You’re Invited To A Land Of Free Spirits—Southeast Kansas,
A Corner Of The State That’s Always Throwing Delightful Curves.
Places to GO!Back to Top of List
Southeast Kansas is downright cool, and people are catching on. In 2022, The New York Times named Humboldt one of 52 Places for a Changed World, citing the work of A Bolder Humboldt, a group of local dreamers, builders, and doers remaking the town. The Times called Humboldt “an unexpected … oasis of cool surrounded by fields of wheat and soybeans.” Trace other examples of reinvention in marvels like Big Brutus, the huge electric shovel in West Mineral, and Fort Scott’s Lowell Milken Center for Unsung Heroes, home to the stories of people who fought for the freedom of others.
Photography by Jess Hoffert
Travel Back In Time, To Another Continent Or Your Happy Place, At These Sites That Engage Your Senses And Emotions.
A picture of four would-be bank robbers shot dead by townspeople captures the harsh reality of frontier life. It’s just one artifact from the Dalton Gang’s infamous 1892 raid on Coffeyville.
March back to the 1840s. Displays interpret the nation’s fight for freedom on the site where its first African American soldiers served.
The museum focuses on the Fort Scott native creative who became a photographer, writer, musician, renowned photojournalist for Life magazine and the first African American to direct a major Hollywood film.
See how Kansas students lift up extraordinary feats by ordinary people—like Irena Sendler, who rescued thousands of Jewish children from the Nazis.
Volunteers turned a longtime junkyard into a beautiful flower garden surrounded by a boardwalk, waterfall, and gazebo in the heart of town.
Imagine life in this replica one-room log cabin built where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived with her family in 1870. Also see a historic farmhouse, schoolhouse and post office.
African masks, headdresses, tools, musical instruments and photos fill this tribute to a Kansas couple who were among the first to capture Africa, Borneo and the South Seas on film.
Photography by Doug Stremel
Imagine the booms, smoke, war cries, and ground shaking horses as you walk where outnumbered Union troops won one of the Civil War’s largest cavalry battles west of the Mississippi River.
Thousands of engraved granite pavers and a half-size replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., highlight this military tribute.
Places to EAT & DRINK!Back to Top of List
Stretch your comfort zone (and your waistband) at spots that showcase flavors from down the road and around the globe.
Photography by Aaron Patton
Ooh la la! Indulge in treats like macarons, meringues and petits fours at this petite jewel on the town square. There’s also a bulk buffet of gummies, taffy and other treats. Rent the sweet suite above the store on Airbnb.
The Bolling family has been in the butcher biz for years. They pile their meats onto Reubens, French dips and BLTs. Order a steak or cheeseburger off the bistro menu.
Twists on traditional fare like margherita pizza and mac and cheese (made with cavatappi, four cheeses and breadcrumbs) keep folks coming to this new-in-2020 bar with a chic streak and boozy cocktails.
The winner of the 75-plus year rivalry between these two family-owned restaurants— they stand just 600 feet apart—is you. Best try them both.
Follow the aroma of freshly roasted beans to this cream-of-the-crop coffee shop. Stick around for house-made baked goods in the cozy yet airy space.
Vietnamese foodies share cuisine from home, including meat skewers, banh mi, spring rolls, vermicelli and rice dishes, and pho. Try the Vietnamese coffee—great hot or iced—and look for dessert specials, like cupcakes.
At one of the region’s only micro-distilleries, sip a classic cocktail or seasonal drink made with moonshine in flavors like butterscotch, cinnamon, blackberry and peach. Pair your potent potable with build-your-own pizzas or a very shareable 12-inch pretzel.
People go nuts for the fresh, locally grown pecans, but you can also have a sandwich at the dine-in deli and buy fudge, cinnamon rolls, jams, and pecan pies.
Everyone comes together for loaded breakfast burritos, fresh salads and sandwiches, plus specialty drinks such as an affogato or blueberry pomegranate smoothies.
The menu’s big and so are the margaritas at this place where deciding what to have is the hardest part. (When in doubt, the fajitas marinated in special sauce never disappoint.) Ask for the secret hot, hot salsa … if you dare.
Places to STAY!Back to Top of List
Spend the night in town or close to nature. Either way, rest assured of a memorable stay.
Count stars through a skylight as you drift off to sleep in a modern loft cabin beside a large fishing pond. Enjoy access to kayaks, firepits, bikes and trails too.
Photography by Zach Bauman
Stroll lush gardens and wildlife habitats, pamper yourself at a spa, and savor gourmet meals at this romantic bed-and-breakfast in the countryside. The restaurant uses veggies, herbs and berries grown on-site.
Photography by Tyler Cunningham
Revel in the peace and privacy of a well-appointed little farmhouse that’s out in the country yet conveniently close to town. Occasionally, homemade cookies and flowers from the garden await inside.
Go Dutch (or Thai, German or Chinese) in this century-old home’s themed guest rooms decorated with global finds. Breakfasts are deliciously healthy, and the architectural features—like a sunken greenhouse—fascinate.
The art of hospitality meets the hospitality of art at this creative lodging spot—it’s part hotel, part gallery. Each guest room is different, thanks to works by local artists.