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Western Kansas

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Saint Louis...
2 posts
2 reviews
Western Kansas

We'll be driving from St. Louis to Vail, CO in July and would like to stop overnight, somewhere around mid-Kansas. Traveling are 2 adults and a 9-year old boy. Waterparks, good hotel pools, cute towns to stop in, even if a little off the beaten path, would be fun, too. Thanks.

6 replies to this topic
Destination Expert
for Mackinac Island, Mackinaw City, Kansas
Level Contributor
3,987 posts
194 reviews
1. Re: Western Kansas

Salina has a selection of hotels and the nearby Rolling Hills Zoo. Hays is a couple of hours farther west with another selection of motels and the Sternberg Museum whose dinosaur exhbits would be a huge treat for most 9 year olds.

Lucas is a very cool town a scenic half hour off the freeway. The tiny community has a bunch of quirky attractions like the Garden of Eden and the Grassroots Arts Center. http://www.kansastravel.org/lucaskansas.htm

If the weather is nice, the Castle Rock Badlands would be a memerable break in the trip. http://www.kansastravel.org/castlerock.htm

Saint Louis...
2 posts
2 reviews
2. Re: Western Kansas

thank you for your recommendations! I'll be looking into those areas.

Central Illinois
Level Contributor
353 posts
21 reviews
3. Re: Western Kansas

Driving from STL to Salina will be about 7 hours. I suggest moving on down the road another hour to Hays. Several times we have driven from central Illinois and always stop in Hays. There are many hotels with pools (indoor), but no waterparks. Quite a few restaurants. There is a local steak house near the center of town that has great food, I can't remember the name. We've gone to the fort and have seen the bison.

Russell, Kansas
Level Contributor
583 posts
45 reviews
4. Re: Western Kansas

Though it is not a waterpark pe se, the Hays municipal swimming pool is above par. It's got nice slides, a lazy river to float down in a tube, and a lap pool for older people.


As mentioned there is old Fort Hays for history buffs, and if you'd like a walk downtown, there are historical markers that tell the story of the early town. There were a dozen brothels on one street back then!

Most of the new motels are on the north side of town, along the interstate, but downtown is a less than 5 minute drive away. Also on the south side of town is Frontier park. It's a good place for a nice walk, a picnic, or a game of frisbee golf. Big creek meanders through and there is a walking bridge that crosses in one place, and some stepping stones to cross further downstream.

I lived in Hays for many years and still do most of my shopping there so Hays is my suggestion. I'll admit that I'm biased. : )

Phillipsburg, Kansas
Level Contributor
22 posts
77 reviews
5. Re: Western Kansas

I live north of Hays and make several trips each summer to the Hays aquatic park. It's not technically a watermark, but we enjoy it a lot! The price is very reasonable! There's also do e fun stores in downtown Hays, plus some good restaurants.

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
37 posts
2 reviews
6. Re: Western Kansas

Rolling Hills Zoo is great!

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