KANSAS CITY, Mo. — There’s a new way to find and visit hidden gems around Kansas City, Missouri.
Maria Andrew launched the Go Explore KC digital passport on June 1.
Users access the passport by creating an account on the program’s mobile-friendly website. Once logged in, users can choose from different tours. Some tours are free, others require a paid membership ($10 a month or $100 a year).
Tours include murals around town, wineries and diners.
Andrew plans to update tours seasonally.
Users prove they’ve visited a spot on the tour by enabling the location services on their smartphone while logged in to their account and by answering a question about the destination.
When users visit five locations on a given tour, they receive a prize. Key chains and other swag items are prizes for free tours. Users who signed up for a paid membership receive buy-one-get-one coupons and gift cards to redeem at different destinations.
Andrew said traffic on the website has exceeded her expectations. She’s receiving a lot of positive feedback from users.
“They [say they] have lived here their entire life and never heard of something, or never been somewhere, or it was the perfect excuse to finally kind of leave their bubble and go venture off in a neighborhood they hadn’t been to before,” Andrew said.
The mother of three said she created the tours based on her own experiences of exploring Kansas City. She moved here six years ago.
She said the digital passport is perfect for the COVID-19 pandemic, which restricted travel.
“We’re doing staycations, people aren’t traveling,” she pointed out. “We don’t need to because we have this great city, great businesses, great things to see and do right in our backyard.”
Andrew said one of the great things listed on the brew tour is Crane Brewing in Raytown.
The co-founder said he was eager to join the passport as a destination. He hopes the website encourages people who have never visited the brewery to check it out.
“[Having someone here for the first time] is special,” Crane co-founder Chris Meyers said. “Especially if they’ve never had our beers before. We do a lot of sour beers, so it’s fun to kinda introduce people to if they’ve never had a sour beer before.”
Meyers promises guests he’ll help them find a beer they’ll like.
Go online to find out more about Go Explore KC’s digital passport program.