I know the saying says to not judge a book by it’s cover, but I would be lying if I said I didn’t do this from time to time. No, I don’t mean judging people; I mean judging towns based on their Main Street. If you are like me and appreciate a town that takes pride in its downtown area, you will love these 11 small(er) Kansas towns whose Main Streets you just have to visit!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life. While we continue to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, please take proper precautions or add them to your bucket list to see at a later date. If you know of a local business that could use some extra support during these times, please nominate them here:
1. Cottonwood Falls
What the town lacks in size (<1,000), it makes up for BIG time with its gorgeous downtown, nationally recognized restaurants, and historic Chase County Courthouse (pictured). Tip: Do yourself a favor and drive the nearby Flint Hills National Scenic Byway... and while you're on this amazing stretch of road, be sure to check out...
2. Council Grove
Since "All Roads Lead to the Flint Hills Life," it's no wonder Council Grove, which was named after an agreement between the Osage Nation and European Americans over allowing settlers wagons to pass through while heading west, makes the list! Visit historical sites, dine at the famous Hays House, and take a step back in time in Downtown Council Grove.
3. Fort Scott
What was once a U.S Army district Headquarters, quartermaster supply depot, training center, and recruitment station during the Civil War is now a historic district that houses unique shops, parks, and so much more! Tip: After you explore downtown, be sure to hop the trolley for a 50-minute tour of the city!
You'll have a feeling you aren't in Kansas anymore when you visit the colorful town of Wamego, which is the proud home of both the Oz Museum & Winery, Toto's Tacoz, Poppyfield Gallery, and several other Wizard of Oz themed establishments.
There's a lot to love about Abilene, but do you want to know what we love the most? The answer is Old Abilene Town, which features a Main Street reminiscent of the Old West. Shop at the old General Store, watch the can-can girls, and sneak past the gun-slinging outlaws when you visit this nostalgic gem.
No matter the time of year, you're sure to find something new and exciting to do on Emporia Main Street! From boutiques to highly anticipated events to concerts at the Granada, there is always something happening in Downtown Emporia.
Amelia Earhart was a diamond in the rough, so it makes perfect sense that her hometown of Atchison be the same! In addition to numerous museums and historic sites, Atchison is home to nearly two-dozen annual events, including Santa House, Summer Ladies Night Out, and the Amelia Earhart Festival.
After you dine at one of the fabulous Downtown Hiawatha restaurants, be sure to check out the Frances Sewell Plamann History Center (pictured), which was recently renovated for $1M and houses several historic exhibits.
If you were to envision the perfect Main Street, there's a pretty good chance it would look something like the Chestnut Street District in Hays. Stroll down the brick-lined streets to find a variety of unique shopping, dining, bars, and events unlike any other.
Are you still searching for the perfect gift to give your loved one this Christmas? If you answered yes, there's still time to visit Downtown Pittsburg, which boasts a whopping 80 stores!
I know that I probably sound like a broken record when it comes to Lindsborg, but... this darling town has stolen my heart and I know it'll steal yours when you shop for authentic Swedish goods and dine on their incredible food!