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Central Standard

Kansas Pride: Loving A Big State With A Big Reputation

Anita Wood
Flickr, Creative Commons

Kansans sometimes get picked on. They've heard every joke in the book about Toto and Dorothy, and they're not amused.

On Central Standard, we met with two people whose love for the state is both unconventional and all-consuming. They discuss the many rewards that await those willing to explore a state so often dismissed as empty and flat, suggesting ideas for enjoyable daytrips (see below).  They also offer suggestions for how Kansas can overcome some of its less flattering stereotypes. 


Marci Penner's Top Ten Best-Kept Secrets in Kansas:

  1. Pawnee Rock state historic site, Pawnee Rock, Kan. (Barton County)
  2. Gyp Hills Scenic Drive (starts 4 miles west of Medicine Lodge, then moves to the South) 
  3. Bowl Plaza and Miller Park, Lucas, Kan.
  4. St. Mary's Church, St. Benedict, Kan. (just west and north of Seneca)
  5. Prairie Nut Hut, Altoona, Kan.
  6. Jam session at Emma Chase Cafe, in the streets of Cottonwood Falls every Friday night at 7:30.
  7. St. Jacob's Well, Big Basin Preserve, Clark County, Kan.
  8. 1893 iron truss bridge above the Elk River in Elk Falls, Kan.
  9. Boyer Gallery of Animated Carvings, Belleville, Kan.
  10. Mo's Place, a microbrewery in Beaver, Kan (Barton County).



Gina Kaufmann is the host of KCUR’s Central Standard, a talkshow fueled by curiosity and critical thinking. You can reach her on Twitter, @GinaKCUR.
Matthew Long-Middleton has been a talk-show producer, community producer and now is the Media Training Manager with America Amplified. You can reach him at, or on Twitter.
Sylvia Maria Gross is storytelling editor at KCUR 89.3. Reach her on Twitter @pubradiosly.