Complete Kansas Family Travel Guide - Part One

Our family has been traveling the globe for years now, but we always love coming back home to the US. We have now been to all but 13 states, and we love learning more and exploring our home turf. I get people asking me all the time about what state is our favorite, and while I feel every state has something amazing to offer travelers, if I had to pick one that stood out the most and took me by surprise it would be… Kansas! I know what you’re thinking right? Really, Kansas? Yes, Kansas!

There’s so much cool stuff and activities for families all stuffed into this awesome state. I've put together a three part guide to help you easily plan the perfect Kansas vacation that will be a crowd pleaser to kids and adults alike. 

So let’s go on a little road trip together and see what amazing activities, food, lodging, and attractions can be found in Kansas.

Let’s start in Hutchinson, a city that after I visited I thought to myself “Why isn’t this place more famous?!” 

Chances are if you are an astronaut or a fan of mines you might have heard of Hutchinson, but for the rest of us, here is a brief review of why you should visit and also why it should be famous!

Where to stay in Hutchinson:

Fairfield Inn & Suites
1111 N Lorraine, Hutchinson, KS  67502

To be completely honest this was the first time we had stayed at a Fairfield Inn and I wasn’t really sure what to expect. Once we walked in though I knew it was going to be a great fit for our family. The rooms at the Hutchinson Fairfield Inn & Suites are extremely spacious and so comfy! They also have breakfast in the morning (which is a must and a lifesaver for moms!) The beds are comfy and the rooms feel spacious enough for little ones to run around if needed. There's also a pool and workout room to help you decompress after a long day. 

What to do in Hutchinson:

3650 E. Ave G, Hutchinson, KS  67501 

Oh my goodness! What a cool experience this is! Before coming to Kansas I had no idea that this existed. This is so much more than just a mine! Your Strataca journey begins in an elevator shaft as you descend 650 ft. once at the bottom, sounds scarier than it is. It gets dark for just a minute but then it's light again. My son got a little scared but it was over quick and he had a big smile on his face once he saw what was at the bottom. Once you reach the bottom you immediately see wide open areas and it feels like you are in a completely different world. 

Strataca is 300,000 square feet of mined out caverns in an active Salt Mine. Kids will love taking a piece of salt home with them! There are several attractions inside the mine and you will definitely want to plan a whole afternoon for your visit.
This is by far the best mine we have seen in our travels! You’ll get to experience what it was like to be a miner back in the day and how different their mining practices are from todays.

To get a sense of the scale of the mine you can take a 30 minute tour on a tram through an area of the mine that includes lit areas explaining the challenges and unique solutions required to keep mines safe and functional.  You also get to collect a souvenir piece of salt! Strataca is an amazing fun and educational experience for the whole family. 

1100 N Plum St, Hutchinson, KS  67501  

Next stop is one of America's premier space museums, Cosmospere. The Cosmosphere’s collection includes U.S. space artifacts second only to the Smithsonian, and the largest collection of Russian space artifacts outside of Moscow.

I had no idea such a comprehensive space museum was located in Kansas! The history and education that this building holds is phenomenal. Many astronauts have visited Cosmosphere and it’s not hard to see why.

They also hold a fantastic space camp for kiddos if you happen to be staying in the area for a while. Be sure to plan at least an afternoon to be able to see everything. 

All those activities leaving you a little hungry? Check out these great restaurants for some yummy grub!

Skaet’s Steak Shop 
2300 N Main St, Hutchinson, KS  67502 

I am a big believer in heading where the locals hang out, and Skaet’s is definitely where all the Hutchinson locals are! This place is packed, and it’s no wonder why; great food, fantastic service, and a quaint feel has customers coming back over and over again. They've been located in Hutchinson since 1949.  Enjoy a "feel good" atmosphere as you devour delicious food prepared from scratch to your personal preference. Its open flame broiler opens at 4:30 p.m. Its service is famous for warmth and effort.

Pizza Ranch
1805 E. 17th St, Hutchinson, KS  67502  

My kids were sold as soon as I uttered the words “pizza” and “buffet”. This place will be a hit with the kids and adults. Everyone will find something they will love at Pizza Ranch. Our whole family couldn’t get enough of the dessert pizzas, so YUMMY!

This concludes part one to my awesome Kansas road trip! What did you think? Is there anything you would add? Kansas really is full of some amazing stops for travelers so I hope you can use this guide to help you on your Kansas adventure! Be sure to stick around for part two!

Also be sure to check out more great trip ideas here on the Kansas State tourism page and the Hutchinson City page.

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A big thank you to Kansas State Tourism and partners for hosting our family in order to facilitate this review, all opinions are my own.

Check out more pics from our families Hutchinson adventure below:


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