Have you been isolating yourself in your air-conditioned home in order to beat the summer heat? I know the feeling… but now is not the time to avoid the outdoors. Make plans to get outside and explore this beautiful state we call home by visiting these 12 Kansas marvels that must be seen to be believed:
1. Kansas Sunsets
I know I have gushed about Kansas sunsets time and again, but come on. Have you ever seen anything quite as vibrant and beautiful?! Take time to enjoy these colorful masterpieces this summer from the comfort of your own (air-conditioned) home or car.
2. Cowley Lake Waterfall (Dexter)
Not every waterfall has the distinction of being named a “Must See” by AARP, Yahoo, and Most Amazing in the World. Fortunately for us in Kansas, this beautiful gem is located right in our own backyard.
3. St. Fidelis Catholic Church (Victoria)
Seeing as though my husband and I were married at this "Cathedral of the Plains," I may be just a tad biased... BUT I happen to think that this "8 Wonders of Kansas" recipient just so happens to be not only one of the most lovely churches in Kansas, but the entire country.
4. Castle Rock (Quinter)
I think it's safe to say that one of the last things you'd expect to see in Kansas is a collection of towering chalk spires... but Castle Rock (and its surrounding badlands) is just that.
5. Monument Rocks (Grinnell)
See: Castle Rock.
6. Paul Boyer Museum of Animated Carvings (Belleville)
If you think these intricate wood carvings look cool in the pictures, wait until you see them (and numerous others) up close and in action...
7. Cosmosphere (Hutchinson)
Whether or not you consider yourself to be a space enthusiast, you are sure to find something to enjoy at the interactive Cosmosphere, which houses the largest collection of U.S. and Russian spaceflight artifacts in the world.
8. Strataca (Hutchinson)
Located just down the road from the Cosmosphere is Strataca; the only underground salt mine in the country that allows tourists. (Want some advice? Hop on The Dark Ride for a more in-depth look at the various parts of the mine.)
9. Flint Hills
Have I ever mentioned my love of the rolling Flint Hills? Oh, I have? Every other post, you say? Well, OK then... but can you blame me?! (I mean, are you seeing this picture? Have I asked enough questions??)
10. Keeper of the Plains (Wichita)
If you think the extravagant 44 foot tall Keeper looks amazing during the day, wait until you see him at night amidst the colorful lights and blazing "Rings of Fire."
11. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (Strong City)
The native grassland that once covered 400,000 square miles of North America is down to a dismal 4%... but fortunately for us in Kansas, we can still see it in all of its glory at this National Park Service protected area.
12. Big Basin Prairie Preserve (Clark County)
Last but certainly not least on our list of Kansas marvels is the Big Basin Prairie Preserve; a 1,818 acre area filled with mixed grass prairie, canyons, uplands, and several native animals who freely roam.