Skip to Content

The 18 Things to See in Kansas in 2022

The 18 Things to See in Kansas in 2022

Visitors to Kansas will find plenty to see and do on their vacation. This state features various attractions, including museums, sports venues, parks, and zoos.

Whether you are traveling solo, with friends, or with family, you will have a great time exploring all that Kansas has to offer!

18 Things to See in Kansas in 2022

Do you want to see some of the natural beauty that Kansas has to offer? Make a trip to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve or the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. Animal lovers will enjoy a visit to the Sedgwick County Zoo or the Rolling Hills Zoo.

History buffs can check out the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the Museum of World Treasures, or the Combat Air Museum. If you want to see an impressive collection of art from around the globe, stop in at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art.

From botanical gardens and national historic parks to government buildings and a space museum, Kansas has a lot to offer. Take a look at our list of 18 top attractions to start planning your visit!

1. Sedgwick County Zoo

A pair of male and female lion silently sitting on the top of a huge rock at Sedgwick County Zoo is one of the best things to see in Kansas

mojoeks/Shutterstock

Spend a day at the Sedgwick County Zoo, home to 3000 animals! Get up close and personal with penguins, rhinos, and tortoises. There are daily opportunities to feed the giraffes, otters, cows, and horses. 

Visit Stingray Cove, where you can reach out and touch a ray! For a unique experience, take a boat ride tour of the zoo. There is a restaurant and other food vendors on-site. You can also bring your own food and beverages to the zoo.

Good to know:

  • Located at 5555 W. Zoo Blvd. in Wichita
  • Discounted fees for children and seniors
  • Discounted fees for everyone on Wednesdays, from November to February
  • Strollers and wheelchairs available to rent
  • Free parking
  • Open daily 9 AM to 5 PM

2. Botanica Gardens

Wirestock Creators/Shutterstock

Spend a day exploring the beautiful Botanica Gardens in downtown Wichita. Covering 17 acres, this property features an immense variety of plants, flowers, butterflies, and more!

Take a stroll through the Chinese Garden of Friendship, learn about pollinators in the Bee House, and watch the fish swimming in the Koi Pond. There is a Children’s Garden for the little ones to enjoy.

Good to know:

  • 701 Amidon Street in Wichita
  • Open 9 AM to 5 PM; closed on Sundays
  • Discounted fees for youth, seniors, and military
  • Guided tours must be booked in advance

3. Evel Knievel Museum

Make a stop at the Evel Knievel Museum in Topeka to learn more about the daredevil rider. See his famous motorcycles, helmets, and costumes.

This museum covers 13,000 square feet and features plenty of memorabilia. You will see Evel Knievel’s touring truck and even x-rays of his broken bones. Be sure to try The Jump, a virtual reality experience!

Good to know:

  • Located at 2047 SW Topeka Blvd. in Topeka
  • Open Tuesday to Saturday year-round
  • Discounted tickets for children, students, seniors, and military
  • Guided tours available for a fee

4. Kansas Speedway

Aerial view of the vast oval auto racing Kansas Speedway, one of the best things to see in Kansas, with neat green landscape and curve roads

KB Digital/Shutterstock

Make a trip to the Kansas Speedway to watch one of the NASCAR races. Purchasing a pre-race pass gives you exclusive access to see the cars before the race, as well as a concert and driver introductions.

There is also a casino on-site offering games like roulette, craps, poker, and slot machines. You will also find five restaurants to choose from, including the Marquee Cafe and the Boulevard & Sunset Bar.

Good to know:

  • Located at 400 Speedway Blvd in Kansas City
  • Free parking on-site
  • You can bring food and beverages into the grandstands

5. Museum of World Treasures

Spend a day at the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita. On the first floor, you can visit the fossil gallery, discover dinosaurs, and learn about ancient civilizations. The second floor has exhibits on war history and American presidents.

On the top floor, you’ll find Ivan’s Playhouse, which features a Lego wall, puppet theater, and stage. Visitors can also participate in a daily scavenger hunt to win prizes.

Good to know:

  • Located at 835 E. 1st Street in Wichita
  • Discounted tickets for seniors, children, and youth
  • Wheelchair available for use on-site

6. Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Park

An old photograph of colored people exhibited in front of the main entrance, Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, on one of the best things to see in Kansas

APN Photography/Shutterstock

The 1954 Supreme Court decision to cease racial segregation in public schools is memorialized at the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Park.

Here, you will learn about the history of racism and segregation by viewing the exhibits at the site. See the kindergarten room where children once learned; visit the playground and nature trail outside.

Good to know:

  • Open Tuesday through Saturday
  • Located at 1515 SE Monroe Street in Topeka
  • Free admission

7. Kansas State Capitol Building

The historic Kansas State Capitol Building on a sweet Summer sunset, a piece on the best things to see in Kansas

Paul Brady Photography/Shutterstock

A trip to Kansas is not complete without a stop at the State Capitol Building. Here, you will learn about government history and tour the impressive buildings. You will see murals by various artists and have the opportunity to explore the dome. 

Visit the Old Kansas Supreme Court, stroll through the State Library, and see the Governor’s office. Outdoors, see the Kansas Walk of Honor, showcasing people who have made their mark on the community.

Good to know:

  • Located at 6425 SW 6th Avenue in Topeka
  • Open Monday through Saturday
  • Guided tours are offered multiple times a day
  • Snack bar on-site

8. Combat Air Museum

Make a stop at the Combat Air Museum for an educational experience. You will learn about the history of military aviation through various artifacts and hands-on experiences.

More than 40 aircraft are on display here as well as a flight simulator and flight suits. See exhibits on the US Coast Guard, Pearl Harbor, Amelia Earhart, and much more.

Good to know:

  • Located at 7016 SE Forbes Avenue in Topeka
  • Discounted tickets for children, youth, and military
  • Open daily year-round

9. OZ Museum

Delve into the world of the Wizard of Oz at this enchanting OZ Museum. Here, you will find over 2000 artifacts relating to the book and film that captured the hearts of many.

See the famous ruby slippers, view the first edition color illustrations from 1900, and original movie production notes. Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring this magical place and learning about the history of this famous movie. 

Good to know:

  • Open daily year-round
  • Discounted tickets for children, students, and military
  • Located at 511 Lincoln in Wamego

10. Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Crimson sunset over the lonely historic Limestone Schoolhouse at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, one of the best things to see in Kansas, with grass, rocky landscape, and a tree

Christopher Nichols Photo/Shutterstock

If you want to spend some time appreciating nature, spend the day at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve. This unique ecosystem stretches over 11,000 acres and is home to diverse flora and fauna.

Bison, bobcats, foxes, turtles, and salamanders are just a few of the animals you can find here. 

The Preserve is also home to dozens of species of birds, including pelicans, herons, loons, eagles, kingfishers, and hummingbirds. Explore the historic ranch dating back to the 1880s and learn about the area’s history at the visitor center.

Good to know:

  • Located at 2480B KS Hwy 177 in Strong City
  • No entrance fee
  • Hiking trails are accessible 24/7
  • The visitor center is open daily

11. Geographic Center of the United States

A bench on one side of the famous stone obelisk at Geographic Center of the United States, one of the best things to see in Kansas

Dirk Wierenga/Shutterstock

If you will be traveling near Lebanon, Kansas, during your vacation, make a stop at the geographic center of the contiguous United States. A 1918 geological survey determined the location, which is on a private farm less than a mile away from the historic marker.

A stone pyramid holds a plaque and flag–great for photos. There is a tiny chapel you can visit to sign the guest register (or get married). Bring a lunch to enjoy at the covered pavilion, then head to town to pick up a souvenir.

Good to know:

  • Visitors are welcome anytime, year-round
  • No entrance fee to the chapel
  • Picnic tables and benches are available on-site

12. Cosmosphere

Get out of this world with a trip to the Cosmosphere science education center and space museum! See the world’s largest collection of combined American and Russian space artifacts.

Children will love the interactive exhibits in the CosmoKids play space. Learn about the stars in the night sky at the Planetarium, then see a nature documentary or feature film at the dome theater. Have a bite to eat at the Cosmosphere Cafe.

Good to know:

  • Open daily year-round
  • Discounted tickets for children, youth, seniors, and military
  • Located at 1100 N Plum St. in Hutchinson

13. City Market

A welcome arch at the Historic City Market in Kansas City with trees and clear blue sky in background, one of the best things to see in Kansas

Jesse Kunerth/Shutterstock

A trip to Kansas City must include a visit to the historic City Market. Established in 1857, this market is home to boutique shops, restaurants, specialty grocers, and the biggest farmers market in the area.

During the summer months, the market hosts Fresh Fridays on the first Friday of the month. Admission is free for these events, which include live music and entertainment.

Good to know:

  • Located at 20 E. 5th Street in Kansas City
  • The city market is open daily; the farmer’s market is open Saturday and Sunday

14. Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

A sweet autumn sunrise on tall six columns of Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, one of the best things to see in Kansas, and a giant shuttlecock sculpture in front

Logan Bush/Shutterstock

Travelers looking for an immersive art experience should head to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. Featuring an impressive collection of both modern and ancient works, this museum also includes a unique sculpture park.

The museum is home to artwork and artifacts from Native American, African, Asian, European, and North American artists. In addition to paintings and photography, you will also find stained glass, ceramics, and Japanese paper screens.

Good to know:

  • Located at 4525 Oak Street in Kansas City
  • Open Thursday to Monday 10 AM to 5 PM; open until 9 PM on Fridays
  • Restaurant and coffee shop on-site

15. Negro Leagues Baseball Museum

Visit the only museum in the world focused on African-American baseball history. Established in 1991, the museum features a self-guided tour including photography, film, and baseball artifacts.

You will learn about the difficulties that African-American baseball players faced and how they overcame these challenges to succeed in the league. See statues of famous players and a timeline of baseball history.

Good to know:

  • Located at 1616 East 18th Street in Kansas City
  • The museum is open Tuesday to Sunday
  • Discounted fees for seniors and children
  • Free wheelchairs available for use

16. Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

Several Widgeons making a flight, one of the best things to see in Kansas, reflected on the calm waters of Quivira National Wildlife Refuge

William T Smith/Shutterstock

Birdwatchers will want to make a trip to the Quivira National Wildlife Refuge. This location features over 300 species of birds, including the endangered whooping crane. In addition to herons, egrets, geese, and ducks, you can also expect to see white-tailed deer. 

There are several hiking trails of easy to moderate difficulty that provide ideal locations for wildlife photography. You can fish from various areas of the park; there is even a Kid’s Fishing Pond just for children.

Good to know:

  • Located at 1434 NE 80th Street in Stafford
  • Dogs are permitted on leash
  • No camping or fires allowed on-site

17. Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum & Boyhood Home

Learn all about the Eisenhowers at this 25,000-square-foot museum. Recently renovated, this space offers interactive learning exhibits for all ages. The library features over 70,000 artifacts, 335,000 photographs, and historical film and records.

Visit the childhood home of Dwight D. Eisenhower, built in the 1800s. The Place of Meditation is open to the public for reflection and contemplation. You can also see the final resting place of the former President and his family.

Good to know:

  • Open Tuesday to Saturday, 10 AM to 3 PM
  • Located at 200 SE 4th Street in Abilene
  • Discounted tickets are available for children, students, seniors, and military

18. Rolling Hills Zoo

Visit the Rolling Hills Zoo to see over 100 species of animals. You will see big cats, including tigers, lions, cougars, and snow leopards. The primate section includes orangutans, chimpanzees, colobus monkeys, and lemurs. 

Other popular animals at the zoo include rhinoceros, bears, giraffes, and kangaroos. The Kid’s Country exhibit features farm animals like sheep, cows, goats, and chickens. On the weekends, take a trip on the tram for a unique tour of the zoo.

Good to know:

  • The museum opens daily at 9 AM
  • Discounted tickets available for military, seniors, and children
  • Restaurant and picnic areas are available on-site
  • Strollers and wheelchairs are available to rent

Things to Consider

Photo of the rock formations at Castle Rock State Park, one of the best things to see in Kansas

MaxMaximovPhotography/Shutterstock

When planning a vacation to Kansas, you’ll want to think about a few specific things, such as when to go, where to stay, and how to budget.

Planning ahead and considering these factors will help make for a smooth trip for everyone. Kansas has warm summers and cold winters like much of the midwest United States. July is typically the hottest month and attracts larger crowds to major attractions.

In the winter, most attractions are open but may have limited hours; prices may be lower in the off-season as well. If you are visiting Kansas for just a few days, it can make sense to stay in one location and make day trips from there.

Trips of a week or longer give you more time to explore the state. There are plenty of hotels and motels throughout Kansas, as well as Airbnbs and camping options.

Kansas is not a particularly expensive state to visit, so it is a great option for families on a budget. Make the most of your trip by taking advantage of discounted tickets and staying in accommodation that offers cooking facilities. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Space capsule at the Kansas Cosmosphere, one of the best things to see in Kansas

Tupungato/Shutterstock

Here are some commonly asked questions regarding things to see in Kansas:

What is the number 1 attraction in Kansas?

One of the most popular attractions in Kansas is the Cosmosphere. This education center and museum feature interactive exhibits for the whole family. Learn about the history of space exploration and discover the wonders of the solar system.

What is Kansas famous for?

Kansas is famous for the Wizard of Oz, a 1939 film. This famous movie is considered one of the best films of all time and has won two Academy Awards. Fans will want to make a trip to Wamego to visit the Oz Museum.

Where is the prettiest place in Kansas?

With many small towns, rural areas, and parks, Kansas offers beautiful scenery throughout the state. One of the prettiest places to visit is the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve, home to diverse animals, wildflowers, and a protected ecosystem.

Why should I go to Kansas?

Kansas is a great vacation destination because it is affordable and family-friendly, has a range of attractions, and offers great food! Visitors will enjoy delicious barbeque at restaurants – the state is one of the top beef producers in the country.

Is Kansas a boring state?

We don’t think so! Kansas offers something for everyone, including art galleries, museums, NASCAR races, national parks, and zoos. Bigger cities such as Wichita and Kansas City offer diverse culinary options and entertainment venues.

Best Things to See in Kansas: Final Thoughts

The vibrant cityscape of Kansas City and its skyline on dusk, one of the best things to see in Kansas

CrackerClips Stock Media/Shutterstock

With so many attractions to choose from, we advise spending your time at the ones that appeal to you most! If you’re a nature lover, the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and the Sedgwick County Zoo are must-see spots.

Art and culture buffs should prioritize the Museum of World Treasures. Whichever spots you decide to visit, you are sure to have a great time on your trip to Kansas!