“Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam
Where the Deer and the Antelope play;
Where never is heard a discouraging word,
And the sky is not clouded all day.”
Yes, you guessed it right. This is the state song of the “Wheat Capital of the World,” Kansas, the 34th state in the United States of America. Kansas earned this title because it produces more than 400 million bushels of wheat every year. So basically, the amount of wheat produced in Kansas can make around 33 billion loaves of bread, more than enough for the world’s population! But not just wheat, the state also leads in producing corn, alfalfa, sorghum, and hay. Also nicknamed as the “Sunflower State,” because of the gorgeous sunflowers you can find in the state’s prairies. However, Kansas is not just about farms and sunflowers; you can also find a variety of landscapes in the state that includes sand dunes, hills, woodlands, grasslands, and well-maintained cities.
Places to visit in Kansas
So, if you are in Kansas and done with watching the beautiful sunsets and a heated basketball game between Jayhawks and K-State Wildcats, done eating at a BBQ joint, done surviving a hailstorm, done looking for Clark Kent aka Superman’s home, and done clicking pictures of sunflowers and landscapes, here is a list of top places to visit in Kansas.
1. Monument Rocks
Among the many places to visit in Kansas, this one deserves a special mention. Known to have formed almost 80 million years ago, the chalk pyramids, known as Monument rocks is a natural wonder found in the north-western part of Kansas. This national natural landmark is one of the unique places to visit in Kansas. Surrounded by flat, barren lands on all sides, these chalk formations rise unexpectedly from the ground, forming awe-inspiring monuments of different shapes and sizes. Each monument is different, some are above 70 feet tall, and in some, you can see embedded shells and fossils of various sea lives. It is a little away from the city, on private property. So, be prepared to drive along a gravel road and respect the surroundings.
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One of the best places to go in Kansas is the Wichita city. Even though it is not the capital of Kansas, it is the largest city of this beautiful state. Wichita, also known as the “air capital of the world,” is a city full of attractions that makes people of all ages wonderstruck on their visit. It is indeed one of the places to visit in Kansas state that must not be missed. From the Sedgwick County Zoo that boasts of a collection of more than 2500 animals to the Botanica, a lovely landscaped garden spread over 18 acres of land, this city creates beautiful memories for every visitor. The art and culture lovers must definitely visit the numerous museums and galleries in the city like the museum of world treasures, old cowtown museum, exploration place, etc. These museums are also places to visit in Kansas City for free if you are visiting on the final Friday of the month. There are other attractions like the Arkansas river trail, the original Pizza Hut, Sedwick park. The shopaholics can head to the Delano district to shop to their heart’s content.
3. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
If you have read about prairies only in books and you are in Kansas to have a closer look at them, head over to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. It is located in the heart of the Flint Hills, sprawling over 4,000,000 acres and is currently the world’s only tallgrass prairie left in the world. The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is home to over 500 species of plants, over 30 species of wild animals and 150 species of grassland birds too. So, if you are in the mood for some adventure, visit the preserve and hike through the mowed paths and gravel trails to explore one of the most prized Kansas tourist attractions.
4. Drinkwater and Schriver Flour Mill, Cedar Point
The Cedar Point Mill is one of the historical places to visit in Kansas. Located in Cedar Point, Chase County in Texas, the stone building has a long history. Situated on the banks of the Cottonwood River, the mill was used as a wooden sawmill in 1867, and in 1870, the mill was used to grind wheat for the local bakeries. It was abandoned in 1961 and is now on the list of National Register of Historic Places. This historical landmark that is set in an extremely stunning location is currently being renovated to make it more appealing to the visitors.
5. Oz Museum
One of the fun places to go in Kansas is the Oz Museum in the tiny city of Wamego. The museum, situated on the banks of River Kansas is devoted to all things related to the Wizard of Oz. Step on to the yellow path and get transported to the technicolor world of the Oz in this colorful museum. View over 100 years of history related to the Wizard of Oz through the rare artifacts, original books, production notes, photos, and props on display. You can also watch the original silent movie in the museum. So if you are a fan, you should add this interesting museum to your itinerary during your Kansas sightseeing trip.
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One of the many places to visit in Kansas state, Topeka is also the capital of the “breadbasket of the nation.” The vibrant city of Topeka is in the Shawnee County and has a rich history that dates back to 1800s. Taste a slice of history by visiting the Kansas Historical Society and Museum. Head over to the Kansas State Capitol to admire the murals. The adventurous ones can indulge in water sports at Lake Shawnee, watch drag racing at Heartland Park, or go hiking at the many natural trails in the city. Children can go visit the Topeka Zoological Park to watch the many exhibits or head to the Gage Park to enjoy the rides. There are many natural parks and botanical gardens in the city where you can spend a peaceful evening. So, if you are in the state, you must definitely visit Topeka since it is one of the top 10 places to visit in Kansas.
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7. Union Station
One of the best places to visit in Kansas city is the second-largest train station in the country, the Union Station. This architectural masterpiece was built in 1914 and is fully functional even today. Even though it is a smaller station now, it features an interactive science center, the Regnier Extreme Screen Theatre, the Arvin Gottlieb Planetarium, and many other attractions. The Union Station also hosts many exhibits such as Dinosaurs Revealed, Pompeii the Exhibition, and Art of the Brick throughout the year. The building is itself a sight to behold with its 3,500-pound chandeliers, huge clock, and the Grand Hall’s 95-foot ceiling. So, if you are in the city, do not forget to spend some quality time and enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the famous places to visit in Kansas.
8. National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial
Situated at the feet of the Liberty Memorial is the historic National World War I Museum. The memorial was built in 1928 in memory of the people who died in the war. The museum has a huge collection of films, artifacts, letters, uniforms, weapons, and even a Renault FT-17 tank that was damaged by a German shell. In total, over 75,000 items are on display at the museum. And that is not all, you can also learn about the geopolitical causes of the war through short films, maps, and storyboards in the museum. It definitely qualifies as one of the top places to visit in Kansas City!
9. American Jazz Museum
A treat for music lovers, the American Jazz Museum is one of those places to visit in Kansas City that should not be missed during your trip. Situated in the famous Jazz district, this museum was once frequented by musicians like Charlie Parker and Big Joe Turner. Today, visitors can visit the museum to learn about the birth and journey of jazz music and view the various exhibits like photos, posters, mixing boards, films, listening stations, Charlie Parker’s saxophone, and Ella Fitzgerald’s gown. You can also enjoy an evening of live jazz music at the Blue Room, a jazz club inside the jazz museum. You must definitely include the museum in your list of places to see in Kansas.
Among the many lovely places to visit near Kansas City is Lindsborg. Popularly known as Little Sweden, this little town was founded by Swedish immigrants at the end of the 19th Century. This fascinating town draws huge crowds during the several festivals that it celebrates, the most popular one being Svensk Hyllmingsfest that is celebrated in October of odd numbered years. Lindsborg is known for its locally roasted coffee, so you can grab a cup and explore the local attractions such as The Swedish Pavilion, Coronado Heights, Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery, Hoglund Dugout, and many other churches, museums, and entertainment parks. And post your tour, you can relish a delightful Swedish meal at the numerous food joints in the town.
And if you have more time and energy with you and your thirst for travel is not quenched, some more Kansas points of interest are: the Dodge City, Cosmosphere located in the Hutchinson city, the apparently haunted Sauer Castle, the Geary Lake Falls, and the St Fidelis Church, Victoria. Have a great vacation and make the most of your time in the best places to visit in Kansas!