Overland Park Kansas is the largest suburb that can be found in the Kansas City Metropolitan Area. This is more than just a suburb, however. Overland Park is actually the second most populous city in the state of Kansas, boasting a population of approximately 173,000. Only Wichita has a higher population. Also of note when it comes to Overland Park Kansas is the relatively high quality of living that its residents enjoy. It consistently ranks high among the country’s best cities to live. Part of the reason why Overland Park is so highly populated are the numerous resident companies. The Sprint Nextel Corporation and YRC Worldwide are among the larger companies that have their headquarters there. A variety of great attractions also help to make Overland Park such a desirable place to reside. An example of these attractions is the Arboretum & Botanical Gardens.
Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
Situated approximately one mile west of Highway 69 on 179 th Street, this delightful attraction provides Overland Park residents and visitors alike with a wonderful place to spend some free time. Among the features of the arboretum are limestone bluffs and mature trees. There are also miles of trails for hiking and walking and two bridges that can be used to cross scenic Wolf Creek. While exploring the arboretum, visitors can immerse themselves in eight different ecosystems. In relation to the gardens, there are several to admire. Among them are the Erickson Water Garden, the Marder Woodland Garden, the Legacy Garden, and the Children’s Discovery Garden. Ornamental grasses and rather unusual bog and aquatic plants are among the main features in the Erickson Water Garden, while the Marder Woodland Garden is a woodlands trail that passes along dogwoods, ferns, rhododendrons, and azaleas. In the Legacy Garden, visitors will find plants that are either native or naturalized to Kansas, and the kid-friendly Children’s Discovery Garden features such things as a frog pond and a story tree.
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead
Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead Image: Overland Park CVB
Anyone who plans to include a stop in Overland Park on their Kansas vacation itinerary is also encouraged to visit the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead. Easily one of the top attractions in the Kansas City area, this multi-faceted destination covers 12 acres and was designed to mimic a turn-of-the-century family farm. More than 200 animals call the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead home, and there are both flower and vegetable gardens to observe as well. Other features include a fishing pond and a replica of an early 1900s single-room schoolhouse. Visitors can also interest themselves in the Dairy Barn and the horse and wagon rides, among other things. April 1 to October 31 is when the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is open, with the longest hours of operation being observed during the Memorial Day to Labor Day period. The address is 13800 Switzer Road, and visitors will be happy to know that the admission prices are more than reasonable. In fact, on most days, admission is free.
Historic Downtown & Farmers Market
Overland Park Kansas can trace its roots back to the early 1900s. The city’s founder, William B. Strang Jr., arrived in the area in 1905 and quickly went to task plotting subdivisions on the hundreds of acres of land that he purchased. Some of that land is now part of the old downtown area. Exploring the Historic Downtown Overland Park can certainly be a joy, especially when the Farmers’ Market is in session. The Overland Park Farmers’ Market has been in operation for several decades and is located on Marty Street. In addition to interacting with local growers and purchasing their goods, visitors to this market can see what the various food and specialty vendors have to offer. Saturdays are the main market days during the general mid-April to mid-November operating season. The Overland Park Farmers’ Market also opens on Wednesdays during the early June to late September period.
Hotels & Lodging
Hotels & Lodging Image: Holiday Inn
Teeing it up on the local golf courses or visiting one of the excellent community centers are just two more ways to stay busy during an Overland Park Kansas visit. As for where to stay while in town, there are more than 30 Overland Park hotels to select from. Most are highly recognizable chain brand establishments, though there are some locally-owned properties to choose from as well. Those who wish to expand their lodging horizons can always turn to the Kansas City hotels or those hotels that are found in surrounding suburbs and towns. Not far across the Missouri border, for example, you can find some lovely bed and breakfasts in the suburb/city of Independence.
Top image: Overland Park CVB