Kansas is the center of the USA. It’s where pioneers passion and drive blazed the Santa Fe, Oregon, and Chisholm Trails. Here, in the pristine prairies historic cattle towns like Caldwell, Wichita, Dodge City, and Abilene exist. Beef cattle ranching continues as a huge industry, and raising beef requires plenty of good quality grassland and…
Day 1 & 2 :: Kansas City/Overland Park – Leavenworth – Atchison – Kansas City/Overland Park
The Kansas City “area” is dynamic and offers hundreds of interesting things to do – A few recommendations are – Arabia Steamboat Museum, American Royal Museum, Hallmark Visitors Center, National Agriculture Center, Village West & Legends Outlet shopping, Country Club Plaza, Louisburg Cider Mill, Mahaffie Stage Coach Stop, and Legler Barn Museum. Drive north on the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway toward Fort Leavenworth and Atchison. Fort Leavenworth played an important role in keeping the peace among the various Indian tribes and the increasing number of settlers heading west. By the 1840s, thousands of wagons passed through Fort Leavenworth on the way to the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. Visit the Buffalo Soldier Monument and Frontier Military Museum at Fort Leavenworth before continuing north to the quaint town Atchison. The Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum is operated by The Ninety-Nines, Inc, an international organization of women pilots that Earhart helped found in 1929. Adjacent to the Santa Fe Depot, the Atchison Rail features an outdoor collection of rail cars and is available for exterior viewing throughout the year. Benedictine monks established St. Benedict’s Abbey in the late 1850s. About 40 monks reside at the abbey and gather three times a day for common prayer and unique frescoes. Stay 2 nights in Kansas City.
Day 3 :: Kansas City/Overland Park – Topeka – Abilene, Salina
Guide tours interpret the beautiful State Capitol in Topeka. The Kansas State Historical Museum offers an excellent overview of the significant role Kansas plays in American history. Abilene is the end of the famous Chisholm Trail and the childhood home of President Dwight E Eisenhower. Here you will find the Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum, the Seelye Mansion, and the Bow Studio & Gallery. In Salina have some local wine at the Smoky Hill Vineyard & Winery Overnight Salina.
Day 4 :: Salina – McPherson – Wichita
Win a Western belt buckle by visiting the 10-sites of this self-guided tour. Sites include: Old Cowtown Museum and the Diamond W Wranglers Chuckwagon Supper, Mid-America All-Indian Center Museum, Keeper of the Plains River Walk, Charles M. Russell Gallery, Botanica, The Wichita Gardens, North American Prairie Exhibit at the Sedgwick County Zoo, Chisholm Trail Exhibit at the Wichita Sedgwick County Historical Museum, Buffalo Bill Monument & Gravesite, and Sheplers The World’s Largest Western Store. Old Town is a restored brick industrial area that is now filled with restaurants, night clubs, and shops. Overnight Wichita.
Day 5 :: Wichita – Council Grove – Cottonwood Falls
Get an early start and head north to Council Grove on the Flint Hills National Scenic Byway. where the entire city has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is rich in Santa Fe Trail, Native American Indian and pioneer history. The self-guided tour takes you to 24 historic sites. The Hays House 1857 Restaurant & Tavern is a great choice for lunch before departing for the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, the only unit of the National Park System dedicated to the Tallgrass Prairie ecosystem. Continue south to Cottonwood Falls. Overnight Cottonwood Falls.
Day 6 & 7 :: Cottonwood Falls – Lawrence
Depart for Lawrence, now a thriving and unique community, rating among the top fifteen in The 100 Best Small Arts Towns in America. Spend your day visiting one of the four great museums on the grounds of the University of Kansas – all offering free admission, or shop the seven-blocks of boutique shops on Massachusetts Street in an eclectic vibrant university downtown with restaurants, pubs and live music on every corner. Overnight Lawrence.
Return to Kansas City for your flight home.