We have Just moved to podunk south west Kansas and am looking for some way to plan trips within a 200- 300 mile radius of home for weekend trips. Does anyone know of a website with attraction and event info to plan such a trip? We are looking for a trip planner where we can put in our location and it will give us things to do within a specified radius of home.
Future Tools and a 300 mile backyard!
RTA is in the process of building a simplified version of such a tool. But we are still days (weeks?) away from a launch. The task of creating a trip planner that would allow you to simply plug in a starting location and have it display things to do in a specified radius seems like a perfect application for the web. It may well be. It is a high six-figure endeavor to do it well. I seriously doubt it will ever be 100% free. There are a number of sites working toward that goal, but none are particularily fun to use.
With a 300 mile radius, you can be in the Rockies or SE Wyoming or SE Nebraska, etc. etc. There is plenty of fun things to do. One idea would be to travel a section of the Santa Fe pioneer trail. It crosses Kansas and the section in eastern Colorado is a Federal Scenic Byway (http://www.byways.org/travel/byway.html?CX_BYWAY=2115)
Kansas was central in the frontier history of the country. The Oregon Trail came through there as did the Pony Express. Prior to and during the civil war "Bleeding Kansas" was a battleground among the pro-south and pro-north civilian forces of the boder states region and John Brown became famous there for his attack on southern sympathisers long before he met his end at Harper's Ferry.
Before the railroads penetrated Oklahoma and Texas, the Kansas cowtowns were railheads for huge cattle drives. Characters of western legend including Wyatt Earp, Bat Masterson, Wild Bill Hickock, Doc Holliday, Bill Tilghman, and a number of others first came to public notice in them. Towns such as Abilene, Caldwell, Wichita, Newton, Ellswoth, Hays and, most famously, Dodge City were all prominent in that era and all retain at least some of the flavor of their frontier history. you can get more information about these and more at http://www.explorekansas.org/history.html.
If history is not your forte, Wichita is a center for general aviation and there are a number of aircraft factories there where public tours should be available.
If you get a AAA or similar map of the region and draw a 300 mile circle around your home, I think you'll be amazed at all of the opportunities for exploration you will find within that circle.
Have a great time exploring.