We’re still early in the fall semester, so you might still feel new to the city and surrounding area… Or you might even be entering your senior year and looking for new grounds to explore. The average gas tank is going to get you about 375 miles of driving around, so we’ll be looking at locations that you can it to and from using only one tank of gas. You might not be able to hit all these locations in one go, but you have plenty of options for your adventures!
Our adventure is going to start in Pittsburg with my own Pittsburg State University, Go-Rillas! Let’s start with some local favorites in case you feel more like taking a trip across town rather than county lines. Pittsburg has two breweries they can call their own, Jolly Fox and Drop the H. Jolly Fox offers In-house BBQ along with Sunday brunch, going along with their beautifully brewed beverages (I recommend Lucky Streak or the Stargazer IPA.) Drop the H offers delicious pizza made in their pizza oven, these can be paired well with any of their house-made beers, cocktails, or wines.
One of my favorite things to do is enjoy some good food, and I do not miss out on that in Pitt. Brick + Mortar Social House, The Pitt, Chatters, and Jim’s Steak House all offer quality meals with a bit of their own taste and vibrant atmospheres. As far as activities go, you should be able to find something you’ll enjoy. Want to go bowling? Check out Holiday lanes! I recommend going on Tuesday for Pitt State Twos Days, where shoes and games are both $2.22 when you use your student ID. Maybe you’re looking for something more exciting, check out Main Street Axe Company for some hatchet-throwing fun! Located about 10 minutes to the south, you can check out the Kansas Crossing Casino for your chance at some fun. Pittsburg also offers a golf course and driving range with Four Oaks Golf Course, go see a movie at AMC 8, or maybe even rack up a game of pool at The Break!
About 30 miles north on Highway 69, you can reach Fort Scott, where there is plenty to do in the area. Visit the Fort Scott National Historic Site, which is the fort that the town is named after. Find out the history behind the fort along with “Bleeding Kansas.” The Gordon Parks Museum is a must if you are visiting Fort Scott! The museum is dedicated to honoring the life and work of Gordon Parks, a Fort Scott native and an internationally known photographer, filmmaker, and writer. The Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes is another can’t miss museum in the area. With powerful messages of how one person can display a positive and meaningful change, you’ll be wondering how you can be the change you want to see. If you’re hungry after all these stops, check out Luther’s BBQ for some saucy meats and some of the best deviled eggs you’ve had.
Heading West/Southwest, there are some amazing communities to visit. Go out to West Mineral and check out Big Brutus at the Mining Museum. Big Brutus is the world’s largest remaining electric shovel, and you have to see it in person to fully grasp the size and scale. Chanute is home to the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum, a tribute to a local couple that studied and documented cultures around the globe in a time when you wouldn’t know much outside of your own little world. The Johnsons visited lands such as East and Central Africa, the South Pacific Islands, and British North Borneo, and they brought back the knowledge of the people they met with them. Don’t forget to drive out to Emporia to see the National Memorial to Fallen Educators, dedicated to those who lost their lives in the line of duty. Head south of Pittsburg and see Kansas’s part of the Route 66 Historic Byway. While you’re down there, stop by Galena at Cars on the Route, where the directors of Cars saw the truck that inspired “Tow Mater.”
In the Southeast region there are enough trees and hills to stifle the stereotypical Kansas landscape. Leave your ‘footprint’ in Sedan by emblazing your name on a brick for the yellow brick road. Float down the lazy river at the Maring Aquatic Center in Chanute, grab…