Northwest Kansas is home to many attractions ranging from natural chalk towers formed at the floor of an ancient ocean to old west forts. Come here to explore some of the most impressive natural sites in the state along with exciting historic places.
Through the Sunflower Summer Program, each Kansas student and their parents/guardians are allowed one free visit to each of the participating attractions per year. Please visit each attraction’s website for more information regarding pricing and admission.
Webster State ParkBack to Top of List
This state park holds sits on 880 acres of rolling hills under the wide-open skies of western Kansas. Nestled next to the scenic chalk hills, wildlife and nature enthusiast will enjoy the picturesque views and diverse wildlife that calls this region home. Webster Reservoir is also teeming with fish such as walleye, crappie, white bass, and channel catfish. It is the perfect spot for a weekend retreat.
Little Jerusalem State ParkBack to Top of List
Little Jerusalem is one of the most unique sites in the entire state of Kansas. Around 85 million years ago much of western Kansas was under an immense ocean called the Western Interior Seaway. Gradually, layers of sediment layered and compressed on top of each other on the floor of this ocean. Today, the remnants of this ancient sea are front and center at little Jerusalem with its 100-foot-tall spires and cliffs of eroded Niobrara Chalk. Visitors can walk on trails and experience this living piece of ancient history.
Sternberg Museum of Natural HistoryBack to Top of List
The Sternberg Museum of Natural History is a premiere natural history museum. Its collection includes over three million paleontology, zoology, and geology specimens that document life and the environment of the great plains. Around 500,000 fossilized plants are stored in the museum along with the largest collection of fossilized grasses in the world. Included in the museum are some of the great predator fish that roamed the waters of the Western Interior Seaway such as the Tylosaurus Proriger. This museum is also home to incredibly unique exhibits such as the Dino Dome and the world-famous “Fish within a Fish” fossil.
Cedar Bluff State ParkBack to Top of List
Want to have a family outdoor adventure? Cedar Bluff State Park is one of the best places for outdoor enthusiasts in the state. The park is comprised of 350 acres of Kansas natural beauty and almost the entire coastline of the reservoir is accessible to visitors. Across the park are 96 utility campsites, two community shelters, a group community campground, two large shower houses, and five modern rental cabins. Come here and fish in the excellent waters or just enjoy a nature walk on one of the trails.
Prairie Museum of Art and HistoryBack to Top of List
This museum is home to a wide variety of artifacts from the pioneer age of the state along with Native American artifacts from hundreds of years before that. Artifacts ranging from dolls to paintings to ceramics are assembled in the museum collection. Beyond this, the museum is home to a sod house, one-room schoolhouse, and the state’s largest barn! Visitors can also take a look at the western prairie educational site, which meant to preserve the historic look of the high plains. Come here to explore the pioneer history of Kansas and see out that history lives on to this day.
Fort Hays Historic SiteBack to Top of List
Established in 1865, this fort helped protect railroad workers and travelers on the Smokey Hill Trail. Generally, around 210 men were stationed at the fort when it was active, and it became part of the growing western town of Hays. Visitors to the fort can experience life on the frontier and see military artifacts such as soldier’s uniforms, weapons, and personal items. The museum is also home to numerous Native American artifacts, allowing guests to learn about the native tribes that lived in the region for hundreds of years.