When it comes to beauty and historic splendor, Kansas is a truly the place to be. Sure, it gets a bad rap (“Kansas is so flat and boring and blah blah blah, I’ve never been and don’t know what I’m talking about”), but it is truly one gem of a state, as demonstrated by these 12 incredible places that everyone should visit:
1. Kalida Castle Cave (Yates Center)
Located in the now deserted town of Kalida, this magnificent sandstone castle, which was built as both a town reference point and farm utility cave, stands lonely amidst the trees.
Enjoy the simpler things in the town of Yoder; an Amish community that prides itself on delicious food, well-made products, and a sense of community that you won't find anywhere else.
3. Cosmosphere (Hutchinson)
Yes, the Cosmosphere is indeed one of the bigger Kansas attractions, but considering it's home to the biggest collection of US and Russian spaceflight artifacts in the world, it very well should be!
4. Gypsum Hills
So much for Kansas being "flat" and "boring"... these hills are alive with distinct red cedar trees and rusty dirt, giving it its iconic reddish tint.
5. Paul Boyer Museum of Animated Carvings (Belleville)
I cannot express my love of Paul Boyer and his amazing talents enough... this man has hand-carved and given life to hundreds of wooden characters that you have to see to believe!
6. Lee Richardson Zoo (Garden City)
Have we ever mentioned that this large and impressive zoo (complete with lions, camels, and even giraffes) is FREE to the public?! See you there!
7. Strataca (Hutchinson)
Anyone who considers Strataca to be overrated (which I have heard) has obviously never ridden the Dark Ride or checked out their impressive collection of movie and pop culture memorabilia...
8. Cowley County Waterfall (Dexter)
One of Kansas's best kept secrets is that of the Cowley County Waterfall, which has been named a “Must See” by AARP, Yahoo, and Most Amazing in the World. (One glance and you'll see why!)
9. Western Kansas Sunset
It's no secret that Kansas is home to some of the most beautiful sunsets in the world... the ones you'll find in western Kansas, however, are truly out of this world!
10. Santa Fe Trail Center (Larned)
Learn all about the extraordinary days of the Santa Fe Trail at this beautiful museum and library, which tells the tale of the Trail with over 35,000 unique artifacts.
Travel to an exciting new country without stepping foot out of the state! Lindsborg (or Little Sweden, USA) offers authentic Swedish foods, art, shops, Dala Horses, and more! (As they like to say, "Välkommen till Lindsborg!")
12. Oz Museum (Wamego)
It's fun; it's kitschy; and it'll bring a little extra magic to your day (and have you humming "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" for the next week)!