Kansas is a state more well known for its agricultural produce, wide-sweeping prairies and rolling hills than for its tourist attractions. However, there are many interesting sites and attractions just waiting to be explored in the Sunflower State.
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Visitors to Kansas will find staying at a bed and breakfast to be a wonderful way to experience Kansas like a local. A hot breakfast each morning, the smiling face of your friendly host, and charming, unique interiors are just some of the reasons that travelers book a bed and breakfast for their Kansas vacation. From small, little-known towns like Pleasanton to downtown Kansas City, there are bed and breakfasts throughout Kansas for every type of trip and traveler.
If you are visiting Kansas City, looking for Bed and Breakfasts just across the border in Kansas City, Missouri and surrounding areas such as Excelsior Springs and Independence will give you even more options to choose from. From here, all of the downtown Kansas City attractions will still be within easy reach. Alternatively, if you prefer a more urban experience, there are options such as Southmoreland on the Plaza which put you right in the middle of the action. Read on as we dive deep into everything you need to know about choosing the best bed and breakfast in Kansas for your next trip.
Kansas sees all four seasons, with mild summers and somewhat harsh winters. It’s best to visit when the weather is warm to get the most of your visit. Therefore, plan your trip between April and October if possible. Late Spring and Early Fall can also be nice, and accommodations will be cheaper, but the weather can be a bit more unpredictable. However, Eastern Kansas typically has nice fall colors during the second half of October. Avoid traveling in winter if possible, especially January as cold temperatures, wind and snow frequently make the forecast, making conditions unfavorable for sightseeing. The interstate can also be closed for days at a time during winter snowstorms, making travel unpleasant or even impossible.
The 34th state to be admitted to the Union, Kansas achieved statehood in 1861, approximately 7 years after the state was opened to settlement by the signing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. The North and South battled over whether or not the state would be a slave state or a free state, which led to a period of violence before opponents of slavery won out. The state has historically been known for its rich agricultural land. It is home to Fort Leavenworth, the second oldest U.S. army installation west of Washington DC, and the state’s oldest permanent settlement. Other prominent historical events in Kansas include the landmark Brown versus Board of Education case in Topeka.
Food in Kansas is centered around traditionally prepared meats and vegetables. An agricultural state, Kansas farmers grow many ingredients locally, so you won’t have to look too hard to find locally produced vegetables, meat, cheese and bread.
You can’t travel to Kansas without trying their signature style of Kansas City barbecue. Ribs, hot wings, brisket, pulled pork and even burgers, the locals love to slather their iconic sauce on just about anything. Kansas is famous for growing wheat, and so it follows that they also brew some pretty nice beers. Check out the state’s first legal brewery, Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence, which is still brewing beer today.
A trip to Kansas offers travelers a chance to experience city life and explore the wide open prairies that the state is known for. The state is mostly covered with agricultural land, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of activities in Kansas to keep you busy.
Visit the state parks across Kansas and the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve to experience the state’s natural beauty and partake in outdoor adventures. There are also a number of zoos and wildlife parks that offer visitors a chance to check out wildlife from Kansas and around the world, some in their natural habitats.
Those who are more interested in history and culture will find historical sites and museums related to the history of the pioneers, American and international art, science, industry and more. The Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson has an impressive collection of spaceflight artifacts, some of which have actually traveled to space. Lawrence, Kansas has one of the best-preserved historic downtowns in the region and is also well worth a visit.
Kansas was famously the setting of The Wizard of Oz books and films. The Oz Museum in Wamego attracts fans of the movie and book series. An annual street festival called OzToberfest is held each year to celebrate the magic of the WIzard of Oz and is an exciting time to visit if you are a fan.
If you are looking for unspoiled natural beauty, Kansas is home to a number of fantastic natural features, just waiting to be explored. The state is home to the nation’s largest remaining section of tallgrass prairie. Approximately 11,000 acres of prairieland is preserved in the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. There are more than 40 miles of trails for hiking and exploring. Visitors can enjoy beautiful scenery, seasonal wildflowers, a resident bison herd and other wildlife.
There are 26 state parks in Kansas, which contain steep, wooded hills, prairie grasses, lakes with clean beaches, fishing ponds, and plenty of interesting wildlife. Choose a few state parks to visit during your trip to Kansas and get a glimpse of the natural beauty the state has to offer, or make it a goal to see them all and really experience everything Kansas has to offer.
Taking a road trip along one of Kansas’ scenic byways is one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of the state. There are nine scenic byways, two of which have been designated National Scenic Byways. They pass through the state’s most beautiful areas, offering sights and sounds that you’ll never see if you stick to the interstate.
Things to do in Kansas include enchanting natural attractions and interesting locations related to the history of America's early pioneers. You can step back into the Wild West days in places like Dodge City, or visit cultural attractions in the larger cities like Kansas City and Wichita. For instance, the Kansas City Zoo is a delight for visitors young and old, as everyone loves to see the zoo’s 1300+ animals playing and relaxing in their naturalistic habitats. Kansas City is also home to the National World War I Museum and Memorial, the country’s official museum dedicated to the first World War, and a popular attraction for history buffs. Just across the border, in the Missouri side of Kansas City is Science City, a popular family-friendly attraction with fun and interesting interactive exhibits. The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art is also worth the trip over to Missouri as it houses an impressive collection of art from nearly every culture and continent.
Visitors to Kansas will find a number of luxurious and romantic bed and breakfasts to choose from. Abilene’s Victorian Inn offers luxurious accommodations in a lovely, old Victorian home, walking distance to downtown Abilene. If you are looking for a romantic bed and breakfast in Kansas, you might want to consider the Cedar Crest Lodge in Pleasanton. This inn is set on more than 100 acres of beautiful property featuring walking trails, ponds, amazing views, an on-site Certified Wildlife Habitat and a relaxing outdoor pool, hot tub and spa.
A couple of Kansas wineries also have bed and breakfasts on their property, including the Jefferson Hill Vineyard and the Guesthaus at Crescent Moon Winery.
If you are visiting Kansas City or other nearby locations in eastern Kansas, you might want to consider some of the bed and breakfasts that are located in the Missouri side of Kansas City, or nearby.
Southmoreland Inn is an urban inn that sits right in the heart of downtown Kansas City, just a couple blocks from the famous Country Club Plaza. The inn is popular with leisure travelers who come to explore the city, those celebrating a special occasion, and business travelers.
The Woodstock Inn, which is just across the border in Independence, Missouri offers a unique experience as the 120-year old Victorian mansion features rooms inspired by countries around the world such as England, Italy, Scotland and Morocco. The Main Street Inn in Parksville is just minutes away from Kansas City International Airport and downtown Kansas City and is considered one of the best bed and breakfasts in Kansas City. The Inn on Crescent Lake is also worth considering. It is an elegant BnB housed in a historic Georgian Colonial that overlooks Crescent Lake, just a bit farther outside Kansas City.
Travelers may choose to stay at a Kansas Bed and Breakfast for many reasons, but the amenities are sure to be top notch no matter what brings you there. You can expect that most Kansas BnB’s will have private guest rooms with wireless internet in the rooms and free wifi in the common areas. Some have swimming pools and hot tubs while others are walking distance to shops, dining and attractions. Guests can expect a full breakfast at most bed and breakfasts in Kansas. Free cancellation may be available at many properties, but you should check with each individual property to verify their booking policies.
Most travelers won’t find the limited public transportation options in Kansas to be of much use, and certainly not sufficient for your entire trip, so arrangements should be made for private transport. Travelers arriving by air will usually arrive at either the Kansas City International Airport or Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport. Several smaller cities in Kansas offer flights to Denver where one could connect to other cities throughout the country. Car rental services are available at both of the major airports. Renting a car and taking a road trip is the perfect way to explore all of the hidden treasures the state has to offer.
Bed and Breakfasts offer a number of benefits that set them apart from larger, chain hotels. Most people appreciate the personal touch that innkeepers provide at bed and breakfasts. From the friendly welcome at check-in to the attention to detail in the service, bed and breakfasts offer a personalized vacation rental experience that you can’t get elsewhere.
Whether you book a country inn, or a historic victorian mansion, the charming interior and unique decor are another reason that many choose to stay at bed and breakfast when traveling in Kansas. You won’t have to compromise on modern conveniences though. While bed and breakfasts are often located in historic properties, today, most will be updated to feature all of the modern amenities that you would expect on your Kansas getaway.