Things to do in Kansas

Kansas is chock full of activities for avid sightseers, particularly those interested in immersing themselves in American history. Topeka houses the Brown vs. Board of Education Historical Site, which commemorates Kansas’s battle against segregation in schools and the 1954 Supreme Court decision to ban segregation in schools across the United States. Set in Monroe Elementary School, once a segregated African American school, the museum’s displays span the entire Civil Rights movement. If you’re passing through Wichita, the Old Cowtown museum should top your list of things to do in Kansas. A favorite activity for families, this living history museum recreates the Wild West, complete with pioneer-era buildings, staged gunfights and tour guides dressed as cowboys. Another favorite in Wichita is Exploration Place, a science center with hands-on exhibits like a “tornado chamber,” where you can experience 75 mph tornado winds without having to take cover.

Looking for things to do in Kansas’s smaller towns? The Cosmosphere & Space Center in Hutchinson is a local favorite, commemorating the United States’ moon landing with active displays and NASA artifacts like the Apollo 13 command module. And don’t forget to stop by the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum in Abilene, where you can see Ike’s childhood home and learn more about the Eisenhower presidency.

This spirited, 1,680-square-foot box, with green glass louvers and a wall that swings open like an airplane hangar, is conspicuous for any number of reasons. For one thing, it has a mini wind farm out front. It also has geothermal heating and cooling, a photovoltaic array, and a green roof.

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T+L's Travel Advisory Board Member, 2011