Kansas’ byways give you 12 ways to experience diverse geology and small-town destinations.

Land & Sky

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88 miles

Towns: St. Francis, Goodland, Sharon Springs

Along America’s first agriculture-themed byway, the summer months shine with golden wheat fields and the bursting sunflower bloom in August. All year long, you’ll find pastures of livestock lounging in the sunshine. From Lookout Point, witness the deep ravines and jagged terrain of the Arikaree Breaks that provide a stark contrast to the plains. Mount Sunflower (not an actual mountain but still the highest point in Kansas) makes the perfect locale for a picnic.

Western Vistas

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102 miles

Towns: Scott City, Oakley, Sharon Springs

Discover prehistoric fossils and other archaeological finds in Scott City’s El Quartelejo Museum, which depicts Kansas life in the early Native American and pioneer days. See the unique chalk formations of Monument Rocks before stopping at the larger-than-life sculpture of Buffalo Bill in Oakley. The dramatic sculpture, depicting the legend taking aim at a buffalo from atop his horse, resides at the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center. End with a bison or beef burger at Towns End Tavern in Sharon Springs (open Fridays and Saturdays).

Smoky Valley

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60 miles   

Towns: WaKeeney, Ogallah, Ransom

This horseshoe-shape route runs through the Smoky Hill River Valley, known for its mix of native grasses and purple, yellow and sky blue wildflowers in the springtime. The Smoky Hills (which appear to be hazy blue at dusk and dawn) are best viewed alongside chalky rock outcroppings. Take a small detour to 70-foot-tall Castle Rock, a limestone formation dramatically rising from flat surroundings. In WaKeeney, Western Kansas Saloon and Grill—in a restored hardware store—is the place to go for some serious steak.

Wetlands & Wildlife

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18 miles

Towns: Wilson, Lucas

Short but sweet, this stretch highlights the resourcefulness of Kansas settlers. Due to a lack of trees, they built fence posts and farmsteads (many of which still stand) from native limestone. Quirky finds include the Tim Burton-esque S.P. Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden in Lucas and the World’s Largest Czech Egg, measuring 20×15 feet and standing sunny-side upright with patterns that honor local Czech heritage. For local flavor, try a burger from Fly Boy Brewery and Eats in Sylvan Grove or road-trip-worthy beef jerky from Brant's Market in Lucas.

18 miles

Towns: Wilson, Lucas

Short but sweet, this stretch highlights the resourcefulness of Kansas settlers. Due to a lack of trees, they built fence posts and farmsteads (many of which still stand) from native limestone. Quirky finds include the Tim Burton-esque S.P. Dinsmoor’s Garden of Eden in Lucas and the World’s Largest Czech Egg, measuring 20×15 feet and standing sunny-side upright with patterns that honor local Czech heritage. For local flavor, try a burger from Fly Boy Brewery and Eats in Sylvan Grove or road-trip-worthy beef jerky from Brant's Market in Lucas.

Prairie Trail

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80 miles

Towns: Ellsworth, Marquette, Lindsborg

Delve deep into the ethnic and natural diversity of Kansas. Spot roaming elk, bison and more than 100 bird species via a walking or tram tour at Maxwell Wildlife Refuge. Another must-see: Marquette’s Kansas Motorcycle Museum, where the main hall is filled with racing trophies and dozens of stunning choppers. Journey in mid-June to catch the Midsummer’s Festival in Lindsborg for Swedish food, dancing and craft demonstrations, or stop by the Swedish Heritage Museum, open year-round.

Native Stone

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75 miles

Towns: Manhattan, Alma, Eskridge

Limestone is (literally) the bedrock of much of Kansas, and that becomes especially clear on this rocky road trip. Follow miles of Jenga-style stacked limestone fences crafted by 19th-century ranchers intending to keep cattle away from crops. In Alma, visit The Volland Store gallery to see local artwork, then stretch your legs on the adjacent, sculpture-adorned Volland Trail. A home-cooked meal and a generous slice of pie reward your efforts at Hilda’s Diner in Eskridge.

Flints Hills

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48 miles

Towns: Cottonwood Falls, Strong City, Council Grove

Most of the tallgrass prairie along the byway looks as it did thousands of years ago, when the Kaw, Osage, and other Indigenous tribes lived here. Visit Cottonwood Falls, where you’ll find the 1873-built Chase County Courthouse, the oldest operating courthouse in Kansas. In Council Grove, the Kaw Mission and Last Chance Store Museums feature a new museum about Native American life in the region, plus a re-created 1857 Santa Fe Trail trading post.

Gypsum Hills

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42 miles

Towns: Coldwater, Medicine Lodge

Geological marvels abound, with ancient floodplains, buttes, canyons and mesas lending dramatic backdrops to roadside snapshots. Experience ranch life by booking a stay at family- owned Gyp Hills Guest Ranch in Medicine Lodge. Take a hike among the surrounding rusty-red bluffs, and bring your RV for an overnight. Wake up your senses with a refreshing dip in the spring-fed blue waters of Lake Coldwater, the only lake in southwest Kansas that permits water sports.

Glacial Hills

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63 miles

Towns: Leavenworth, Atchison

Make like Lewis and Clark and explore the rolling hills and rock-studded valleys they once traversed. The byway takes you through historic downtown Leavenworth, where you can ride a fully restored 1913 carousel at the C.W. Parker Carousel Museum. Grab a light bite at The Sunflower Cafe in Atchison on your way to Four State Lookout in White Cloud. On a clear day, the ADA-accessible observation platform offers a sweeping view of Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa.     

Frontier Military

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168 miles

Towns: More than 20 to visit!             

Once built to move soldiers and supplies, this storied stretch connects Fort Leavenworth to the Fort Scott National Historic Site. Fort Scott’s most active period (1842 to 1873) witnessed pivotal moments in history. Experience life during these years through artillery demonstrations and soldiers on horseback. Learn the Fort Leavenworth story at the Frontier Army Museum, then pay your respects at nearby Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Route 66 Historic Byway

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13 miles

Towns: Baxter Springs, Riverton, Galena

It doesn’t get more classic than a cruise along the Mother Road. Get oriented in Baxter Springs at the Kansas Route 66 Visitors Center, a Tudor-style former gas station. Inside, see signatures of hundreds of Route 66 travelers. Continue with the automotive theme in Galena at Cars on the Route, home to the rusty boom truck that inspired the character Tow Mater in Cars, and Gearhead Curios, a restored Texaco station starring a 1951 Hudson Hornet honoring Cars character Doc Hudson. 

Cruise through the 2024 Official Kansas Travel Guide for more vacation inspiration.

Kansas Byways

Frontier Military

Travel through time, visiting multiple forts along the Frontier Military Historic Byway.  Originally built to move soldiers and…

Gypsum Hills

Ancient floodplains, buttes, canyons, mesas and sinkholes are rare on the Great Plains. Yet, nestled in the Kansas grasslands is the Gypsum…

Prairie Trail

When you travel the Prairie Trail Scenic Byway, you follow in the steps of Native Americans, explorers and pioneers as they sought food…

Native Stone

Discover the natural beauty of the panoramic Native Stone Scenic Byway.

Western Vistas

Visit a rugged landscape on the culturally and visually fascinating route known as the Western Vistas Historic Byway. 

Wetlands & Wildlife

Along the byway, you'll encounter landscapes and communities shaped by the powerful forces of motion and change. You're entering a…

Smoky Valley

Named for their hazy, blue appearance at sunrise and sunset, the Smoky Hills divide the more easterly mixed-grass prairie from the…

Glacial Hills

The Glacial Hills Scenic Byway gets its name from the rolling hills and rock-strewn valleys carved by ancient glaciers. 

Flint Hills

The Flint Hills National Scenic Byway offers incredible views of the native grasses and flowers of the tallgrass prairie - one of the last…

Route 66

Kansas' Historic Route 66 Byway offers opportunities for visitors to enjoy a variety of experiences to "get their own kicks…

Post Rock

Over the Smoky Hills of weathered bedrock, the Post Rock Scenic Byway winds through fields, pastures and prairie.

Land & Sky

Travelers along the Land and Sky Scenic Byway have the opportunity to experience the Wallace Branch of the Great Western Cattle Trail, scale…

Kansas Highways

Highway 56

US Highway 56 in Kansas follows much of the old Santa Fe Trail, which spans from Kansas City in the east to Elkhart in…

Interstate 70

We have a list of the top things to do along I-70 in Kansas, including where to find great food, overnight lodging…

Highway 36

Welcome to Highway 36, running through the 13 northernmost counties in Kansas, stretching from the Missouri River to the foothills of the…

Highway 169

Explore the KC metro area and the region of Southeast Kansas while driving on Highway 169!

Interstate 35

Travelers on I-35 in Kansas have found the quickest route from Kansas City to Wichita (or vice versa!) Don’t forget to gaze out the…

Highway 183

Come out and explore the western frontier of Kansas on Highway 183! This route passes through fantastic wildlife centers, museums, and some…

Highway 24

US Highway 24 in Kansas stretches across the state's Northeast, North Central, and Northwest regions…

Interstate 135

Interstate 135 in Kansas connects the towns of Salina and Wichita, making for an easy central Kansas drive. While…

Highway 50

US Highway 50 in Kansas spans from Kansas City in the east to Coolidge in the west and runs through four out of the…

Highway 83

View the beauty of Western Kansas on Highway 83! This route is home to some of Kansas's most sought-after attractions…

Interstate 335

Interstate 335 in Kansas provides travelers an easy route from Topeka to Emporia. Kansas I-335 is on the northeastern edge of…

Highway 54

Driving on Highway 54 is easily one of the best ways to explore the southern half of Kansas! This route takes you through the amazing…