Kansas: Your Personal Travel Guide to the Sunflower State

Welcome to Clinton Lake

One of the most enchanting and picturesque lakes in Kansas is undoubtedly Clinton Lake. Nestled amidst the heartland’s rolling hills and scenic landscapes, Clinton Lake is a retreat for nature enthusiasts and water lovers alike. The lake, created by the Clinton Dam on the Wakarusa River, spans over 7,000 acres, providing ample space for a variety of recreational activities. Boasting crystal-clear waters and surrounded by lush greenery, Clinton Lake is a haven for fishing, boating, and hiking. Anglers can try their luck with a diverse array of fish species, including bass and catfish, while boaters can explore the expansive lake or find peaceful coves for a leisurely cruise. The surrounding Clinton State Park offers numerous trails for hiking and birdwatching, making it an ideal destination for those seeking both water and land adventures. With its stunning vistas, diverse wildlife, and recreational opportunities, Clinton Lake stands out as the crown jewel among the many lakes that grace the beautiful state of Kansas.

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Best time to visit
Best places to visit

What you need to know about Kansas

01

Dorothy’s Home

The classic movie “The Wizard of Oz” was set in Kansas. While Dorothy’s adventure in the Land of Oz is fictional, the state is forever linked to the iconic story.

02

Wild Frontier History

Kansas has a rich Wild West history, with famous figures like Wyatt Earp and “Wild Bill” Hickok having ties to the state. Dodge City, in particular, was a notorious frontier town.

03

Underground Salt Museum

Hutchinson, Kansas, is home to the only underground salt museum in the Western Hemisphere, where visitors can explore salt mines and learn about the salt mining industry.

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Must See Attractions

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Monument Rocks

Nature & Parks

The Monument Rocks are massive chalk formations that rise dramatically from the Kansas prairie, creating a unique and picturesque landscape. Open daily and free admission.

Old Cowtown Museum

Speciality Museums

Old Cowtown Museum in Wichita, Kansas, immerses visitors in the sights and sounds of the late 19th century, offering a living history experience with historic buildings, costumed interpreters, and engaging exhibits that vividly recreate the atmosphere of the Wild West.

Strataca

Speciality Museums

Strataca is a unique and immersive underground experience, allowing visitors to explore a working salt mine 650 feet below the Earth’s surface and discover the fascinating geological and industrial history of salt mining in the region.

Where to Sleep

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Islandview Family Cottage

Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 3
Sq Footage 1,350
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$250.00 / day

Lakes to Explore

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1. Perry Lake

23 Miles

Perry Lake captivates with its blue waters and lush surroundings, providing an escape for water sports enthusiasts and those seeking a peaceful lakeside retreat.

2. Clinton Lake

26 Miles

The outdoor bliss at Clinton Lake, one of Kansas’ premier lakes, offers a perfect blend of fishing, boating, and scenic trails for nature enthusiasts.

3. Hillsdale Lake

71 Miles

Hillsdale Lake, surrounded by rolling hills and woodlands, is a recreational paradise, offering a serene escape for anglers, kayakers, and boaters.

4. Milford Lake

84 Miles

Milford Lake is the state’s largest reservoir, inviting visitors to indulge in water recreation, camping, and birdwatching against a picturesque backdrop.

5. El Dorado Lake

110 Miles

El Dorado Lake boasts a perfect blend of water recreation and scenic beauty, making it a top destination for fishing, boating, and enjoying the great outdoors.

6. Glen Elder Reservoir (Waconda Lake)

164 Miles

Waconda Lake beckons with its expansive waters, offering excellent fishing opportunities and a scenic setting for outdoor enthusiasts.

7. Wilson Lake

168 Miles

Wilson Lake, known for its clear blue waters and rugged shoreline, is a haven for boaters, anglers, and hikers, promising an adventurous escape in the heart of Kansas.

8. Lovewell Reservoir

194 Miles

This reservoir is a hidden gem, inviting nature lovers to explore its blue waters, abundant wildlife, and well-maintained parks for a relaxing lakeside getaway.

Annual Events and Festivals

Friday, May 31 – Saturday, June 8, 2024

Riverfest

The Riverfest festival in Wichita, Kansas, is an annual celebration that weaves together the vibrant tapestry of community, culture, and entertainment. Spanning several days along the picturesque Arkansas River, attendees can immerse themselves in the rich diversity of Wichita through live music performances spanning various genres, from local talents to nationally acclaimed artists. The festival’s carnival atmosphere is complemented by a bustling marketplace, art installations, and cultural showcases, creating an engaging environment for visitors of all ages. Riverfest culminates in a spectacular fireworks display.

Get tickets
July 2024

Country Stampede

The Country Stampede, an annual country music festival held in the picturesque city of Manhattan, Kansas, spans multiple days, drawing enthusiastic crowds from near and far enjoy some of the biggest names in country music. Set against the backdrop of the scenic Tuttle Creek State Park, the festival not only offers an exceptional musical experience but also provides a unique opportunity for attendees to immerse themselves in country living. The vibrant atmosphere is complemented by an array of activities, including camping, delicious food vendors, and an unmistakable sense of southern hospitality.

Get tickets
Friday, September 6 – Sunday, September 15, 2024

Kansas State Fair

The Kansas State Fair, held annually in Hutchinson is an iconic celebrating Kansas’s agricultural heritage, entertainment, and community spirit. The fairgrounds come alive with attractions, from thrilling carnival rides and fair food to exhibitions showcasing the best of Kansas agriculture and livestock. Families and friends can enjoy live performances, rodeo shows, and educational exhibits that offer a glimpse into the state’s farming legacy. The midway bustles with laughter and excitement as fairgoers enjoy classic games, Ferris wheels, and other amusement rides.

Top Hiking Trails

Shawnee Mission Park Violet and Red Trail

Shawnee Mission Park Mountain Bike Trails, Shawnee, KansaS 66218

The trails wind through the park’s picturesque landscape through woodlands, prairies, and around the park’s scenic lake. The Violet Trail, named after the wildflowers that adorn its path, is a more relaxing stretch of the trail whereas, the Red Trail offers a more challenging trek but providing panoramic views of the lake. This 6 mile trail takes an average of 2 hours to complete.

Visit their website for more information

 Elk River Hiking Trail

76J2+J4 Independence, Kansas

This scenic trail, meandering through dense woodlands and along the Elk River, offers hikers an immersive experience in the heart of nature. The path is well-maintained but with a variety of terrains from rugged hills to riverbanks. The trail is known for its diverse wildlife, providing opportunities for birdwatching and glimpses of native flora. The trail is 15 miles long and many hikers prefer to hike portions of it or camp along the trail over 2 days.

Visit their website for more information

Konza Prairie Kings Creek Loop Trail

Konza Prairie Nature Trail, Manhattan, KansaS 66502

This trail, which takes less than 2 hours to complete, provides hikers with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the tallgrass prairie. As the trail weaves through the undulating landscape, visitors are treated to sweeping views of the Flint Hills and the Konza Prairie’s iconic grasses, wildflowers, and wildlife. The 4.6 mile trail has well-marked paths, allowing hikers to explore at their own pace.

Visit their website for more information

Best Golf Courses

Falcon Lakes Golf Club

4605 Clubhouse Dr, Basehor, KansaS 66007

Designed by renowned architect Jay Morrish, this 18 hole championship course seamlessly integrates the natural beauty of the surrounding area with a layout that caters to golfers of all skill levels. The fairways wind through lakes, rolling hills, and strategically placed bunkers, creating a dynamic and visually appealing golfing experience. The course’s signature holes, including the stunning par-3 8th hole surrounded by water, add an extra layer of excitement to the game.

Visit their website for more information

Prairie Dunes Country Club

4812 E 30th Ave, Hutchinson, KansaS 67502

This course stands as a revered gem in the world of golf, renowned for its challenging course and captivating setting. Designed by golf course architect Perry Maxwell in 1937, this club has consistently ranked among the top golf courses in the United States. Nestled on the undulating prairies of south-central Kansas, the course showcases the beauty of the region with its native grasses, sand dunes, and strategic bunkering. The signature 14th hole, aptly named “Hell’s Half Acre,” is a testament to the course’s difficulty, demanding precision and skill from even the most seasoned golfers.

Visit their website for more information

Shadow Glen Golf Club

26000 Shadow Glen St, Olathe, KansaS 66061

Shadow Glen Golf Club is as a premier golf destination renowned for its championship-level course and exceptional facilities. Designed by the acclaimed golf course architect Tom Watson, this golf club offers a challenging yet picturesque layout set against the backdrop of the Kansas landscape. The course incorporates natural elements, including rolling hills, strategically placed water features, and mature trees, providing a harmonious blend of aesthetics and playability.

Visit their website for more information

Water Sports

Lake Perry Yacht & Marina

Wakeboarding and Water Skiing

Wakeboarding and water skiing enthusiasts find a haven in the sun-soaked lakes of Kansas, where expansive waters and scenic surroundings create the perfect playground for these thrilling water sports. Lakes such as Wilson Lake, Perry Lake, and Tuttle Creek Reservoir offer ample space and calm waters, making them popular destinations for riders eager to catch wakes and carve through the shimmering surface.

Visit their website for more information

Absolute Fishing Guides

Fishing

Kansas offers an array of fishing opportunities, from its expansive reservoirs like Milford Lake and Clinton Lake to the winding rivers such as the Kansas River and Arkansas River. Anglers can cast their lines with the help of Absolute Fishing Guides for a variety of species, including bass, crappie, catfish, walleye, and more. The state’s numerous community lakes, such as Shawnee Mission Park Lake and Lake Shawnee, provide accessible fishing spots for local communities.

Visit their website for more information

Lake Wilson Marina Jet Skiing

Jet Skiing

Jet skiing in Kansas offers water enthusiasts an exhilarating experience on the state’s picturesque lakes. With numerous expansive bodies of water jet skiing has become a popular water sport during the warmer months. Jet skiers can explore coves, glide along the lake’s edges, and enjoy the sense of freedom that comes with maneuvering on the water.

Visit their website for more information

01

01 / Ice Skating

In various communities across Kansas, outdoor ice skating rinks pop up during the winter months, providing a picturesque and enjoyable activity for families and individuals alike. Whether it’s the Crown Center Ice Terrace in Kansas City or local community rinks, ice skating offers a charming way to embrace the winter chill.

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02 / Snowmobiling

In areas where there’s sufficient snowfall, such as the northern parts of the state, snowmobiling becomes a thrilling winter sport. Enthusiasts can explore scenic landscapes, trails, and open spaces on snowmobiles, creating an exhilarating experience for those who appreciate the speed and adventure that comes with this winter activity.

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03 / Cross Country Skiing

While Kansas may not boast towering mountain ranges, it offers cross country skiers a chance to explore its vast, snow covered plains and picturesque landscapes. Specially designated cross-country skiing trails can be found in various parks and nature reserves, providing enthusiasts with an opportunity to glide through peaceful wooded areas and open fields. Cross country skiing a popular choice for those seeking both a physical workout and a connection with the natural beauty of the Kansas winter.

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Resorts to Discover

Cedar Crest Lodge

Couples, Spa
25939 E 1000th Rd, Pleasanton, Kansas 66075

Circle S Ranch & Country Inn

Family friendly, Spa
3325 Circle S Ln, Lawrence, Kansas 66044

The Inn at Meadowbrook

Retreat, Spa
4901 Meadowbrook Pkwy, Prairie Village, Kansas 66207

Tips on Traveling to Kansas

Lengthy Drives

Kansas is a vast state with expansive landscapes, so be prepared for some driving. Plan your itinerary to include rest stops and attractions along your route.

Be Prepared

If you plan to explore rural areas, be mindful of rural roads. Some areas may have fewer services, so ensure your vehicle is well-equipped, and you have essentials like water and snacks.

Sample Local Cuisine

Try local specialties such as Kansas City-style barbecue, bierocks (meat filled pastries), and Kansas-style chili. Don’t forget to explore local farmers’ markets for fresh produce.

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Jet Skiing

Overview of Kansas Vacation Rentals

So, you’re considering a trip to Kansas and looking into vacation rentals as your home away from home.

In the Sunflower State, you can find vacation rentals from cozy apartments to spacious homes. With an average size of 442.06 ft², these rentals are perfect for solo travelers, couples, families, but there are even larger properties for groups looking for a place to relax and unwind.

Now, let’s discuss the perks of choosing a vacation rental over a hotel. For starters, vacation rentals offer more privacy, space, and flexibility. You’ll have access to amenities such as air-conditioning, Wi-Fi, fully equipped kitchens, and, in some cases, even private indoor or outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs. Doesn’t that sound great?

You’ll find that prices for vacation rentals in Kansas average around $146 a night. This can be a great deal, especially when compared to hotel prices that can be 30-40% higher. Just imagine the extra cash you’ll have to spend exploring the state and treating yourself to some delicious Kansas BBQ!

Types of Vacation Rentals in Kansas

Cabins
Consider staying in a cozy cabin. There are lovely cabin rentals available in picturesque locations around Kansas, including Tonganoxie, where you can appreciate the beauty of nature while enjoying modern amenities. Cabins offer a rustic charm perfect for a romantic getaway or a family trip.

Homes
Another popular choice for vacation rentals in Kansas is homes. From charming cottages to spacious, modern houses, there’s something to suit everyone’s tastes and needs. Homes often come with unique perks like a private kitchen, laundry facilities, outdoor space, and the comforts you’d expect from your home.

Apartments
If you prefer a more urban setting or need a shorter-term stay, consider booking an apartment. With options like fully-furnished lofts and chic condos, you can enjoy the convenience of city living while on vacation.

Recreational Vehicles
Do you have an RV and love the open road? Kansas has got you covered with various RV hookups available at vacation rentals. With the freedom to explore the state at your leisure, you’ll feel right at home, even on wheels.

Lodges
For a unique experience, consider staying at a great home or lodge. These accommodations often provide a more intimate, personalized stay, with the bonus of experiencing a taste of local life.

Location Choices for Vacation Rentals in Kansas

Let’s explore some of the top locations for vacation rentals in the Sunflower State.

Kansas City
As one of the largest cities in Kansas, Kansas City boasts many vacation rental options. From cozy apartments to spacious homes, you’ll find everything you need right at your doorstep. With attractions like the National World War I Museum and Memorial and countless dining and entertainment options, you will have things to do.

Wichita
Known as the Air Capital of the World, Wichita is another fantastic choice for a city break. Vacation rentals in this area put you close to engaging attractions such as the Old Cowtown Museum, Exploration Place, and the Wichita Art Museum. Plus, there’s plenty of vibrant nightlife to enjoy!

Lawrence
Home to the University of Kansas, Lawrence offers a unique small-town vibe combined with the energy of a college town. Vacation rentals in Lawrence provide easy access to cultural attractions like the Spencer Museum of Art and the Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics. Remember to take a stroll down Massachusetts Street for shopping and dining!

Lakeside Retreats
Kansas covers you if you’re craving a peaceful getaway near the water. Look for vacation rentals near beautiful lakes such as Milford Lake, Wilson Lake, or Cheney Reservoir. These locations offer opportunities for fishing, boating, hiking, and simply relaxing with tranquil views.

Tallgrass Prairie
For a truly unique experience, consider renting a vacation home near the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. This scenic area offers endless opportunities for outdoor exploration and allows you to immerse yourself in the beauty of the United States’ tallgrass prairie ecosystem. This is the perfect spot for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike.

As you can see, your options for Kansas vacation rentals are diverse and appealing. Whether you’re a city dweller, a nature lover, or somewhere in between, Kansas has the perfect location for your stay.

Popular Activities While Staying in Kansas

Nature lovers will want to explore the numerous parks in the area. For instance, you can stroll along the Solomon River in Rock City or visit the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve to experience stunning views and interact with diverse flora and fauna. These parks are perfect for hiking, biking, or leisurely walking.

Kansas has numerous lakes such as Wilson Lake and Hillsdale Lake and rivers for the fishing enthusiast to cast their line and enjoy a serene day by the water. Pack your fishing gear and prepare for some quality time surrounded by nature.

Of course, only a vacation would be complete with shopping and dining. As you explore Kansas’s charming towns and cities, you’ll come across local boutiques, bustling farmers’ markets, and delightful eateries that showcase the state’s unique flavors and specialties.

Are you ready for some nightlife excitement? Kansas has you covered with various bars, pubs, and clubs where you can dance the night away or enjoy a well-crafted cocktail. Whether you prefer laid-back or upbeat atmospheres, there’s something to suit your taste.

Not to mention, Kansas is a sports enthusiast’s dream. Catch a local game, whether football, baseball, or even soccer, and experience the excitement of watching the teams play live.

Enjoying Nature and Wide-Open Spaces in Kansas

Have you ever wanted to explore Kansas’s lush grasslands and scenic rolling hills? You’re in for a treat, as the Sunflower State is home to cascading waterfalls, incredible rock formations, and abundant wildlife. So, why not experience it all from the comfort of a vacation rental?

Imagine waking up in a cozy cabin surrounded by nature, with wide-open spaces and picturesque views. In Kansas, you can find vacation rentals catering to your every need, offering comfort and that perfect rustic touch. These rentals range from charming cabins on the tallgrass prairie to spacious lodges in bustling cities. Pick your favorite, and prepare for your unforgettable Kansas adventure!

When you stay in one of these rentals, you’re not just admiring nature from afar—you’re living right in the heart of it! Whether you prefer to hit the trails on foot or explore the diverse landscapes on your bike, you’ll love discovering Kansas’ natural treasures. And, of course, don’t forget to watch out for the breathtaking sunsets and sunrises.

In addition to getting up close and personal with nature, our vacation rentals offer a variety of amenities, such as grills and hot tubs, to make your stay as enjoyable as possible. After a long day of exploring, you can gather your friends or family for a BBQ on a spacious patio or unwind in a hot tub beneath a blanket of stars.

Choosing Accommodations for Your Kansas Vacation Rental

So, you’ve decided to embark on a Kansas adventure! One of the most important decisions you’ll make is choosing the suitable accommodations for your vacation rental. 

As you search for the perfect rental, consider factors such as:

Budget
Set a price range and filter your search accordingly. Remember, popular platforms like Lake allow you to compare prices and get the best deal for your needs.

Amenities
List must-haves and nice-to-haves, like Wi-Fi, air conditioning, or pet-friendliness. Clear about your requirements will narrow your choices and make the selection process smoother.

Location
Decide whether you’d prefer a rental in the bustling city or a quiet retreat in the tallgrass prairie. Each offers a unique experience that’ll shape your Kansas adventure.

Use filters and sorting options available on rental websites to save time and avoid feeling overwhelmed. This way, you can quickly find accommodations that match your criteria and make a well-informed decision.

Lastly, always pay attention to reviews from previous guests. They provide valuable insights into each rental’s quality, cleanliness, and overall experience. Choosing a place with high ratings ensures an enjoyable stay and creates memorable experiences.

Remember, finding the right Kansas vacation rental may take a bit of research and effort, but armed with these tips, you’ll be able to make the best choice for your getaway.

The Advantage of Affordable Vacation Rentals in Kansas

The state boasts numerous vacation rentals, including over 1,000 homes and 200+ apartments. So, you’re sure to find the perfect home away from home that suits your preferences and budget!

Kansas rentals offer varying degrees of seclusion, catering to those seeking solitude in the tallgrass prairie or wanting to be in the thick of it in a bustling city. Remember, your accommodations should complement your Kansas adventure!

Amenities Offered in Kansas Vacation Rentals

Apart from privacy, vacation rentals typically feature:

Indoor/Outdoor/Private Swimming Pools
Depending on the property, you might have access to a shared or private pool, perfect for a refreshing dip on a hot summer day.

Wi-Fi
Stay connected with friends, family, and work without hassle, thanks to Wi-Fi availability in most Kansas vacation rentals.

Air Conditioning
Essential for combating the hot Midwestern summer heat, you can expect air conditioning in your rental property.

Hot Tubs
Relax those tense muscles after a long day of exploring in a soothing hot tub, a popular amenity in many rentals.

Some vacation rentals even offer luxurious features to elevate your experience. These might include:

– Home Theater: Who doesn’t love a movie night? A home theater with a big screen and surround sound is just the ticket for a cozy evening.
– Gourmet Kitchen: If you’re a foodie looking to whip up your meals, watch for properties with gourmet kitchens stocked with all the essentials.

Booking a Vacation Rental in Kansas

1. When planning a trip to Kansas, start by deciding on the dates of your stay. Depending on the time of year, the availability of vacation rentals can vary greatly. To ensure you find the perfect rental for your needs, start your search early and remain flexible with your travel plans if possible.

2. Many rental websites exist, such as Lake, Vrbo, Airbnb, Booking.com, and Rent By Owner™. These sites offer a wide selection of rental options in Kansas, ranging from cozy cabins to luxurious homes and apartments. Filter for amenities such as air conditioning, Wi-Fi, swimming pool, or pet-friendly accommodations.

3. Before making a final decision, read through guest reviews to gain valuable insight into the rental property’s cleanliness, location, and overall experience. Properties with consistently high ratings from previous guests are more likely to meet your expectations.

4. If the rental property is available for your desired dates, proceed with booking as soon as possible. Remember that popular rentals may require you to book well in advance. If your chosen property is unavailable, don’t worry—there are plenty of other great options.

With some research and planning, you’ll find the perfect vacation rental for your stay in Kansas, ensuring a memorable and enjoyable trip.

Frequently Asked Questions about Traveling to Kansas

It preserves the last remaining tallgrass prairie in the world, offering visitors a chance to experience the beauty and biodiversity of this unique ecosystem.

Kansas is famous for its barbecue, with many restaurants offering delicious smoked meats. Additionally, the state is known for its traditional Midwestern cuisine.

The Flint Hills Scenic Byway and the Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway offer stunning views of Kansas’ landscapes.

Spring and fall are generally pleasant, with mild temperatures. Summer can be hot, especially in July and August.

While treehouse cabins may be less standard in Kansas, you might still find some unique and unconventional rental options to elevate your vacation experience. To discover these hidden gems, check platforms specializing in vacation rentals such as Lake, Airbnb, Vrbo, or Rent By Owner.

To find romantic cabins with hot tubs in Kansas, consider using websites like Lake, Airbnb, or Vrbo. These platforms allow you to search for accommodation with specific amenities, such as hot tubs, and they often showcase guest reviews to help you find the perfect romantic retreat for your getaway.

Yes, booking a last-minute vacation in Kansas is possible! Vacation rental platforms like Lake, Airbnb, Vrbo, and Rent By Owner often offer various rental options, even at short notice. Make sure to check these platforms for any last-minute deals or discounts. Availability will vary on the season and desired location, so booking as early as possible is always a good idea to ensure you secure your ideal vacation rental.

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