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Road tripping through South Central Kansas, you’ll find the Flint Hills, beautiful tallgrass prairies, wild sunflowers dotting the ditches, and big blue skies. At night, catch the Milky Way—you won’t find light pollution in a lot of this part of Kansas.
The NOAA says the best stargazing happens in the black areas of this map — away from light pollution
There are many historical gems across South Central Kansas. I’ve put together a list of them to check out, as well as some newer attractions the entire family will enjoy.
Where to Stay in South Central Kansas
Hotel at Old Town (Wichita): This hotel used to be a warehouse for Keen Kutter before it was turned into a hotel. You can see authentic Keen Kutter artifacts displayed in cases on every floor.
Historic Wolf Hotel (Ellinwood): By far my favorite hotel of the trip, thanks to its beautiful canopy bed, delicious meal, and the help-yourself kitchen. If that doesn’t convince you, the owner will give you a tour of the underground tunnels and the speakeasy. It may, or may not be, haunted. The owner sets a place at the table for a man who killed himself in the dining room after a heartbreak in the early 1900’s.
Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview (Wichita): The lobby is immaculate, and they’ve got great amenities, like hors d’oeuvres, parking, and free happy hour drinks. Best of all is the original mosaic mural in the Crystal Ballroom, which was installed by Native American Blackbear Bosin.
Where to Eat in South Central Kansas
Sabor Latin Bar & Grill (Wichita): If you want to bump into Harrison Ford while in Wichita, this is the place to eat. He frequents it often when he gets his plane serviced in the area. It’s where he also takes his flight safety classes. Try the croquetas de salmon, and the plantain & pumpkin seed crusted mahi.
HomeGrown (Wichita): There are so many delicious food choices on HomeGrown’s menu, but you’ve got to at least get a house made pop tart — even if you have to take it for the road. The avocado toast and fresh squeezed juice are also delicious, if you’re feeling a little millennial.
Farley’s Bar & Grill (Lindsborg): While we had intended to go to a different restaurant in town, I am so glad we ended up here. The servings are large and to-die-for. I got the bangers & gourmet mash with whiskey glazed carrots, and sampled the croque monsieur. Both were delicious.
Indigo Moo’d Ice Cream (Lindsborg): This place had only been open for two days when we stopped in and met the owner. The mango sorbet was so creamy and refreshing—the heat index was about 100 degrees, so we loved getting to sit at a little table to cool off.
Public at the Brickyard (Wichita): I’m embarrassed to admit I ate way more than my fair share of their fried brussels sprouts. There are little bits of pork belly nestled alongside the sprouts, and topped with a roasted red pepper remoulade. Ask for their pasta of the day — I did, and don’t regret it one bit. I had to take it back to my hotel to enjoy for a late night snack, though, because I filled up on appetizers. You can also ask to bring home a jar of their pickles.
What to Do in South Central Kansas
- Kayak the Arkansas
- Watch the fires at Keeper of the Plains
- Visit the Mid-American All-Indian Center
- Tour Strataca
- Bird watch at Cheyenne Bottoms
- Take pictures next to the rock formations at Mushroom Rock State Park
- Go shopping in Lindsborg, and when done take pictures of all of the Dala horses around town
- Have a picnic at Coronado Heights
- Enjoy drinks at Dockum Speakeasy
Click on the first picture below to see the gallery of pictures:
No matter how long your trip to South Central Kansas is, you’ll find plenty to do there. My favorite activities were the sunflower farms, Strataca, and Keeper of the Plains.
Thanks to Travel Kansas for sponsoring this trip.