Kansas is considered the center of the country, at least geographically, and one of its nicknames is the “Heart of America.” Because of its location, this state became the scene of fierce battles between North and South, pro-slavery and anti-slavery: both sides wanted to win over Kansas to their side, not to mention the fact that the paths of both armies converged in these places. The name of the state was borrowed from the local Indians, who called themselves “Kanza”, which means “people of the south wind.” Thanks to The Wizard of the Emerald Isle, Kansas became famous as a place where hurricanes rage (and carry little girls to a magical land), but this state has not only literary, but also natural and historical attractions.
- Countryaah – Cities in Kansas: List of all municipalities in the state of Kansas, including cities and towns of Kansas.
Major cities: Topeka Capital, Dodge City, Kansas City, Hutchinson, Lawrence, Liberal, Manhattan, Wichita (state’s largest city).
How to get there
- by car
Traveling to Kansas from the east or west of the country (from Colorado or Missouri), you should follow the I-70 highway. Coming south through Oklahoma, take I-81 through Wichita and Salina.
- by plane
The state’s only major airport is located in Wichita. Many arrivals (especially in the eastern part of the state) use Kansas City Airport in Missouri.
- by train
There is only one company in the state, Amtrak’s Southwest Chief. The rail line connects east and west of the state and runs through Kansas City, Lawrence, Topeka, Newton, Hutchinson, Dodge City, and Garden City. The same line continues further to Chicago and Los Angeles.
- by bus
Within the state, you can travel on buses from Greyhound Lines and Jefferson Lines.
Public transport in Kansas is not very frequent, even in large cities of the state, the only means of transportation is a car.
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Weather in Kansas
Kansas is located in the so-called “Tornado Alley” and ranks second after Texas in the number of tornadoes, most of which occur in the spring and summer. Therefore, when renting a car, make sure that it is equipped with a radio.
When the siren sounds, signaling the approach of a tornado, you must immediately find suitable cover – in no case should you stay on the street and take pictures of a tornado, and also try to overtake it in a car.
Snowstorms and blizzards are common during the winter, especially in northern Kansas. Like most natural phenomena in this region, they are very intense, but they pass quickly due to the lack of obstacles (for example, mountains).
Popular hotels in Kansas
Entertainment and attractions in Kansas
Kansas is home to many historic sites, including the California and Oregon National Trails, the Santa Fe National Trail and others, Forts Larned and Scott, and Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.
Located midway between Wichita and Topeka, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve protects the tallgrass prairie ecosystem that once covered most of the continent. Now the prairies occupy only about 4% of the territory of the United States, and, in particular, are common in the Flint Hills region. In 2008 Tallgrass Prairie was named one of the 8 wonders of Kansas and in 2009 received a herd of buffalo from a conservation organization.
Fort Scott, named after the commander of the battles during the Mexican-American War, General Winfield Scott, in the middle of the 19th century. served as a military base. Over the next quarter century, the fort was used as a supply base and for security during the Kansas and American Civil Wars.
The fort currently houses 20 historic structures, a parade ground, and five acres of restored tall grass prairie.
Fort Larned, active from 1859 to 1878, was established to protect the Sante Fe trail from hostile Indians. When the Indian tribes moved to the reservations, and the construction of the railroad across Kansas was completed, the trail lost its significance, and the fort ceased to exist. Now Fort Larned with 9 historical buildings located on its territory is one of the best preserved examples of buildings dating back to the period of the Indian Wars. Most of the buildings, including the barracks and the dining room, are presented here in their original form.
In Wichita, it is worth seeing the Old Town with its restaurants, bars, shops and interesting museums: the Old Cowtown Museum, the Museum of World Treasures, the Wichita-Sedgwick County Historical Museum and the Great Plains Transportation Museum. Wichita is also known for its zoo – the largest in Kansas and one of the largest in the United States. It is home to over 2,500 animals of 500 species.
The name of the city, like the name of the state, recalls that these places used to be the territory of the Indians, one of the tribes called themselves “Wichita”.
Hutchinson is home to the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center, which is open to the public. It houses the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow, as well as the second largest collection in the world, second only to the National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC.
In Dodge City, it is worth visiting the Boot Hill Museum & Front Street, which is a reconstruction of the city in 1876. The museum organizes themed performances – a re-enactment of a shootout in the spirit of the Wild West and a variety show, and visitors are invited to taste food cooked in wagons, historically used by American settlers to cook on the US prairies.
The second significant landmark of Dodge City is the Carnegie Art Gallery, located in the former Carnegie Library building.