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Top 16 Historic Landmarks in Kansas

Here's what you need to know...
  • Kansas has a rich history that includes settlement by pioneers, Native American heritage, Civil War battles, and more
  • With historic landmarks located in areas across the state, a road trip is a great way to learn more about the history of Kansas
  • Before venturing on Kansas roads, you should verify that your auto insurance policy complies with the state’s minimum legal requirements

Located in the heart of the country, Kansas became a state as a result of the Louisiana Purchase in 1803. Its early days included settlement by pioneers, cattle drives, and streams of settlers for westward expansion. Kansas also played a critical role in the Civil War.

Later, Kansas was the first state to prohibit alcohol in 1881, and it was an important area for racial equality because of the famous Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case in 1954.

With these and many other important events taking place across the state over the last few hundred years and with some geological points of interest that are millions of years old, you can find many important historic landmarks in many areas.

Taking a road trip across the state and visiting these landmarks is an excellent way to learn more about the state’s history. If you plan to explore the history of Kansas with a fun road trip soon, there are several popular landmarks that you do not want to miss.

Looking to adventure in Kansas soon? Enter your ZIP code above first and compare at least three to four policies today to ensure your car is fully covered!

Top 16 Historic Landmarks in Kansas

Each of the historic landmarks in Kansas has been specially created to honor milestones in the state’s history or to celebrate historical figures.

As you create your itinerary for a road trip through Kansas, consider including some of these landmarks in your travel plans. With landmarks celebrating many aspects of the area’s history, you can easily find several that appeal to your interests.

#16 — El Quartelejo Ruins

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Cost: $5 per vehicle
Age: 53 years

Situated north of Scott City in Lake Scott State Park, you will find the famous El Quartelejo Ruins. These archaeological ruins feature remnants of the only Pueblo establishment in the state.

The area was covered over with dust and debris after the last resident lived in the establishment in 1706. This community was later rediscovered and excavated, and it became a protected landmark in 1964.

Admission to the park for $5 per vehicle enables you to explore the ruins. You can also visit the nearby El Quartelejo Ruins Museum in Scott City for free. This historic site is a fantastic destination to explore when you want to learn more about Native American history in Kansas.

#15 — Amelia Earhart’s Birthplace

Cost: $6 for adults, $1 for children under age 12
Age: 35 years

Amelia Earhart is among the most famous early aviators and was a pioneer in aviation development. She was born in the small town of Atchison in 1897, and she spent a considerable amount of her early years growing up in this location.

Earhart disappeared under mysterious circumstances while traveling around the world in her plane with a companion, but her contributions to aviation live on today.

Her childhood home has been preserved and turned into a museum. Today, visitors can tour the home to see how and where Earhart lived as a child and to learn more about her history and background.

#14 — The Eisenhower Presidential Library & Museum

Cost: $12 fee for admission to the boyhood home
Age: 55 years

Situated in the charming small town of Abilene, the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum was founded in 1962 to honor Dwight D. Eisenhower.

The museum grounds feature both the boyhood home of this beloved and honorable president and his presidential library. Inside the library, you will find thousands of manuscripts, photos, and more that explore his history.

While there is an admission fee to tour the home, the Meditation Chapel and the library are free.

#13 — Cathedral of the Plains

Cost: Free
Age: 106 years

The Cathedral of the Plains located in Victoria is the Saint Fidelis Catholic Church. While it is not an actual cathedral because it is not home to a bishop, it was declared a minor basilica in 2014.

When you tour the Cathedral of the Plains, you will notice that it is entirely crafted out of huge blocks of limestone to create a stately ambiance, and it features an Italian marble altar, hand-carved stations of the cross, and numerous gorgeous windows and works of art.

You can attend a scheduled mass at the Cathedral of the Plains for free, or you can schedule a tour.

#12 — Teter Rock

Cost: Free
Age: 53 years

Teter Rock is a rock formation that was originally made in the 1920s by a resident and oilman, James Teter.

The area was a popular oil establishment near the Cottonwood River, and the rocks were placed in position as a marker for settlers looking for the river.

The city faded away over the decades and is no longer present, and the rock formation has been reconstructed to honor James Teter. Today, you can see the reconstructed Teter Rock formation and remnants of what remains of Teterville free of charge.

#11 — Mid-America All-Indian Center

Cost: $7 for adults
Age: Unknown

Kansas has rich Native American culture, and it is on display at the Mid-America All-Indian Center in Wichita.

This fascinating museum and cultural center features hundreds of artifacts, works of art, and more for you to browse through. You can also check the calendar of events to plan your visit to the center around one of the center’s special events.

#10 — Boot Hill Museum

Cost: $12 for adults
Age: 60 years

Dodge City is one of the most famous and historic Old West towns in Kansas, and you can learn more about the city’s past and heritage with a visit to the famous Boot Hill Museum.

At this living history museum, you can see a recreated Old West gunfight, participate in a variety show, or enjoy a drink at the saloon. You will also find a preserved cemetery, an ice cream parlor, a general store, and other venues to explore at your leisure.

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#9 – Fort Larned National Historic Site

Cost: Free
Age: Unknown

The Fort Larned National Historic Site is located in the small community of Larned, and it played key roles in Hancock’s War and in the Medicine Lodge Treaty.

When you tour this historic site, you can tour the fort, watch living history shows, explore incredible artifacts from the fort’s early days, and more.

With free admission and incredible history on display, the Fort Larned National Historic Site is an excellent attraction to visit on your road trip through Kansas with your loved ones or on your own.

#8 — Castle Rock Badlands

Cost: Free
Age: Unknown

The Castle Rock Badlands are among the most unique and striking geological landscapes in the state, and it is located between the small communities of Quinter and Collyer.

The rock formations are made out of limestone, chalk, and sandstone, making them highly susceptible to erosion.

Many of the rock formations have decreased in size over the years because of exposure to the elements, so guests are encouraged to visit the badlands area soon to view the formations before additional erosion occurs.

#7 — Hollenberg Pony Express Station

Cost: $3 for adults, $1 for children
Age: 157 years

The Hollenberg Pony Express Station was built in 1860 in Hanover, and it remained open for only one year.

While not open for long, this famous station has been well-preserved over the years, enabling you to see how pony express riders once lived and to learn more about the Old West.

There are some stories that the Hollenberg Pony Express Station is haunted, but these reports have not been substantiated.

#6 — Monument Rocks

Cost: Free
Age: Unknown

Monument Rocks is a lovely rock outcropping formation located on private land just outside of Quinter, and the landowners welcome visitors as long as they are respectful of the formations.

The area is currently comprised of chalk rock, but it was once submerged under a sea approximately 80 million years ago. Because of this, you can see numerous fossils of fish, dinosaurs, sharks, and other once-living creatures when you spend time examining the rock formations closely.

#5 — Strataca: Kansas Underground Salt Museum

Cost: Adults are $19, children are $12.50
Age: Unknown

The Underground Salt Museum features salt formations that were made more than 275 million years ago, and they were discovered in 1897. Today, you can enjoy interactive experiences here, such as a regularly hosted murder mystery dinner.

You can also immerse yourself deep underground in the mine, which is located approximately 650 feet underground, and you can admire the exhibits to learn more about the area’s geological and mining history.

#4 — Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Cost: Free
Age: 21 years

The Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve features 180 acres of preserved grasslands. This type of landscape is decreasing rapidly in size in areas around the world, but state laws only allow the government to preserve 180 acres of this space.

Located near Strong City, the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve features:

  •  A one-room schoolhouse
  • An old barn
  • A historic ranch house that was built in 1881

All of these are open for you to explore at your leisure.

#3 — Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead

Cost: $2
Age: 39 years

Situated conveniently in Overland Park, the Deanna Rose Children’s Farmstead is named after a fallen Overland Park police officer, and it is the perfect place to explore the area’s heritage with family and friends.

There are numerous species featured at the petting zoo onsite, a schoolhouse, a Main Street area, a playground, and a dairy farm. You will also find a fishing shack and pond, a tractor display, and other incredible features when you visit the farmstead.

#2 — Cosmosphere

Cost: $26 for adults, $17 for children
Age: Unknown

The Cosmosphere is one of the most popular space exploration venues in the region, and it boasts incredible shows at the planetarium and dome theater throughout the day.

The museum is home to many fabulous artifacts that examine space history.

You can also enjoy spending time in the lab, the gift shop, and the restaurant on-site.

#1 — Fort Scott National Historic Site

Cost: Free
Age: More than 170 years

The Fort Scott National Historic Site is located near the town of Fort Scott, and you can take a self-guided tour or walk through the area with a guide to learn about its history.

There are more than 20 different buildings on the grounds that you can explore at your leisure. Exhibits, interpretive displays, an audio-visual program, and other features make this a fun, informative place to visit.

Traveling Safely in Kansas

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While you may have high hopes of enjoying a relaxing sightseeing trip through Kansas, keep in mind that accidents can happen when you least expect them. You need to be fully prepared for any event that might happen, and one aspect of this includes reviewing and updating your auto coverage as needed.

Kansas is a no-fault state, which means that you are expected to pay for your own repair bills and medical expenses except when specific thresholds for injuries are met.

Kansas drivers are required by law to buy a minimum amount of car insurance, and some drivers buy more than what the state requires in order to take full advantage of the benefits that it provides. The legal requirements for car insurance in Kansas include:

  • Property damage liability insurance for $25,000
  • Bodily injury liability insurance for $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident
  • Personal injury protection insurance

While you need to ensure that you are covered by a policy that complies with these minimal guidelines today, you should also plan on reviewing three to four new quotes for coverage every six months if you want to keep this expense as low as possible.

Remember to base your final insurance buying decision on the insurance company’s reputation and financial standing rather than on price alone.

Keep in mind that liability insurance will not pay for your vehicle repairs in the event of an accident, and it only pays other parties for expenses if you are found to be at-fault in the accident.

Collision auto insurance in Kansas offers benefits to repair your damaged vehicle in the case of a collision. Comprehensive auto coverage provides benefits associated with a wide range of other damaging events.

– Preparing for Your Road Trip

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In addition to comparing auto insurance rates and ensuring that your coverage is up-to-date, you should take a few additional steps before you hit the road.

One important step to take is to research the landmarks that you want to see and to create an itinerary for your adventure. Map the attractions before driving so that you can safely navigate to each location without having to be distracted by a GPS system or roadmaps.

You also need to prepare your vehicle for the road trip.

Schedule tune-up or maintenance service if it has been awhile since your last service. Verify that the tread and air pressure for your tires are adequate. In addition, stock your trunk with an emergency kit so that you can easily survive if you have a breakdown in the middle of nowhere.

Getting out of the house and touring some of the state’s historical attractions is a wonderful way to learn about the fascinating history of Kansas on your own or with family and friends. Spend time learning more about each of these historical attractions today, and plan an itinerary for an amazing road trip across the state.

Are you wanting to hit the road and tour Kansas? Enter your ZIP code below first and start comparison shopping today to ensure that you’re fully covered!

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