Kansas, which is one of the largest states in the Midwest, is a place that has been described variously as the heartland of the country, the breadbasket of the USA, and also one of the most open and friendly places in the country. Driving through the wide open spaces of Kansas, seeing the sea of grass rolling away from you on either side of the road, and watching the miles drift by endlessly gives you an insight into just how big the US really is, and just how much space there is for man to enjoy.
Kansas, whose name comes from the Indian tribe who lived there prior to the founding of the nation, means the people of the wind, and when you are out on the plains, the wind is an ever present spirit that surrounds you and embraces you with its warmth.
The area of the state around Kansas City in the East is one of the flattest parts of the USA, and for hundreds of miles there are barely any hills to break up the monotony of the landscape. It is in this part of the state where many visitors spend their time, visiting the attractions such as Kansas City Zoo which are located on the banks of the Missouri River. This is the most populous area, and for many tourists, presents the most interesting trip options thanks to its wealth of attractions.
Kansas City offers visitors a wide variety of events throughout the year, although the annual summer Kansas State Fair, when people from all over the state come into the city in order to celebrate the harvest and compete for various prizes is probably the best time to visit thanks to the where range of family friendly activities and general carnival atmosphere make a visit great fun.
In the west of the state, the land rises towards the foothills of the Rocky Mountains over the border in Colorado, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking and camping in the more rugged wilderness areas. Kansas offers a number of state parks including the Fort Scott National Historic Site, the Santa Fe National Park, and part of the Pony Express National Historic Trail where you can follow in the footsteps of the pioneers who opened up the western states.
Kansas is home to the geographic centre of the USA near the town of Lebanon in Smith County, and this is a popular place for sightseers, and there is a fascinating visitors centre there that has plenty of hands on exhibits that kids will absolutely love. Lebanon is within reach of the city of Wichita, Kansas - the largest city in the state. Wichita is well known for its aircraft industry, and there are a number of museums in the city that tell the whole story of flight.
The remarkable thing about Kansas vacations is that despite the featureless landscapes, there is a vast amount of interest to almost anyone who comes, and throughout the year there is plenty to see and do. From uncovering the past in the historic parks through to tornado chasing in the summer, Kansas is a place that is as surprising as it is large, and as beautiful as it is fascinating.