Ten of the Hottest Neighborhoods in Kansas City
Boundaries: Kessler Park [N]; Interstate 29 [W]; Chestnut Trafficway [E]; Independence Ave. [S]
"Given how much the Kansas City metro has grown in the last century, it’s funny to think of Pendleton Heights—part of the historic Northeast and less than five minutes from downtown Kansas City—as a suburb.
Yet that’s exactly what it was—Kansas City’s first suburb. An astounding collection of residential architecture awaits in this charming neighborhood, ranging from Queen Anne, Craftsman, Shingle and Folk Victorian. The jaw-dropping array of stately homes (said to be Kansas City’s largest collection of true Victorian homes) was just one of many reasons that This Old House selected Pendleton Heights in 2013 as one of its Best Old House neighborhoods.
If you haven’t yet visited Pendleton Heights, it’s hard to narrow down what you should see first. A stroll along the Cliff Drive Scenic Byway is a natural starting point so that you can meander through the lush surroundings of Kessler Park, named for George Kessler, the creator of the city’s park and boulevard system.
With Kessler Park, Maple Park, and Lafayette Garden as part of the neighborhood, Pendleton Heights enjoys another local distinction: one of the largest percentages of green space in Kansas City.
“We love Pendleton Heights because of the sense of community and the make-it-better/can-do attitude of our neighbors,” says the Lee family, as quoted by the Pendleton Heights Kansas City Neighborhood Association. “We love PH because of its close proximity to downtown, along with the racial and ethnic diversity. We have a wonderful park system and a surprising mix of wildlife for being an urban area.”
It’s not always easy to live in a historic neighborhood, as homes typically require more TLC and upkeep than new construction. Yet maybe that’s one of the factors that’s made Pendleton Heights such a vibrant, close-knit community.
Aside from carefully restoring the neighborhood’s stately homes, many residents have worked together to introduce beloved annual events like the Holiday Homes Tour and pop-up art markets that draw people from all over Kansas City. And when the temperatures warm, you can likely find residents immersed in the community orchard and garden. It’s not an overstep to say Pendleton Heights is a little slice of paradise!
Must-visit: Elvira’s Cakes for churros, pan dulce, tres leches and more. 3838 Independence Ave., Kansas City, Missouri"
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