About a half-hour southwest of downtown Kansas City, Olathe's main claim to fame (besides being one of the most affordable communities in the metro area) is the Mahaffie stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site, the last remaining stagecoach stop on the Santa Fe Trail. At the living history farmstead, visitors get a hands-on look at pioneer life, including stagecoach rides and working farm demonstrations. Other interesting Olathe event venues include the William Marra Museum of Deaf History and Deaf Culture, Black Bob Bay Water Park, four golf courses, and the 113-acre Ernie Miller Nature Center.
Kansas City International Airport is a 45-minute drive from Olathe. The airport is served by Air Canada, AirTran, American Airlines, Delta, Frontier, SeaPort Airlines, Southwest, United, and U.S. Airways. From Kansas City International, passengers can fly nonstop to 45 cities throughout the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, including Atlanta, Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, and San Diego. Shuttle van service to Olathe is available for around $70.
Chief among stand-alone meeting venues in Olathe is Ball Conference Center. The facility includes a 4,800-square-foot ballroom that can accommodate 350 for a meeting and 500 for a reception and the Mabee Learning Center, a full-feature audio-visual studio with tiered classroom-style seating for 40 people.
Hotel venues in Olathe include the 107-room Hilton Garden Inn, which opened in August 2012 with meeting space for 250 people and what is considered one of the best restaurants in the area, Johnny's Italian Steakhouse. Other hotels with meeting space include the 115-room Hampton Inn, which can host a meeting for 150 people, and the 106-room La Quinta Inn & Suites, which can accommodate a meeting for 50 people.
The venues for off-site functions in Olathe range from historic to high octane. At Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop and Farm Historic Site, a planner for a group of up to 150 people can stage a party, or even a team-building event built around working as a team on a 19th-century farm. At Stone Pillar Vineyard and Winery, set on a 150-year-old farm just outside of town, the Hoff family will host a party for up to 50 people built around their award-winning wines. And for speed, Sadlers Indoor Go-Kart Racing offers three racing tracks and a variety of function rooms, including one that overlooks the entire 86,000-square-foot facility and is equipped with a large stage, two full bars, private rest rooms, and plasma HDTVs.
Olathe's dining scene features some of the best restaurants in the metro Kansas City area. Garozzo's Italian Restaurant is considered one of the best Italian restaurants in the Kansas City area, as is Joe's Kansas City for barbecue. And SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza, known for serving award-winning artisan food without the gourmet price, has been lauded as having the best pizza in the city. A favorite with locals, Houlihan's focuses its menu around local produce. Johnny's Italian Steakhouse, in the Hilton Garden Inn, is a steak house with a vintage supper club decor and the sounds of crooners from Sinatra to Harry Connick Jr. to accompany the meal.