9 Top-Rated Kansas Tourist Attractions
1 Botanica, Wichita Gardens
Wichita's Botanica is a 9.5 acre site that features themed gardens. The Botanica is open year round with many displays changing with the season. Some of the main attractions are the aquatic collection, woodland glade, children's garden, butterfly garden, rose garden and memorial fountain.
2 Kansas State Capitol
The Kansas State Capitol in Topeka was built in the French Renaissance style. It contains murals by Kansas native John Steuart Curry. The Capitol grounds feature bronze statues of Abraham Lincoln and a Pioneer Mother and Child sculpted by Merrell Gage.
3 Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home
The Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum complex in Abilene features 22 acres of landscaped grounds with five buildings. The Eisenhower Home is a two-story wood-frame house which was home to the Eisenhower parents and their six boys. Furniture and other items were left in the house by Mrs Eisenhower upon her death in 1946. The Eisenhower Presidential Library contains books and papers used and written by Eisenhower. This includes everything from memos to the Westerns that he liked to read in bed. The Place of Meditation is a chapel that was built in 1966, several years before Eisenhower's death. It is the final resting place for Dwight and Mamie Eisenhower and a son, Doud Dwight, who died in childhood. In the museum are items relating to President Dwight D Eisenhower, from his boyhood to the post-presidential years.
4 Boot Hill
Boot Hill is a Dodge City complex that surrounds the historic cemetery and includes the Fort Dodge jail and a replica of Front Street as it was in the 1870s.
5 Spencer Museum of Art
The Helen Foresman Spencer Museum of Art at the University of Kansas in Lawrence houses an internationally-known collection, with tens of thousands of artworks and artifacts in all media.
The collection spans the history of European and American art from ancient to contemporary, and includes broad and significant holdings of East Asian art. The renovated 20/21 Gallery displays modern and contemporary art. Areas of special strength include medieval art; European and American paintings, sculpture and prints; photography; Japanese Edo-period painting and prints; 20th-century Chinese painting; and KU's ethnographic collection, which includes thousands of Native American, African, Latin American and Australian works.
6 Monument Rocks
The Monument Rocks are located 20 miles south of Oakley. They are also known as the Chalk Pyramids and are a natural formation that served historically as a landmark for pioneers and American Indians. A variety of marine reptilian fossils are visible.
7 Fort Larned National Historic Site
Located 6 miles west of modern day Larned, Fort Larned was established in 1859 near the midpoint of the Santa Fe Trail to protect mail coaches and freight caravans. Today, as a unit of the National Park Service, it is the best preserved Indian Wars military post on the Santa Fe Trail.
8 Lake Scott State Park
The 1,000-acre Lake Scott State Park has a 100-acre lake that was created by a dam constructed in 1930. The park features groves of hackberry, ash, elm, willow, walnut, and cedar trees. There are opportunities for biking, swimming, camping, hiking, and wildlife observation. The park is also the site of El Cuartelejo, occupied in the 1600s by Taos and Picurie Indians.
9 Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve protects the tallgrass ecosystem which is slowly dwindling. The tallgrass once covered huge portions of North America but due to human development on the land, less than 4% remains. Attractions at the preserve include a bison herd, occasional events such as live music, and demonstrations related to traditional rural life. There are natural trails for walking and a historic ranch which can be seen on a self guided tour. Catch and release fishing is also permitted on Fox Creek.