As the cold temperatures begin to fade, Memorial Day weekend brings warm weather and signals the unofficial start of the summer season. If you’re wanting an unforgettable destination to spend the holiday, look no further than Kansas. Attend a military parade or history museum in a major city to honor fallen men and women. Explore the outdoors with a weekend packed with hiking, biking, and rock climbing. Book a stay at a Kansas vacation rental for your upcoming Memorial Day weekend getaway. From big cities to national parks, there are an abundance of attractions to enjoy. Take a look at the nine best Memorial Day weekend getaway spots in Kansas.

1. Wichita

Source: Flickr/One Day Closer

A bustling city, Wichita has something for every member of your family. Veterans Memorial Park hosts a day of remembrance with a ceremony dedicated to the fallen each year. Take advantage of the gorgeous weather at the Botanica, The Wichita Gardens. This garden offers a dedicated children’s areas and a butterfly house, where a butterfly might land on your child’s hand to their delight. Visit the Old Cowtown Museum and step back in time to the 1800s. This museum recreates the town of Wichita during that time and includes reenactments.

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2. Kansas City

Source: Flickr/Pam Broviak

On the eastern edge of the state and bordering Missouri, Kansas City is a great city for a long weekend holiday. Each year, the Kansas City Symphony hosts a free concert over the Memorial Day weekend with a popular performer, food trucks, and a family-friendly atmosphere. Visit the National World War I Museum and Memorial for its yearly ceremony and ride up to the top of the tower for amazing views of the city. Cool off at Oceans of Fun, a local water park, that features slides, a wave pool, a lazy river, and kid’s area.

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3. Topeka

Source: Flickr/Doug Kerr

As the capital city, Topeka is a popular destination to find a vacation rental when the weather warms up. Start your visit to the city with a tour of the Kansas Capitol Building. Old Prairie Town at Ward-Meade Historic Site offered guided tours and a look at what life was like in the area in the 1800s. The tour includes a mansion, an old school house, and a few other historic buildings. Learn more about Kansas’s rich history with the railroad at the Great Overland Station. Kids love climbing on the old trains.

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4. Overland Park

Source: Flickr/Benjamin White

Hit the second largest city in the state when your vacation destination is Overland Park. Kids love visiting the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, where they learn more about life on the prairie and enjoy a pony ride. Recharge your energy with an ice cream cone from the farm’s ice cream shop. Stop and smell the flowers at the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. Here, you find flowers in full bloom after a cold winter. In the early evening, take the family to Antioch Park for a picnic while the kids play on the playground.

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5. Lawrence

Source: Flickr/freeblue_kostas

Spend your holiday weekend out on the water in Lawrence. This town has the Kansas River running through town and Clinton Lake close by. Rent a boat or jet ski from the Clinton Marina and spend your day out on the lake. The marina store also sales bait and fishing equipment so you can catch your own supper. Stroll along Massachusetts Street in the historic district to see the examples of Neo-classical and Victorian architecture that date from the 1850s. Hike through the wetlands and woodlands of the Prairie Park Nature Center.

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6. Olathe

Source: Flickr/Miguel Vieira

Enjoy all the amenities of a city and the small time vibe in Olathe. Fly through the sky at Zip KC. This zip line park offers several options and some include a hiking tour of the woods before ascending to the ziplines and sailing above the trees. There is even a night tour available. Learn more about the local automobile industry of the past at the Kansas City Automotive Museum. The museum includes interactive exhibits and more than 30 cars. Johnny’s BBQ Olathe is a great place to get messy while chowing down on ribs and all the fixings.

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7. Manhattan

Source: Flickr/Russell Feldhausen

Find the charming city of Manhattan at the meeting place of the Kansas River and the Big Blue River, making it a great place to explore in the late spring weather. Learn more about the ecosystem in the prairie lands at the Flint Hills Discovery Center. This museum provides exhibits on the local ecosystem and conservation programs. Next, apply your new found knowledge by hiking through the Konza Prairie Biological Station. You might even see prairie dogs, bison, and other critters.

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8. Lenexa

Source: Flickr/Balaji

Relax and unwind in the beautiful town of Lenexa. Stretch your legs and enjoy an afternoon of hiking in the Sar-Ko-Par Trails Park. In addition to trails, this park offers a disc golf course, a playground for the little ones, and cool historic barn. Pack your swimsuit and a picnic lunch before leaving for the Shawnee Mission Park. This park sits on a lake of the same name, so it offers a beach for you to cool off or just soak up the sun on the sand.

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9. Dodge City

Source: Flickr/Gloria Bell

Explore the Old West in Dodge City. You know you’ve arrived at the right town when you see the massive bull statue in the town center. Walk down a street that looks like the Wild West ended yesterday at the Boot Hill Museum. In addition to the street, your kids are going to love the shootout between the good guys and the bad guys. Cool off at the Long Branch Lagoon. This small water park offers four themed pools, slides, a rock climbing wall, and a lazy river.

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