Kansas, also known as “The Sunflower State” and “The Wheat State”, offers some of the most beautiful and spectacular sights and places to visit! Just browse through these awesome pictures and be amazed by it’s beauty. Did you know the state has the longest railroad bridge, called the Rock Island Bridge.
1. Monument Rocks National Natural Landmark
The Monument Rocks were one of the first landmarks to be declared a National Natural Landmark. The large chalk formations are impressive and unmissable, rising unexpectedly from the flat farmland surrounding them on all sides. They reach up to 70 ft in places and it is possible to see fossilized sea life embedded in the chalk. The famous ‘Keyhole’ is a large gap in one of the monuments and offers the perfect window on a setting Kansas sun. Afterwards, pay a visit to the nearby Keystone Gallery. The gallery describes itself as fully “off-the-grid”, generating its own power from solar and wind energy. Here you will find fossils on exhibit and for sale, alongside art and souvenirs, making it the perfect excursion for geology fans.
2. Mushroom Rock, Mushroom Rock State Park
The Mushroom Rock State Park features many captivating rock formations called ‘hoodoos’. These strange formations are formed through uneven erosion and weathering, giving the rocks the appearance of mushrooms. The small state park offers unique surroundings and has been labelled one of the ‘Eight Wonders of Kansas Geography’. The rocks have historically been used by Native Americans and pioneers alike as landmarks and meeting places, evidenced by generations-old graffiti on some of the rocks.
3. Drinkwater and Schriver Flour Mill, Cedar Point
The Drinkwater and Schriver Flour Mill (commonly known as the Cedar Point Mill) has been a Kansas landmark since 1875, when the stone building we see today was completed. Standing by a stone dam in the Cottonwood River, the mill was originally a sawmill. Now on the National Register of Historic Places, the mill is a historical landmark situated in idyllic surroundings. Both the mill and the river are reminders of pioneer America. The mill is currently being renovated to represent this time more accurately to visitors.
4. Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area
Cheyenne Bottoms is the largest wetland in mainland United States. It is a resting area for millions of migrating birds, and home to many other types of animal including raccoons, beavers, turtles and snakes. This makes it an ideal wildlife-watching spot. The Wildlife Area features trails for walkers and is a perfect getaway for nature-lovers.
5. Wetlands near Lawrence
The Baker Wetlands are an incredibly diverse natural habitat for a number of birds, animals and plants. Baker University currently manages the wetlands and uses the land to teach students about biodiversity. The university has made extensive plans to increase the acreage of the wetlands and ensure proper conservation of the land. The site has a Discovery Centre that offers useful information on conservation, wildlife, and the wetlands’ history.
6. Flint Hills near Alma
The Flint Hills is one of the world’s largest areas of tallgrass prairie, spanning 4,000,000 acres. Conservation programmes mean that parts of the prairie remain completely wild, featuring untouched rolling landscapes, fields of wildflowers, and a rich habitat for bison, birds and other wild animals. The Flint Hills are often considered to be the beating heart of Kansas.
Wichita is Kansas’s largest city and offers plenty of culture and entertainment amongst the wild countryside. Wichita was historically a meeting place and trade post for Native Americans. Now, it’s home to the world’s largest ‘western-wear’ store where you can pick up a new cowboy hat or boots. Nicknamed Cowtown from its historical importance in the cattle trade, Wichita is a top destination for arts and culture. It features a science centre, an aviation museum, and museums on African-American and Mid-American Native American cultures.
8. The Sauer Castle
The Sauer Castle is an extraordinary gothic-style mansion in Kansas City. It used to be home to several generations of the Sauer family. The home is considered by many to be haunted due to the unfortunate histories of its ex-residents. The house has a troubled past that includes disease, suicide, drowning and – more recently – vandalism. This means that renovation on the castle faces an uncertain future. Cursed or not, the castle features gorgeous architecture and beautiful grounds that are worth visiting.
9. Waterfalls at the Geary County Lake
The Geary Lake Falls flow during the spring, forming one of Kansas’s most well-known waterfalls. The site is wonderful for hikers with trails leading through woodland to the lake and falls. The falls are 35 ft tall and are joined by trails to the Geary County Fishing Lake, a perfect spot for spectacular views.
10. St Fidelis Church, Victoria
This Catholic Church is also called the ‘Cathedral of the Plains’ and is on the National Register of Historic Places. It is a minor basilica of the Catholic church and receives over 16,000 tourists every year. The current church was completed in 1911, built to provide a larger and more beautiful place of worship for the local people of Victoria. The church resembles Romanesque features, reminiscent of classic basilicas in its impressive and gorgeous architecture.
11. Kansas Lavender Fields, Topeka
Topeka and its surrounding areas are big producers of lavender. Many farms in Kansas sell lavender products including lavender honey, lavender-infused furnishings and raw lavender. Some farms allow you to pick your own lavender at harvest time. The sight of acres of lavender stretched out across the Kansas plains is an unforgettable one – and so is the floral and intoxicating scent.
12. Oxford Grist Mill
Oxford is a historical Kansas location with much of its industry based around the Ninnescah River. The Oxford Mill is the town’s most famous landmark, having produced flour for decades. Now the mill is used by a local school for community events. It has recently been restored, maintaining its pretty façade and serene surroundings. Be sure to pay a visit to the local Carriage House, the first brick building in Oxford and a good example of early-19th century American architecture.
13. North of Lyons
Lyons is situated in rural Kansas, away from tourist centres or sights. It is a slice of authentic Kansas life, nestled in the heart of the countryside. Lyons is home to friendly residents, honest eateries and historical architecture. Explore the surrounding plains for a feel of the pioneer lifestyle.