City of Fountains Neighborhood Guides
Kansas City is home to more than 240 neighborhoods. They are almost like mini-cities that stand on their own, each with their own histories, things to do and unique vibes. These guides, shaped by recommendations from those who call each place home, will help you explore the city neighborhood by neighborhood. More are on their way, too.
The sprawling suburb of Overland Park is best known for its family-friendly atmosphere, celebrated schools and sweeping residential neighborhoods. But residents told The Star that there’s also plenty for visitors to do in this large municipality.
The attractions range from an award-winning farmers market to a lush botanical garden complete with a sparkling lake. A favorite hiking, biking and dining spot of citydwellers and suburbanites alike, OP has something for every member of the family.
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This is one of many coming KC neighborhood guides
The Star is working on creating a series of neighborhood guides based on recommendations from Kansas Citians who call each neighborhood home. We will be adding more guides to this series over the coming weeks and months.
Do you have a favorite neighborhood you want to make sure we write about, or something about your neighborhood that we need to for sure include? Let us know at email@example.com or by filling out this form.
Where to eat and drink
Residents recommend Brobecks for its signature barbecue and Louie’s Wine Dive for its bistro-style fare, both of which are local to Overland Park. While it doesn’t have its own storefront, Velouté French Market & Catering has a weekly stall in the Overland Park Farmers’ Market selling beignets, fresh french fries and pantry items like homemade lemon curd and infused sea salts.
Like the rest of the metro area, Overland Park is passionate about its coffee. Must-try spots include the retro-inspired Jinkies! Coffee and Hangout, which serves creative drinks in a space filled with 70s nostalgia. Residents also recommend Pilgrim Coffee for its solid brew and Brew Haha Coffeehouse for its crepes and other delicacies.
Things to do
The Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens is a beautiful 300-acre nature preserve filled with trees, flowers and water features like man made streams and waterfalls. This idyllic setting is perfect for a picnic or a stroll, and also features a garden for kids with a model railroad running through it. Admission is only $1 for kids and $3 for those aged 13 and up. You can find the entrance at 8909 West 179th Street.
Residents also recommended checking out the Prairiefire Museum, a kid-friendly natural history, art and science museum. Hikers and cyclists enjoy riding along the Indian Creek Trail, which is paved and wheelchair-accessible. And if you’re an avid thrift shopper, check out Overland Park’s thriving secondhand shopping scene at spots like the Glenwood Antique Mall or the large City Thrift outlet.
An iconic neighborhood spot
The Overland Park Farmers Market is nationally recognized for its selection of fresh produce, prepared foods and home items. The seasonal market is currently ranked first in the nation through the American Farmland Trust, proving if nothing else that Overland Park residents are serious about promoting and voting for their beloved local market.
The market is located at 7950 Marty St. in the heart of the historic downtown area. Swing by on Saturdays between 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. for pastries, veggies, potted plants, fresh shrimp, honey, flowers and much more.
How to get involved
Volunteer opportunities are plentiful in Overland Park — and for many of them, you don’t have to be a resident. City spokesperson Meg Ralph told The Star that avid gardeners flock to the Arboretum and Botanical Gardens to help beautify the carefully tended grounds, from pulling weeds to setting up for events. The city also sees a large commuting population of workers who spend their day in the suburb — these non-residents can serve on councils and advisory boards set up by the city for everything from environmental policy to urban planning.
One residents-only opportunity is fast approaching: the city’s Framing Our Future workshop is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 18 at the Overland Park Convention Center. The workshop will kick off a citywide project called Framework OP that will invite residents to weigh in on what the future of the city could look like.
“This is really the first big public push to get it going,” Ralph told The Star. “Bring your ideas, bring your thoughts about what the future of Overland Park should be, and get involved in this process.”
Did you know?
While it has a reputation for quintessential suburbia, Overland Park is home to an increasingly diverse population of residents from all over the world. One sign of its melting-pot character is the variety of international grocery stores available to residents and visitors.
KC India Mart offers a wide variety of Indian and other Southeast Asian staples, from bulk spices and rice to snack foods and hot samosas. They’re not alone — Royal Spices Indian Grocery and Ambica Foods are also available for your Indian cooking needs.
For East Asian delicacies, Overland Park has you covered with 888 Int’l Market, Pan-Asia Supermarket and TT Asian Grocery to name a few. Europe is represented by European Delights, which offers Polish pierogies and sauerkraut, Russian and Ukrainian desserts, bulk candy and a variety of cured meats.
Shahrazad International Market and Ali Baba International Foods provide Middle Eastern specialties to the area, from halal meat to pita bread and spices. Global Market in Mark One Plaza sells pan-African groceries and other international fare, while El Fogón Market and La Mexicanita offer Latin American groceries and snacks.
“The whole area is a lot more diverse than it was when I was a kid, which I really appreciate,” resident Courtney Carlson told The Star. She grew up in Overland Park before leaving and starting a family in Singapore. When she moved back to the U.S. last year, she decided to return to the area with her spouse and son.
What do you love about your Kansas City neighborhood? Let The Star know using the form below or emailing the Service Journalism team at firstname.lastname@example.org.