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Kansas, a state in the Midwestern United States, is known for its sprawling plains, agriculture, and The Wizard of Oz. The state is named for the Kansa Native American tribe, thought to mean “people of the wind.” The capital city of Topeka, where over 100,000 people live, was the location of the historic court decision Brown v. Board of Education. The Sunflower State enjoys a wide range of weather, from snowy winters to hot summers. There is a wide range of activities here, from adventurous outdoors opportunities to family-friendly attractions in the cities. You’re sure to be pleasantly surprised by all that Kansas has to offer!
Things to do in Kansas
The Museum of World Treasures, located in Wichita, has three floors full of artifacts. With everything from Egyptian mummies to a four-and-a-half-ton piece of the Berlin Wall, this museum has a piece of history for everyone to enjoy. The Rolling Hills Zoo in Salina is both a museum and a zoo, providing hours of fun for everybody in the family. NASCAR enthusiasts are sure to appreciate the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City. Come during one of the races for an exciting afternoon, or take a guided tour through the facilities.
Best cities to visit in Kansas
Wichita and Topeka are two of the largest cities in Kansas, each featuring a number of interesting museums and parks. For a look into the state’s quintessentially American history, visit Dodge City. Come in August for Dodge City Days, which is a 10-day event featuring rodeos, a car show, food trucks, and more. Lawrence, on the banks of the Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers, is an artistic town known for live music. Visit The Granada, which was built in the 1930s as a silent movie theater, for an unforgettable concert experience.
Best small towns in Kansas
Lindsborg, known as Little Sweden U.S.A., is a charming town that showcases Northern European architecture and festivals. It is also home to dozens of artists, creating a rich artistic community. Abilene, full of museums and libraries, is a historically rich city—it was once the home to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Wamego is a fun and quirky town that houses all things related to The Wizard of Oz. Visit the Oz Museum and the Oz Winery to experience what this town loves best.
Best lake vacations in Kansas
El Dorado Lake was named one of the best state parks in America for its fishing and boating. 98 miles of shoreline, as well as 2,000 acres of state park property, give visitors plenty of room to relax and explore. Cedar Bluff State Park is perfect for adventurous travelers. Boat launch facilities and utility campsites equip visitors to enjoy the natural beauty of the area, while shady trees and sandy shores on the south side are perfect for relaxing.
Best National Parks in Kansas
Kansas is full of historically significant sites, many of which are protected by the National Park Service. Visit the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site in Topeka to learn about the landmark decision to desegregate public schools. An exhibit gallery shows video clips, photos, and a restored kindergarten classroom, and the Landon Nature Trail connects the Santa Fe Trail and the Oregon Trail. Fort Larned is a restored army post from the 1800s, showcasing the history of the Indian Wars and soldiers known as the “Guardians of the Santa Fe Trail.” In Strong City, see the nationally preserved Tallgrass Prairie. Historic buildings, bus tours through the prairie, and bison viewing make this an exciting destination for everybody.