The Basics

Kansas City is nationally unique because a state line (Missouri/Kansas) bisects the metropolitan area. From the downtown area to the north, the Missouri River defines the states’ shared boundary. From a point just west of downtown, the Missouri River runs south through the center of the metro area.

  • Kansas City, Missouri, is the namesake and largest city, founded in 1850 as the City of Kansas.
  • Kansas City, Kansas, known as KCK locally, is a smaller city on the western side of the line. Traditionally an industrial center, today KCK has burgeoning entertainment venues on its west side.
  • Johnson County, Kansas, came of age in the 1950s and ‘60s, boasting some of the most attractive neighborhoods and communities in the Midwest.
  • The Missouri River splits the metropolitan area east to west.
  • Street numbers:
    • The numbered streets on the Missouri side run east to west, beginning downtown at the Missouri River.
    • Numbered streets on the Kansas side run north to south, beginning at the state line.

The Northland:

Communities north of the river are collectively referred to as “the Northland.”

  • Addresses on numbered streets in the Northland will be preceded by “Northeast” or “Northwest,” using North Oak Trafficway as the dividing line.
  • Addresses on numbered streets south of the river on the Missouri side will be indicated as “East” or “West,” with Main Street as the dividing line.

More on the State Line:

  • State Line Road follows the line north and south through the most populated areas of the region.
  • You must use the area codes when dialing across the state line, but there’s no need to dial “1” first and the calls are not long-distance. Telephone numbers in Missouri use the 816 area code. Kansas numbers use the 913 area code.
    • Other area codes in the metro include 785 for Lawrence and Topeka, Kansas.

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