Kansas: More Than Just Dorothy’s ‘No Place Like Home

So you’ve decided to venture into the heart of America. Welcome to Kansas! If your knowledge of this sunflower state extends only to Dorothy, Toto, and a certain Yellow Brick Road, prepare for a delightful surprise. Here are 17 things to do in Kansas that will make you rethink this heartland gem.

1. Visit the Kansas Cosmosphere, Hutchinson

A museum about space in the middle of Kansas? Exactly! From moon rocks to a real Blackbird spy plane, Hutchinson has all your cosmic desires covered.

Traveler’s tip: Immerse yourself in the stars with the planetarium show.

2. Check out the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, Cawker City

Ever seen a ball of twine that’s become an attraction? Now’s your chance. Participate in this monument to human eccentricity, because why not?

Traveler’s tip: Join the fun and bring your own twine to add to the ball.

3. Explore the Mid-America All-Indian Center, Wichita

This center provides an enlightening look at the history and heritage of Native American tribes in the region. Get schooled, get cultured.

Traveler’s tip: Regularly scheduled cultural events and demonstrations enhance the visit.

4. Gamble at Boot Hill Casino & Resort, Dodge City

Kansas can be wild, especially at this casino infused with Wild West spirit. Whether it’s your lucky day or not, you’ll find excitement here.

Traveler’s tip: Visit the saloon post-gambling for a good ol’ whiskey.

5. Discover Subterra Castle, Dover

In this former missile silo, you’ll find a luxury home. Because who says an apocalypse bunker can’t have chandeliers?

Traveler’s tip: Call ahead for a tour. Doomsday preparedness waits for no one.

6. Wander around Monument Rocks, Oakley

Check out the ‘Badlands of Kansas’. You might feel like you’ve stumbled onto a spaghetti western film set.

Traveler’s tip: Visit at sunset for a breathtaking view.

7. Walk the Yellow Brick Road, Sedan

Follow the path of 10,000+ named bricks in this tribute to The Wizard of Oz.

Traveler’s tip: Buy your own brick and make your mark.

8. See the Garden of Eden, Lucas

This attraction is equal parts sculpture garden, mausoleum, and a collection of the smallest versions of the world’s largest things.

Traveler’s tip: Brace yourself for a whole lot of quirky.

9. Visit Mushroom Rock State Park, Marquette

This park is home to some odd sandstone formations that, you guessed it, resemble mushrooms.

Traveler’s tip: Don’t climb the rocks. Yes, I know you want to.

10. Take a Scenic Drive on the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway

Take in the beauty of the Flint Hills on this scenic drive that highlights Kansas’ unique prairie landscape.

Traveler’s tip: Stop at the scenic overlooks for some epic panoramas.

11. Attend a Kansas City Royals Game

Nothing says American pastime like baseball. Cheer on the Royals and grab a hot dog while you’re at it.

Traveler’s tip: Don’t forget the team swag – a cap or a jersey make the experience complete.

12. Check Out the Evel Knievel Museum, Topeka

Celebrate the life of this daredevil with an array of artifacts from his thrill-filled life.

Traveler’s tip: Try the interactive displays. Yes, you can “perform” your own stunt jump.

13. Visit the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, Atchison

Tour the childhood home of this pioneering aviator and get inspired.

Traveler’s tip: Take part in their yearly festival. It’s an Amelia fan’s dream come true.

14. Explore the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Experience what early settlers saw: a sea of grass. It’s a testament to the natural beauty of Kansas.

Traveler’s tip: Check out their ranger-led programs for an enhanced experience.

15. Tour the Underground Salt Museum, Hutchinson

A museum 650 feet underground. Because the only thing better than a museum is a museum in a salt mine.

Traveler’s tip: The Dark Ride is a must-do.

16. Explore the Kansas State Capitol, Topeka

Get a dose of history and some exercise by climbing to the top of the dome.

Traveler’s tip: The mural “Tragic Prelude” is a must-see.

17. Walk around Botanica Wichita

This botanical paradise is perfect for a peaceful afternoon stroll.

Traveler’s tip: Don’t miss the butterfly garden.

So, there we have it. The Sunflower State, in all its unique, quirky, and downright baffling glory. It’s clear that Kansas is more than just a prairie backdrop for a girl and her dog. It’s a place where the unexpected is the norm, the unconventional is celebrated, and where every road could be a Yellow Brick Road.

From twine balls to underground castles, Kansas takes the ordinary and turns it on its head, challenging you to look beyond what you think you know. And remember, no matter where you end up in Kansas, there’s always ‘no place like home’…

David Kingston

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