View Map

Overview

Dorothy and Toto knew the beauties of Kansas. It's no wonder they wanted to leave Oz and return home. Kansas can tug at the heartstrings and over the decades has wooed homesteaders, gunslingers, cowboys and folks from every walk of life. It's a wonderfully diverse state with high plains, tall-grass prairie, wooded hills and fields of sunflowers under big skies. It is named after the Kansas River that flows through it, and the river was named after the Kansa tribe who inhabited the area when the settlers came.

During its Wild West days, Kansas saw the likes of Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson trying to tame the ...

Dorothy and Toto knew the beauties of Kansas. It's no wonder they wanted to leave Oz and return home. Kansas can tug at the heartstrings and over the decades has wooed homesteaders, gunslingers, cowboys and folks from every walk of life. It's a wonderfully diverse state with high plains, tall-grass prairie, wooded hills and fields of sunflowers under big skies. It is named after the Kansas River that flows through it, and the river was named after the Kansa tribe who inhabited the area when the settlers came.

During its Wild West days, Kansas saw the likes of Wild Bill Hickok, Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson trying to tame the frontier. Towns like Abilene, Fort Scott, Leavenworth, Wichita, Lawrence, Atchison and Topeka are steeped in the history of the time. Once called "The Wickedest Little City in America," Dodge City was a stop on the Santa Fe Trail. Ruts from wagon wheels can still be seen on the prairie sod. So many dead were buried with their boots on that Dodge City's cemetery became known as Boot Hill.

When officially opened to settlers by the U.S. Government in 1854, "Bleeding Kansas" became a battleground over whether it should be a free state or a slave state. Led by abolitionists such as famed John Brown, anti-slavery sentiment prevailed and Kansas entered the Union as a free state on Jan. 29, 1861.

But Kansas isn't just history. The cities of Wichita and Topeka offer urban attractions, and you can even travel 650 feet below the prairie in Hutchinson for the Underground Salt Museum, the only one in the Western Hemisphere. The world's only other underground salt museums are in Poland and Austria.

Jackie Finch
About the Expert

Jackie Sheckler Finch has written several guidebooks, including The Unofficial Guide to Campgrounds in the Great Lakes States, and four times she was named Travel Writer of the Year by Midwest Travel Writers Association.

view full overview

Jackie Finch for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Kansas is bordered by Nebraska on the north, Oklahoma on the south, Missouri by the east and on the west by Colorado
  • Research: Wikitravel | Wikipedia
  • Current Time: