Located in the heart of America, Kansas is one of the nation’s principle agricultural suppliers. The state’s expansive countryside is punctuated by small towns and several spectacular hill formations. While the rugged limestone Smokey Hills populate the Kansas’s center, the southern Gypsum Hills offer a staggering break from the fertile farmland by offering a barren yet beautiful landscape of mesas and buttes. The state’s long history is as dramatic as its landscape, making it a popular destination for United States history enthusiasts. Following the Euro-American settlement of Kansas in the 1850s, the state was admitted to the Union as a free state. Consequentially, the state was an unfortunate victim of 29 Confederate raids during the Civil War, including what is considered to be one of the first battles of the gruesome war. Following the Civil War, Kansas was home to ‘wild west’ towns that aided the cattle trade and numerous farms that provided wheat and other vital crops. Since the 1940s, however, the state has shifted gears to build a successful economy centered on manufacturing.
As the largest city in Kansas, Wichita is home to some of the state’s most popular attractions. Guests can enjoy fine dining, indulge in the arts or explore one of the city’s spectacular museums. Visitors can learn about the Space Race at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center while sports fans can stop by the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame and archeological aficionados can view more than 3,000 artifacts (including mummies) at the Museum of World Treasures. Outdoor enthusiasts can stop by one of the city’s eighty parks, including the scenic Herman Hill Park perched upon the banks of the Arkansas River. Guests can visit downtown Wichita to view Old Town’s eight block district, leaden with a cornucopia of restaurants, specialty shops, night clubs and performance venues. The Riverside district offers the stunning Botanica botanical garden that features more than 4,000 species of plants oriented in themed gardens. The park also features more than 30 sculptures and offers glimpses of the city’s natural wildlife.
Guests can visit the state’s capital, Topeka, to enjoy a variety of historical and cultural attractions. Although the Topeka is only the state’s fourth largest city, it is home to an influential historic past that has influenced the nation as a whole. Visitors can stop by the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site to learn more about the Supreme Court decision that changed the course of the Civil Rights Movement. Travelers can learn more about their Midwestern locale by stopping in at the Kansas Museum of History, which offers a plethora of information regarding the state’s storied past. Those who are interested in seeing a show can stop by the Topeka Performing Arts Center or the White Concert Hall while visitors who want to learn more about the local culture can stop in at the Downtown Topeka Farmers Market. Outdoor enthusiasts can escape to the Lake Shawnee Recreational Area, which features a 1,100-acre park equipped with a golf course, walking trails, a marina and numerous beaches.
Travelers with wanderlust flock to the southern portion of this Kansas to view the arid Gypsum Hills. Guests can drive along the 42-mile Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway from Coldwater to Medicine Lodge, or exchange the paved road for a hiking trail. Those who set off to explore on foot can expect to view spectacular red hillsides, grasslands, caves and a plethora of native wildlife. Those who would like to add a bit of fine dining to their outdoor experience can stop by one of the state’s many local wineries for a taste and tour. Many wineries offer spectacular seasonal activities such as live music, harvest celebrations and a Winemaker’ Dinner.
The Raveable guide to Kansas Hotels was created by analyzing the millions of traveler reviews found all over the internet.
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