A spring vacation in Kansas offers more than you may think. In fact, any time from spring through to fall is the ideal time to visit these Midwestern plains. Historical sites and lovely vistas await you as well as numerous festivals throughout the summer. You should also allow time to explore the area’s many museums.
For this trip, start out in Lawrence, Kansas. RV camping is plentiful. If you have kids, you may want to try Kansas City Jellystone Park, with Yogi the Bear in fine form. Adults only may prefer RV camping in Clinton State Park, with plenty of campsites with electrical hookups and up to 50 amps. Once you are settled in, you can begin to explore the sights in Lawrence before moving along our route to Topeka.
The KU Natural History Museum is nationally recognized with many exhibits showing the diversity of the Great Plains. Folks of all ages enjoy the living exhibits, with a fabulous working beehive and the snakes and fish from around the state. If you love bugs, you’ll love “Bugtown” with its interactive exhibits. If you don’t love bugs, you may like this special display anyway.
Following up the Natural History Museum you will want to go for the real thing. At Prairie Park Nature Center you can walk the trails to see the real live birds and other wildlife so abundant here. Perhaps you will spot a beaver gnawing on a tree or building his dam. You may spot a bobcat or a deer wandering in the woodlands. You have 80 acres to enjoy of forested lands, prairie and wetlands. You can also fish on Mary’s Lake.
Another great park to visit in Lawrence is Clinton State Park. Drive the park roadways to view the wildlife and feel the grace of the prairie grasses bending softly in the breeze. Spring is the ideal time to see the wildflowers blooming, too. Listen for the quiet cries of the waterfowl and the musical notes of the songbirds. A wonderful place for an escape from the big city.
Lawrence Parks & Trails offer a wide variety of recreation. For instance, at Broken Arrow Park in town you can play traditional horseshoes at the horseshoe courts. Neighborhood parks include Water Tower Park, Chaparral Park, Deerfield Park and Parnell Park. There are many others. As well, there are preserve areas which give you a real taste of pure nature, and other spots where you can relax such as Japanese Friendship Garden or Sesquicentennial Point.
Take Highway 24 towards Topeka but detour four miles north on Highway 237 to Perry State Park where hiking and biking is at its best. Ride on horseback over twenty-five miles of trails. The rolling hills make for exciting exploration of the upland forest. Then there is Lake Perry where you can cast a line and hook some channel catfish. RV camping here is also great! All the sites are first-come, first-served.
You will finally reach Topeka, Kansas after a wonderful drive. With so many attractions here, you won’t have a lack of anything to do. You may choose as your first stop the Brown v. Board of Education National Historic Site where southern and national history was made. Admission is free and you will get the opportunity to see how legal segregation was finally ended in public schools and the role this Supreme Court decision had in the Civil Rights Movement. This historic event was more than some parents suing to get their daughter into an all-white school. Learn all about it.
Whether kids are along for your spring RV vacation or not, you will want to visit the Gage Park Mini-Train & Carousel on Gage Blvd. in Topeka. The carousel was built in 1908 and is a beauty to behold. The mini-train will take you on a mile-long scenic ride through the park which thrills young and old alike.
Before you even think about leaving and heading home, be sure to stop at Heartland Park Topeka for some exciting motor sports racing. One of the best in the nation, this race track boasts many races throughout the year with happy crowds yelling with joy as the winners come down the track to the finish line.
This Kansas getaway will be one of the top on your RV vacation list. So many different sights and so many friendly people! The whole family will be talking about it for years to come.
Picture credits: The picture of the Shunganunga Boulder and Lawrence, Kansas City Hall is from the Wikimedia Commons. It is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.