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Discover the Best Things to Do on Kansas I-70: Reasons to Hop Off the Interstate

Discover the Best Things to Do on Kansas I-70: Reasons to Hop Off the Interstate

Join me on a fun-filled trip across the Sunflower State via the iconic Kansas I-70. This isn’t your typical flyover country; every small town along the interstate offers its unique slice of wonder. These towns have banded together as the I-70 Association to ensure you will notice the hidden gems that make Kansas unique. Buckle up as we unveil our curated selection of the best things to do on Kansas I-70 right off the exits.

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Fun Facts: There are over 1000 restaurants, nearly 115 museums, and around 250 places to stay across this 424-mile highway through 17 communities. 

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Goodland: Admire the Van Gogh

Art lovers should check out Goodland, Kansas, home to the giant Van Gogh sunflower painting. This seven-story-tall artwork is a tribute to the famous painter and a striking landmark that adds a splash of color to the Kansas landscape.

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Colby: Prairie Museum of Art & History

In Colby, imagination runs wild at the Prairie Museum of Art & History. Dive into an entertaining labyrinth filled with model trains, fascinating doll collections, and an extensive button assortment.

One of the highlights not to be missed at the Prairie Museum of Art & History is the glass collection. Featuring Vaseline Glass pieces that glow with an ethereal light, this collection is a true visual delight.

For a touch of nostalgia, visitors can also hop on one of their quarter-ride horses. These cheap thrills are sure to entertain and bring back fond memories for art enthusiasts and tourists.

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Find out where to eat along Kansas I-70 in this post.

Oakley: Monument Rocks and Fick Fossil & History Museum

Oakley gifts us two incredible spots you simply can’t skip—Monument Rocks and the Fick Fossil & History Museum. Monument Rocks are 50-foot-tall geological marvels, majestic enough to rival Utah’s or Arizona’s formations. Capture these chalk pyramids in every snapshot, but don’t forget to grab a paper map from the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center—you’ll need it!

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The Fick Fossil & History Museum might not dazzle with modernity, but its offerings—from exquisitely detailed minerals to artifacts like a vintage fire engine—are captivating.

Fun Fact: At the museum, you’ll find a mosasaur from Grove County, KS.

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Wakeeney: Shiloh Vineyard & Winery

About 20 minutes from the interstate lies Shiloh Vineyard & Winery, a slice of pastoral paradise. You’ll find your perfect sip here if you’re a fan of semi-sweet delights like the Brianna or a juicy fruit-infused wine. Shiloh is an enchanting retreat that beckons travelers off Kansas I-70. (Remember to enjoy responsibly with a designated driver.)

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Hey guys…here’s a post that might speak to you and spark interest in some lesser-known attractions across the Sunflower State.

Hays: Sternberg Museum of Natural History

The Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays is teeming with life from epochs past. Fancy a salamander sidekick? They’ve got you covered, alongside other fantastic creatures, and an open-view Paleo lab where you can witness science in action. Their summer camps draw young explorers from around the globe, lighting sparks of discovery that last a lifetime.

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Learn more about the cool town of Hays in this post.

Russell: Grassroots Art Museum and Garden of Eden

Venture into creativity’s core in Lucas, the major attraction off the Russell exit. The Grassroots Art Museum bursts with life, showcasing works crafted from the most unexpected materials. Just next door, the Garden of Isis dazzles with cosmic decor featuring aluminum and upcycled toys. 

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No visit to Lucas is complete without a stop at the Garden of Eden. Here, S. P. Dinsmoor’s yard unfolds into a sculptural narrative filled with biblical insights and folklore. And don’t skip the Bowl Plaza (restrooms)—it’s brimming with curiosities and sparkling surprises.

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Disclaimer: Some attractions, accommodations, and meals featured in this content are sponsored by the I-70 organization or individual destinations. All opinions and reviews are entirely my own and remain unbiased.

Salina: State of the Art Automotive Museum

Automotive enthusiasts will love the Garage Automotive Museum in Salina. This museum boasts an impressive collection of classic cars and automotive memorabilia, making it a must-visit for gearheads and history buffs. There are plenty of hands-on exhibits for the kids, and they will be in awe of the Kustom Kars collection. 

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Abilene: Eisenhower Presidential Home and Library

In Abilene, history comes alive at the Eisenhower Presidential Museum and Library. Explore President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s life and legacy through exhibits and artifacts that offer a glimpse into his impact on American history.

If you can spare the time, plan to spend a few hours between the boyhood home, library, and museum. Be sure to #standlikeIke with the campus statue. Then there is the well-appointed gift shop you’ll definitely want to cruise through.

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Junction City: Milford Nature Center and Fish Hatchery

Off the beaten path in Junction City lies the Milford Nature Center and Fish Hatchery. Here, prairie dogs charm, and a plethora of birds, fish, and amphibians animate the land. Be captivated by exhibits ranging from an outdoor bird center to a butterfly utopia before venturing indoors to meet amphibious and reptilian residents.

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Manhattan: Flint Hills Discovery Center

In Manhattan, step into the vast expanses of the Flint Hills through the immersive experience at the Flint Hills Discovery Center. A mesmerizing 15-minute film whisks you away on a cinematic adventure, portraying the region’s grandeur with Disney-like finesse.

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Explore interactive galleries in the 24,000 sq. ft. attraction and take in the enchanting rooftop prairie gardens, which offer breathtaking vistas of the Kansas sky and tall grasses you can touch.

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Topeka: Kansas State Capitol and Combat Air Museum

In Topeka, dive into history and aviation at two must-see attractions. Start your journey at the Kansas State Capitol, where you can take a guided tour to see stunning murals and climb to the top of the dome for a panoramic view of the city.

Next, head to the Combat Air Museum to explore an impressive aircraft and aviation artifacts collection, offering insight into military aviation history.

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Lecompton: Territorial Capital Museum

In Lecompton, step back in time at the Territorial Capital Museum (1855-1861) and witness pivotal moments from America’s past. The reenactments bring history to life, showcasing why this quaint enclave is known as “Where slavery began to die.”

The museum’s collections, including campaign memorabilia, china, and military uniforms, offer a deep dive into stories that forever shaped our nation.

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Lawrence: Massachusetts Street and KU Natural History Museum

Lawrence’s vibrant Massachusetts Street is a haven for adventure seekers. Stroll along this bustling thoroughfare filled with unique shops, eclectic eateries, and lively entertainment. While in town, visit the KU Natural History Museum, where interactive exhibits and fascinating displays provide a deep dive into natural history.

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Bummer Springs: Moon Marble Company

Channel your inner child at Bonner Springs’ Moon Marble Company. Watch master crafters transform glass into mesmerizing marbles and get lost in a treasure trove of toys and trinkets. The creativity and craftsmanship here will inspire and delight visitors of all ages.

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Leavenworth: Honor and Heritage at Fort Leavenworth

Pay tribute to our nation’s history at Fort Leavenworth, a symbol of military valor since 1827. Traverse the historical grounds, immerse yourself in the heritage at the museum, and take a solemn moment at the Buffalo Soldier Memorial.

The Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery beckons with its hallowed tranquility, inviting reflection and remembrance.

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Shawnee: Shawnee Town 1929 and Wonderscope Children’s Museum

Take a trip to Shawnee and be transported to 1929 at Shawnee Town. This living history museum features engaging interpreters, enriching events, and a souvenir shop brimming with bygone charm. The period buildings and shops will make you feel like you’ve stepped back one hundred years. 

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For family-friendly fun, visit the Wonderscope Children’s Museum. Interactive exhibits and hands-on activities ignite the imagination of children and adults alike. Admission is $12 for adults and $16 for children ages 2 through 15. The museum is closed on Mondays. 

Kansas City: A Taste of Kansas City BBQ

Indulge your taste buds in Kansas City, where BBQ is king. Sample the tender pork at Rosedale Barbecue, savor the famous Z-Man Sandwich at Joe’s Kansas City Bar-B-Que, and delight in the cheesy corn at Slap’s BBQ. Each bite is a testament to the city’s culinary prowess.

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Where to Stay Along Kansas I-70

After a day of exploring, rest and recharge at one of these welcoming accommodations:

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Reasons Enough to Jump Off Kansas I-70

Traveling Kansas along the I-70 reveals an endearing piece of the nation’s heartland at every stop, creating memories that will last long after you’ve resumed your journey. Every site tells a story of passion and perseverance, reminding us that the trip isn’t about the miles—it’s about the moments.

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Discover these hidden gems and more as you venture off the beaten path on Kansas I-70.

I cherish my relationships with many of these destination partners whom I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with for several years. The warmth and hospitality you’ll experience in the heart of America are second to none.

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