Signs on the highway remind travellers that “every Kansas farmer feeds 75 people – and you”, giving a prominent reminder of the states vast areas of farmland which are given to grain crops, beef, cattle and buffalo. Ensconced In the geographical centre of the United States, Kansas enjoys a great amount of scenic parks all waiting to be explored. In addition the states reservoirs and rivers offer all kinds of outdoor pursuits.
This is true “Cowboy and Indian” territory. Settlers on the Oregon and Sante Fe trails drove their wagons through Kansas on their westward journeys in search of new homesteads whilst cowboys on the Chisholm Trail drove vast herds of longhorns north in search of the railroads and to cater for the growing population towns like Abilene and Dodge City. Fierce battles over land erupted and this is well documented with the wide variety of westerns which made people like John Wayne famous. The state boasts many monuments to its Old West past and visitors can visit some of the battles infamous forts.
For those interested in aviation, Kansas has played a major role in the history of aviation with thousands of aircrafts being built by dozens of aircraft companies since 1899. The Kansas Aviation Museum housed in a grand art-deco style building is well worthy of a visit to explore the history of “flight though time”.
15 DAYS/14 NIGHTS
Begins and ends in Kansas City.
YOUR FLY DRIVE INCLUDES:
• Round trip scheduled flights
• Fully-inclusive Intermediate 4 door car hire
• Accommodations as stated
• Route maps and detailed itinerary
DAY 1 ARRIVE KANSAS CITY
Depart the UK on your chosen scheduled flight to Kansas City. Upon arrival, collect your rental car and take the short drive to Lawrence, where you are based for the first two nights of your stay.
Hotel: The Eldridge
DAY 2 LAWRENCE
Driving distance: 43Mi/69Km
Playing a crucial role in Kansas’ history, Lawrence is a thriving and unique town. Visit one of the four great museums, stroll the boutique shops or take a drive out of town to Fort Leavenworth, built to protect the Permanent Indian Frontier, the Santa Fe and Oregon Trails. Alternatively try the 172 acre National Agricultural Center and Hall of Fame at Bonner Springs.
Hotel: The Eldridge
DAYS 3 & 4 COTTONWOOD FALLS
Driving distance: 97Mi/160Km
Depart Lawrence for the beautiful Flint Hills as you travel south to Cottonwood Falls. The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve showcases the tallgrass prairie ecosystem; perhaps take the seven mile bus tour where narrative is offered about its intricate system of plants and animals, the Flint Hills geology, Native Indians and the legacy of ranching. On your second day, why not take the Overland Wagon Tour, a western adventure highlighting the pioneers of the 1840’s and 1850’s?
Hotel: Grand Central Hotel
DAYS 5 & 6 SALINA
Driving distance: 121Mi/194Km
This morning head north on the Flint Hills Scenic Byway to Council Grove, which is designated a National Historic Landmark. En route, make a stop at Lindsborg, filled with unique shops, museums and art galleries. Discover Abilene’s history at the Dickinson County Historical Museum which was also home to President Dwight D Eisenhower and has numerous museums and historic homes open for tours. On your second day, we suggest a circle day trip. First visit Kansas Safari at Rolling Hills Zoo, then head west to Ellsworth, renowned as the ‘wickedest cow town in the west’! The spirit of the Old West is still alive at Drover’s Mercantile, featuring 1870s style clothing. Next take the 16 mile Post Rock Scenic Byway, winding through the beautiful Smoky Hills. In Lucas, don’t miss the Garden of Eden, before making a final stop at Smoky Hills Vineyard.
Hotel: Fairfield Inn by Marriott
DAYS 7 & 8 WICHITA
Driving distance: 81Mi/130Km
Today your journey takes you south to the largest city in Kansas. Wichita is located at the point where the Big and Little Arkansas Rivers join together and was named for The Wichita Indians. A dozen museums are scattered throughout the city, or, if you’re looking to enjoy the outdoors you’ll enjoy the 136 municipal parks which cover almost 3,000 acres of the city. Beautifully landscaped, many offer walking and biking trails.
Hotel: Hyatt Regency Wichita
DAYS 9 & 10 OKLAHOMA CITY
Driving distance: 161Mi/258Km
Make an early start to Oklahoma City as there is plenty to keep you entertained. The National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum features art from the finest contemporary artists in the nation, as well as botanical and natural gardens, a turn of the century western town and American Cowboy and American Rodeo Galleries. On your second day Oklahoma City’s stockyards, the largest feeder cattle market in the world, is a must see.
Hotel: Sheraton Oklahoma City Hotel
DAYS 11, 12 & 13 TULSA
Driving distance: 106Mi/171Km
Today travel the ‘Main Street of America’ Route 66 to Tulsa. Quaint roadside diners, old fashioned service stations and eclectic shops line the route. You may wish to take a day to visit Tahlequah, the end of the Trail of Tears for the eastern Cherokees and the capital of the Cherokee Nation. Visit the Cherokee Heritage Centre and the National Museum and Murrell Home, the only remaining Antebellum Plantation home in Oklahoma. Perhaps call at Fort Gibson en route back to Tulsa, the first army post in the Indian Territory. Once the oil-producing capital of the nation, Tulsa is both an affluent and pretty city. Stroll Cherry Street and the historic shopping district in the heart of town, visit The Gilcrease Museum’s and The Philbrook Museum of Art, which is located in the 1927 Italianate-style mansion of oilman Waite Phillips.
Hotel: The Mayo Hotel
DAY 14 OVERLAND PARK
Driving distance: 233Mi/374Km
Your final full day takes you back along Route 66, along the historic Frontier Military Scenic Byway to Fort Scott National Historic Site, a restored 1842 frontier military fort. Before arriving in Overland Park you may choose to visit Mine Creek Battlefield State Historic Site and Louisburg Cider Mill.
Hotel: Sheraton Overland Park Hotel
DAY 15 JOURNEY HOME
Driving distance: 28Mi/45Km
Enjoy your last morning in Overland Park before making the short journey back to Kansas City Airport for your flight back to the UK.
From £1799 per person based on twin occupancy of Standard rooms in low season. Other prices available on request.
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