Kansas June 26, 2017
Shhh… These 9 Hidden Places Are Kansas’s Best Kept Secrets
Kansas is pretty good at keeping secrets, and most of those relate to special locations where you can enjoy a day out of the house without a huge crowd. However, we thought we’d share these 9 of Kansas’ best kept secrets for everyone to enjoy. From castles to nature preserves, maybe these places deserve a little more attention. Most of all, sharing these places with friends and family is what makes them special. Kansas’ best kept secrets might be better off known after all!
Caenen Castle - 12401 Johnson Dr, Shawnee, KS
This castle nestled in scenic Shawnee serves as the home of a restaurant named Renee Kelly's Harvest. Most noteworthy is her dedication to farm-to-table dining, and her restoration of the historic castle.
2. Horsethief Canyon - 200 Horsethief Rd, Marquette, KS
In Kanopolis State Park, this worn trail is hiding in plain sight, just waiting to be explored. While the paths aren't paved, the trail is simple to follow and surrounded by wonderful views.
3. Erie Dinosaur Park - E 4th St, Erie, KS
Originally known as the Dinosaur Not So National Park, these sculptures by Robert Dorris delight children of all ages. In addition, all of the sculptures in this park are made from recycled scrap metal! What a way to reuse and give back to the community.
4. Cedar Crest Lodge - 25939 E 1000th Rd, Pleasanton, KS
This getaway is your new "Home away from home" so to speak, with all the best views you could ask for at your leisure. Because of the absolutely stellar views, this place sells out quickly around events and holidays, so reserve early!
5. Strataca's Underground Museum - 3650 E Ave G, Hutchinson, KS
Everyone knows about the salt museum in Hutchinson, but few people know about what's also underground at this museum. In addition to salt, this place is hiding some of Hollywood's most prized memorabilia and screenplays? Alongside the mines open to tourists, there's movie costumes and film reels for tour as well. I definitely didn't expect to see them in the same place!
6. Lake Scott State Park - Scott City,
Because of our vast expanse of nature preserves in Kansas, there's plenty of diverse wildlife just waiting to be photographed. Some of the best places for that are hiding in Lake Scott State Park among the trails and waterfront views all around the area. What a great place to spend the day!
7. Long Branch Lagoon Water Park - 111 4th Ave, Dodge City, KS
Hiding in Dodge City is a park that features a boomerang slide, (a must-try, for sure!) a lazy river, and the occasional movie night on the water. I hope they don't watch Jaws!
8. Cedar Bluff State Park -
32001 147 Highway Ellis, Kansas, KS
Located south of Ellis, Cedar Bluff is one of Kansas' best state parks by far. First of all, the gorgeous natural rock faces surrounding the lake make for great sunset photography opportunities. Second, the park is home to some great sand beaches and over 100 campsites. You won't have trouble finding a spot to sleep at this park!
9. Safari Zoological Park - 1751 County Rd 1425, Caney, KS
This local sanctuary for exotic animals isn't directly open to the public, meaning you have to call and schedule a tour for you and your group. In addition to regular zoo animals like lemurs and snakes, there's also plenty of larger ones! Enjoy interacting with bears, lions, and camels alike.
Additionally, if you’re searching for even more bucket list opportunities this year, check out
this list of great places to find delicious food where you least expect it.