Fall is here and its the perfect time to explore the communities of Kansas I-70. We’ve compiled a list of our favorite ways to enjoy all that there is to offer across our state. Fall in Love with Kansas I-70…
Land & Sky Scenic Byway is the perfect byway to drive during the fall season. The Land and Sky Scenic Byway runs 88 miles along Highway 27 and is the first agriculture byway in the United States. As you drive look for kiosks going north and south on Hwy. 27 to learn our story. Along the way you will see several attractions including Mount Sunflower, Arikaree Breaks, and Smoky Gardens Soldiers Memorial Park. Also, as you travel the byway look for the Long Cattle, Buffalo, and Long Horn Cattle.
Giant Van Gogh Painting. With a stop in Goodland you can’t miss the 80-foot-tall easel and replica of Van Gogh’s Three Sunflowers in a Vase which is located in Pioneer Park. Take a drive through Goodland and you will be able to spot several smaller easels located throughout the town.
High Plains Museum is home to more than 8,000 objects telling the rich history of the people of Sherman County. While touring the museum you will see the first patented helicopter. There is a button that you push to make the helicopter blades turn.
Crazy R’s Bar and Grill Crazy R’s has been a true Goodland treasure for almost 30 years. It is perfect for lunch with co-workers, a delicious dinner with family, or drinks with your friends.
Take a stroll at Villa High Pond and Park. The newly redesigned and sustainable Villa High Pond and Park offers walking trails, bridges, lights, and a new pond habitat with several varieties of fish. Fishing will open to the public on November 1, 2020.
Fike Park Chainsaw Tree Carvings. When you come to Colby be sure to take a drive through Fike Park to see the new chainsaw tree carvings. The park is the most popular park in Colby for picnics, community events, weddings/receptions, and for general relaxation and enjoyment; two gazebos, a volleyball area, horseshoe pitching pits, and tennis courts are available here.
A must see in Colby is the Prairie Museum of Art and History. It features Kansas’ largest Barn, Sod House, an Amazing Glass collection and of course the Kuska Doll collection.
Colby Event Center – Opening in July 2021. Colby’s newest addition is the 2000 plus seating Event Center. It will be able to accommodate Sporting Tournaments, Trade shows, Agricultural Expos, as well as individual meetings.
“Rurally” Lovin’ Life. Small town, wide open spaces, beautiful sunrises and sunsets, there are many reasons to fall in love with our town. Here are just a few:
Small Town Charm You won’t find big box stores here. Our local businesses welcome visitors and the townspeople are happy to share a table at the donut shop, or chat about our farming and agriculture.
Outdoor Spaces Abound With two parks in town offer walking trails, disc golf and a playground, visitors can enjoy many outdoor family activities. Take a short trip out of town and hike the trails at the Smoky Valley Ranch, or visit Monument Rocks or Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park.
Stop for the Legend. Stay for the Day That’s our town’s invitation to visitors. We love to share the history of Buffalo Bill. Our twice life-sized bronze sculpture of Buffalo Bill on his horse in pursuit of a buffalo is one of the largest of its kind anywhere in the world. The Buffalo Bill Cultural Center shares this history and other stories of the Wild West in our area.
Fick Fossil & History Museum Western Kansas is known as the premier fossil area in the state. Our nationally recognized (and free) Fick Fossil & History Museum displays fossils and fossil art not seen anywhere else. P.S. The kids love the old fire truck.
Hunters Welcome Many hunting opportunities are available in our area with lots of walk-in public land available. Our restaurants, hotels, and motels welcome upland bird, turkey, and deer hunters. Hunter regulations, license fees, and walk in maps are available at: https://ksoutdoors.com/Hunting.
Smoky Valley Scenic Byway – Fall is a perfect time to explore nature and history with a drive through the hazy Smoky Hills on this 60-mile scenic drive with easy access to I-70. View native wildflowers and grasses, colorful agricultural crops, unique limestone bluffs, and historical sites along the Smoky Hill Trail or Butterfield Overland Despatch (BOD).
Cedar Bluff State Park, Reservoir & Wildlife Area – Discover this hunting and fishing paradise in the fall. Trego County offers some of the best pheasant, quail, and dove hunting in the nation. Outstanding deer hunting is available as well. And Cedar Bluff Reservoir offers great fall fishing.
Shiloh Vineyard – Fall is a wonderful time to experience Shiloh Vineyard & Winery, southwest of WaKeeney. Explore this unique destination on a restored family farm on the Western Kansas prairie. Schedule your personalized wine tasting and tour and catch a beautiful sunset.
Castle Rock – Discover the wilder side of Trego County this fall. Once you leave I-70 at Exit #115 and head south towards the Smoky Hill River the landscape changes. Watch for native wildflowers and grasses, wildlife, and chalk outcroppings. Castle Rock features a unique chalk formation, which resembles a castle, made of Niobrara Chalk. Explore the badlands with hoodoos that are carved in the nearby bluff.
You’ll Love the Giant Tortoises at the Sternberg Museum of Natural History. See dinosaurs, prehistoric animals, and giant sea-swimming creatures that inhabited Kansas over 80 million years ago. Fossils, life-size prehistoric models, and live animals tell the story of the natural history of the Great Plains. The Discovery Room, fossil dig pit, and outdoor nature trails provide fun for explorers of all ages.
You’ll Love Seeing the Baby Bison Play at Frontier Park. Frontier Park features walking and biking trails, playgrounds, picnic areas, and plenty of large shade trees. In addition, the state’s first disc golf course is located here. The park is also home to Hays’ own bison herd, which was established in 1952 with a bull named “Wild Bill” and a cow named “Calamity Jane.
You’ll Love the Architecture of Our Historic Churches. Ellis County boasts many beautiful churches built by Volga German immigrants who settled here in the 1870s. The most stunning of these structures is The Basilica of St. Fidelis, named a minor basilica in 2014, and often called “The Cathedral of the Plains.” The Basilica of St. Fidelis is on the National Register of Historic Places as a building of “architectural significance,” and is one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas.
You’ll Love Exploring The Bricks in Downtown Hays. In the downtown district, visitors will find award-winning restaurants, outdoor sculptures, boutique shopping, a seasonal outdoor market, and more. A self-guided walking tour of historical markers tells the stories of the sites where history was made during Hays’ Wild West days.
You’ll Love the Stories of the Historic Fort Hays Site. This U.S. Army military post has some of its original structures available for tours to show how soldiers lived in the 1860s. The site includes a visitor center with interactive exhibits and artifacts about the fort and its military history.
Fall in love with The Cozy Inn. The Cozy Inn has been a Salina staple since 1922. It is known nationally as one of the last remaining six-stool diners in America and is frequently featured in travel books, newspapers, and national magazines. Their hamburger sliders are simple, smashed ground beef on the grill and fresh onions on a steamed bun. Cozy Inn customers “Buy’em by the sack.”
Fall in love with Abilene! Enjoy the cooler temperatures and changing leaves with a visit to Abilene, Kansas!
Fall in love with Abilene… architecture! Abilene is named one of the Best Historic Small Towns in the country for good reason, take a drive through Abilene and admire its historic districts, unique architecture, and grand mansions.
Fall in love with Abilene… restaurants! Need a travel break? Enjoy a meal in Abilene! Abilene is home to many unique and locally-owned restaurants. The iconic Mr. K’s Farmhouse, formerly Lena’s Farmhouse, on the hill was Ike’s favorite! Stop and see the Eisenhower room, enjoy a piece of delicious homemade pie, or try a salad made with Mr. K’s famous house dressing!
Fall in love with Abilene… museums! Home to the Greyhound Hall of Fame Museum, Dickinson County Heritage Center, Fred Schmidt Railroad Museum, and the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, visitors to Abilene will have something to see.
Fall in love with Abilene…boutiques! Enjoy destination shopping in Abilene! With more than 150 antique vendors, unique and specialty boutiques, you never know what you’ll find in Abilene.
Fall in love with Abilene… art! You don’t have to leave your car to admire some magnificent outdoor art in Abilene! From graffiti murals to cowboy statues, new art continues to pop up in Abilene!
Heart of the Flint Hills …Geary County, KS is located in the center of the Flint Hills. The Flint Hills are named for the abundant residual flint or chert that lies near or at the surface.
Make sure you bring your camera, as the beauty of the Flint Hills really shines in Geary County!
Heritage Park is Junction City’s central public space located in the historic downtown district. Many memorials paying tribute to our heritage are featured within Heritage Park. It is the perfect place to gather for remembrance of those who have sacrificed so much for our values and freedom today.
The Buffalo Soldier Memorial is dedicated to the 9th and 10th Horse Cavalry Regiments – the famous “Buffalo Soldiers.” The memorial wall is constructed of native limestone and serves as a backdrop for a 9-foot bronze sculpted statue of a Buffalo Soldier by his horse. The artist took composite pictures of the 5 remaining Buffalo Soldiers that were living in this area and included the features of all into the soldier sculpture.
Make sure you read the 9 informational plaques and learn of the history of the Buffalo Soldiers. Bring your camera. Buffalo Soldier Park and Memorial is located at the intersection of 18th Street and Buffalo Soldier Drive, Junction City, KS!
Milford Lake – Located in the Heart of the Kansas Flint Hills and just west of Junction City is the Fishing Capital of Kansas – Milford Lake. The largest lake in the State has 163 miles of shoreline where you’ll find sandy swimming beaches, and 14 public ramps for launching boats, canoes, or sailboats. The lake has both public and private campgrounds, a resort, RV sites, cabins, and primitive camping sites.
5 Reasons You’ll Fall for Manhattan KS
What’s so great about Manhattan in the fall? Well, everything! The weather has cooled off, outdoor activities are bustling and the Konza is in a beautiful state. Find out the 5 reasons to fall for Manhattan this autumn.
Konza Prairie. If you are a sucker for the beauty of leaves changing and those warm fall colors the Konza Prairie is the place for you to be. The native grasses are lush at this time and those browns, reds and yellows are visible on the prairie. Check out our info graphic below for plants you can spot during fall.
Sunsets. The sunsets in Manhattan are incredible all year long, but they are especially great during the fall. There are so many spots to catch a beautiful sunset from the Scenic Overlook to Tuttle Creek Lake or even out on the Kansas River. Nothing quite beats a Manhappiness sunset.
Manhattan Kansas = Flavortown. Okay, so maybe Guy Fieri didn’t say that about Manhattan, but he definitely should. We have tons of locally owned restaurants that pack tons of flavor. Find unexpected dishes throughout town from biscuit sandwiches to a mac n’ cheese grilled sandwich to a small dining plate with a southern twist. Manhattan is overflowing with dining options.
Fun Attractions to Enjoy. Fall weather can be a bit unpredictable, but rain delays and random cold fronts won’t stop the fun in Manhattan. Manhattan is filled with tons of indoor fun like the Flint Hills Discovery Center, K-State Insect Zoo, axe throwing, guided painting/crafts, or Locked in downtown Manhattan. Your fun doesn’t stop, even if the weather decides to not cooperate.
Outdoor Activities Galore. Got a bike? We’ve got trails for you. Own a kayak/canoe/paddle board? There are tons of spots for you to paddle. Headed to the green? Don’t miss our top ranked golf course! Whatever outdoor activity you are looking for Manhattan definitely has options for you to enjoy.
Enjoy the fall colors during a walking tour of Historic Lecompton. Lecompton is a small town with a big history. There is no shortage of historic sites of interest. During this one mile walking tour you will see 34 historical sites located throughout Lecompton including Constitution Hall, Lecompton City Jail, Lecompton Veterans Monument, and the Territorial Capital Museum.
Take a drive down the River Road for beautiful fall foliage. The River Road was originally a highly traveled wagon road accommodating both free state and slave advocates, each working diligently to make Kansas Territory their own! The eastern end of the Scenic River Road begins at Lake View, northwest of Lawrence, and ends at Lecompton. The road parallels the Kansas River. Bald Eagles are often sighted along this route! Traveling west on Woodson Ave. through Lecompton for one-half mile, you can continue on the River Road–a very scenic route to Topeka!
Visit the historic Constitution Hall and Territorial Capital Museum. Explore Constitution Hall which is one of the oldest wood-frame buildings in Kansas. Where the infamous Lecompton Constitution was written and signed. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1975. Dedicated as a museum in 1995. The Territorial Capital Museum chronicles the history of Lecompton from territorial times to the present. The museum has everything from cannon balls from the Bleeding Kansas conflict, to quilts. Construction began here on this location for an elegant capitol in 1855 with a $50,000 appropriation from Congress.
See the antique Christmas tree display at Territorial Capital Museum starting Nov. 1st. Memories of Christmas are relived in visiting Historic Lecompton. See an indoor display of over 150 trees decorated in antique, vintage, and theme decor – including WWII era decorations, among the many trees is a barb-wire tree, feather tree, 15ft native cedar tree, and many more unique decorations.
Fall in love with Bonner Springs soaring to new heights. Reach speeds of up to 50 mph above the bluffs of the Kansas River and explore all nine zip lines that stretch over 5,800 feet. The ultimate zip line adventure can be found at Zip KC!
Fall in love with Bonner Springs to the Moon and back. Moon Marble- that is. Go shopping for art glass, family games, hand-blown glass ornaments, and marble tubes online at www.moonmarble.com.
Fall in love with Bonner Springs outdoor recreation. Play at the 18-hole golf course at Sunflower Hills or throw a disc at Cedar Ridge Disc Golf Course. Enjoy skateboarding, swimming, fishing, play horseshoes, biking, running/walking on the trails or even go to the extreme with the KC Timber Challenge.
Fall in love with Bonner Springs historic downtown delight. The historic downtown of Bonner Springs is filled with mom-and-pop shops with specialty retail shops, coffee stops, antiques stores, and so much more.
Drive the Glacial Hills Scenic Byway. Glacial Hills Scenic Byway gets its name from the rolling hills and rock-strewn valleys carved by ancient glaciers. It’s a beautiful drive in any season; however, the fall colors are magnificent to view as you drive along the 63 mile drive in NE Kansas.
Skeletour in Downtown Leavenworth. For the month of October, visitors and residents can take haunted selfies in front of over 25 Halloween decorated businesses while social distancing. Submit your selfie and enter to win over $500.00 in prizes.
November 7th will be the Holiday Open House in downtown Leavenworth followed by Shop Small Saturday at the end of the month. This event allows shoppers to get a jump on their holiday shopping and pick up a free holiday ornament from participating businesses.
November 11th will be the Veterans Day Parade in historic downtown Leavenworth. This year it will be a little smaller than in years past and everyone will be asked to social distance while they watch and honor our veterans. Veterans Day is the American name for the international day of remembrance called Armistice Day.
Foliage in the Parks. Stoll through any of Shawnee’s amazing parks to view the beautiful changing colors of the trees! West Flanders Park near downtown Shawnee and the sprawling Shawnee Mission Park are great options.
Fall Festive Beers. Shawnee offers three different craft breweries where you can try any number of fall themed brews. Make your way to Pathlight Brewing, Transport Brewery or Servaes Brewing Co. to see what’s on tap!
Warm Up with Local Roasters. Nothing beats a warm cup of coffee and a fall themed pastry on a chilly autumn morning. Local coffee roaster McLain’s Market is also a well-known local bakery, located right in downtown Shawnee! Café Equinox is also found in southern Shawnee and is found inside Family Tree Nursery (a great spot to grab a pumpkin or other fall festive item).
Hear about Historical Harvests. Shawnee’s history has roots as an old truck farm town! Learn how Sweet Potatoes were a specialty crop of farmers who lived in Shawnee in the 1920’s and much more by stopping in at Shawnee Town 1929, located in downtown Shawnee.
NASCAR is BACK! Racing fans can rejoice! Limited tickets are being sold for the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Hollywood Casino 400 on Sunday, October 18!
Checking out our local coffee shops. Some of the coolest local spots to grab a cup of coffee in KC are located in Wyandotte County.
Taking advantage of the cooler weather. One of the best ways to explore Kansas City, KS is through both guided and self-guided tours! Urban Hikes Kansas City leads a Saturday morning 5-6 mile hike through downtown KCK and the Strawberry Hill neighborhood. Those seeking something more self-paced can check out our Guide By Cell Audio Tour.
The KCK Taco Trail has launched! Embark on a culinary adventure in Kansas City, Kansas. Sign up now for the KCK Taco Trail pass and be immersed in a flavor-filled experience of culture and history through food. The trail includes nearly 50 local taquerias featuring street tacos, Tex-Mex style tacos and more. The KCK Taco Trail pass is free and instantly delivered via email and text. No app to download and easily accessible!