Midwest Living Review
As the first city in Kansas, Leavenworth is named after the frontier Fort Leavenworth established in 1827. The historic city of 35,000 is the hometown of rootin'-tootin' Buffalo Bill Cody and rockin'-rollin' Melissa Etheridge. Celeb inmates Bugs Moran, Machine Gun Kelly and Alcatraz Birdman Robert Stroud did time at the Big House, and Army generals Eisenhower, Powell and Petraeus lived at Fort Leavenworth. Visit Fort Leavenworth to view historic homes, one of the first veterans' national cemeteries and the Frontier Army Museum. There are 16 of the 37 Leavenworth Historic Wayside Tour locations on fort grounds (plaques mark significant frontier, Civil War, Lewis and Clark, and Abraham Lincoln sites). Independent shops housed in restored turn-of-the-century brick storefronts sell artisanal jewelry, European ceramics, gourmet cookware and fabrics. Across from the recently built riverside Landing Park is the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum, one of only five carousel museums in the country. The First City Museum traces Leavenworth's frontier history and growth, also explained in city trolley tours. Headliner events include the County Fair in August, September's First City Festival, April's Fort Leavenworth Homes Tour and the fort's Haunted House Walking Tour in October.