Historic downtown shopping district in Leavenworth, Kansas. Image credit Jon M. Ripperger via Shutterstock

6 Most Inviting Towns in Kansas

Inside the Sunflower State, Kansas is rich with history and culture, with an array of towns each boasting its own flavor and charm.

The state is right in the US heartland and has a robust education system, including Kansas State University, and a deep historical connection to Native American tribes.

The state is full of life, offering everything from seasonal festivals to classic trains and shops full of antiques to discover.

No matter if you love history, enjoy nature, or just want a quiet break, these towns give you plenty of reasons to come and explore Kansas.

If you are getting the urge to travel, do not pass Kansas by. Discover six of the most inviting towns the state has to offer.

Baldwin City

Downtown Baldwin City, Kansas.
Downtown Baldwin City, Kansas. Image credit Bhall87 at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

If you are into towns that value education, write this town down on your list.

Baldwin City is where Baker University is located. It began in 1858 and was the very first college in Kansas.

The Quayle Bible Collection at Baker University houses a special group of old and important Bibles. The collection teaches about how the Bible has influenced culture over many years.

You can see things like a page from the Gutenberg Bible and Bibles with ornate, detailed decorations.

If you have the chance, try visiting the town in the fall. When the leafy overheads transform into a dance of reds and golds every October, folks flock to the annual Maple Leaf Festival. Here the town celebrates the change of season with a colorful backdrop.

Fancy a history lesson? Explore Black Jack Battlefield and Nature Park to learn about where Kansas's first Civil War battle happened. Walk across the battlefield and visit the visitor center to dive into the history of this significant event.


Fort Leavenworth, Kansas
Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Buffalo Soldier Memorial, Circle of First. Image credit JOHN ERIC JACKSON via Shutterstock

Leavenworth is home to a variety of inviting and unique aspects that make it an interesting place to visit.

One of the first places to check out to really get that inviting feeling is the town's historic downtown area, a cozy center filled with nice shops, places to eat, and rustic old buildings.

The town is home to places that honor the important roles African Americans have played in the nation's history. Check out the Richard Allen Cultural Center to explore exhibits and take part in activities that highlight the history and successes of African Americans.

Next, go to the Buffalo Soldier Monument. It pays tribute to African Americans who served in the US Army post-Civil War.

For more on military history, take a tour of Fort Leavenworth. You will learn lots about the base's extensive history. The spot is known for its beautiful grounds and historic architecture.

Cottonwood Falls

The old downtown area of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas.
The old downtown area of Cottonwood Falls, Kansas.

This town sits in the scenic Flint Hills area of Kansas, with the tallgrass prairie ecosystem not far off.

Just a little way from Cottonwood Falls, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve keeps safe a sizeable portion of the tallgrass prairie left in North America. The huge spaces of rolling hills and wide-open skies are really amazing to see.

One key place to see in town is the Chase County Courthouse. Constructed in 1873, it is the oldest courthouse in Kansas still in use today. It is hard to miss its gorgeous French Renaissance architecture.

The downtown area is just the right kind of old-timey and historic. It is filled with enjoyable stores and places to eat. Highlights include Tallgrass Antiques, which has an interesting variety of unique finds.

If you want to go for a peaceful walk outside, the Cottonwood River Bridge and Dam provides a picturesque setting with gorgeous sunsets.

Fort Scott

View of Fort Scott building in Fort Scott, Kansas.
Fort Scott building in Fort Scott, Kansas. Image credit William Silver via Shutterstock

It's not a stop to Fort Scott without checking out both its Downtown Historic District and the Fort Scott National Historic Site. They have everything that makes them an inviting spot to stroll around, like rustic buildings and cool stores.

The Liberty Theatre first welcomed people in 1919 and is a key historic spot that keeps offering performing arts events for the community.

Another great place is the Gordon Parks Museum. It highlights the achievements of Gordon Parks, who was famous for his photography, movies, and writing. Despite facing many obstacles related to race, he managed to succeed. The museum displays a collection of his photographs and works.

Feel like heading outdoors? Just outside the city, Lake Fort Scott is a perfect destination for nature enthusiasts. You can go fishing, boating, or just sit down for a picnic with the family.


Marysville, Kansas: Stagecoach at the Pony Express Museum.
Marysville, Kansas: Stagecoach at the Pony Express Museum. Image credit WanderinNomadPhotography via Shutterstock.com

There is a lot of interesting history in Marysville that makes it an inviting town to see.

While here, check out the Pony Express Home Station No. 1. It was a key spot along the Pony Express mail service back in the 19th century.

Nowadays, it is a museum where you can learn all about the bold and important history of how mail was delivered across the American wilds.

The town is known as "Black Squirrel City," a title they take seriously. The town passed an ordinance granting black squirrels the right-of-way on all streets, and even hosts a Black Squirrel Celebration.

There are plenty of activities available, such as exploring the Blue River Rail Trail. This path offers beautiful views as it curves its way north into Nebraska.

In Marysville, you have the chance to check out the Koester House Museum & Gardens. This place is full of furniture and items from the 1800s and is encircled by flowery gardens.


The original Farmers State Bank building in Lindsborg, Kansas.
The original Farmers State Bank building in Lindsborg, Kansas. Image credit Stephanie L Bishop via Shutterstock.com

Fancy a taste of Sweden but can't jet off across the ocean? Well, you are in luck.

Found right here in Kansas is Lindsborg—a cozy town founded by Swedish settlers way back in the 1800s. Since then they have kept the Swedish vibe alive and kicking to this very day.

Now, if you want to see Lindsborg shine, swing by for the Midsummer's Festival. It is a big party that happens every year to kick off summertime with a bang. It is the perfect chance to soak up all that makes Lindsburg so inviting. The festival features maypole dancing, Swedish music, and lots of great food.

The town is also well-known for its Swedish Dala Horses, carved wooden statues. You can stop by the Dala Horse Factory to see how they are made and even paint your own.

Nothing is better than a nice casual day out in the Kansas sunshine. The Valkommen Trail is a path where you can walk and bike, stretching 2.5 miles through the town. It provides a lovely journey outdoors, perfect for seeing the town and the surrounding region.

From the tallgrass fields outside of Cottonwood Falls to the Pony Express Home Station Museum in Marysville, Kansas is full of inviting towns with a lot to offer.

It has a blend of human history and natural beauty, making it easy to check off any visitors' "to-do" lists.

So if you are looking for an ideal destination to take a break from your busy life, these inviting and vibrant towns in Kansas are waiting to see you.

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