When Kansas Tourism asked residents to share their must-see-and-do Kansas experiences, the tourism experts got an earful. They learned that Kansans like Ike, they fancy the Flint Hills, and love to visit Wichita’sBotanica, Dodge City’s Boot Hill Museum, Atchison’s Amelia Earhart Festival and attractions tucked in every corner of the state.
“To celebrate the 70th anniversary of KANSAS! Magazine, we wanted to find out the top 70 experiences on Kansans’ bucket list,” explained Linda Craghead, Assistant Secretary for Kansas Parks and Tourism. The tourism division asked the magazine’s readers and other Kansas enthusiasts to submit their must-do lists, and the top 70 results were recently announced in the winter issue ofKANSAS! Magazine, on its 70th birthday.
After the bucket-list submissions poured in, an editorial board pared the list down to the 70 finalists. Some are among the state’s acclaimed attractions, such as Cheyenne Bottoms and Quivira National Wildlife Refuge near Great Bend, Chicken Mary’s and Chicken Annie’s restaurants in the Pittsburg area, Abilene’s Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum and the Kansas State Capitol in Topeka. Other more-surprising ones range from the Home on the Range Cabin near Smith Center to Guy & Mae’s Tavern in Williamsburg.
While eateries, museums and artsy attractions are among the favorites, Kansans seek out outdoorsy, sporty and festival fun, too. The toughest tackle the grueling, 200-mile Dirty Kanza, hikers trek the trails at Konza Prairie, paddlers ply the Kansas River and bluegrass fans world-wide flock to Winfield’s annual Walnut Valley Festival.
“We’re hoping to get the word out about all the unique, scenic and fun experiences the state offers,” said Craghead. “And while 70 choices is just a start, it’s a great introduction to what’s special about Kansas!”
Kansas Tourism is continuing the Bucket List promotion in 2016 with a monthly social media contest. People visiting any of the 70 locations can take a photo at the site and post it to Instagram or Twitter using the hashtag #KSBucketList (one entry per person per location). One winner will be drawn at random each month and awarded a prize, and a grand prize winner will be announced at the end of 2016.
The Bucket List is available at www.KSBucketList.com.