Kansas Flint Hills Scenic Drive | Midwest Living

Kansas Flint Hills Scenic Drive

Savor the open grasslands of this gorgeous expanse.


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(Population: 3,080) Visitors from Scandinavia say Lindsborg looks more Swedish than Sweden. You'll find Old World-inspired shops, galleries, inns, bakeries and restaurants downtown, which resembles a European village. Many shops carry Swedish imports. The Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery honors a prominent Scandinavian-American painter, with many of his and other artists' works on display.

You can learn more about Lindsborg's Swedish heritage at the Old Mill Museum. The displays also in-clude pioneer and Native American artifacts, a re-created pioneer town, and the Swedish Pavilion from the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.

Drive 9 miles west on State-4, then 1 mile south on State-175.


(Population: 593) Metal trimwork that's painted in a Scandinavian motif decorates buildings in this thriving downtown, designated a Kansas Historic Site. The 1880s Opera House Block is home to City Sundries, which serves sodas and sundaes from its old-time soda fountain. Just south of downtown, tour the Range School Museum, a restored one-room country schoolhouse.

Drive 8 miles west on State-4 and north about 13 miles on State-141. You'll cross the Kanopolis Reservoir dam. Fishing boats and pleasure craft bob on Kanopolis Lake below. Drive 6 miles east on State-140.


(Population: 225) The Brookville Hotel, built in this tiny town in 1870,?now is solely a restaurant famous for its tasty chicken dinners. The eatery's furnishings make you feel as though you've stepped back into the Old West.

Drive 15 miles east on State-140 to I-135 just north of Salina. Go 3 miles north on I-135 and 24 miles east on I-70.


(Population: 6,240) Chisholm Trail cowboys herding longhorns from Texas knew their work was done when they reached Abilene. Saloons, card parlors and dance halls greeted trail riders bent on celebrating-under the eye of lawman "Wild Bill" Hickok. You can glimpse the town's frontier beginnings at the Dickinson County Historical Museum's pioneer village.

Eventually, Abilene was transformed into the quiet community that would mold Dwight D. Eisenhower, its most famous son. The former general and U.S. president's boyhood home is part of the Eisenhower Center, which in-cludes the presidential library, museum and gravesite.

Grand homes line the main street and several others in town. You can tour two: the 110-year-old Lebold Mansion, with 23 rooms; and the ornate 1905 Seelye Mansion, with a ballroom and bowling alley. Also, save time for two of Abilene's most unusual attractions: the Antique Doll Museum, and the Greyhound Hall of Fame, celebrating the sleek racing dogs.

Tour Route

About 280 miles amid the pastures, wheatfields and historic towns of central Kansas' Flint Hills region, including communities with Mennonite and Swedish roots.

Area Information

Kansas Travel and Tourism

Abilene Convention & Visitors Bureau

Convention & Visitors Bureau of Council Grove

Geary County Convention & Visitors Bureau

Hutchinson Convention & Visitors Bureau

Lindsborg Chamber of Commerce


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