There are many notable monuments and landmarks in Kansas, and they are all easily accessible to residents and tourists alike. From the state capitol to the Kansas City Royals, these historic and modern sites draw thousands of visitors to the state each year.
The Sunflower State has become a popular destination for those who love history and want to see some of America’s most well-known spots and attractions. Here are 20 of the famous known monuments and landmarks in Kansas you can visit.
Famous Wichita, Kansas Landmarks
The Keeper Of The Plains
The 44-foot-tall steel structure, known as the Keeper of the Plains, is one of the most spectacular and unforgettable monuments in Wichita, Kansas. The statue is on holy ground where the Little and Big Arkansas rivers meet. This outstanding monument is perhaps most stunning at night, and you can use the benches and pedestrian paths surrounding the artwork.
The plaza surrounding the Keeper of The Plains is a Mid-America All-Indian Center offering historical details on the region and the monument. This structure is a must-see whether you’re in the park during the day or in the evening.
The ring of fire under the sculpture and the breathtaking Wichita sunset serve as one of the most stunning backgrounds of all landmarks in Kansas.
Sedgwick County Zoo
The Sedgwick Zoo is the most visited outdoor attraction in the city of Wichita. It also plays a vital role in wildlife conservation and is one of the famous Kansas landmarks.
Sedgwick County zoo was founded in 1971 and is home to over 3000 animals of different species. It is a popular tourist attraction that is both fun and educational at the same time.
If you’re planning a trip to the Zoo, you can check out the African Veldt – housing elephants, zebras, rhinos, and giraffes. You can also enjoy the Zoo’s only marine exhibits- the penguin cove, explore the Pride of the Plains, or the Downing Gorilla Forest, where a wide variety of wildlife is available.
This Zoo is easily one of the most interesting landmarks in Kansas to explore, particularly for those who love to see and learn about different wildlife.
Museum of World Treasures
Every history lover will find the Museum of World Treasures to be one of the more exciting landmarks of Kansas. With a comprehensive catalog of ancient artifacts and historically significant exhibits, the museum offers a rich experience to its visitors.
The museum first opened in April 2001 with exhibits mainly private collections from its founder, Jon Kardatzke. Although it started in a smaller building in Downtown Wichita, it moved to a much larger building in Old Town to accommodate its growing catalog of artifacts. These artifacts range from prehistoric exhibits to cultural and historical artifacts.
A trip to the museum allows you to explore dinosaur fossils, Egyptian mummies, coins used in the middle ages, and other significant relics from the past. Its rich ensemble and the opportunity to explore exhibits from varying historical ages and cultures make it among the resourceful Kansas landmarks.
Old Cowtown Museum
Old Cowtown Museum is an open-air historical museum established in 1952. Spanning 23 acres of land, the museum is unique for its recreation of up to 54 historic buildings.
Old Cowtown museum was created to preserve the culture and history of the 19th-century Wichita settlement, and its resources, artifacts, and programs help to achieve this. The museum provides the perfect opportunity for locals or any others looking to immerse themselves in the town’s history.
You can explore old stores, take a trip around the town, and discover how Wichita evolved from a cattle-rearing town to the manufacturing hub it is today. You can also check out the particular breed of farm animals raised on the town’s farm.
Exploring Old Cowtown is a unique experience, and the museum offers the opportunity to delve into life in the 19th century. Remembering and documenting the past is always important for future generations. This makes it one of the iconic historical landmarks in Kansas.
Famous Overland Park, Kansas Landmarks
Overland Park 9/11 Memorial
The memorial is in honor of the victims of the September 11 attacks that saw the loss of lives. It hosts one of the most significant monuments in Kansas, a 14-foot tall steel beam from the World Trade Center.
The history behind the memorial makes it a meaningful landmark in the city. Visitors can honor the dead and the emergency responders who put their life on the line in service to others.
Some of the features you can also check out are the educational panels featuring stories about the different flights, the weeping wall representing the survivors of the attack, and the panel featuring names and stories of deceased victims.
The memorial is one of the most important landmarks of Kansas because of the tragic history it represents for Americans.
Museum at Prairiefire
The breathtaking architectural style of the museum at Prairiefire makes it stand out as one of the most beautiful landmarks in Kansas to explore. Built in 2014, the museum hosts 42,000 square-foot facilities and is a primary attraction site in the city.
The museum’s unique exterior design is for more than just aesthetic purposes. It represents the cultural history of the place, known for its ecologically important prairie fires. With a blend of multi-colored, coruscating steel tiles, dichroic glass, and a backdrop of stone walls, the architecture perfectly captures the essence of the prairie burns uniquely.
The museum offers a wide selection of artifacts and resources for people of all ages. You can take your kids to explore the discovery room, browse through the museum’s national collections, and have an exciting Virtual reality experience of prehistoric times.
The museum at Prairiefire is one of the iconic Kansas landmarks to delve into various cultural and historical exhibits.
Norman Museum of Contemporary Art
The art museum is unique among Kansas landmarks because it captures emerging and contemporary artists’ artistic talent and culture. It has made its mark as one of the significant cultural attractions in the region.
The museum was opened in October 2007 and was named after Jerry and Margaret Nerman, the earliest sponsors of the museum. It is a part of the Johnson County Community College, featuring permanent collections from the college. It houses different temporary exhibits and some of the colleges’ permanent collections.
Despite its minimalist architectural structure, the museum boasts high-grade exhibits like those found in world-renowned art galleries and museums. Its importance as one of the renowned Kansas landmarks will be obvious when you take a trip to the museum and explore its beautiful galleries.
Korean War Veterans Memorial
The memorial is one of the significant historical landmarks in Kansas. It was built in honor of the soldiers who lost their lives during the Korean war from 1950 to 1955.
The memorial has various granite panels featuring events and soldiers that were a part of the war. Engraved on some panels are the names of the 415 Kansas soldiers who lost their lives during battle. The memorial also houses vital war statistics, as well as significant events in the war, and it was built in honor of the dead and missing veterans of the war.
If you are into history and stories, you’ll find the memorial to be one of the well-known landmarks in Kansas worth visiting.
LANDMARKS IN USA
Famous Olathe, Kansas Landmarks
Mahaffie Stagecoach Stop Farm and Historical Site
This site is among the famous landmarks in Kansas because of its critical role during the Sante Fe trail in the 19th century.
The building was originally purchased by James and Lucinda Mahaffie, and it became a famous stop shop for stagecoaches and weary travelers looking for a good meal. This spot is historically significant today, and the original Stagecoach stop has now been converted into a museum and a gift shop. It is the last remaining stagecoach shop on the famous Santa Fe trail.
During your visit, you can learn about the history of the place and browse through the various artifacts and exhibits available.
Olathe Prairie Center
Olathe Prairie Center spans 300 acres of land, rich with tall prairie grass, wetlands, and prairie wildlife. It is one of the natural landmarks in Kansas that serves to preserve the disappearing prairie woodlands while educating the public on its ecological importance.
The prairie center does not have many buildings or structures, and public access is limited to specific hiking trails and lakes. Visitors to the area can learn about the ecological resources available, explore remnants of aquatic life in the creeks or enjoy a day of fishing in the Lake.
It is a popular spot for nature lovers to enjoy the vast expanse of natural surroundings.
Olathe Memorial Cemetery
The cemetery is significant because it houses important Kansas monuments dedicated to public figures, veterans, and others who have shaped the town’s history.
Some of the gravestones feature essential information about Olathe’s past heroes, its contributions to the civil war, and other historically significant events that have shaped America’s history.
Since it was first built in the 19th century, it remains the city’s largest and most widely used memorial cemetery.
Kansas State School for the Deaf
The school is among the famous landmarks of Arkansas because it remains the largest school for the deaf in the state. It was established in 1861 by Philip Emery, who was a deaf teacher himself.
It made history as the first school for the deaf and dumb. Since then, it has grown from a small basement school to the state’s largest. The school has integrated learning programs to cater to the needs of the deaf, emphasizing learning vocational crafts just as it did in its earlier years.
Famous Natural Landmarks In Kansas
Rock city isn’t just among famous Kansas landmarks; it has a unique composition that sets it apart from other nature spots. It spans five acres of land and contains three clusters of giant sandstone concretions, with up to 200 of these concretions altogether.
Rock city is believed to contain the world’s highest number of sandstone concretions. The uniqueness of the concretions in Rock City is their massive size and shape. They occupy up to 20 feet in diameter, with smoother, spherical shapes that distinguish them from other irregularly-shaped Dakota sandstones.
Visitors can explore the park and even mount on these rock concretions. Its unique formation should make it at the top of the list of natural landmarks in Kansas to visit.
Elk River Hiking Trail
If you love hiking, you’ll find the Elk River Hiking trail to be one of the excellent destinations to explore. Its popularity attracts many campers, backpackers, and hikers to the area.
The trail is located on Elk City Lake and has two trailheads where hikers can begin the 24km walk. It winds along rock walls, through rock tunnels, under rock canopies, and encounters overhanging rocks and boulders that overlook the Lake. The trail also houses some old campsites and makes for an overall adventure.
Among the natural landmarks of Kansas, this provides some of the best opportunities for an adventure while admiring unique rock formations and natural sceneries.
The Chalk Pyramids are also known as monument rocks. They are one of the unique natural landmarks of Kansas that showcase the state’s time as an inland seabed during the Cretaceous period.
The chalk pyramids stand at 70 feet and are the only remnants of the inland sea in that era. It made history as the first designated National Natural Landmark In Kansas in 1968 and has since become a popular attraction site.
The main attraction point is the Eye of the Needle, with a hole in the center of the rock formation. Although it is one of the famous structures in Kansas, it sits on private property, and there are strict rules in place for visitors.
The picturesque view of the Deep Creek waterfall in the area makes it among the stunning natural landmarks in Kansas.
Pillsbury Crossing houses a ledge that forms into the beautiful waterfall, which spans 60 feet and has a five-foot drop. The area is a popular tourist attraction site, with lots of fun recreational activities to engage in. If you want to visit, you can carry your kayak along or hike the short trail that runs along the creek.
Anyone who loves the outdoors would find Pillsbury Crossing among the best spots the region has to offer.
Other Famous Landmarks in Kansas
The Cosmosphere was initially known as Kansas Cosmosphere before its name was changed to represent an international museum.
The space museum started as a Kansas planetarium in 1962 and has since grown to become internationally acclaimed. It houses the most extensive collection of Russian spaceflight artifacts outside the country’s capital city and boasts an astounding number of U.S spaceflight artifacts.
Beyond its use as a museum, the facility offers STEM education programs and a variety of summer camp programs for children and older students. It has four diverse venues – the Hall of Space Museum, Dr. Goddard’s lab, a planetarium, and a digital dome theater. The rich history of spaceflight adventures and artifacts is captured in the Cosmosphere.
The Cosmosphere has grown to become one of the things that Kansas is known for. If you love space travel, you’ll find it to be the most interesting of all the Kansas landmarks.
Mount Sunflower makes the list of famous landmarks in Kansas for being the highest natural point in the state, elevated over 4,000 feet above sea level. Despite its name, however, it isn’t an actual mountain.
Mount Sunflower is a privately owned property but still attracts visitors looking to explore the area. When you take a trip there, you can relax and enjoy a picnic or explore the little free library available at the site. You will also get to appreciate the sunflower sculpture made out of railroad spikes that are present there.
Despite its reputation as one of the highest points in Kansas, Mount Sunflower isn’t obviously elevated because of the state’s upward-sloping terrain.
Ball of Twine
The Ball of Twine gained its fame because of its peculiar history and record. It is believed to be the world’s most enormous ball of twine, although similar large balls of twine have contested the title.
The project to produce the giant ball of twine was first started as a personal project by Frank Stoeber in 1953. It was handed over to Cawker City in 1961, weighing over 5000 pounds and standing at the height of 8 feet, and since then, several small and significant additions have been made to the ball of twine.
As of 2009, the ball of twine weighed over 19,000 pounds, with a length equivalent of over 1,500 miles. The more interesting fact is the continuous addition of twine in annual twine-a-thon contests and personal projects by the locals.
Its peculiarity has and still continues to attract many curious visitors over the years. It has since become among the famous Kansas monuments for this very reason.
Strataca is an underground salt museum discovered in the early 20th century. It is the world’s largest rock salt deposit, with salt formations from millions of years ago. The museum wasn’t open to the general public until later that century.
Since then, it has become one of the famous Kansas landmarks being the only underground mine visitors can explore on a tour or train ride.
A trip to the museum will open you up to the place’s rich history. You can ride on the mine’s express train while exploring peculiar galleries made from salt. A visit to one of the most famous landmarks of Kansas will be worth the trip, and you can get cool souvenirs along the way.
Discovering Famous Landmarks In Kansas
Whether you are into nature or history, there are many landmarks in Kansas to satisfy your curiosity. There are also many monuments that tell its own unique story. Discovering the famous landmarks in Kansas is all about the experience, and less about reading about them, so be sure to check them out on your next visit to the Sunflower state!
One of the other best thing about taking a trip is that you can try all the delicious and famous foods in Kansas!