I have a special place in my heart for the rural Midwest because of how beautiful and friendly I have found it! I love small town kitschy and Kansas does not disappoint. I’ve been looking forward to this stop on our 3 week road trip itinerary and it was an excellent time to be able to unplug and just spend time together on the road! These are 3 small towns to visit in Kansas from our recent travels!
1 | SEDAN, KANSAS
We weren’t planning on stopping in this town or the next, but we saw the road signs and decided to go. Sedan, Kansas hosts a yellow brick road that wraps around the whole downtown. My sister’s favorite movie was actually The Wizard of Oz growing up and she had the movie memorized by the time she was 3- I thought this would be a fun tribute detour for her. The brick road itself has over 10,000 yellow painted bricks that people can donate to have their name placed on. The road itself boasts a VIP section which had some fun finds!
I thought the town was really cute and people were so friendly. We sat down and ate at Granny Wolfe’s Green Door restaurant and even though everyone knew we weren’t from the town, people still stopped to talk to us. After growing up in a small town, I can say that sometimes people frequent restaurants because they know someone and not because of the food. This wasn’t the case for Granny Wolfe’s restaurant- it was delicious and we left really happy with what we ordered!!
2 | INDEPENDENCE, KANSAS
My Mom has always been a big fan of The Little House on the Prairie books so when we saw signs to visit the museum we tour another detour to see The Little House on the Prairie museum. The site has a recreation of a period time home similar to the description of her home in the books. A foundation of a small house was found in the location in the 1970s that was said to be the Ingalls family home. Beyond that, the other buildings are period pieces with no relation to the Ingalls family beyond showing what life was like. Honestly, the views around the museum were so pretty I don’t know why the Ingalls family didn’t decide to stick around. Devin rolled his eyes at me because I asked if we could feed some apples to some of the animals- the donkeys didn’t mind 😉 .
3 | CAWKER CITY, KANSAS
The largest ball of twine was an attraction I went to on my cross country trip with my Mom in 2007. This road trip was such a big deal to me because I was 18 and getting to travel cross country. I had just transferred schools after my freshman year and I was really going after my dreams- that is probably why I feel so oddly sentimental about this town. After we became married, I joked with Devin that “tons of people can say they have been to New York several times, but not everyone can say they have been to the largest ball of twine multiple times.” Devin humored me and we went back to visit. On this trip, I began joking that we should have our kids come and visit it too someday.
When planning out our road trip, we had initially only planned to visit one of these sites. This is a huge testament to being flexible when road tripping in timing and allowing yourself to veer off of what your GPS suggests. Being spontaneous has helped us find some of our favorite sites, but also kept the road trip experience more than just driving from Point A to Point B.