About Kansas

A state of huge, horizon-scanning flat plains and fields of swaying yellow wheat, Kansas has plenty of driving distance between its towns and cities, allowing you to adopt a past pioneer mindset right from the off.

Known for its friendly people and barbecue competitiveness, it's also practically the geographical center of America. To make the most of this city and state, book your vacation rental on FlipKey and really feel like a local.

About Kansas

Named after the dominant Native American tribe Kansa, who originated in this Midwestern state, Kansas is hugely agricultural—it’s referred to as the Sunflower State—with farmers (or ranchers) producing much of the wheat, corn and soybean supplies for the entire United States. White Wichita is Kansas's largest city, Topeka is the capital.

Back in the mid-1850s, the state wasn't looked on quite so favorably. Known as “Bleeding Kansas” due to the violence between pro-slavery and abolitionist groups, it was definitely somewhere to be avoided. Thankfully the matter was finally settled in 1861 when it entered the Union as a free state.

Jazz and blues lovers will love Kansas for its 1940s/50s music scene—the period when it produced such talents in the genre as Count Basie, Charlie Parker and Big Joe Turner. Today it's not difficult to find a jazz or blues club at the riverside in Kansas City.

What to do in Kansas

Kansas is the setting for the popular Little House on the Prairie books. There's a museum devoted to Laura Inglis in Walnut Grove where the writer and her fictional family eventually settled.

Visit Wichita and discover the city's pioneer past at the open-air Old Cowtown Museum. There, you can stroll down the street and step into a 150-year-old furnished house or business and get a real feel for the era.

Lake Shawnee in Topeka is the place to go if you enjoy birdwatching, cycling, trekking or appreciate landscape gardening. If you prefer your nature more rugged, then the 1,000-acre Lake Scott State Park may be more your scene. This former Indian-occupied land has a huge lake, wide variety of trees, trails and camping spots.

History and politics fans should head to Abilene and the boyhood home of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Now the Presidential Library & Museum, much of Ike's furniture and personal items still remain, including his favorite cowboy novels.

Top travel tips for Kansas

Kansas can be prone to severe weather in the spring and early summer months, often resulting in thunderstorms and even tornadoes - remember the Wizard of Oz?!

Don't be surprised to see a lot of shotguns around - this is big hunting and shooting territory.

The state animal is the huge bison and there is every possibility of meeting one roaming around freely on the plains.

Those wide-open spaces mean the only way to get around Kansas is by rental car. Get there by plane to Wichita or Kansas City airports. Or, get the Amtrak to various cities, including Topeka and Kansas City. Greyhound buses are also available.

A proud state which celebrates its pioneering past in an array of incredible museums, Kansas feels more rural than many other areas of America—this is largely because of its vastness and the dominance of agriculture. It’s what gives the state it's homebody feel - at least in the countless acres between cities.

Whether you're looking for a stylish apartment or cozy home, FlipKey has the perfect vacation rental accommodation for you. You just need to start looking.