Travel the MidWest USA

Popular Lakes to visit in Kansas, USA

Clinton Lake

This reservoir is located near Lawrence, Kansas. K-10 used to end right at the lake, but it now bypasses the city of Lawrence and ends at the Kansas Turnpike aka I-70. You can still travel here off an exit at the southwest side.

El Dorado Lake

This reservoir is located near El Dorado, Kansas east of Wichita. The Kansas Turnpike goes over its north side and you can exit via US-77 or K-177 to visit this lake to take pictures of nature. If you are coming from the south end, you can also follow US-54 east of Wichita and El Dorado and find it to the north.

Cedar Bluff Reservoir

There are very few lakes on the west side of Kansas, but if you are willing to take the trip, you can find this lake located south of I-70 and north of K-4 via K-147. If you look out west, it is very hard to spot lakes that exist in Western Kansas. An honorable mention is Lake Scott State Park that is north of Scott City and is probably one of the only lakes like Cedar Bluff that exist in this region of the state. Cedar Bluff Reservoir is probably one of the biggest lakes in this part of the state and is worth visiting sometime.

Wilson Lake

Lake Wilson Kansas
Lake Wilson Kansas

This lake is located in west central Kansas south of K-18 and north of I-70 via K-232.  K-181 meets up with K-232 here and is another way to get to Wilson Lake. K-232 goes an extra mile south of I-70 to get to Wilson, Kansas in which the lake or the city was named after. Although a very big lake, there appear to be even bigger lakes in Kansas than this one. It is still a great place to visit nonetheless like all the other ones mentioned and like some other big lakes, there are houses near the lake to give people inside a great view day and night.

Milford Lake

 Milford Lake is the largest lake in the state of Kansas with an area of 64 square kilometres. This lake is located north of I-70, west of Junction City, and west US-77 via K-57. K-244 meets up with K-57 from I-70 and is another way to get to Milford Lake. If you draw a line of symmetry on US-81, Wilson and Milford Lakes almost appear to fold on one another on a map. Even though looking similar in that way, out of all the lakes in Kansas, this is probably one of the more special ones since it holds a record for the state. I am sure you can do all sorts of things like you can with all lakes: Ride a boat, camp, fish, hike, and most importantly, relax.

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Top 5 Biggest Cities in America by Population

We are blessed as U.S. citizens to live in this country. The number of activities for fun in this country is a number that is so great that it is hard to imagine.

These are a list of the biggest around:

New York, New York.
With over 8.5 million people, this city is the largest of them all by far. The second largest city is Los Angeles, and its population isn’t even half of what it is here. Central Park, Times Square, the Statue of Liberty or the Empire State Building are some famous places in the town.

Statue of Liberty New York USA
Statue of Liberty New York USA

Los Angeles, California.
On the western side of the country, this city is the biggest. Just over 4 million people live here. Right off the Pacific Coast, you can do a variety of things. For example, you can visit multiple beaches or even go see DisneyLand.

Newport Beach Los Angeles California
Newport Beach California

Chicago, Illinois.
Found by Lake Michigan, the population exceeds 2.5 million. Since Chicago is by water, you can enjoy being by the water if that is your thing. Many skyscrapers that are some of the tallest around are great sights to see if you care to drive by. You can visit the iconic Sears Tower which is now Willis Tower.

Houston, Texas.
You can find this big city next to the Gulf of Mexico. If you are into space, Houston is famous because of it. The Space Center is where you go if you are interested. The fourth largest city in the country has not quite 2.4 million people.

Sunny Phoenix Arizona USA
Sunny Phoenix Arizona USA

Phoenix, Arizona.
1.7 million people live here. It is one of the hottest places to be any time of year. If you like the desert feeling, this is one of the biggest places you can find in this area. You can climb up Camelback Mountain, or walk through Papago Park, or anything else you can find that is interesting to you.


KANSAS, the HEART OF AMERICA!

The state of Kansas has a lot to offer. Out of the 48 contiguous states, this state is right in the center. More technically speaking, the most northern tip of the state is the actual geographical center of the states (Alaska and Hawaii not included).

Here are some places to consider:

Topeka (Capital of Kansas)
Please click here for more information on Topeka, Kansas

Kansas Museum of History
Kansas Museum of History Topeka Kansas

Kansas City
Even though it may seem like the biggest in the state, the majority of the city is on the Missouri side. The city combined with other suburbs is one of the biggest cities in the region. Don’t forget to stop by for some BBQ!

Christmas Fountains Crown Center Kansas City Missouri USA
Christmas Fountains Crown Center Kansas City Missouri USA

Lawrence
Kansas University resides in this town. It is also not far from two major cities, Topeka and Kansas City. If you are a Jayhawk fan, this is where you come for all of the home games!

University of Kansas at Lawrence Kansas USA
University of Kansas at Lawrence Kansas USA

Wichita
According to the population, this is the biggest city in Kansas. Wichita State University is where all of the shockers come for home games! The air capital of the world has made a newer airport, Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport; fly through here if you wish.

Hutchinson
This is one of the bigger cities on the western side of the state. The Cosmosphere there is a place you can go to study more about space. There is even an underground salt museum you can go to.

Manhattan
Kansas State University resides in this town. If you come to watch any sport, football is what the Kansas State Wildcats are all about. The city is also scenic; it is surrounded by many hills around on the outside and the two main roads from I-70 are good roads you can take to get there

Hays
Home of Fort Hays State University. You can go here for college if you live in the western part of the state so you don’t have to travel as far east to get to KU, KSU, or WSU. You can also go see the Sternberg Museum of Natural History here.

Liberal
This city is found right next to the Oklahoma border in southwest Kansas. You can get here via US-83 or US-54, which are both major highways. Dorthy’s House is a popular place you can go to here.

Salina
Please click for more information on Salina, Kansas.

Kenwood Cove Salina Kansas
Kenwood Cove Salina Kansas

Atchinson
Amelia Earhart Birthplace (Atchison, KS) – One of the many famous people in the world actually came from Kansas! Right off the Missouri River, you can tour the house where she lived.

Dodge City
Another look at southwest Kansas! This place is known for being a frontier cow town founded back in 1871 aka Fort Dodge. You should stop by to visit the Boot Hill Museum while on your way to your destination.

Pittsburg
This city is close by the Missouri border in southeast Kansas and is only thirty miles away from Joplin. You can get here via US- 69 or US- 160. You could visit Miner’s Memorial or Veterans Memorial Amphitheater Museum during your travels.

Emporia
I-35 and I-335 meet at this point. You can travel north to Topeka, east to Kansas City, or south to Wichita using these interstates. Emporia State University is an option for college to the high school graduates or if you want to watch an event or explore the place.

Coffeyville
This city is found in southeast Kansas right next to the Oklahoma border. You can get here via US-166 or US- 169. Dalton Defenders and Coffeyville History as well as Brown Mansion are some places to visit here.

Elkhart
This city is next to both Oklahoma and Colorado state borders. Elkhart is known as the Cornerstone of Kansas since it is just about as southwest as you can get in Kansas without entering another state. Wide open spaces! You can learn more about Cimarron National Grassland if you visit the museum there.


Christmas in Kansas City

Fountains at Crown Center Christmas in Kansas City
Fountains Crown Center Kansas City

Kansas City comes alive with Christmas Lights after dark. Whether you visit the Plaza or Union Station or Crown Center, Christmas lights and trees make the city a festive place to visit! Take some time and hang out in the Crown Center.

Christmas Crown Center Kansas City USA
Christmas Crown Center Kansas City USA
Kansas City Crown Center Christmas Tree
Kansas City Crown Center

Have some hot cocoa while soaking in the lights of the season. The Ice Skating ring (Crown Center Ice Terrace) is a fun place to see all the skaters having fun on the ice.

Crown Center Ice Terrace Kansas City Missouri USA
Crown Center Ice Terrace Kansas City Missouri USA

A short walk or drive will take you to the Union Station.

Union Station Kansas City USA
Union Station Kansas City USA

The Kansas City Union Station will take you back in time. The old glorious Union Train Station all decked up with Christmas decorations and lights.

Beautiful Christmas Tree Kansas City Union Station Missouri USA
Christmas Union Station Kansas City USA

Not to mention young couples getting married under the beautiful Christmas Decor.

Christmas Wedding at Kansas City Union Station
Wedding at the Union Station Kansas City

Courtyard by Marriott, Kansas City South (Kansas City, MO)

UPDATE: This hotel used to have a hot tub, but as of April 2019, their hot tub was out of order with a sign that indicated it would not be fixed or replaced. 

We have always enjoyed this hotel, especially the nice pool area and hot tub. It’s bigger than a lot of hotel pools. They have recently remodeled inside the hotel and even the courtyard area, and everything looks great.

For a family get-together, this time we got the one bedroom suite, which has a nice living room area with a table and desk. It was nice and spacious, and it’s nice to have not only the extra space, but also a door that closes between the bedroom and the living-room/office area.

The staff is always friendly. It’s in a quiet area, even though it is close to the interstate. It does not have free breakfast like a lot of places do, but you can purchase breakfast.

It is one of the closest hotels to the International House of Prayer, and IHOP runs a shuttle between the hotel and their services. There is a special rate available for those visiting the area for IHOP. See www.ihopkc.org for more information.

It is also a short drive to many other Kansas City attractions, such as only 6 miles to KC Chiefs Stadium and KC Royals Stadium, 6 miles to Kansas City Zoo, 3 miles to Top Golf, and not much farther to Crown Center, Union Station, and Country Club Plaza. The hotel has a shuttle for destinations within 5 miles.


Lewis and Clark Expedition Kansas USA

Lewis and Cark Expedition camped here at the confluence of the Kansas and the Missouri Rivers.

Lewis & Clark Kansas USA

Lewis & Clark Kansas USA

You can get a view of downtown Kansas City skyline from the Kaw Point Park, Kansas.  See the rivers flow gently bye. You can see the Missouri side (downtown Kansas City) from the Kansas side of Kansas City. Ponder what this place would have looked like when Lewis and Clark camped here.

Lewis & Clark Kansas City USA

Lewis & Clark Kansas City USA

Take a short trip into Missouri side of Kansas City to see more of Lewis and Clark’s historical trails.

This monument is located by Case Park, Kansas City Missouri.

Lewis and Clark Monument Kansas City Missouri USA

Lewis and Clark Monument Kansas City Missouri USA


Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City South Missouri USA

Quiet place close to the busy Kansas City.  It is located right off I-435. The hotel has a small cafe where you can buy food. Not too far from Burger King and McDonald’s for quick meal or breakfast.

We love the hot tub and pool area. It leads into the quiet courtyard. Safe place for kids to swim and for family to take a break.

Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City South Missouri USA

Courtyard by Marriott Kansas City South Missouri USA

Short drive to Minor Park where the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails crossed the Blue River.

Blue River Parkway Trails can be accessed from here. Lots of trees which turn really pretty in the Fall.

Minor Park Blue River Kansas City Missouri USA

Minor Park Blue River Kansas City Missouri USA

Minor Park Blue River Kansas City Missouri USA

Minor Park Blue River Kansas City Missouri USA


St. Louis Gateway Arch Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

To be honest, when we visited the Gateway Arch in St. Louis a few years ago, we were not able to see the museum.  It was closed for renovation, so all we got to do was get a closeup view of the outside of the Arch.  And beware – our Google map sent us to the wrong place at first, probably due to the renovation.

Once we found the right spot, we really enjoyed seeing the Arch.  We will look forward to going back to see the museum and taking a ride up the Gateway Arch.  I had a chance to do that back many years ago and found it to be even more enjoyable than just viewing the Arch.

UPDATE:  As of the July 4 holiday, 2018, the museum and visitor’s center has now re-opened.

Our family will make a point to take a tram ride up to the top of the Gateway Arch one day soon.  Be ready for great photos from the top!

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA

Gateway Arch St. Louis Missouri USA