Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Cozy in KC. All opinions and photos are mine. I chose the travel itinerary’s points of interest.
I recently traveled to Kansas City and needed overnight accommodations. Luckily, Cozy in KC offers quality vacation rentals with upscale amenities and an on-trend style. One look at the Charlotte Retreat (4131 Charlotte St.), and I knew it was perfect for a weekend getaway.
CHARLOTTE RETREAT AIRBNB
Nestled in the East Plaza neighborhood of Kansas City, Missouri, I was pleased with the bungalow’s proximity to some of the City of Fountains’ best attractions. I know you’ll appreciate the reasonable cost of the pet-friendly vacation rental.
Cozy in KC is an Airbnb Superhost, and the Charlotte Retreat is one of their top-rated properties in the metro.
We were pleased with the comfortable furnishing and ample seating. We thought the home had enough space for a couple to leisurely watch TV from the living room when not taking advantage of the entire kitchen to prepare a meal.
A blanket and velvety pillows gave the living room space a homey feel, which was delightful. Hotels are great, but sometimes you prefer a comfortable stay with amenities like home, and the Charlotte Retreat delivered.
Taking advantage of the flatscreen TV with access to streaming channels, we relaxed on the leather couch, watching the morning news with fresh coffee before departing for a day in the city. The bar included fresh ground coffee for the Keurig machine or French press.
At night, we chatted about the day’s adventures illuminated by lamplight. Reading the Guest Book entries recounting guests’ stays was fun before adding our own.
The kitchen had all the utensils needed to prepare a basic meal, and the spice rack included essential seasonings. Although it lacked a dishwasher, it didn’t matter as we didn’t have many dishes to do because we ate our meals at area restaurants.
The bedroom included a pillowy-soft, queen-sized bed. Flanked by two reading lights and an end table, it was a great place to kick back and enjoy a book or admire nature from the sliding glass door view.
A full bathroom with a tub and shower included Tommy Bahama bath products. A nearby laundry room came equipped with basic laundry supplies for extended-stay travelers. The bedroom closet and dresser drawer provided enough storage for our belongings.
A benefit of staying at an Airbnb is its privacy compared to a noisy hotel. Charlotte Retreat’s wrap-around deck is made for the ideal place to enjoy a bottle of wine and cheese while entertained by squirrels and bunnies. It came equipped with a picnic table with bench seating and two seating areas.
Although we saw neighboring homes’ residents come and go, they did not disturb the peaceful tranquility of enjoying the patio. We sat for hours watching the entertaining squirrels traverse up and down the trees while a cottontail bunny curiously checked out the neighbor’s garden.
Although the house was sandwiched between two more significant properties, it feels secluded because of its deep front yard and leading walkway. The neighborhood is well-kept and safe. We never heard the sound of traffic or neighborhood activity.
We enjoyed watching the sun’s rays move on the front lawn as the sun set overhead. A feeling of serenity and restfulness comes over us. Grateful for the calmness, we retired to bed.
PREFERRED PARKING & TRANSPORTATION
Parking was easy at Charlotte Retreat, as it is in an urban residential neighborhood, and the home lacked a driveway. We never had an issue parking each of our vehicles near the home using on-street parking.
I can’t recommend staying at Cozy in KC’s The Charlotte Retreat enough. It’s the ideal lodging for an individual’s or couple’s weekend stay. View the home’s page to learn more about the property and view rental rates. The house manual lists the requirements of guests during their stay and prior to leaving the home.
If you prefer public transportation to see the sites, Ride KC buses are Zero Fare through 2o23. We rode the KC Streetcar at no cost traveling up and down a two-mile stretch of downtown. Use this map to plan the same downtown route, which starts and loops back to Union Station.
PLACES TO EAT IN THE AREA
Anchor Island Coffee
A bonus of reserving The Charolette Retreat is that you’re within walking distance of locally-owned eateries and shops. At Anchor Island Coffee (4101 Troost Ave.), the coffee is strong, but the vibe is laid back.
Opened in 2020, the cafe delivered island vibes with brightly painted walls and decorations. The owners consider the space a “tropical coffee shop” where everyone is welcome.
We ordered bagels and steaming cups of espresso for breakfast – reasonably priced for the quality. If you’re seeking breakfast options, the menu’s Chori Pap, French Toast, Acai Bowl, or Egg Breakfast wraps are wow-worthy.
PRO TIP: Do you need fresh groceries to return to the Airbnb? Check their reach-in community college where locally-sourced produce is for sale.
As they say at Oddly Correct (4141 Troost Ave.), “Most mornings aren’t exceptional; your coffee can be.” The coffee shop roasts its beans to serve “mind-opening” cups of coffee and cold brew on tap.
The whimsical mural outside the building and outdoor patio seating drew us to the cafe. Inside, the place was bustling with morning patrons ordering specialty coffee drinks and traditional drip espresso.
PRO TIP: Consider ordering a homemade menu of biscuits or a breakfast sandwich prepared with local ingredients. Gluten-free Hotcake Breakfast Sandwich is an option for those who require it.
Snooze: An AM Eatery
Do you check the restaurant reviews online before selecting one? We drove to Snooze, An A.M. Eatery (4144 Broadway Blvd) in Old Westport, a highly-breakfast breakfast restaurant. Although there was a 20-minute wait for a patio table, we didn’t mind the wait.
The standard breakfast classics are served elevated with inventive ingredients. We shared the Kimchi Spice Bloody Mary while our Garden Harvest Omelet and Habanero Pork Belly Benny were prepared. The food was delectable, and there wasn’t a bite left when we asked for the check.
PRO TIP: You’ll want to review the lengthy menu before arriving to allow for a leisurely breakfast.
If you’re in Old Westport doing some shopping and want to grab a cup of coffee, I suggest visiting Broadway Café (4106 Broadway). Even though they were about to close, the staff greeted me warmly and was happy to serve a hot coffee to go.
Known for its espresso concoctions and baked goods, the coffee shop stays busy serving customers who sit indoors and often opt to watch passersby from the outdoor patio.
PRO TIP: Broadway Café roasts its beans. Bags of coffee fresh from the roastery are available for purchase.
Lunch or Dinner
Also located in Old Westport, Char Bar (4050 Pennsylvania Ave.) serves KC-style barbecue meats and side dishes in a fun-loving atmosphere. Adult guests play outdoor yard games between bites, and families with kids watch them as they play under a canopy of string lights.
We ordered a two-meat combo platter with ribs, brisket, burnt ends, and two southern-style sides, The Holy Trinity. Just as you would expect, the smoked meats were tasty, true to the city’s reputation for barbecue.
PRO TIP: As the server about new beers on top and the Happy Hour specials.
One step inside Grinders, and you’ll think you’ve walked into a concert venue with a pizza oven. Signatures are scribbled all over the walls. TVs play Food Network while rock music plays in the background.
The place is wild. It’s where you dine when you’re in the mood for delicious non-traditional pizza, burgers, and wings prepared with inventive, extreme ingredients.
Percheron Rooftop Bar
I love a hidden gem. Percheron Rooftop Bar (2101 Central St.) serves craft cocktails with skyline city views from Crossroads Hotel. The public is welcome to enjoy the bar every evening after 4 pm.
We enjoyed sipping craft beer while watching the clouds roll in from our perch over the metro. Music played indie rock, and the vibe was relaxed. Couples and small groups kept to themselves, soaking up the scene.
PRO TIP: Check the hotel’s Facebook page for live music event announcements.
Betty Rae’s Ice Cream
Why wait in line for ice cream? Because Betty Rae Ice Cream (412 Delaware St.) is “more than ice cream.”
We took the downtown shuttle from Union Station and discovered the ice cream shop by chance. The line moved quickly, and before I knew it, I was staring down a menu with flavors like Lavender Honey and Chocolate Brownie.
The shop smelled of freshly-made waffle cones. As I went to pay for my double scoop of Cereal Milk and Cinnamon ice cream, a friendly couple offered to buy it for me. Grateful, I resisted but thanked them for their kindness. Betty Rae’s Ice Cream is as sweet as the customers there.
PRO TIP: While the flavor offerings often change, preview the menu while in line to be ready when it’s your turn to order.
PLACES TO EXPLORE IN THE AREA
Nelson Atkins Museum of Art
Located five minutes from The Charlotte Retreat, the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art (4525 Oak Street) is well-renowned for its collection from 5,000 years ago to the present day.
We took a no-cost, self-guided tour of its exhibits, spending about two hours admiring the artwork. Like us, you’ll find yourself amazed at the broad collection of artifacts and paintings representing historical time periods from across the globe.
While we already had lunch plans, a magical Rozzelle Court Restaurant tour was a must-see for its ambiance. Additionally, Thou Mayest Coffee is a popular place to grab a beverage or pastry during the day, offering views of the grounds.
PRO TIP: Make your way outside to take photos of Oldenburg and Brugge’s 15′ shuttlecocks, a famous art installation at Donald J. Hall Sculpture Park.
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art
Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art (4420 Warwick Blvd) is another place to admire artists’ work. Free admission, free programs, and free parking make it a must-visit attraction in the area.
A number of the permanent collection pieces include sculptures, paintings, and photography ranging in styles from minimalism to avante-garde. Although smaller than the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the artwork is equally awe-inspiring.
During our self-guided tour, a museum volunteer provided background information on several paintings. My preferred gallery was in a non-traditional space, the museum’s cafe.
PRO TIP: Choose to dine, or at the very least, tour Café Sebastienne to view floor-to-ceiling paintings by Frederick James Brown. The restaurant serves lunch and weekend brunch.
Fun & Games
Up-Down Kansas City
You can count on me to find an arcade in most cities, and Up-Down Kansas City (101 Southwest Blvd.) is one that I highly suggest you check out.
The two-story arcade has over 50 games from the 80s and 90s, including all your favorites like Pac-Man, Iron, and Galaga, plus rows of pinball machines and carnival-like games.
If you visit on a Sunday, consider taking advantage of their special 6 Pack & A Pound for $25 (a $10 savings compared to the rest of the week). The special gives you six domestic tallboy beers and a fanny pack of 80 tokens. Between us, 80 tokens lasted two-and-a-half hours of game playing.
Note: This is a barcade, so only patrons ages 21+ are allowed.
PRO TIP: Hungry? Order pizza by the slice for $5 or a whole pizza for $30. Ask about daily bar specials.
Westport, also called The Original Kansas City, is an urban neighborhood with an eclectic mix of shops. It is located between 39th Terrance and 43rd Street.
Whether you’re hoping to buy artisan skin care supplies at Soap Bar, indie home goods from Mid Coast Modern, or colorful dinnerware at Pryde’s Kitchen & Necessities, you are sure to fill your shopping bags.
I am a vinyl music collector, so my favorite store in Westport is Mills Record Company. The locally-owned store is well-organized by genre and artist, showcasing new and rare albums.
PRO TIP: Arrive before lunchtime to score on-street parking. While walking the area, keep your eyes peeled for remarkable public art and murals.
The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden
When you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city, The Ewing and Muriel Kauffman Memorial Garden (4800 Rockhill Rd). is the place. To visit on a spring day is magical. A covered tree-lined pathway leads visitors to an open-air garden.
The sounds of falling water and birds are the only sounds you hear. However, you may notice one or two visitors sitting in shaded areas amongst flowering shrubs and vines; the setting’s tranquility envelopes you.
We felt like we had the gardens to ourselves, stopping only to say hello and thank a master garden for their hard work. Free to explore, the public is welcome as long as they appreciate the rules posted at the entrance.
PRO TIP: Pay homage to the Kauffman at the final resting place, a serene space adjacent to the paved path.
Memorials & Monuments
Boy Scouts of America Monument
Cruising through the neighborhood of our Airbnb, we noticed the Eagle Scout Memorial Fountain (Gilliam Road and E. 39th St.) and pulled over immediately for a closer look. Traveling with an Eagle Scout, it was undeniably a picture-worthy location.
The 222-foot-tall stone sculpture made of marble is the Boy Scout Eagle badge. Donated by the Starr family, the memorial represents the hard work Eagle Scouts devote to earning 21 merit badges and fulfilling a required community service project.
PRO TIP: Park in temporary parking on the street and walk one of two spiral concrete staircases to the top of the monument. Note: The water fountain was inoperable during our visit.
City of Fountains
You can’t go far in Kansas City without seeing a decorative fountain. Referred to as the City of Fountains, 48 eye-catching water displays are throughout the city. The first fountains were designed in the late 1800s.
In early April, residents celebrate Greater Kansas City Fountain Day. Events, artists, and vendors host events at various fountains in the city.
Firefighters Fountain and Memorial
The Firefighters Fountain and Memorial (Pennsylvania Ave. and W. 31st St.) is nestled amongst office buildings and retail storefronts. While there are many beautiful fountain displays in the city, this one earns my respect for its design and stunning memorial.
Pause as you view 48 streams of water falling into the basin around the statuary representing firefighters at work. A nearby memorial displays the etched names of the fallen firefighters.
PRO TIP: Purchase bus tour tickets to see the city’s fountains and learn more about them from a guide from May-September on the third Saturday of the month.
POINTS OF INTEREST
One of the most iconic Kansas City points of interest, Union Station (30 W. Pershing Rd.), should be at the top of your list of places to experience while in the metro. Constructed in 1910, the building was the hub of the Missouri-Kansas-Texas railways.
The third largest train station in the country, it now operates as an entertainment venue.
At Union Station, you’ll appreciate its Science City, 3-D movie theater, restaurant, shops, Gottlieb Planetarium, and gift shops. The building’s architecture alone is worthy of your time.
PRO TIP: Cross the street to tour the National WWI Museum and Liberty Memorial.
Our overnight stay at Cozy in KC’S Charlotte Retreat was one of our best Airbnb experiences yet, and I don’t say that lightly since we’ve stayed overnight at several homes.
Its proximity to the city’s top attractions, walkable neighborhood, and quaint restaurants made it far more worthwhile than lodging at an overpriced downtown hotel. It’s close to the Plaza, Westport, 39th St. District, and Brookside making it the perfect weekend retreat.
You’ll adore the accommodations at Charlotte Retreat. Reserve it for your Kansas City getaway.