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Beer, BBQ, low-cost hotels, waterslides brand KC as a summer destination

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After a long drawn-out winter that snowed late and then kept snowing into May (for the first time since 1907), and a springtime that has been rife with the threat of hailstorms and tornadoes, Kansas Citians are ready to welcome the simple blazing heat and hazy-crazy humidity of summer.

And Kansas City won’t be a bad place to swelter this summer, according to Travel + Leisure magazine. The magazine has named Kansas City the most affordable getaway in the nation, based on a survey of readers who ranked 35 cities based on qualities such as fine dining and cultural offerings.

In another recent Travel + Leisure article, the magazine ranks Kansas City number five in local hand-crafted beers—behind Denver, Seattle, Portland, Me., and Portland, Ore. According to the article, “Local favorite Boulevard Brewing Co., is now the nation’s 10th largest craft brewer and—despite the city’s ho-hum ranking for romance—recently introduced a barrel-aged “sour” ale called Love Child No. 3.”

As an affordable getaway, Travel + Leisure said Kansas City is one of the “few cities where hotel prices have stayed the same or even dropped in the past year.” According to Kayak.com, the average summer rate here is $137 a night.

Barbecue, tours and museums make Kansas City an attractive affordable getaway—but the clincher for KC, according to T+L, was once again its reputation for being a barbecue mecca. “KC won the survey for its budget-minded slow-smoked barbecue,” the magazine said, citing the classic burnt-ends sandwich at Danny Edwards’ Boulevard BBQ costing just $5.99.

In addition, the magazine said, sightseeing also remains a great value: “You’ll get in free at three of Kansas City’s main art museums as well as two-fun factory style tours at Hallmark Cards Inc. and Boulevard Brewing Co.”

Meanwhile, as far as Kansas City summer events for us year-round residents, the bad news is that the 2013 Kanrocksas Music Festival, scheduled for June 28-29 at the Kansas Speedway, has been canceled. Festival organizers said that lack of a heavyweight marquee name for either day meant that the festival could not draw the ticket sales it needed to survive.

The good news is that because Kansas City’s Worlds of Fun is celebrating its 40th anniversary, the amusement park is offering a new two-parks-for-one-price deal, including the all-new aquatic adventures at the adjacent Oceans of Fun park.

The Oceans of Fun renovation includes new cabanas, better lockers, a new sports bar, and a 65-foot-tall slide complex overlooking Surf City Wave Pool. In addition, six new slides make up three debut attractions—Predator’s Plunge, Constrictor and Sharks’ Revenge.

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