Kansas is often considered to be the heartland of the United States; reflecting true “apple pie” and American ideals that have remain unchanged for decades. However, this state is also able to offer the traveler a host of attractions to enjoy. Made famous from The Wizard of Oz, Kansas is now frequented by millions of visitors each and every year. With its wide open and seemingly endless landscape, there is a certain amount of immortality that is felt by many of those who take the time to gaze off into the horizon.
The Best Times to Visit Kansas
This is a bit of a tricky question, for the winters here can be exceedingly harsh. In turn, summers here are quite warm and dry. As Kansas is located in what is referred to as “tornado alley”, strong storms tend to punctuate spring and summer days. So, the best bet is to visit Kansas between September and November. It is unlikely that a great deal of snow will fall while the chances of encountering inclement weather are dramatically reduced.
Flying from New York City to Kansas will take a different amount of time depending upon the destination city. For example, flights to Manhattan will generally last nearly 5 hours while a journey between New York and Wichita lasts just over 5 hours. It should be noted here that Wichita is the only major airport in the state. For those who are arriving from the east, it is much better to use the services of Kansas City International Airport (MCI). Delta, United, Southwest and Spirit air are the most common carriers. Upon arrival at the airport, shuttle bus services will provide transportation to downtown Kansas City.
Known for a rather homegrown tradition, Kansas is famous for its motels and bed and breakfast establishments. Of course, all of the major cities such as Wichita and Kansas City will provide a host of options to choose from. If we assume that Kansas City is the most common destination, there are both budget properties as well as high-end locations such as The Hilton President Hotel and the Weston Crown Center. The bulk of these are located within the downtown district.
Top Things to do in Kansas
An interesting fact in regards to Kansas is that it is known for a particularly large jazz scene. This can particularly be seen in Kansas City. Influenced by both bluegrass and southern styles, a unique melange of both can be experienced. Locations such as The Blue Room, Sandstone, Majestic Center and The KC Juke House are said to be some of the most respectable in the entire mid-western United States. As these tend to be very popular, it is always a good idea to book reservations ahead of time. Additionally, there are countless impressive restaurants that will likewise provide live jazz music on a nightly basis. Many of these are found within walking distance to major transportation hubs.
Surprisingly, Kansas is not entirely defined by endless wheat fields and flat horizons. An perfect example of this can be seen in the Overland Park Arboretum and Botanical Gardens. This is a relatively new location which offers countless different species of mature trees. No less than five miles of trails can be explored and the Wolf River is an excellent place to sit and enjoy a picnic or simply take in the sights. A total of 8 different ecosystems have already been identified within these gardens. This location is slated for further development in the near future.
Kansas is also home to a respectable amount of modern art. This can easily be witnessed within the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. Located in Overland Park, this elegant structure was only finished in 2007. Since then, it has enjoyed a growing reputation within the art world and now boasts works from such professionals as Leo Villareal and numerous donations from Marti and Tony Oppenheimer. While perhaps not as impressive as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, this destination should absolutely be visited by anyone who plans to arrive in Overland Park.