Thursday, August 19, 2010

Midwest Road Trip -- Around Wichita

Hi Jamie

What a great site!!! Thank you very much for all the great routes.
I’m from Zurich, Switzerland and will fly to Chicago on Tuesday. From there I’ll drive to Wichita, KS. I planned 5 days for my road trip and would like to ask you for a great route. I also have 5 days to drive back from Wichita to Chicago. Could you please suggest two ways to go back and forth to Chicago? I’m interested in nature, scenic routes, history, fun…

Do you know great places to stay? I’m travelling alone and am on a short budget ;). Are there any interesting things around Wichita, as I’m there for a whole week but attending a conference and have only limited time.

Thank you for your fast reply and the great tips!



Hi there Fabs --

Thank you for writing in to Road Trip USA, and sorry I didn't get back to you before now. Are you on the road around Wichita? My main route around there, which I call the "Loneliest Road", follows the old Santa Fe Trail, east to west across Kansas, with a small detour to enjoy the "Tallgrass Prairie" around Cottonwood Falls (just west of Emporia KS).

July is probably a bit late for the best wildflowers, but the "Flint Hills," as that part of the Great Plains is also known, is very pretty, in a midwestern kind of way.

The Santa Fe Trail route has some other good sights, especially at Council Grove, which I cover in my book and (less so) on the website:

Very different, but also in the Wichita area, is the Kansas Cosmosphere space museum in Hutchinson.

If you want some great Great Plains reading material, I'd suggest you check out the book PrairyErth, by "Blue Highways" author William Least Heat Moon. It's very interesting:

And as far as way back to Chicago -- if you didn't come this way, I'd suggest you go back via Oklahoma City (a fascinating place!), and take old Route 66 all the way back to Lake Michigan. I cover this great route on the website, and more accurately in my books.

Hope this helps -- and that my reply gets to you in time.

Happy Trails,

Jamie Jensen
Road Trip USA ** On Sale Now **


Dear Jamie

Thank you for all the information. I had a great road trip so far. I drove down the great river road and also went to the tallgrass prairie state park. It was great!
Up north to Chicago, I’ll take the old Route 66. Thank you so much for your great books.




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