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Kansas - The Sunflower State


Kansas sits at the heart of America, at the crossroads of the nation’s history and development. It’s where pioneers’ passion and drive blazed the Oregon, Santa Fe and Pony Express trails and where the cattle coming off the Chisholm Trail from Texas were sent back east on the emerging railroads. It’s where the cowboys who made the long, perilous cattle drive north – to iconic towns such as Abilene and Dodge City – got paid, bathed, fed and watered … and often into trouble with the fledgling law!

Beef cattle ranching continues to this day – key to the state’s prosperity, along with arable farming. The western way of life is still very much alive and kicking, alongside newer industries such as the huge aerospace community. For keen horse riders, Kansas has a lot to offer – centred around the working ranch lifestyle. More often than not, the day’s riding activity for visitors is focused on the needs of the longhorn cattle – checking their pasture, medicating them and moving them around the massive grasslands. Evenings and weekends bring a busy schedule of local and professional rodeos, cook-outs and BBQ joints where the emphasis is on real farm-to-fork food – not least superb steaks.

Away from the ranches, the Sunflower State is proud of its dozen designated Byways – shorter stretches of signposted road of significant scenic, historic or military interest. Whether by car, RV, motorcycle or bicycle, byways such as the Wetlands & Wildlife, the Post Rock and the Frontier Military make for intriguing short road trips.

The larger urban areas, like Overland Park on the edge of Kansas City, the university town of Lawrence, state capital Topeka and fast-growing Wichita, offer all you would expect – great food, distinctive museums, fine art galleries, live music, upscale lodging and vibrant nightlife.

Throughout Kansas, though, whether in town or up country, there is a refreshing sense of community and a warm welcome for visitors.

Ranches in Kansas

Flying W Ranch

This authentic working cattle ranch has been in the Hoy family for over 140 years and they welcome guests to come and experience their ranching heritage and cowboy lifestyle first hand. In doing so guests will experience the tallgrass prairie surroundings and unspoiled wildlife and nature of the Flint Hills. Horseback riding is an essential…


The Gyp Hills Guest Ranch overlooks the scenic Gypsum Hills southwest of Medicine Lodge. Home to the Red Rock Cattle Company and Lonker Ranch, at this working cattle ranch they raise both purebred Hereford and Red Angus as well as commercial cattle. An authentic working ranch, the property has been in the same family for…

Try a Self Drive in Kansas

Let us arrange a self-drive itinerary exploring the highlights of Kansas. Click here for our self drive itineraries.

For the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office click here

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