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Original photo by Morgan Van Der Wege

Five Outdoor Sights That I Love About Kansas

Out of the fifty states, Kansas gets a pretty bad rap. It’s called flat as a pancake, with nothing to see or do, and dismissed as the ultimate flyover state.

However, I’m here to stick up for my home state. Sure, there’s not stunning mountain ranges, lush forests or dazzling white-sand beaches. But that doesn’t mean Kansas lacks its own beauty and charm.  

In celebration of Earth Day this April, here's my list of five outdoor sights that I love about Kansas:


I know, I know. The sun sets everywhere; how can we really claim that? However, the wide-open Kansas prairie sets the perfect stage for gorgeous, unobstructed viewing. There’s nothing like getting that text from friends or family telling you to go outside and check out the sunset on a particularly beautiful evening. I guess there is an upside to Kansas being 'flat as a pancake'. 

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Here in Kansas, we love the sunflower so much that it’s the state flower. Each year we await the bloom of these charming yellow fields, great for fall photoshoots or just admiring their beauty from afar.

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Flint Hills

I drive through the Flint Hills going to and from college, and it’s sometimes hard to keep my eyes on the road because all I want to do is stare out the window. These hills give a hint of what it would be like to visit the Kansas prairie centuries ago. It’s especially great during the fall, when the seemingly endless hills and valleys are a spectacular red, yellow, and burnt orange hue.

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Monument Rocks

Tucked away in western Kansas is this National Natural Landmark that consists of large chalk formations. They are a remnant of the long-ago period in which Kansas was covered by sea. This hidden gem is well-worth the stop if you’re in that neck of the woods.

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Wheat & Corn Fields

Again, I get that Kansas can’t really claim crops or fields. So this is really an ode to rural life as well. I love corn mazes, the hum of combines during harvest, and the rhythmic swaying of wheat before a summer thunder storm. Hopefully Children of the Corn hasn’t permanently ruined this for anyone.

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Senior at the University of Kansas studying English and journalism & editor of Her Campus KU. You can find me hiding in the Watson Library study carrels or wandering around HomeGoods avoiding all responsibilities.
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