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Old 04-30-2012, 09:14 PM
 
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Default Moving cross country this fall, what is the most important thing/place we should visit on our way through KS?

Hi all, my wife and I will be moving from Tucson, AZ to Milwaukee, WI this fall and would like to see the country on our way.

What should we see on our way through KS?

Thank you all!
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Old 05-01-2012, 12:43 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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I would stay on the interstate and take 40 to 44 up through St Louis, but if you go through Kansas then the best things to see are...um...well...

Tell you want, as soon as you cross into Missouri into Kansas City, you will have plenty to see there. Otherwise enjoy the cows and turnpike food courts, the flint hills are nice as you are driving through those between Wichita and KC, but nothing to really stop for. Wichita is honestly not worth the extra time. It's a nice little city, but not worth stopping unless you just have lots of time.

You could stop in Overland Park or Olathe or something and get some wings from applebees just to say you stopped in Kansas, but I would hurry up to KCMO or StLouis and make time to stop at one of those cities, which ever route you end up taking. Country Club Plaza, WWI Museum, Crown Center, Nelson Atkins Art Museum, Kauffman Peforming Arts Center, City Market, Jazz Museum, Negro League Baseball Museum, Steamboat Arabia Museum, KC Zoo, Worlds of Fun amusement park, Royals game, Truman Library and home, Union Station etc are some things to do in kcmo.

Last edited by kcmo; 05-01-2012 at 12:53 PM..
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:54 PM
 
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The Flint Hills. They are something to stop for. The tallgrass prairie was America's definitive landscape, and the one we have ruined the worst. It'd be impossible to have any kind of respect or understanding of this continent's ecological and cultural history without seeing four regions: Appalachia, the Rockies, the Pacific and what's left of the prairie. The Flint Hills are the largest remaining tract of what was the largest American ecosystem. The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City one of the things you should see before you die if you care about natural beauty.

The Comanche National Grassland in SE Colorado and the Cimarron National Grassland in SW Kansas are both very intense expanses of shortgrass prairie, but much of the landscape is the same as you will see in Eastern New Mexico after you pass the Canadian River.

The Gypsum Hills around Medicine Lodge are excellent if you want to get out of the car and take a mountain bike rides or hike in the gorgeous and fascinating country.

Lucas, KS and the Garden of Eden if you want to see some of the best outsider art in America.

Any of the scenic byways routes if you have time to drive scenic routes, though some are prettier than others.

The best bang for your buck is probably to take 40 out of ABQ to 54 through SW Kansas into Wichita. Then I 35 into KC. That give you good access to the Gypsum Hills and puts you through the heart of the Flint Hills, plus give you Wichita to stop in for food/gas/etc.
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Old 05-01-2012, 01:59 PM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
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It really depends on what you're interested in.

I like interesting geologic formations. So...

Castle Rock Badlands - Quinter, Kansas

If your car can handle rough dirt roads, I would recommend Castle Rock. You can also hunt around on that website and see if anything tickles your fancy.

And of course I have to second s. davis' recommendation of the Flint Hills.
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Old 05-01-2012, 02:14 PM
 
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I agree with Kansas Sky, it depends on what you are interested in and how far out of your way you want to go to see something that would be of interest. Do you just want to enjoy the drive? Many people like the Flint Hills when passing through.

We lived in Marana for 6 years some years back and wish we were still there, well, except in the summer. There is nothing here to compare with the mountains or the desert, the Desert Museum, Gilbert Ray Campground, Pichacho Peak, etc. Ah, the awesome sunsets!
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Old 05-01-2012, 06:14 PM
Sco
 
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I am not sure how you would actually end up in KS while traveling to Wisconsin, unless you are thinking about leaving I40 at Tucumcari and getting on US54. If that is your plan, IMO it would be a waste of time and gas. There is absolutely nothing to see along US54 and the TX, OK, western KS panhandle area is without a doubt one of the most depressing areas in the entire country. I wouldn't wish that drive on my worst enemy. The Flint Hills between Wichita and KC are basically a big blah too. My advice depends on how much and what areas of the country you want to see. I have traveled from AZ to the plains states many times and I think your best bet would be I40 then north from Memphis or leave I40 earlier and go through St. Louis, it is a straight shot to Wisconsin from there. If you want to get a taste of the great plains, take the route a little farther north through Nebraska and Iowa, better scenery and a more efficient trip. There is absolutely no reason to even drive through KS and you will not miss a thing.
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Old 05-01-2012, 07:14 PM
 
Location: Washington, DC area
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sco View Post
I am not sure how you would actually end up in KS while traveling to Wisconsin, unless you are thinking about leaving I40 at Tucumcari and getting on US54. If that is your plan, IMO it would be a waste of time and gas. There is absolutely nothing to see along US54 and the TX, OK, western KS panhandle area is without a doubt one of the most depressing areas in the entire country. I wouldn't wish that drive on my worst enemy. The Flint Hills between Wichita and KC are basically a big blah too. My advice depends on how much and what areas of the country you want to see. I have traveled from AZ to the plains states many times and I think your best bet would be I40 then north from Memphis or leave I40 earlier and go through St. Louis, it is a straight shot to Wisconsin from there. If you want to get a taste of the great plains, take the route a little farther north through Nebraska and Iowa, better scenery and a more efficient trip. There is absolutely no reason to even drive through KS and you will not miss a thing.
Exactly. Sorry, Kansas.
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Old 05-01-2012, 08:18 PM
 
Location: southwest Nebraska and northwest Kansas
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How are you going to be able to drive through Nebraska AND Kansas??
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Old 05-01-2012, 09:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by itsMeFred View Post
How are you going to be able to drive through Nebraska AND Kansas??
I haven't fully decided on the route yet, it will depend on what we decide to see.
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Old 05-02-2012, 06:22 AM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
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Kansas Flint Hills - Sites - Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

If you're going to be close to Cottonwood Falls and are interested in the history and ecology of the Flint Hills, I really like the tallgrass prairie natural preserve. There are some nice walking trails, a beautiful old mansion, complete with barn, henhouse, icehouse and probably more and a schoolhouse within walking distance. You can take a bus trip through the prairie narrated by a park ranger which may include views of a bison herd if they're feeling cooperative.
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