You’ll have no trouble finding this Waldo. This quaint, eclectic, and lively neighborhood is bustling with daytime activities and an exciting nightlife.
The story of Waldo is full of twists and turns (just like its quirky side streets + railways). If you haven’t explored in a while, it might be time to rediscover why so many people — maybe even you — love to call it home.
Need to know
You’re not the only one with your eyes set on #EverythingWaldo. This neighborhood is a go-to for young professionals, families, and older adults who want affordability, community, and access.
The boundaries run from Gregory Boulevard (north), Holmes Road (east), 91st Street (south), and State Line Road (west). Houses trend smaller but cheaper and are lined with beautiful foliage. The central business district is very walkable, and residents are no more than 20 minutes from downtown. It’s no wonder the neighborhood’s slogan is proudly, “We live in Waldo.”
The early days
The neighborhood is named after David Waldo, an early physician, wagon trader, and land owner during the nineteenth century. He bought up to 2,400 acres of land situated along the Sante Fe Trail. A rail line was later built in the 1860s, increasing commerce and visitors.
As an unincorporated community in Jackson County, people had a lot of freedoms in Waldo (compared to city rules), which attracted a diverse group of residents and businesses. Then in 1909, Kansas City expanded and annexed half of the area (down to 77th Street). The rest came later that century, but the special patchwork of people living there remains today.
Running low on time? A trip to Waldo isn’t complete without spending some time at the corner of Gregory Boulevard + Wornall Road. You’ll get a taste of the Trolley Trail (more on that later) and Classic Cookie, and there are photo opportunities with Waldo signs and historic Romanelli architecture, so be sure to factor it into your day. You’ll thank us later.
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Local is all the rage in Waldo — the community is full of small businesses that stand out.
- Loyally in Waldo for 37 years, Hiles Two is the perfect place to buy gifts or children’s clothes.
- Pick up locally-supplied pet products, bird food, and seeds at family owned, friendly Waldo Grain.
- Whether you’re welcoming a new baby into the family, celebrating a birthday, or just want some personalized drinkware, Pistachios has you covered.
- Pick up some gorgeous earrings or unique decor from Hawthorne and Ivy.
While Waldo is known best for its unique shopping experience and bustling community, the options for nature lovers are not in short supply. Here’s how to look in from the outside.
- The Harry Wiggins Trolley Track Trail is a six-mile path that follows an old streetcar line up through Brookside to the Plaza — perfect for walking, running, and cycling.
- The 19-acre Tower Park is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Sunnyside Park + Sprayground is the best place to cool off during the hot summer months, with a fountain that anyone can enjoy.
Eat + Drink
From mouth-watering morsels to historic eateries and drinks with a view, here are a few places you can sink your teeth into.
- Three kimchi(rs) for Bōru Asian Eatery, which has 4.4 stars out of 1,500+ Google reviews.
- Governor Stumpy’s Grill House embodies the local legend of Edward A. Stine, passed down and refined by his grandchildren.
- McLain’s Bakery will have you drooling over its food + photo ops.
- Second Best Coffee is infusing Midwest modesty with exceptional quality.
- The Well Bar, Grill, and Rooftop — come for the views, stay for the Smac ‘N’ Cheese.
- Waldo Pizza is one of City Editor Travis’ favorite local pizza places.
Arts + Culture
Rich with culture, history, and creativity, this neighborhood has a huge personality.
- Celebrate the changing seasons with the Annual Waldo Fall Festival, including vendors, food trucks, and live entertainment.
- Wornall/Majors House Museums showcase two historic homes where the history of the city, region, and country was formed.
- Visit Eclectics Gallery often as their handmade local items can vary day by day.