Must see attractions in Kansas

  • Top ChoiceSights in Kansas

    Cosmosphere

    Possibly the most surprising sight in Kansas, this amazing museum captures the race to the moon better than any museum on the planet. Absorbing displays and artifacts such as the Apollo 13 command module and entire rockets will enthrall you for hours. You'll come to realize why the museum is regularly called in to build props for Hollywood movies portraying the space race, including Apollo 13. It's an easy day trip from Wichita or diversion off I-70 or US 50.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Chase County

    Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

    This 11,000-acre national preserve, 2 miles northwest of Strong City, is a perfect place to hike the prairie, with its 40 miles of scenic trails. Bison were reintroduced here in 2009 and now number about 100, sharing the space with prairie chickens (whose mating rituals are legendary!). Rangers give tours of a preserved ranch and offer bus tours from the visitor center, explaining just how rare this ecosystem is (less than 4% of North America's original tallgrass prairie remains).

  • Top ChoiceSights in Topeka

    Brown v Board of Education National Historic Site

    It took real guts to challenge the segregationist laws common in the US in the 1950s and the stories of these courageous men and women are here. This National Historic Site is set in Monroe Elementary School, one of Topeka's African American schools at the time of the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision that banned segregation in US schools. The displays cover the entire Civil Rights movement.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Larned

    Fort Larned National Historic Site

    Six miles west of town, Fort Larned National Historic Site is a remarkably well-preserved 1860s fort in an evocative setting. It's well worth the trip to learn about the turbulent history of the Indian Wars era. The Santa Fe Trail passed right out front and it's easy to imagine wagons rolling past.

  • Top ChoiceSights in Lucas

    Garden of Eden

    In 1907 Samuel Dinsmoor began filling his yard with enormous concrete sculptures reflecting his eccentric philosophies relating to contemporary life and the hereafter. Tours reveal idiosyncratic stories and his remains in a glass-topped coffin(!).

  • Top ChoiceSights in Wichita

    Old Cowtown Museum

    An open-air museum that re-creates the Wild West (as seen on TV…). Over 50 pioneer-era buildings, staged gunfights (April to October) and guides in cowboy costumes thrill kids. Enjoy the river walks.

  • Sights in Abilene

    Eisenhower Presidential Center

    Fittingly set against a backdrop of grain elevators, the rather regal Eisenhower Presidential Center includes Ike's boyhood home, a recently redesigned museum and library, and his and Mamie's graves. The interactive exhibits cover the Eisenhower presidential era (1953–61) and his role as the allied commander in Europe in WWII. Don't miss the original script for his landmark 1961 speech where he warned of the 'military–industrial complex'.

  • Sights in Kansas

    Home on the Range Cabin

    The iconic song of the American West, 'Home on the Range,' was written by Brewster M Higley in 1871 at a remote cabin in northern Kansas. Today you can visit the lovely and evocative site of the original cabin. Even if you don't see any deer and antelope at play, you'll easily feel the magic that inspired Higley. Turn off US 36 onto Hwy 8, 1 mile west of Athol, and drive nine sign-posted miles to the north.

  • Sights in Wichita

    Exploration Place

    Right on the river confluence, this architecturally striking children's museum has no end of cool exhibits, including a tornado chamber where you can feel 75mph winds, and a sublime erosion model that shows water creating a new little Kansas. One gallery details the ups and downs of the local aviation industry.

  • Sights in Kansas

    Fort Scott

    This restored fort near the Missouri border dates to 1842. While the parade grounds and buildings in the heart of its namesake city are interesting, the real draw here is the story of the battles between pro- and antislavery forces that were fought here before the Civil War.

  • Sights in Chase County

    County Courthouse

    Don't miss the showstopping County Courthouse in Cottonwood Falls. Completed in 1873, it is a fantasy of French Renaissance style.

  • Sights in Topeka

    Kansas Museum of History

    From a Cheyenne war lance to temperance advocate Carrie Nation's hammer, this engaging center is packed with Kansas stories.

  • Sights in Lucas

    Grassroots Art Center

    An intriguing collection of works made by amateur artists using recycled goods such as buttons, barbed wire and pull-tabs.

  • Sights in Wichita

    Mid-America All-Indian Center

    Guarded by Wichita artist Blackbear Bosin's 44ft statue Keeper of the Plains, this museum has exhibits of Native American art and artifacts, as well as a traditional Wichita-style grass lodge. Gardens exhibit plants used for traditional medicine and food. Stop by the gift shop for artisan crafts.

  • Sights in Dodge City

    Boot Hill Museum

    This studio-backlot-like attraction includes a cemetery, jail and saloon, where gunslingers reenact (blood-free) shootouts while Miss Kitty and her dancing gals do a wholesome cancan. Cheesy? Absolutely. At night there are options that include dinner.

  • Sights in Chase County

    Chase County Historical Society

    In a historic corner brick commercial building, this small museum has engaging displays about the county's history including the nearby 1931 plane crash that killed legendary Notre Dame football coach Knute Rockne.

  • Sights in Larned

    Santa Fe Trail Center Museum

    Two miles west of town, this open-air museum details the vital route linking the US and Mexico for much of the 19th century. Other exhibits include preserved pioneer buildings, like a rather grim sod hut.

  • Sights in Lawrence

    Spencer Museum of Art

    Encompassing works by American Old West artist Frederic Remington, Plains painter Thomas Hart Benton and others, this museum on the University of Kansas campus has a solid collection tied to the region.

  • Sights in Topeka

    State Capitol

    Under the huge copper dome, don't miss the fiery John Steuart Curry mural of abolitionist John Brown. Climb 296 steps for great views outside. Enter via the visitor center at 8th Ave and Van Buren St.