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Old 06-16-2018, 04:11 PM   #1
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My wife and I are going to be traveling East across Kansas and Missouri in the Sept./Aug. timeframe and are looking for recommendations for things to do/see and recommended RV campgrounds. We have never been in these states so they are all new to us. We will be leaving from Rocky Mountain Natl. park so the next night will put us about in the middle of Kansas.

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Old 06-16-2018, 04:37 PM   #2
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There's a lot of history in KS & MO if you take the back roads and take your time. Dodge City, Fort Scott, Pony Express, Jesse James, Arrow Rock, largest ball of twine, etc. Just depends on which roads you take. There's an app called History Here that will help you find stuff along the way if you're interested in that kind of things.

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Old 06-16-2018, 04:52 PM   #3
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The Sternberg Museum of Natural History at Hays, Kansas is a dome-shaped museum that's worth a visit of an hour or two. I certainly enjoyed it as a nice break on the return leg of an Ohio-Colorado trip once. There's a cluster of attractions in downtown Abilene that I've never had the time to check out. There's the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, a history museum, and an old-time town scene , and an excursion train ride.

Meramec Caverns, about an hour southwest down I-44 from Saint Louis, is worth a visit, IMHO. In the western suburbs of Saint Louis is the National Museum of Transportation, which has a larger train collection and decent sized collection of automobiles, plus a few other odds and ends (a couple planes, a tugboat, etc.). A lot of fun in good weather, but since most of the train collection is outside it can be a pain in rain. A few things in Saint Louis itself that I enjoyed were the history museum and the National Blues Museum (adjacent to an awesome BBQ chain).

If you're trying to go northeast from Missouri, consider the I-35/US-36/I-72 routing from Kansas City (or back in the other direction) instead of the same old I-70 route everybody and their brother takes. East of I-35, US-36 through Missouri is a four lane divided highway all the way with only IIRC one intersection with a traffic light. Along that route, the Mark Twain stuff at Hannibal, MO is about the only major attractions between KC and Springfield, IL but once you've crossed I-70 once you'll be quite happy for a changed.
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Old 06-16-2018, 08:39 PM   #4
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One of the eight wonders of KS is near Hays...St. Fidelis Church and then in the fall there is the miracle in Manhattan (KS).... Coach Snyder/KState football 3 day weekends... at Tuttle Creek State Park.... and plenty of wind farms to pass by on a good drive.
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Old 06-16-2018, 10:15 PM   #5
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If you are at all into buffalo, there is a wildlife preserve near strong city/cottonwood falls. Run by the nature conservancy and the National park service.

Great camp groun in Melvern. Corps of engineers. The outlet.

A nice well run RV park in Columbia MO is called cottonwood RV park.

(Yes we have a lot of rivers and cottonwood trees)

Weston Missouri has a nice state park. It’s on the edge of the Kansa city metro.

Be sure to enjoy some Kansas City BBQ

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Old 06-18-2018, 10:55 AM   #6
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OH. Don't forget Lebanon, Mo. Along Rt. 36 in north central Mo. About the only thing to do there is see the geographic center of the lower 48 states. Don't get me wrong now. That's the ONLY thing to do there I think. Absolutely nothing there but a monument with a flag pole but it makes interesting conversation. Rt. 36 is a good road even towing a trailer. Certainly much nicer than Rt. 70

Check out Corps of Engineer campgrounds. Usually in a very nice location near water and alway 1/2 price with the Natl. Parks senior or access pass.
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Old 06-18-2018, 11:50 AM   #7
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We travel through KS/MO, east/west, a couple times a year. We really love US RT36. It's in great shape and very little traffic. A big difference from traveling I70, you get to see some beautiful rolling hills in KS and interesting small towns in route. We don't take I70 anymore since we drove US36.
Some campgrounds along the way (West to east)
Prairie Dog State Park
Lions Park, Atwood KS
Washington KS city campground
Pershing State Park MO
Longbranch State Park MO

Have a great trip. We will be headed west along that route once again in the near future.
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Old 06-18-2018, 01:13 PM   #8
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Eat dinner at the brewery in Hays, KS and enjoy a farmers breakfast the next morning at Pheasant Run. See the Cathedral of the Plains in nearby Victoria. Stop for a family style meal at the historic Brookville Hotel in Abilene and see the Eisenhower Presidential Library in the same town. Manhattan has a nice brewery (Tallgrass)

If you are not in a rush, head south on KS-177 to Cottonwood Falls, KS. You’ll drive through the Flint Hills and can stop at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. This is one of the world’s last tallgrass prairies. See a sunrise or sunset on the plains. Cottonwood Falls has a simple RV site at their city park and a neat downtown and court house. You can pick up I-35 to KC or head west to Ft Scott to see the national historic site. You might get lucky and see a storm build in the distance as you cross the plains. KS is a pretty state if you slow down and leave I-70. I rode my bike across it and enjoyed the trip.

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Old 06-18-2018, 01:55 PM   #9
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Abeline - Eisenhower Museum and Home - Seelye Mansion (original furnishings and a great story) - Russell Stove Chocolate - Brookville Hotel chicken dinner (not a hotel - family style dinner - reservations)
Wichita - Air Capital of the world, well they build a lot of planes - Cow Town - Zoo - Mid America Indian Center - Exploration Place - Great Plains Transportation Museum - Longest grain elevator (ADM) ...... lots to see
Dodge City - Boot Hill - Gun Fighters Hall of Fame - the feed lot overlook
Meade - Dalton Gang hide out
Hutchinson - Salt Mines Museum - longest grain elevator - Cosmosphere

Hamilton - A quilting mecca
Kansas City - Barbeque, chicken .... good food - Stock yards
Branson - lots to do
Lake of the Ozarks State Park
Hannibal - Mark Twain Cave and Riverboat
Missouri State parks are recommended - Wallace is close to Hamilton

I70 gets you accross Kansas and Missouri
US50 is a slower and lets you see small town America
US54 is a great short cut to get from Wichita to I40 if heading West
US36 is a good alternative to Interstate travel - lots of four lane

This can be dull or very interesting - your choice

Check Traveling Man's thread from last year - good discussion

Travel Safe - Pat
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Old 06-18-2018, 06:23 PM   #10
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X2 on Branson. Lots to see there. We like Table Rock SP there. We've hosted a couple of times at Stockton SP. We'll be hosting at Pomme de Terre SP in August, Big Lake SP in September, and St Francois SP in October. If any of those are on your route be sure to let us know.

If you get as far as the St. Louis area we stay at either Dr. Edmund A. Babler Memorial SP or 370 Lakeside Park, which is a city park in St Peters. We'll be at 370 for a few days in July on our way to Pomme.
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Old 06-23-2018, 11:33 AM   #11
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I heartily second the recommendation to eat at the Brookville Hotel in Abilene, right on I-70. Best fried chicken you'll ever have. Served family style, all you can eat, with phenomenal coleslaw, creamed corn and biscuits. Go in hungry.

This was moved from the historic hotel in Brookville, just west of Salina. Family owned since the late 1880s. The hotel was quite a place, and for a while you could go upstairs and look at the hotel rooms. Jesse James, It thrived back then when it was at the end of the railroad going back east and was the terminus for cattle drives before the rail extended to Dodge City.

When we used to eat there in the late 1980s you'd see car license plates from 4 or 5 states in a town of a couple hundred population. It's that good. The required code upgrades finally spelled their demise and they moved the restaurant to Abilene along with a lot of the decor. They'll be closing soon so I highly recommend it while they're still operating.

No affiliation, just great food.

Happy trails,

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Old 06-25-2018, 04:34 PM   #12
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Be carful on Kansas toll road. They have the pay area on the far right ( looks like an exit) and the main Hwy is for express lane. Got me.

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