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Old 08-07-2017, 09:26 AM
 
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Mid September I'll be driving from Des Moines to Denver, but I'd like to make a 1 night stop between the two Cities. My big question is, should I drive to Kansas City for the night and then drive across Kansas to Denver or drive to Omaha for a night and then drive across Nebraska to Denver?

This is all part of a multi-week cross country road trip, so I will have additional time to stop and see things along the way, not half days or anything, but stop for an hour and then move on type of deal. Stopping in Kansas City for a night versus Omaha adds 122 miles to my trip, in your opinion am I missing anything by not driving across Kansas?

Thanks!
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Old 08-07-2017, 08:56 PM
 
Location: Hays, Kansas
641 posts, read 679,300 times
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Drive across Kansas for sure! I'm familiar with Kearney though Omaha on I-80, and the drive though Kansas is so much prettier in the same number of miles. The Flint Hills are gorgeous this time of year and the drive honestly isn't "ugly" until you get west of Hays. You could also stop and see the Konza Prarie in Manhattan, KS, the beautifully restored state capital in Topeka, the worlds largest Czech Egg in Wilson, Walter P. Chryslers boyhood home in Ellis, and several other attractions. In KC you could go to the Jazz Museum, The Country Club Plaza, Westport, all on the Missouri side, but all worth seeing. The Kansas side doesn't have as many touristy attractions (unless you're looking to shop) unless there's a soccer game or NASCAR race going on, but the Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park is interesting, as is the new Johnson County Museum also in Overland Park. There are some great restaurants in Lawrence and Manhattan (big college towns) if you need to stop for a meal. If you have any more questions, I will try to get back to you ASAP. We have some eastern Kansas residents on this forum who may be able to give more Topeka area suggestions.
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Old 08-07-2017, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Kansas/China
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If you come through Kansas the Eisenhower Presidential Library is also worth a stop. But the Kansas Captiol Building is an absolute must. They just finished restoring it and it's pretty incredible. Likely the nicest capitol in America. Tours are free and it's the only capitol where you can go clear to the top of the dome.
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Old 08-08-2017, 08:33 AM
Status: ""Abortion Stops A Beating Heart!"" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: Kansas
18,281 posts, read 12,022,307 times
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I wouldn't stop in KC or Omaha, but choose a smaller town where I could actually get around to seeing something other than a big city. If you stay in KC or Omaha, make sure you learn what areas to avoid.

Abilene, KS would make a nice tourist stop: Abilene, KS - Attractions

So, that is where I would stop. There would be plenty of worthwhile stops along the way if you could stop for an hour or two and take a break. The zoo in Topeka is nice: The Topeka Zoo | Friends of the Topeka Zoo as is the Museum: https://www.kshs.org/museum
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Old 08-08-2017, 09:19 AM
 
Location: Kansas/China
3,569 posts, read 1,631,098 times
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Now that I have more time I'd like to throw out what my itinerary would be.

Stop in KC, spend the evening in the Country Club Plaza neighborhood. Lots of restaurant options there, see the fountains, and just walk around. The drive to Denver will be 9-10 hours, so you'll want to leave somewhat early, plan it so you arrive at the capitol around when they open. They open at 8:00 or you can wait until the first scheduled free tour at 9:15. There really isn't enough time to do anything else in Topeka, the zoo will take too much time.

Next I would stop at the Eisenhower Library. It's not huge, an hour or 2 will be enough to see everything. From Abiline to Denver is about a 7 hour drive. You might not have a lot of time to stop anywhere else.

I'd plan one more stop out in western Kansas to help break up the long drive. Monument Rocks would be top of my list, but I've never seen the Czech Egg and I've heard that is neat as well.

Just make sure you have enough time, it's a long drive from either Omaha or KC to Denver in one day. I'd only plan a couple, maybe 3 stops or you won't have enough time.

The one benefit to driving the Omaha route is that's it's about an hour less of a drive, but there really is little to see. Kansas is actually an interesting drive. Eastern Kansas is hilly and wooded, central Kansas is mostly hilly plains, and western Kansas is flat plains, but just before Hays is a large wind farm which also is interesting to drive through.

I drove from Topeka to Hays (and back) on Sunday for work and I enjoy doing the drive.
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Old 08-08-2017, 11:16 AM
 
Location: Riley Co
39 posts, read 15,736 times
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Default I70, but then I'm a Kansan

IMHO, & knowing Ted Cable, I would suggest:


https://www.amazon.com/Driving-acros...2206894&sr=1-7

I have only driven across I-80, from Bridgeport to Lincoln, at night in a blizzard (when you can't see the lights of the 24/7 truck stop on the N exit from the closed until 6 am stop on the S exit until morning).

~ 1976, the Eisenhower Museum was the #1 tourist attraction in KS. I went there then, & one other time.

I might actually suggest Ft. Riley Museums

Custer's house was not really Custer's (lost in fire). The generals' homes are quite impressive. A walking tour of the main post would be a nice break (see link). There is spot for a hike to an Atomic Cannon on the S. side of I70 @ that exit.

IF in Abilene @ dinner time, the famous Brookville Family Style Chicken Dinners @ the Brookville Hotel would be the spot. When it was still in Brookville, you knew you were where Eisenhower went for fried chicken.

Please, please do not spend any $$$$$ in Oakley. The USF&WS has restored the black-footed ferret to a nearby private ranch. The locals have fought this tooth & nail. To the point of the county poisoning prairie dogs (ferrets' diet) on private land, utilizing 1800s laws. When a celebration of the restoration's success was scheduled for Oakley, the venue owner suddenly pulled the plug & it had to be relocated to HAYS (1 h 19 min, 87.8 mi distant).
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Old 08-08-2017, 01:11 PM
 
Location: Arvada, CO
12,184 posts, read 21,270,622 times
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Kansas.
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Old 08-08-2017, 02:32 PM
 
24 posts, read 12,938 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by empires228 View Post
Drive across Kansas for sure! I'm familiar with Kearney though Omaha on I-80, and the drive though Kansas is so much prettier in the same number of miles. The Flint Hills are gorgeous this time of year and the drive honestly isn't "ugly" until you get west of Hays. You could also stop and see the Konza Prarie in Manhattan, KS, the beautifully restored state capital in Topeka, the worlds largest Czech Egg in Wilson, Walter P. Chryslers boyhood home in Ellis, and several other attractions. In KC you could go to the Jazz Museum, The Country Club Plaza, Westport, all on the Missouri side, but all worth seeing. The Kansas side doesn't have as many touristy attractions (unless you're looking to shop) unless there's a soccer game or NASCAR race going on, but the Museum at Prairiefire in Overland Park is interesting, as is the new Johnson County Museum also in Overland Park. There are some great restaurants in Lawrence and Manhattan (big college towns) if you need to stop for a meal. If you have any more questions, I will try to get back to you ASAP. We have some eastern Kansas residents on this forum who may be able to give more Topeka area suggestions.
I had not thought of stopping in Topeka, if you were to choose, would you stop in KC or Topeka?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
If you come through Kansas the Eisenhower Presidential Library is also worth a stop. But the Kansas Captiol Building is an absolute must. They just finished restoring it and it's pretty incredible. Likely the nicest capitol in America. Tours are free and it's the only capitol where you can go clear to the top of the dome.
Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnywhereElse View Post
I wouldn't stop in KC or Omaha, but choose a smaller town where I could actually get around to seeing something other than a big city. If you stay in KC or Omaha, make sure you learn what areas to avoid.

Abilene, KS would make a nice tourist stop: Abilene, KS - Attractions

So, that is where I would stop. There would be plenty of worthwhile stops along the way if you could stop for an hour or two and take a break. The zoo in Topeka is nice: The Topeka Zoo | Friends of the Topeka Zoo as is the Museum: https://www.kshs.org/museum
OK thanks for the tip. Smaller towns have less hotel options and we're traveling with a small dog. Certainly something we considered, but options are limited, and we definitely aren't making the trip on a budget, so nicer hotels are doable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattks View Post
Now that I have more time I'd like to throw out what my itinerary would be.

Stop in KC, spend the evening in the Country Club Plaza neighborhood. Lots of restaurant options there, see the fountains, and just walk around. The drive to Denver will be 9-10 hours, so you'll want to leave somewhat early, plan it so you arrive at the capitol around when they open. They open at 8:00 or you can wait until the first scheduled free tour at 9:15. There really isn't enough time to do anything else in Topeka, the zoo will take too much time.

Next I would stop at the Eisenhower Library. It's not huge, an hour or 2 will be enough to see everything. From Abiline to Denver is about a 7 hour drive. You might not have a lot of time to stop anywhere else.

I'd plan one more stop out in western Kansas to help break up the long drive. Monument Rocks would be top of my list, but I've never seen the Czech Egg and I've heard that is neat as well.

Just make sure you have enough time, it's a long drive from either Omaha or KC to Denver in one day. I'd only plan a couple, maybe 3 stops or you won't have enough time.

The one benefit to driving the Omaha route is that's it's about an hour less of a drive, but there really is little to see. Kansas is actually an interesting drive. Eastern Kansas is hilly and wooded, central Kansas is mostly hilly plains, and western Kansas is flat plains, but just before Hays is a large wind farm which also is interesting to drive through.

I drove from Topeka to Hays (and back) on Sunday for work and I enjoy doing the drive.
Nothing worse than a boring long drive, there will certainly be parts of the entire drive that fit into that category (Boston to Sacramento), so thanks for the tips to make it a bit more visually interesting!

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSinmyrearviewmirror View Post
IMHO, & knowing Ted Cable, I would suggest:


https://www.amazon.com/Driving-acros...2206894&sr=1-7

I have only driven across I-80, from Bridgeport to Lincoln, at night in a blizzard (when you can't see the lights of the 24/7 truck stop on the N exit from the closed until 6 am stop on the S exit until morning).

~ 1976, the Eisenhower Museum was the #1 tourist attraction in KS. I went there then, & one other time.

I might actually suggest Ft. Riley Museums

Custer's house was not really Custer's (lost in fire). The generals' homes are quite impressive. A walking tour of the main post would be a nice break (see link). There is spot for a hike to an Atomic Cannon on the S. side of I70 @ that exit.

IF in Abilene @ dinner time, the famous Brookville Family Style Chicken Dinners @ the Brookville Hotel would be the spot. When it was still in Brookville, you knew you were where Eisenhower went for fried chicken.

Please, please do not spend any $$$$$ in Oakley. The USF&WS has restored the black-footed ferret to a nearby private ranch. The locals have fought this tooth & nail. To the point of the county poisoning prairie dogs (ferrets' diet) on private land, utilizing 1800s laws. When a celebration of the restoration's success was scheduled for Oakley, the venue owner suddenly pulled the plug & it had to be relocated to HAYS (1 h 19 min, 87.8 mi distant).
Others have suggested the Eisenhower Museum, so that sounds like a must-do. Don't spend money in Oakley, noted!

Thanks for all the great responses, I posted a similar thread in the Nebraska thread and haven't gotten many responses. Best response in the Nebraska thread was "Driving across Nebraska there is some rolling terrain where you might anticipate that there's something on the other side of the hill. Now generally, there's nothing there to see, but at least you have the ANTICIPATION of it. In central to western Kansas it's flat as a board. You can see straight ahead forever. No "adventure" there other than counting the huge elevators in the towns you encounter."
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Old 08-09-2017, 08:16 AM
 
Location: Riley Co
39 posts, read 15,736 times
Reputation: 59
Default Dinosaurs?

The Sternberg Museum in Hays houses over 100,000 square feet (10,000 m2) of dinosaurs, fossils, prehistoric animals, giant sea-swimming lizards and fish that inhabited Kansas over 70-80 million years ago.
Would be 5 hrs short of Denver.
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Old 08-10-2017, 02:57 PM
 
473 posts, read 204,367 times
Reputation: 324
Not sure of your budget, unless you are doing a 'business meeting' or 'sightseeing' in KC near specific tourist stuff, rest of hotel offerings are seedy until you get outside of I-435. Some of the churches moved the immigrants into the other motels and can easily catch the bedbugs...VERY hard to get rid of and VERY expensive to treat. Also recommend you check on the road construction and events in KC so you can avoid sitting on highway in 'parking lot' conditions bumper to bumper for hours. Is recommended you drive through during workday or wait until 7pm. Is better to get gasoline on I-435 or on edge of town, as there are just too many drive-by shootings along I-35 and other HWY arteries through the city due to gangs. You want to choose hotel near the 'attractions' most are on edge of run-down drug-infested neighborhoods so if you want to walk the area or go driving, need to watch the area as things can get into bad neighborhood quickly and mugged or worse. This is also the tough thing about getting into hotel near 'entertainment' districts.
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