We have many sight-seeing possibilities. There is the quaint Higley Cabin that was raised in a day occupied by Dr. Brewster M. Higley, the author of the song, "Home on The Range".
This song was made the State song June 30, 1947. Another interesting sight would be the center of the United States of the contiguous states located just a few miles west at Lebanon, KS.
Smith Center also is the home of the Old Dutch Mill that was moved from Reamsville, where it was a working mill in its earlier years, to Smith Center City Park. It is decorated with Christmas lights every year and hosts many family and local events.
The Mill was built by Charles G. Schwartz in the winter of 1879. Charles was an immigrant that was born in West Prussia Germany in 1840 and came to America in 1873.
Smith Center is a wonderful hub for hunting deer and pheasant.
We have many hunters who find their way to our area during these seasons for a Kansas vacation and are warmly welcomed by all.
They enjoy local, home-cooked food and our motels and hunting lodges. For a real treat on your Kansas vacation, book a night at the Ingleboro Mansion for Bed & Breakfast.
Ingleboro Mansion is a beautifully Victorian decorated historical building. Their cuisine is excellent and you’ll be treated like royalty on your Kansas vacation. - Coleen in Smith Center, KS.
This treasure of a tour takes 50 minutes as you ride the trolley over our brick streets and through our historic downtown and past our grand old dames -- the Victorian houses that line many of our residential streets. You can experience our idyllic lifestyle by staying in one of our Victorian bed and breakfasts or a historic hotel. A simple pleasure is sitting on the front porch of a bed and breakfast watching traffic go buy.
Another simple pleasure is a picnic in Gunn Park. Grab a lunch from one of our local restaurants and head to the park with its two lakes, many picnic tables and remember to bring extra for the hungry ducks and geese.
We may not have a Starbucks but we have our own local coffee shop where a simple pleasure for both Fort Scottians and visitors alike is enjoying an espresso or latte or mocha.
Hidden treasures abound at our antique shops and flea markets and a treasure is just waiting for you! Come and enjoy my town on your Kansas vacation and see how many simple pleasures you can enjoy and how many hidden treasures you can find. - By Martha Scott in Fort Scott, Kansas
ATVs, sand rails, dune buggies, and 4WD vehicles of all kinds have been coming to the Sand Dunes Park since its opening July 4th, 2007, all looking for a chance to test the endurance of their vehicles, relax after a hard week at work, or to fish in Sam's Pond or the Arkansas River in the camping/parking area.
Syracuse offers a variety of recreation, from the dunes, to tanking or tubing a hot afternoon away in the river, to a round of golf at nearby Tamarisk golf course. Swimming is not allowed in Sam's Pond, but a dip can be had in the River.
Of course a visit into Syracuse can be a fun evening, with the historic Northrup Theater showing the latest movies or a chance to knock a few pins down at Prairie Lanes Bowling Alley. Visitors to the park can build a campfire and camp at one of the six RV hookups or dry camp near the River. A private campground to the west is also available for patron use as well as campgrounds in town. Free showers are available as well, after a hard day's ride.
The Syracuse Sand Dunes Park is open 24 hours each day. Many of its patrons enjoy a late night ride in the park, when the weather is at its coolest. Not to worry, there is a green beacon light available to guide the new visitors to the park exit.
Each driver is required to have a bright orange flag on a pole which, when attached to the vehicle, is at least 10 feet from the ground to its highest point. Night driving requires a headlamp and tail lamp and riders under 18 are required to wear helmets. Rails, buggies, and wheel drive vehicles are required to have seat belts in use and, of course, adequate seating space is required for each rider.
The City of Syracuse invites you to a Kansas vacation. Come Ride With Us at the Syracuse Sand Dunes Park. See you on the dunes.
This vacation spots in Kansas contributed by Mike Keating, Director Syracuse Sand Dunes Park.
Visit the world famous Emmett Kelly Museum on your way to the Hollow Park Garden, which consists of a one room original school house, a board walk beside the creek and the beautiful flower gardens.
You will want to shop in the unique gift shops, art galleries, coffee bar, clothing boutique and the ice cream shoppe where you'll find Wizard of Oz souvenirs. Of course you won't want to leave town without eating in one of our 6 restaurants, everything from hamburgers to steaks. Come and visit us & look for Toto along the Yellow Brick Road. - By Nita Jones.
Just a block from the museum you’ll find a life size Bronze Pony Express Horse & Rider in a small park dedicated to our heritage. A Lifetiles Mural will soon be added to the park.
The Historic Trails Park is a must see. You’ll find information about the 8 different trails that crossed here and a replica of a rope powered ferry that was once very busy on the nearby Big Blue River.
Next stop – Alcove Spring, located 6 miles South of Marysville. Alcove Spring was a favorite stop on the Oregon Trail for emigrants. Founded by the famous Donner-Reed Party, you will see rock engravings by the Donner-Reed Party, Naomi Pike Falls, wagon swales, the Sarah Keys monument and hiking trails.
Back in Marysville you must visit the Koester House Museum. Once owned by a prominent banker, it was given to the City in the 1970’s with all of the original furnishings. Along with the house you’ll find lions guarding the gates, 13 restored white bronze statues in the gardens, a summer kitchen, and an ice house. The whole block is actually on the National Register of Historic Places, which includes the first Montgomery Ward Retail Store in the United States.
You won’t want to miss the Historic Marshall County Courthouse and Genealogical Research Library. The museum has 21 rooms of county history displays, which includes everything from farming tools to wedding dresses to medical equipment, including an iron lung.
If that’s not enough to keep you busy all week, you can head to the Doll Museum with over 1,000 dolls, Indian artifacts and antique toys; check out the new Marshall County Veterans Memorial; or just sit in the park and watch for Black Squirrels. We are the Black Squirrel City, with the little critters protected by a City Ordinance.
Don’t forget to browse through the quaint shops in the historic downtown and try many of our restaurants and coffee shops. This vacation spots in Kansas contributed by Brenda Staggenborg of Marysville, Kansas.
The Garden of Eden is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. After touring the quirky limestone house and concrete sculptures you will enter the dark, damp mausoleum to view the decomposing body of S. P. Dinsmoor, the creator of the Garden of Eden. You can't see that anywhere else! A private night tour, guided by S. P. himself, can be arranged just for you!
Your Lucas adventure will continue with a tour of the Grassroots Art Center. You won't find any paintings in our arts center. Grassroots Art is done by untrained artists using recycled materials (junk to you and me). The town has 22 different environments of Grassroots Art, thus getting Lucas the OFFICIAL State Designation of the Grassroots Art Capital of Kansas".
While here you will find Re-Barbs (recycled Barbie Dolls), a full size motorcycle made from pull tabs, Fork Art (have to see to understand) and Flying Pigs (another have to see to understand.
While here you can stay at one of two beautiful bed and breakfasts, one which is in a native limestone home that is 120 years old.
Some say that Lucas is Full of Bologna! Well, Brants Meat Market is anyway. Brants has been in business since 1922 selling homemade Czechlovakian bologna using the same recipe brought over from the Czech homeland.
Did I mention the Worlds Largest Souvenir Travel Plate? Or the newly renovated Lucas Theater that shows first run movies?
Depending on the time of year you could catch a ride in a combine cutting Wheat or Milo.
If that isn't enough Lucas sits just 6 miles north of Wilson Lake, a Corp of Engineers dam. The lake is located on the Post Rock Scenic Byway (yes Kansas has scenic byways). Post Rock is the limestone used to build homes, outbuildings and fence posts by the early settlers because of the lack of trees. The stone is the crust of an old seabed and is only found in this area. You can tour the Vonada Stone Quarry and watch them quarry the stone like their ancestors over 100 years ago. Wilson Lake, a top outdoor vacation spots in Kansas, offers beautiful rolling hills, rock outcroppings and gorgeous sunsets along with the usual boating, fishing, and hiking and biking trails. Go to Brants and get a picnic lunch then go rent a pontoon at the marina and spend a day exploring the 9000 acre lake. Get away from the crowds and come enjoy the beauty, peace and quiet of the country. I can guarantee you that you won't be disappointed! - By Connie Dougherty.
The Museum of World Treasures is not just another museum. With Egyptian mummies and a T.rex dinosaur named Ivan, this is a real museum. You’ll see over 3,000 items from around the world. One of the tourists favorites is Logan the Tylosaurus who is a 40 foot longs sea reptile which was discovered in Logan county, Kansas.
The Hopalong Cassidy Cowboy Museum, near Wichita, is a specialty museum in that is sticks exclusively to memorabilia related to Hopalong Cassidy’s many years as a western cowboy movie star. It is Interesting that Hopalong started out as a rowdy troublesome cowboy but turned into a clean-cut hero for the majority of his years of success.
Constitution Hall in Lecompton, Kansas (near Topeka) is important in Kansas history. In the late 1800’s new settlers would stake their land claims with the Federal Land Office on the first floor. During that period the building was also used for many debates regarding the filing for statehood and for Kansas’s position regarding slavery.
Gage Park takes stage center for folks in Topeka, Kansas. Facilities available within this beautiful park are: an aquatic center, a theatre, a mini-train, a carousel, a dog park and a zoo.
The carousel is vintage style with the music via paper roll organ and the mimi-train ride is a 12 minute jaunt around the park. You will have to explore the remaining activities on your own. It’ll only take a couple of days.
The casino has slots, poker and table games. Other attractions at the Prairie Band Casino are the Players Club, RV facilities and bus service. They also have facilities for meetings and conventions. he Sunset Zoo in Manhattan, Kansas (near Topeka) is a very interesting zoo in that they are strong on adoption. You become a ZOOparent which comes with several small privileges. Sound interesting? Check out their web site.
Their live-in residents include mammals, fish, birds, amphibians, reptiles and invertebrates. You can share your photographs of the animals by mailing it to the zoo and then see it displayed on their web site. The Peter Pan Park in Emporia, Kansas (near Topeka) is a classic old time public park where you and the kids can stop for the few hours of old fashion fun.
The following are the play equipment: a see saw, slide swings, large sandbox, tennis court, monkey bars, jungle gym, a twisty slid and a walking path. The combination of Emporia State University and a Community Theater adds much music and stage presentations to this interesting town.
The Columbian Theatre in Wamego, Kansas (near Topeka) holds a century of history and secrets which makes it a museum of historic information. For many years it was the center of entertainment and then abandoned for an equal period. A recent full restoration has turned this old treasure into a gem. Take a tour and you will be thrilled by its charming beauty.
The County Stampede is an outdoor camping and country music festival which is held at the Tuttle Creek Lake State Park near Manhattan, Kansas. This four day event is a great vacation idea and it's typically held on the last week of June. With attendances over 150,000 and topnotch stars performing you know that this has got to be a great vacation idea.
Adding to this collection are engines, records, schematics, photos and books together with aviation memorabilia. This is a perfect stop for an aviation buff. There are many beautiful displays at the Botanica Gardens in Wichita, Kansas, including the Pansy/Butterfly house, the Wildflower Woodland and the Brosius Rose Garden.
There is also a large collection of garden sculptures sprinkled among the various gardens. Watch for the new Woodland Bird Garden, which marries attractive flowers and shrubs with several species of north American birds. A bloom schedule is available on the web site.
For train related Kansas tourist attractions try the Great Plains Transportation Museum in Wichita, Kansas. Here you will find some classic old railroad locomotives on display. The outdoor display includes the Santa Fe steam locomotive #3768 and Santa Fe FP45 diesel #93.
Indoors, you’ll find a plethora of railroad artifacts such as signs, prints, artist renderings, lanterns, tools and specifications. They even have a mock-up mechanical stoker used for training steam locomotive personnel. The Great Plains Transportation Museum is an excellent vacation idea for railroad enthusiasts.