Scenic Drives in Kansas | Midwest Living

Scenic Drives in Kansas

Kansas highways and byways take travelers to historic sites, breathtaking river views, small towns and more.


Garden of Eden in Lucas.
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Gypsum Hills.
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Central Kansas

Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway

If you think Kansas is all wheat fields and prairie, think again. From Coldwater to Medicine Lodge (75 miles southwest of Wichita), this 42-mile byway cuts through the dramatic heart of a rugged and remote 20-mile-wide swath of buttes, spires and red hillsides covered with cedars, yuccas and sagebrush. Plan to hike, bike or horseback ride a network of backroads for up-close looks at wildlife. In Medicine Lodge, visit the home of 20th-century Prohibition crusader Carry Nation. Gypsum Hills Scenic Byway

US-36 Treasure Hunt

Stringing across north-central Kansas, this rural highway ties together friendly towns, out-of-the-way shops and quirky eateries. In Belleville (71 miles north of Salina), The Feathered Nest showcases art and garden accessories and hosts cooking classes. Pinky's Bar & Grill in Courtland serves cold beer, chicken-fried steak and French-fried green beans. In Phillipsburg, local businesses line the courthouse square. Shepherd's Mill spins yarn from 44 states and sells blankets, scarves and throws. US Highway 36 Association

Post Rock Scenic Byway

On the virtually treeless High Plains, innovative frontier homesteaders and ranchers hewed their fence posts from underground beds of native limestone. Along the 18-mile byway, you can still see long rows of these post rocks from Wilson (45 miles west of Salina) north to Lucas. Stop for dinner at Wilson's historic Midland Railraod Hotel. Lucas is a tiny town known for 'outsider art." Self-taught artists show works made from recycled materials at the Grassroots Art Center. Civil War veteran S.P. Dinsmoor started the grassroots movement more than 100 years ago. He built his home, Garden of Eden, from concrete. Others like Florence Deeble followed. She began re-creating postcard scenes of famous U.S. landmarks such as Mount Rushmore in her yard. Post Rock Scenic Byway


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