Have you ever felt like you just wanted to explore, but you didn’t know where? You might not think of Kansas when you’re looking for adventure, but it can be found in even the simplest places. These small towns in Kansas are the perfect day trips to take on those days when you feel extra adventurous. Just pick one, and start planning your amazing day!
Abilene is a happy, quiet town on the eastern half of Kansas, between Salina and Junction City. This town of around 7,000 people is pretty small, but not small enough to feel empty.
In town, you've got a plethora of options to spend your day exploring. There's the Abilene and Smoky Valley Railroad , the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Old Abilene Town, and the Town Gunfighters every weekend at the Heritage Center. If you like architecture, there are also a few mansions you can adore from afar, as well.
To eat, you've got plenty of choices, with 311, Joe Snuffy's, and Mr. K's Farmhouse as some of my personal favorites. Stop by, socialize with local residents, and don't be afraid to get comfortable.
For those of you who haven't been to Lindsborg yet, it's more charming that you could imagine. It's a small town of about 3,500 people, many of them of Swedish descent. Just south of Salina, this little town is full of heritage and celebration of culture, from the moment you cross into town.
All across town, you'll see painted Dala horses that range in theme from classic Swedish red to floral and even sports patterns. Every other year, you'll find that their Svensk Hyllningsfest is the place to be, if you can nab a ticket. You'll enjoy all sorts of cultural traditions and foods as you celebrate their local heritage. As for places to go, the streets are lined with small businesses that all have their own wares that might just catch your eye. Maybe you need a Dala horse of your own!
When you're looking for something to eat, my first choice is The Swedish Crown. It's almost like they're the official welcome wagon for anyone new to Lindsborg. Other than there, other great restaurant options include Farleys, Ol Stuga, and the Swedish Country Inn Restaurant, where you can also stay overnight and make this a weekend trip.
Lecompton is an underrated town for sure, especially if you've never been to this area before. It's a small town hidden between Lawrence and Topeka, with about 650 residents. Its absolutely packed with history, dating back to before Kansas was even a state.
It's known as the birthplace of the Civil War, as well as the location where slavery began to officially die. It was also the former official location of the capital of the Kansas territory. Some great places to visit in town include the 1856 Constitution Hall, The Rowena Hotel, and The Territorial Capitol Museum.
When I get hungry here, Aunt Netters is my first pick every time. However, Koreger's Country Meats is a great place to stop by if you want to try two amazing restaurants in the same day.
Wilson is another captivating town full of similar heritage, but this time it's the Czech capital of Kansas. Wilson sits between Hays and Salina, and contains a population of around 800 people. Like Lindsborg, they also have a cultural celebration called Czechfest where they all get together and share their culture and traditions.
Here in Wilson, you can look forward to seeing the World's Largest Hand Painted Czech Egg, visiting local shops like Kansas Originals, and the historic (and rumored haunted) Midland Railroad Hotel & Restaurant.
When you get hungry, I recommend stopping by The Sample Room, Made From Scratch and (my favorite) Grandma's Soda Shop. If you've never had old style sodas, it's a must-try.
Goodland is a wonderful city in northwestern Kansas along I-70 that's just begging to be explored. This town and its roughly 4,500 residents are all lucky to live somewhere so beautiful and full of life.
When you're exploring Goodland, some key attractions include the World's Largest Easel, High Plains Museum, and the Ennis-Handy 1907 Victorian home. Everywhere you visit, including the local businesses here, you'll find people happy to meet you for the first time.
When you get hungry on your adventure, I recommend L&T's Family Restaurant, Crazy R's, and Shiraz for amazing food and great company. However, a hidden gem I found here is the On The Bricks Cafe, pictured above. It's not the most popular place in town, but their breakfasts are simply splendid if you get here early enough.