World Series: Kansas City vs. San Francisco

Your travel guide for the 2014 World Series.

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One team is trying to win its third World Series in 5 years; the other is making its first trip to the Fall Classic in 29 seasons. On Tuesday, the American League champion Kansas City Royals will host the National League champion San Francisco Giants in the 110th World Series. And while the baseball fortunes of these 2 cities may have striking differences, they share amazing food, unique cultures and landmark attractions that make them bucket-list destinations.

So if you plan on making the trip to catch a game, here is what you will need to know for both San Fran and KC.
Where to Stay
When traveling to a city for a sporting event, you always want to try to stay near the ballpark. It just makes it easier — you’re there to see the game, right? And as luck has it, both venues are only a short drive from the center of their respective cities and numerous hotels.

In Kansas City, you’ll want to check out the Raphael Hotel (on the left). This award-winning venue will transport you around the world with its Italian architecture and posh settings, all while being surrounded by the small-town charm of the Midwest. Closer to Kauffman Stadium — and by closer, we mean across the street — is the Four Points by Sheraton, which is extremely convenient for your game-day commute and features its own sports bar for your pre- and postgame fun.

San Francisco offers plenty of niche neighborhoods that will help make your stay that much better. Grab a room at the Chancellor Hotel in Union Square, a popular SF destination surrounded by quaint boutiques and department stores, or Stanyan Park Hotel in Haight-Ashbury, the flower-power center of the ’60s. While these neighborhoods are at different ends of the spectrum, they both are vital to a unique San Franciscan experience. Or, if water front views are more your speed, check out the Hotel Vitale (on the right). This luxury hotel features a penthouse-level spa, a circular cocktail lounge, and breathtaking views of the San Francisco Bay.
Where to Eat
This series could not be better for food lovers. One city has the surf, the other has the turf. The series kicks off in Kansas City, which can mean only one thing: barbecue. Dubbed by some as the “BBQ capital of the world” (sorry, Texas, Memphis and Carolina), Kansas City literally offers hundreds of places to pig out on the smoky goodness of brisket, pork and ribs. If you’ll be hanging around Kauffman Stadium before game time, make sure you hit up Gates Bar-B-Q, which has a location less than 10 minutes from the action. If you find yourself closer to downtown, you can’t go wrong with the legendary Arthur Bryant’s (on the left). Both places boast some of the best BBQ in the city and great ambience to boot. But if you want a really unique experience, venture to the Westwood neighborhood in southwest Kansas City for Oklahoma Joe’s. Don’t be fooled by the gas station décor — there’s BBQ goodness inside.

When the series shifts to San Francisco on Oct. 24, your taste buds should shift to the sea. When in Rome, do as the Romans do, right? So when you’re in the City by the Bay, it’s time to chow down on some seafood. With water surrounding this hilly peninsula, there are plenty of amazing places to get your fix. Routinely voted one of the best seafood restaurants in the Bay Area, Anchor Oyster Bar is the place to satisfy your deepest craving for that raw goodness on a half shell. From oyster shooters to award-winning clam chowder, the simple menu will have you coming back for more. A short walk around the corner from Anchor will land you at Catch, a slightly upscale restaurant that features amazing seafood with an Italian flair. But if you’re headed to AT&T Park for the game, there are plenty of sports bars surrounding the stadium, including Pete’s Tavern (on the right) and Public House, that serve up great beers and classic American bar food to get you fired up for the big game.
What to Do
Every great city has a great marketplace, and in the heart of downtown Kansas City is the City Market (on the left). This open-air marketplace has been around for more than 150 years and is a hub for local farmers markets, retail shops and restaurants. As it was for those traveling west in the late 1800s, this one-of-a-kind experience is a must-stop during your trip. When you’re not shopping in the City Market, head over to one of the great museums that KC has to offer. With the city’s deep musical history, it’s no surprise that it is home to the American Jazz Museum. In the famous 18th and Vine district, the museum is just one of many jazz-themed bars and restaurants in an area that is still a hotbed for great music.

And since this is a baseball trip (World Series, remember?), you can’t leave Kansas City without visiting the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. There, you can see amazing exhibits on some of the most talented ballplayers who never saw the majors, such as Rube Foster and Josh Gibson.

Like KC, San Francisco offers tons of things to do when you are killing time between games. Fisherman’s Wharf is just a hop, skip and a jump away from downtown and AT&T Park. Catch a ride on one of the city’s famous streetcars to get from place to place, or just hunker down and enjoy one of the many festivals and fireworks shows that happen each month. Just south of the wharf is Telegraph Hill, where you can get a bird’s-eye view of the Bay Area while enjoying the shopping and dining of the North Beach community.

But a trip to San Francisco would not be complete without simply traveling across perhaps the most famous bridge in the world. The stunning sight of the Golden Gate Bridge will impress even the most experienced traveler. One trip across it will make your time and effort worthwhile.

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