Five Cities in Kansas You Need to Visit

From the Flint Hills to the Land of Oz, these are the five cities in Kansas you need to visit at least once.

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Wichita

is the largest city in the U.S. state of Kansas and the county seat of Sedgwick County. As of 2019, the estimated population of the city was 389,965. Wichita is the principal city of the Wichita metropolitan area which had an estimated population of 644,610 in 2018. Located in south-central Kansas on the Arkansas River, Wichita began as a trading post on the Chisholm Trail in the 1860s and was then incorporated in 1870. It became a destination for cattle drives traveling north from Texas to railheads in eastern Kansas. With the influx of settlers, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, and Bat Masterson were attracted to this frontier town which became infamously known as Dodge City during this period. In 1915, aviation pioneers Clyde Cessna and Walter Beech settled in Wichita along with other businessmen starting Aircraft Manufacturing Corporation which would later become Beechcraft and eventually part of Hawker Beechcraft; Clyde Cessna started his own company in 1927 which still exists as Cessna Aircraft Company. The city continued to grow rapidly during this period into a significant industrial center earning it nicknames such as “The Air Capital” and “Supplier City”.

In 1931 oil was discovered near El Dorado leading to an economic boom in south-central Kansas that lasted several decades oil derricks sprouted up everywhere leaving many small ghost towns when methane gas displaced them causing a bust by 1939; even so at its peak production Kansas produced nearly 30% as much crude oil as Texas bringing tens of billions of dollars into the state’s economy up through at least 1985 helping to make Wichita one of America’s wealthiest cities per capita by 1950 despite there being no significant natural gas or coal reserves within city limits or its surrounding county at that time.

Kansas City

Kansas City is the largest city in the state of Kansas and is the anchor city of the Kansas City Metropolitan area, which straddles the Kansas-Missouri border. It’s known for its steakhouses, fountains, Jazz Age architecture and museums like the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, housing paintings by Van Gogh, Matisse, Monet and more. The country music hub of Branson is about a 2-hour drive south.

Topeka

Topeka, the capital city of Kansas, is filled with fun things to see and do. The State Capitol, the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site, and the Kansas Museum of History are all great places to learn about the state’s history. There are also plenty of parks and gardens to explore, as well as a variety of shops and restaurants. If you’re looking for a city with a rich history and plenty to see and do, Topeka is a great choice.

Olathe

Olathe is the fourth most populous city in Kansas. Located in Johnson County, it is also the county seat. Olathe is considered a suburb of the Kansas City metropolitan area. The city’s population was estimated to be 135,473 in 2019 by the U.S. Census Bureau, making it the 38th largest city in the Midwest and the 11th largest city in Kansas.

Olathe is located on the southwestern edge of Johnson County, just west of Interstate 35 and south of Kansas Highway 7. The city lies on both sides of the Olathe Creek and its tributary, Brush Creek; these creeks flow southward toward the center of Johnson County and eventually join together before flowing into Indian Creek and then into Mill Creek, which empties into the Kansas River southwest of downtown Kansas City, Missouri.

Olathe has a humid continental climate (Köppen Dfa) with hot summers and cold winters. Precipitation is plentiful throughout the year; however, severe weather is not uncommon, particularly in springtime.

Lawrence

Lawrence is the sixth largest city in Kansas and is the county seat of Douglas County. Lawrence is located in northeastern Kansas, next to Interstate 70 and along the Kansas and Wakarusa Rivers. The city has a rich history, being founded during the Civil War as a free-state town and being home to the University of Kansas. Lawrence is also known for its lively downtown area, which is full of shops, restaurants, bars, and music venues.

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