That wonderful time of year where the sun stays out late, the weather is finally warm, and the skies clear and blue is finally here, which means it’s time to get outside and enjoy this gorgeous state! If you are looking for a day-long getaway that consists of beautiful sights and the soothing sounds of your car engine, you will want to be sure to drive along one of these 11 beautiful Kansas byways for an experience you won’t soon forget:
1. Flint Hills National Scenic Byway
You know we couldn't begin this list without mentioning the incredible Flint Hills National Scenic Byway, which runs straight through the colorful and native tallgrass prairie. If you are looking to add to your experience even more, be sure to stop by one of the passing towns for lunch and a little shopping!
2. Glacial Hills Scenic Byway
It doesn't get much more beautiful than the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway, which was named for the lovely green hills and valleys which surround it. Since the Byway runs along the eastern half of the state, make it a point to check out some of the historic gems along this old Pony Express route.
3. Smoky Valley Scenic Byway
Located in the Smoky Hill River Valley, this scenic byway runs along breathtaking flowers and chalky cliffs that you won't see anywhere else. (Pictured is the magnificent Cedar Bluff Reservoir.)
4. Frontier Military Scenic Byway
Are you looking for a little after dark action? No, not that kind... I'm talking about taking a drive along the Frontier Military Scenic Byway, which is home to some of the best star gazing opportunities in the state. Load up the pickup with blankets, grab your friends, and enjoy this unforgettable experience!
5. Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway
The Wetlands & Wildlife National Scenic Byway gives its visitors a chance to see just that: native wetlands and wildlife! While you're driving this stretch of road, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for both beautiful four-legged and feathered friends.
6. Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway
Whoever says that Kansas is "flat" and "boring" has obviously never traveled the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway, which passes vibrant red hills, canyons, mesas, and more! (Word to the wise: bring your camera and be prepared to make several stops along the way.)
7. Western Vistas Historic Byway
History lovers rejoice! This western Kansas byway offers easy access to a trove of historic treasures, including the old Fort Wallace, Monument Rocks, and the wonderfully preserved El Quartelejo ruins.
8. Prairie Trail Scenic Byway
Look... it's nothing but quiet roads and wide-open spaces as far as the eye can see... isn't it perfect?! (By the way, if you need to stretch your legs during your adventure, be sure to swing by Little Sweden USA, Lindsborg!)
9. Native Stone Scenic Byway
I will give you three guesses as to how the Native Stone Scenic Byway got its name... (Hint: It may or may not have to do with the gorgeous limestone buildings and fences you'll find along the way!)
10. Route 66
"Well if you ever plan to motor west; just take my way; it's the highway that's the best!"
11. Post Rock Scenic Byway
Does seeing this view make you think you aren't in Kansas anymore? Don't let the blue waters fool you; the Post Rock Scenic Byway takes you from prairies to lakes and then back again.