If beautiful sights, historic places and a big dose of Americana sound good, then a visit to Kansas is exactly what you need. Kansas is located in the heart of the United States and is home to beautiful natural structures, historic landmarks, and a well-kept past. There are zoos and nature reserves for the animal lover in you. Museums abound to satisfy your thirst for knowledge. Historic sites and famous landmarks are everywhere. There are aquatic and adventure parks for the young and young-at-heart. With so many things to do in Kansas, it’s the perfect place for your next vacation.

01Monument Rocks and Castle Rock

Do in Kansas, Monument Rocks

Monument Rocks and Castle Rock are together known as the eighth wonder of Kansas. Amazingly, they are made of chalk. Both sets of structures are as tall as 70 feet, which adds to their wonderment. They have interesting formations and are absolutely breathtaking to see. Located in Gove County, Kansas, Monument Rocks and Castle Rock are two of the can’t-miss things to do in Kansas.

02Lakes and Rivers

Kansas, Lakes/Rivers

Among fun things to do in Kansas is a visit to one of its many lakes. The largest, Milford Lake, can get as deep as 65 feet. It covers 21,000 acres of recreational land. In addition, there are over 60 rivers. This includes the longest, the Missouri River, which is also the longest river in North America.

03Wildlife Refuges

Wildlife Refuges

There are twenty wildlife refuges throughout Kansas. Each attracts a variety of animals and birds. Interestingly, many of the species are not seen in any other part of the state. Some are not even from the same region of the country. Two of these refuges, Quivira National Wildlife Refuge and Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area, have been jointly named one of the eight wonders of Kansas. The natural beauty and fauna at these refuges should put visiting one among your list of things to do in Kansas.

04Parks and Zoos

Do in Kansas, Parks/Zoos

There are thirteen named zoos throughout Kansas. The largest, Sedgwick County Zoo, is also one of the country’s largest. In addition, there are 26 state parks. Outdoor sports like hiking, fishing and horseback riding are available. Other parks, such as Safari Zoological Park and Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead, are not state parks but are still well worth the visit.

05Museums

kansas museum

Museums offer a variety of fun things to do in Kansas. There are historic museums, such as Boot Hill Museum, Kansas Museum of History and Museum of World Treasures. Kansas also has cultural museums, such as Trails Day Museum and Old Cowtown Museum. There are even funky museums that showcase typical Americana, like the Evel Knievel Museum, Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum and the Oz Museum. With such a variety, you are certain to find entertainment in a Kansas museum.

06Historic Military Sites

fort scott kansas

Among interesting things to do in Kansas is to visit one of its military sites. There are historic sites, such as Fort Larned and Fort Scott National Historical Sites. At those, you will find both historical native American items and memorabilia from the Civil War. Additionally, there are active military installations, such as Fort Leavenworth and Fort Riley.

07Dodge City

dodge city kansas

Your visit to Kansas would not be complete without spending time in Dodge City. This is Americana at its finest. The town is dedicated to its Old West heritage. Famous lawmen like Wyatt Earp and Doc Masterson are memorialized there. Grab a brew in the local saloon. Check out the train depot and Western-themed shops, restaurants and attractions. Several places of interest here will make your visit to Dodge City very entertaining.

08Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center

Do in Kansas, Cosmosphere hfrankWI / Getty Images

The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center is definitely one of the coolest things to do in Kansas. It started as a planetarium at the Kansas State Fair, in 1962. Since then, it has become one of the world’s leading science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education centers. It was one of the first ever affiliate museums of the Smithsonian. The planetarium is still there, along with all kinds of other fun things to do and see.

09Sporting Venues and Adventure Parks

Kansas Speedway

For the sports enthusiast, Kansas offers both the Kansas Speedway and Children’s Mercy Park. The Speedway features two annual NASCAR race events. Children’s Mercy Park is a professional soccer stadium. It is home to one of the two professional Kansas soccer teams. If adventure is more your thing, the Wildwood Adventure Park, Kenwood Cove Aquatic Park, Schlitterbahn Water Park, and several other such parks are located throughout Kansas.

10Kansas State Capitol Building

Do in Kansas, Capitol Building fotoguy22 / Getty Images

Another of the interesting things to do in Kansas is to visit the Kansas State Capitol Building. There you can go to the very top of its 304-foot dome. Interestingly, that dome is taller than the one on the nation’s capitol building. You can also admire the beautiful murals painted on each floor’s walls. Enjoy the impressive architecture, as well, and the historical significance of this amazing place.