Are you looking for a great place to explore in Kansas? Home to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, Kansas is a great state to visit.
From monuments to museums, there are plenty of sights to take in no matter where you go.
Here’s an overview of some of the most famous landmarks in Kansas. From iconic monuments to one-of-a-kind attractions, these locations offer a variety of activities for those looking for an adventure in the Sunflower State.
Famous Landmarks in Kansas
1. The Keeper of the Plains
The Keeper of the Plains is a famous monument located in Wichita, Kansas. It was created to honor Native American tribes who originally lived in the area and serves as a reminder of the area’s rich cultural history.
The sculpture stands 44 feet tall on top of a 30-foot-high stone base surrounded by fire pits.
It consists of four figures, each representing one of the four tribes that formed part of the Osage Nation. The figures are arranged in a circle around a central figure, which is said to be a representation of the Keeper of the Plains himself.
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The sculpture was created in 1974 by renowned artist Blackbear Bosin and was dedicated to commemorate the United States bicentennial.
The Keeper of the Plains has become a Wichita landmark and is often used as the symbol for many local organizations, events, and campaigns.
2. Fort Larned National Historic Site
Fort Larned National Historic Site is located in Pawnee County, Kansas. It was designated a national historic site in 1964 and is administered by the National Park Service.
The site preserves the original Army post that was active from 1859 to 1878 as part of an effort to protect travelers along the Santa Fe Trail. Today, visitors to the park can explore and learn about this important part of our nation’s history.
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The main attraction at the park is a reconstruction of the post’s buildings, which include a number of original structures. Visitors can explore a variety of exhibits and artifacts that are on display in various buildings, such as uniforms, tools, furniture, and more.
The fort also contains many historical weapons, including cannons and muskets. Additionally, visitors can learn about the fort’s history by taking a guided tour of the post.
The site also contains a number of trails and other recreational activities, including bird watching, fishing, hiking, and more. There are also several events held at the park throughout the year, such as living history programs and reenactments.
3. World’s Largest Ball of Twine
The World’s Largest Ball of Twine is an impressive feat of human ingenuity and craftsmanship. Located in Cawker City, Kansas, this enormous twine sculpture weighs over 17,000 pounds and stands 11 feet in diameter.
It began as a modest endeavor in 1953 when local resident Frank Stoeber started rolling twine to pass the time.
After 33 years of dedicated work, Stoeber created a record-breaking twine ball that has since become a major tourist attraction for Cawker City and surrounding areas.
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The ball of twine is made from over seven million feet of sisal twine. It has been donated to Cawker City and sits on display near the town’s center.
Every August, a festival called Twine-A-Thon is held to celebrate this unique attraction and its creator. Locals bring more twine to add to the ball each year, and visitors can even take a piece of twine for themselves in exchange for a small donation.
4. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is located in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, an area renowned for its tallgrass prairies and unique geology.
The preserve was established in 1996 to protect and restore some of the last remaining native tallgrass prairies in North America.
The preserve features over 10,000 acres of native tallgrass prairie, as well as a variety of other habitats, including wetlands, woodlands, and grassy uplands.
It is home to over 60 different species of plants and animals, making it one of the most diverse areas in the Great Plains region.
Visitors can explore the preserve via its network of trails or take part in one of the many educational programs offered.
Strataca is an underground museum in Kansas that offers visitors a unique and interactive experience. Located 650 feet below the ground, Strataca takes guests on an educational journey through the history of salt mining and its impact on the state of Kansas.
The museum features numerous exhibits, including a salt mine tour, a hands-on exploration area for kids, an art gallery, a theater, and much more.
Guests can also take part in activities like gemstone mining and panning for ancient fossils. Strataca is a great place to learn about the history of salt mining while enjoying its captivating atmosphere.
6. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum
The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum is one of 13 presidential libraries administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).
Located in Abilene, Kansas, it is the only presidential library to be dedicated to a president who was born in the state.
The library contains over 27 million pages of documents and artifacts that shed light on the life and times of our 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The museum houses artifacts from Eisenhower’s time in office, including his Oval Office desk, war room conference table, campaign buttons, and memorabilia from his tenure as Supreme Allied Commander during World War II.
7. Fort Scott National Historic Site
Fort Scott National Historic Site, located in Fort Scott, Kansas, is a preserved 19th-century military fort and the site of several important battles in U.S. history.
Built as a frontier outpost for soldiers during the early 1800s, it was also used as a major supply point during the Civil War. Today, visitors can explore the preserved structures, including original barracks and parade grounds, on self-guided tours.
The site also features a museum with exhibits about the fort’s history and artifacts from the area. In addition to its historical significance, Fort Scott National Historic Site is also a great place for outdoor activities like fishing, hiking, biking, bird watching, and camping.
Visitors can also take part in educational programs and events at the site, including living history demonstrations, lectures, and more.
Whether you’re looking to learn about U.S. military history or simply enjoy nature, Fort Scott National Historic Site is an ideal destination for all types of visitors.
8. Monument Rocks
Monument Rocks is a set of chalk formations located in Gove County, Kansas. It was designated as a National Natural Landmark in 1968 due to its unique geological features. The site includes large domes and spires that have been carved out by weathering over millions of years.
Monument Rocks is believed to be the remnant of an ancient sea floor, and the spires are composed of chalk, limestone, and shale. The formations have been estimated to be up to 80 million years old. They provide a stunning contrast against the rolling hills of the surrounding landscape.
Visitors can explore Monument Rocks by car or on foot, but they should take care when exploring due to the fragile nature of these formations.
The site is a popular destination for hikers, photographers, and visitors interested in the natural history of Kansas. Monument Rocks is an incredible testament to the power of nature and time..
9. Big Well Museum
The Big Well Museum in Greensburg, Kansas is a fascinating attraction that offers a unique look into the history of this rural town.
Located in an old artesian well built in 1889, the museum features an array of artifacts and exhibits depicting the lives of early settlers and their daily life experiences.
Visitors can explore the underground museum, which includes interactive displays and activities, as well as original artifacts from the late 1800s.
The museum also offers a variety of educational programs for school groups and special events throughout the year.
10. Constitution Hall State Historic Site
Constitution Hall State Historic Site in Lecompton, Kansas is a historical building and museum that commemorates the history of Kansas statehood.
Located on the banks of the Kaw River in Douglas County, Constitution Hall was once the site of heated debates over slavery and state rights during the 1850s.
It played a critical role as the temporary capital of Kansas in 1855 and served as the site of two constitutional conventions.
Today, it is a popular destination for tourists interested in learning more about the history and culture of Kansas.
The building itself is an impressive sight to behold with its Greek Revival architecture and beautiful woodwork. Inside, visitors can explore the museum, which includes displays on the Kansas-Missouri Border War, the Lecompton Constitution, and other historical artifacts.
In addition to the museum, visitors can take a guided tour of Constitution Hall and learn more about its history through educational activities.
The site also offers special events such as reenactments, living history presentations, and seminars.