Thanks to the Wizard of Oz, most people have heard of KANSAS even if they have very little idea of what it’s like beyond the movies: vast fields of corn, twisters, Little House on the Prairie and the boyhood home of Clark Kent (aka Superman). Indeed, Dorothy’s immortal words “we’re not in Kansas anymore” has made the state a sort of bellweather ever since, and what Bill Bryson called “the most quintessential of American states” has recently been the scene of much liberal hand-wringing in books like What’s the Matter with Kansas? (the state is overwhelming conservative).

Be prepared for a few surprises; there are certainly vast, flat bits of Kansas, but the tallgrass prairies of the Flint Hills are beautiful, wild and rolling, and college towns such as Lawrence are crammed with galleries, restaurants and cool bars. Around the middle of the state you leave the Midwest behind entirely – Dodge City is all cowboy boots and Stetsons.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

USA features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

20 places to embrace the great outdoors in the USA

20 places to embrace the great outdoors in the USA

Whether you're dreaming of a week-long expedition or an afternoon spent in the sun, the USA is ripe with possibilities for an outdoor adventure. From hiking to…

16 May 2017 • Rachel Mills camera_alt Gallery
The best weekend getaways in the USA

The best weekend getaways in the USA

The USA is a big place – but no matter where you’re based, it’s easy to hit the road for a couple of hours or hop on a plane or train for a total change …

04 May 2017 • Rebecca Hallett insert_drive_file Article
7 places to get off the tourist trail in New York City

7 places to get off the tourist trail in New York City

Ticked off New York City’s big sights and wondering where to go next? From sinking a pint in Brooklyn's Red Hook to sampling Italian delicacies in The Bronx, …

11 Apr 2017 • Stephen Keeling insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month