When people think of tourist attractions in Kansas, they might think of the cities: Wichita, Lawrence, Kansas City. So it might come as a surprise that a lot of the best tourist attractions in Kansas are located in the west of the state, many not far from Finney County.
Western Kansas has enough history, art, and oddities for months’ worth of exploration. If you don’t have that much time, we encourage you to pick some of your favorites and invite you to get out here and start exploring!
Dorothy’s House – Liberal, Kansas
Ask any Kansan who has traveled outside state lines, and we guarantee they will have heard it. ‘You’re not in Kansas anymore!’
The link between the state and the film is lodged in the nation’s collective, technicolor history, and in Liberal Kansas, you can witness that history come alive.
More than a faithful recreation of the famous house (no tornado, it’s not that faithful), this site also features a 5,000 square foot exhibit where visitors can tour the magical land of Oz and view pieces and props from the film.
On the same site lies the fabulous Coronado Museum, celebrating the first Europeans to travel through Kansas, in 1541.
Cimarron National Grassland – Morton County, Kansas
The Cimarron National Grassland is the largest protected grassland in Kansas, and is located in the far southwest of the state.
Once at the epicenter of the Kansas dust bowl, the grassland is now popular among campers and hikers who want to see the expansive scenery that made Kansas famous. One of the grassland’s most beautiful places, the Point of Rocks, is not to be missed.
The Big Pool – Garden City, Kansas
Let’s face it, summer in Kansas gets hot! Luckily, Garden City is home to the country’s largest hand-dug cement pool.
With admission price in the single digits, sometimes it seems like all of Western Kansas has come to Garden City for a dip. Which is okay, because The Big Pool can hold them, plus 2 million gallons of water!
The pool (which is big enough for waterskiers) has several different fun areas, including kiddie pools and slides, and is one of the best summer destinations on our list.
Cedar Bluff State Park – Trego County, Kansas
Cedar Bluff State Park is made up of 850 acres of land divided into two regions: Bluffton and Page Creek.
Bluffton is more developed and is very popular among local campers and outdoorsy types. While Page Creek is home to beautiful limestone bluffs.
Boot Hill – Dodge City, Kansas
Boot Hill is an Old West-style city within a city. Located in Dodge City, Boot Hill showcases life as it used to be, complete with cowboy sand cowgirls in costume, saloons, general stores, and more, all in their old west glory.
Beyond simply providing the setting, Boot Hill offers the stories of the Old West as well, with country style dining and gunfights in the street (don’t worry, they’re fake).
Short of a time machine, there’s really nothing quite like Boot Hill, and once you see it, you’ll know why.
The Big Well – Greensburg, Kansas
The big well is the world’s third deepest hand-dug well, and by far the deepest on the North American continent.
Plunging 109 feet into the earth, the well was built to provide water to the railroads. Visitors to the well are able to actually descend to that depth via a beautiful new staircase installed in 2012.
This is one of those places that must be seen to be believed, as the size and scale are simply beyond imagining.
The museum, built on the site, is also well worth a visit.
The World’s Largest Hairball – Garden City, Kansas
Look, we never said that the best attractions in Kansas couldn’t also be kind of- well- icky.
Come visit the Finney County Historical Museum and you’ll find this (33-pound) baby on proud display.
While you’re there, you might take some time to wander around and find that the Historical Museum is actually one of the best museums in the state, which celebrates all the interests and oddities that have embodied this region through the years.
Incredible Hunting – Southwest Kansas
Ask any pheasant hunter and they’ll tell you, Southwest Kansas is special, top of the line, bucket list hunting ground. The topography, farming, and natural vegetation in the region come together to form a kind of ecological soup that birds simply cannot resist.
You’ll find plenty of outfitters willing to supply your party with everything you need when it comes to hunting the region, and we’re sure it will be one of the more memorable hunts you’ll ever have.