With this year’s trip now taking shape, I'd like to add that extra sparkle that comes with local knowledge and experience - and would therefore appreciate any input you can offer.
We have two weeks booked (last week of Aug, first week of Sept), we fly into and out of St Louis and are planning a clockwise route through northwest Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas panhandle and Kansas.
As you’ll see from the following pins-in-the-map, we’ve already got what I think should be a great outward itinerary (thanks in particular, to past posts from AZBuck), with bits of just about everything: civil war, scenery, New Deal, dust bowl history, Route 66 (not everyone’s kettle of fish, I know, but this is where its history really began).
St Louis / Gateway Arch
Laura Ingalls Wilder Home
Pea Ridge National Military Park
Prairie Grove Battlefield State Park
Devil’s Den State Park (we have booked two nights in the CCC cabins here)
Woody Guthrie birthplace
Oklahoma City (Capitol, Cowboy Museum, National Memorial)
Route 66 Museum
National Route 66 Museum (yes, another)
Washita Battlefield National Historic Site
Palo Duro Canyon State Park
No Man’s Land Historical Society
Comanche National Grassland
What I’d appreciate are two things:
- Suggestions on highlights for our return through Kansas. I guess Dodge City should be there and we’ll certainly want to take in Topeka for the State Capitol. From what I’ve read, Kansas seems to blessed with a good number of Scenic Byways – any particular recommendations?
- Suggestions for places to stay along the way. Our first night is in St Louis (already booked); the second will be somewhere near Springfield (I reckon Eureka Springs will be too far if we’re spending the morning at the Gateway Arch and then want to take in Laura Ingalls Wilder’s home/grave in the afternoon); and then we have two nights in Devil’s Den State Park.
We’re not looking to pre-book things – but any recommendations for historic/interesting hotels/cabins etc (e.g. Colcord, Oklahoma City) would be much appreciated.