronounced like “roly-poly,” rolle bolle is a Belgian sport that’s part horseshoes and part bowling but sounds way more difficult. Especially because the bolles are made to roll in a curved, elliptical arc.

Every week residents get together for a friendly tournament of this unique sport. Each year it’s played during the community’s annual Shawnee Days. We didn’t get to try our hands at rolle bolle during our visit, but I’m obsessed with learning more. In fact, we learned that there are other places in Iowa and Minnesota that have also embraced rolle bolle.

Sister Cities Park, 5801 King Street in Shawnee, Kansas
Rolle bolle court at Sister Cities Park in Shawnee, Kansas

Share Your Thoughts

I would love to hear from you! Would you take the KC Destinations’ Quirky Trip? Have you visited any of these stops before?

Looking for an offbeat adventure? Head to the greater Kansas City area to experience KC Destinations' Quirky Tour! Enjoy unique eateries, roadside attractions, local history and surprising small businesses on this tour of a dozen communities in the area. #Kansas #Missouri #KansasCity #Midwest #RoadsideAttractions
Looking for an offbeat adventure? Head to the greater Kansas City area to experience KC Destinations' Quirky Tour! Enjoy unique eateries, roadside attractions, local history and surprising small businesses on this tour of a dozen communities in the area. #Kansas #Missouri #KansasCity #Midwest #RoadsideAttractions

Related Posts

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.